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Subjunctive in indirect discourse

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Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Σεβαστός » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:04 pm

Cicero wrote:qui ita dictitat, eis esse metuendum, qui quod ipsis solis satis esset surripuissent; se tantum eripuisse, ut id multis satis esse possit; nihil esse tam sanctum quod non violari, nihil tam munitum quod non expugnari pecunia possit.



Why the imperfect and pluperfect subjunctives after dictitat in the qui subordinate clause? Isn't it primary sequence, or does the frequentative function as both a historic and primary verb of introduction?

Thanks for the help :).
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Qimmik » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:40 pm

OK, this is wrong. Disregard it.

In this situation, the verbs in direct speech would be in the imperfect/pluperfect indicative, so in indirect speech, the verbs go into the same tenses of the subjunctive after a primary tense verb. In direct speech this would be: "eis est metuendum, qui quod ipsis solis satis erat surripuerant . . . " This is not a situation where the sequence of tenses would call for the imperfect/pluperfect subjunctive after a secondary tense in lieu of what in direct speech would be present/imperfect indicative. Probably: "He insists that those who had just stolen what was enough for themselves alone ought to be afraid . . . . " Possibly in direct speech the subjunctive esset would be used: "what would be enough."
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Limericensis » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:28 pm

I was going to suggest, rather, that the governing verb here was being used in a generalizing sense, that Verres wasn't just saying it now but that it was something he often said, and so it would take the historic sequence.
Woodcocks New Latin Syntax entry 279(d) (p233) might be apposite here, if I am right.

Also, and again I could be misleading ye all, so please do set me straight if need be, (and I'm not sure whether this would, or strictly, should, change the tense of the subjunctive verb in the O.O.) wouldn't the Oratio Recta have been “Eis est metuendum qui quod ipsis solis satis est surripuerunt; ego tantum eripui ut id multis satis possit" ?
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Qimmik » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:07 pm

If the verb were est in direct speech, I think it would become sit in indirect speech. Also, if there were some implication of past tense in dictitat, wouldn't possit be posset in both instances?
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Σεβαστός » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:22 pm

Qimmik wrote:the verbs in direct speech would be in the imperfect/pluperfect indicative, so in indirect speech, the verbs go into the same tenses of the subjunctive after a primary tense verb.
As far as I am aware subordinate clauses in indirect speech are always governed by sequence of tenses in relation to the verb of saying. See AG §585 or Kennedy §466. So a primary introduction must always result in either the present or perfect subjunctive.
Limericensis wrote:the governing verb here was being used in a generalizing sense, that Verres wasn't just saying it now but that it was something he often said, and so it would take the historic sequence.
Yes, these were my thoughts exactly.
Quimmick wrote:If the verb were est in direct speech, I think it would become sit in indirect speech. Also, if there were some implication of past tense in dictitat, wouldn't possit be posset in both instances?
And this is the problem with my thoughts. I wonder whether it is possible to have a mixture of primary and historic?
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby adrianus » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:05 pm

Qimmik wrote:Probably: "He insists that those who had just stolen what was enough for themselves alone ought to be afraid . . . . "

"[he] who says over and over again that those who had stolen only enough for themselves ought to be feared, he [the hypocrite] who himself has stolen so much that it would be enough for many"
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Σεβαστός » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:14 pm

Adrianus, how would you explain the subjunctive's tenses (see above)?
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Qimmik » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:40 pm

"[he] who says over and over again that those who had stolen only enough for themselves ought to be feared,"

Isn't eis the agent of metuendum, not the object?

se tantum eripuisse, ut id multis satis esse possit; This is a continuation of what Verres says, not a comment on it.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Qimmik » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:49 pm

This is probably the explanation for esset(Allen & Greenough, sec. 485):

j. When a clause depends upon one already dependent, its sequence may be secondary if the verb of that clause expresses past time, even if the main verb is in a primary tense:—
sed tamen quā rē acciderit ut ex meīs superiōribus litterīs id suspicārēre nesciō; (Fam. 2.16), but yet how it happened that you suspected this from my previous letter, I don't know.1.“tantum prōfēcisse vidēmur ut ā Graecīs nē verbōrum quidem cōpiā vincerēmur” (N. D. 1.8), we seem to have advanced so far that even in abundance of words we ARE not surpassed by the Greeks.


