Kasper wrote:I'm reading Cicero's In Verrem, and have encountered the following. Sopater quidam is the public official of a sicilian town that has a nice statue of Mercury. Mr Verres would like to have it, and Mr Sopater would prefer that it is left alone. And so:
Refert ille [Sopater] ad senatum; vehementer undique reclamatur.
Nevertheless, Mr Verres insists on having the statue. And so:
Sopater iterum flens ad senatum rem defert, istius [Verris] cupiditatem minasque demonstrat. Senatus Sopatro responsum nullum dat.
So my question (finally) is what the difference is here between 'refert', which seems to get a positive response, and 'defert', which gets no response. Or am i imagining an importance in these words that does not exist?
gratias omnibus vobis.
Defero wrote:2. To bring or give an account of, to report, announce, signify, state (for syn. v. declaro init.-- very freq.): qui nostra consilia ad adversarios deferat, Cic. Clu. 52 ; so, aliquid ad aliquem, id. Mil. 9 fin. ; id. Cat. 3, 3, 7; Caes. B. G. 2, 17, 4; 5, 25, 4 et saep.: ut (haec) per eos ad Caesarem deferrentur, id. ib. 7, 17 fin.; so with per, id. B. C. 3, 30, 6; 3, 63, 5 al.: qui ad Caesarem detulerint delaturive sint, me poenitere consilii mei, Cic. Att. 11, 7, 5 ; so with acc. and inf., id. Verr. 2, 5, 62; Verg. A. 4, 299 al.--
(b). Ad senatum de aliquā re referre (less freq with acc., a rel.-clause, or absol.), to make a motion or proposition in the Senate; to consult, refer to, or lay before the Senate; to move, bring forward, propose: VTI L. PAVLVS C. MARCELLVS COSS... DE CONSVLARIBVS PROVINCIIS AD SENATVM REFERRENT, NEVE QVID PRIVS ... AD SENATVM REFERRENT, NEVE QVID CONIVNCTVM DE EA RE REFERRETVR A CONSVLIBVS, S. C. ap. Cic. Fam. 8, 8, 5 sq.: de legibus abrogandis ad senatum referre. Cic. Cornel. 1, Fragm. 8 (p. 448 Orell.); cf.: de quo legando consules spero ad senatum relaturos, id. Imp. Pomp. 19, 58 : de ejus honore ad senatum referre, id. Phil. 8, 11, 33 : de eā re postulant uti referatur. Itaque consulente Cicerone frequens senatus decernit, etc., Sall. C. 48, 5, 6 : rem ad senatum refert, id. ib. 29, 1 ; cf.: tunc relata ex integro res ad senatum, Liv. 21, 5 : rem ad senatum, id. 2, 22 : consul convocato senatu refert, quid de his fieri placeat, qui, etc., Sall. C. 50, 3 : ut ex litteris ad senatum referretur, impetrari (a consulibus) non potuit. Referunt consules de re publicā, Caes. B. C. 1, 1; cf.: refer, inquis, ad senatum. Non referam, Cic. Cat. 1, 8, 20
Kasper wrote:Many thanks indeed, T.
If i may take your conclusion further, would it be correct to say that in 'refert' the matter is pleaded before the senate (rem fert) in order to obtain a legal ruling of sorts, whereas in 'defert' an account of events is given to the senate, much like today a report may be tabled, where no 'ruling' is to be expected? This would explain why in the second instance 'senatus responsum nullum dat'.
In any event, many thanks again for your learned assistance.