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0001%3Asmythp%3D485
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby adrianus » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:01 pm

Qimmik wrote:Isn't eis the agent of metuendum, not the object?
I see what you mean but I thought metuo could take the dative for a person that you were anxious about and was there impersonal,
"one ought to be anxious about those who". But perhaps "they should fear" is right.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Qimmik » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:20 pm

Verres is boasting that he has nothing to fear--only those who have stolen on a small scale need be afraid of prosecution; he has stolen on an enormous scale (he says), and money can solve all his problems.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Σεβαστός » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:21 pm

Qimmik wrote:This is probably the explanation for esset(Allen & Greenough, sec. 485):

j. When a clause depends upon one already dependent, its sequence may be secondary if the verb of that clause expresses past time, even if the main verb is in a primary tense:—
sed tamen quā rē acciderit ut ex meīs superiōribus litterīs id suspicārēre nesciō; (Fam. 2.16), but yet how it happened that you suspected this from my previous letter, I don't know.1.“tantum prōfēcisse vidēmur ut ā Graecīs nē verbōrum quidem cōpiā vincerēmur” (N. D. 1.8), we seem to have advanced so far that even in abundance of words we ARE not surpassed by the Greeks.


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0001%3Asmythp%3D485

Thanks for this, Quimmik :D. So are you also suggesting, in addition to the "quod esset" being dependent on the "qui surripuissent", that the "qui surripuissent" is itself dependent on the "metuendum", and the above implies historic sequence?
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby adrianus » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:34 pm

Qimmik wrote:"se tantum eripuisse, ut id multis satis esse possit; This is a continuation of what Verres says, not a comment on it.

I believe that these are words Cicero is putting into Verres mouth to condemn him,—not that Verres said them but he might as well have said them because he behaved as if he believed them, so I translate as I do.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Qimmik » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:37 pm

The answer must be that Cicero would have written surripuerint if he had been paying attention in class and had read Allen & Greenough carefully. I'll look into the "generalizing" explanation when I can get to my of Woodcock later.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Σεβαστός » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:47 pm

I still quite like the idea of a past contained within the frequentative... Also, it strikes me as strange that every commentary on this has nothing to say about it which would suggest either they haven't a clue, or, more likely, they see it as quite self-explanatory.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Qimmik » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:29 pm

past contained within the frequentative


My difficulty with that analysis is possit rather than posset.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Σεβαστός » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:36 pm

Qimmik wrote:
past contained within the frequentative


My difficult with that analysis is possit rather than posset.

Yes, I'm just wondering whether Cicero is switching between the two...
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby adrianus » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:51 pm

Σεβαστός wrote:Adrianus, how would you explain the subjunctive's tenses (see above)?

I, not expert, am inclined to see it as you do, Σεβαστός, that dictitat is an historical present. How otherwise think of it?
Ego non peritus ut tu Σεβαστός verbum aestimo: est tempore historico. Quomodo aliter id explicandum sit?

Possit/posset variation is always possible in a dependent clause, I understand from A&G §585b.
Secundum A&G §585b, semper tempus praesente fieri potest in clausulâ dependente per orationem obliquam.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Σεβαστός » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:12 pm

adrianus wrote:
Σεβαστός wrote:Adrianus, how would you explain the subjunctive's tenses (see above)?

I, not expert, am inclined to see it as you do, Σεβαστός, that dictitat is an historical present. How otherwise think of it?
Ego non peritus ut tu Σεβαστός verbum aestimo: est tempore historico. Quomodo aliter id explicandum sit?

Quod mea tamen sententia peritus es, semper maximi existimationem tuam aestimo. Gratias tibi ago.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Qimmik » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:02 am

I don't see how dictitat can be a(n) historical present when viewed in context. In Verrem 1.1.4. It seems to me that Cicero is talking about what Verres is going around saying right now--and Cicero is appalled by it. He's emphasizing the resources that Verres can bring to bear against prosecution, and Verres' attitude that he's above the law. An historical present would be appropriate in a narrative of a series of past events, which this isn't. You can't just drop a single historical present in a passage about things happening in the present and expect the reader to understand that you're suddenly talking about the past. And I come back to "why sit?"

I also can't see this as what Woodcock calls a "generalizing present" with such words as aiunt, dicunt, ferunt, traditur (see Woodcock, sec. 279(d), p. 233). These are words such as "they say", "it is said" "it is reported", with an impersonal subject. Here Cicero has Verres talking.

And I think that if dictitat were intended to convey a suggestion of repeated utterances in the past as well as the present, that would have been made clearer. Again, why sit?

But Willcock (p. 234) has something interesting to say after trying to explain away other apparent exceptions to the rules of sequence of tenses (none of which seems to apply here):

"There remain isolated examples which it is more difficult to explain on the above lines, e.g., Cic. de Rep. 2, 30 multa intelleges etiam aliunde sumpta meliora apud nos multo esse facta, quam ibi fuissent, unde huc tralata essent. One would naturally suppose that fuisssent and tralata essent stand for O.R. fuerant and tralata sunt. If so, then it must be confessed that even Cicero could be inconsistent in his syntax . . . ."

He goes on to offer an alternative explanation (a kind of conditional or "past potential"), but he doesn't seem entirely comfortable with it.

A. Ernout & F. Thomas, Syntaxe latine, sec. 399, p. 411, in a discussion of exceptions from the sequence of tenses rules, give a number of examples where subordinate clauses in indirect discourse have "librement (freely) the tense voulu par le sens (intended by the meaning) whether or not it is in concord with the principal clause." There are four examples from Cicero of instances where the imperfect or pluperfect subjunctive occurs in subordinate clauses in indirect discourse after a main verb in the present tense.

It's worth bearing in mind that the rules about sequence of tenses were constructed by grammarians on the basis of a large corpus of Latin texts (especially Cicero). Isn't it to be expected that once in a while, a good writer of Latin -- in fact, the supreme master of Latin prose -- occasionally slips in a usage that doesn't conform exactly to the patterns that emerge from the corpus?

It's still puzzling that (1) as you note, the commentators haven't seen fit to explain the apparent anomaly, and (2) there doesn't seem to be any special nuance associated with what is apparently a departure from the usual rules of sequence of tenses (thanks for setting me straight on the rules).

However, maybe by dismissing other officials' transgressions into the past sequence of tenses and putting Verres' depredations into the present sequence--in a slight bending of the grammatical rules--Cicero's Verres throws into dramatic contrast their small-scale pilfering and his own transcendent rapacity.

You were very astute to notice the anomaly, just like the one in the passage from the Phaedo.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Σεβαστός » Fri May 03, 2013 9:43 am

Thanks for the convincing and detailed reply, Quimmik. Sorry not have replied earlier... a few unexpected and unwanted things have happened over the last few days...

I spoke to someone who is also a very good Latinist indeed and she too suggested this thing where a subordinate clause already dependent on a subordinate clause may revert to historic sequence.

What I wonder given your examples, and given yet more examples she cited from Cicero, is what is the differentiating factor between using and not using the sequence of tenses rule in primary sequence? After all, if the rule is any subordinate clause dependent on another, then theoretically any subordinate clause in indirect speech (which is itself a subordinate clause) could follow historic sequence when the verb of saying would require primary. Cicero is obviously a great stylist, so I wonder what he means to emphasise when he does do this? Unless it is purely random, and one is just more common than the other. Perhaps it is as simple as one is less common and so adds extra emphasis just by this, or I wonder whether it is do emphasise the past tense? I like your explanation of the contrast between Verres' eripuisse and the others' surripuissent, but I wonder whether there is a more general explanation - maybe it is to contrast more the things done in past with those of the present?
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Qimmik » Fri May 03, 2013 12:28 pm

The books I cited don't suggest any unifying principle for the departure from the normal sequence of tenses, and apparently it's quite a rare phenomenon. In this passage, maybe, as I mentioned, Cicero is representing Verres as dismissive of others who have plundered on a small scale, shoving them off into the pluperfect, to contrast them with his own large-scale depredations.

Cicero is speaking to the Roman Senate, a body composed of ex-magistrates who, if they have not already done so, have every hope and intention of enriching themselves as provincial governors in the same manner if not quite to the same degree as Verres. Maybe Cicero is somehow playing to their insecurities.

My recollection is that Cicero actually delivered only one or two of the Verrine Orations, after which Verres felt compelled to exile himself to Marseilles. Later he ostentatiously conveyed his gratitude to Cicero for forcing him to live in a city that offered such excellent seafood.
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Σεβαστός » Fri May 03, 2013 1:02 pm

Ha, very inventive (and most likely) suggestions indeed! I guess we will never know ultimately what his intentions were but that he is entitled to do so, but I do like your extrapolations :).

Yes, after he delivered the actio prima, Verres went into self-exile. The actio secunda in its various parts was never delivered but published presumably to show off what are, in my view, exemplary polemics. About the seafood, this is something I did not know! Beatus ille... :lol:
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Re: Subjunctive in indirect discourse

Postby Qimmik » Fri May 03, 2013 1:53 pm

According to the Wikipedia article, Verres eventually fell victim to what might be called long-delayed poetic justice, though at an advanced age.

There [at Marseilles] he lived in exile until 43 BC, when he was proscribed by Mark Antony, apparently for refusing to surrender some art treasures that Antony coveted.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verres
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