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opperiebatur ut

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opperiebatur ut

Postby Limericensis » Thu May 16, 2013 5:13 pm

Opperiebatur Nero, ut Vestinus quoque consul in crimen traheretur, violentum et infensum ratus, sed ex coniuratis consilia cum Vestino non miscuerant quidam vetustis in eum simultatibus, plures, quia praecipitem et insociabilem credebant. Annals XV 68

What I would like to know is what one would call the "ut Vestinus quoque consul in crimen traheretur" clause.
It's not result or purpose.
Given that "opperior" is generally with a direct object, I want to say that it's an indirect statement, a substantival clause, which might normally be expressed with an accusative + infinitive (Vestinum consulem in crimen tracturum esse). Am I right? Can anyone express this a little better?

Any help much appreciated.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby adrianus » Thu May 16, 2013 6:31 pm

"Opperiebatur ut" is a clause of purpose, I believe: "He was waiting for x to do something" "He was waiting [for the result] that...", A&G §531.1
Est clausula finis actionis, ut opinor.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby Qimmik » Fri May 17, 2013 3:43 am

It's not really a purpose clause, because it doesn't make sense to say that Nero waited or expected in order for Vestinus to participate in the conspiracy. I think it best fits into the pigeonhole of "temporal clause implying intention or expectancy," a species of "temporal clause" discussed in Allen & Greenough sec. 553. These are typically introduced by dum and quoad (according to A & G), but here the introductory conjunction is ut.

"Nero also expected the consul Vestinus to be implicated in the criminal conspiracy, considering him violent and hostile, but the conspirators hadn't admitted Vestinus into their plans, a few of them because of long-standing animosities towards him, but more because they thought he was headstrong and difficult to get along with."

Lewis & Short cite Livy 42.48.10 for another instance introduced by ut: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0140%3Abook%3D42%3Achapter%3D48%3Asection%3D10

ibi stetit classis, simul opperiens, ut terrestres copiae traicerentur, simul ut onerariae ex agmine suo per altum dissipatae consequerentur.

"The fleet stopped there, waiting for ground troops to be brought over and also for supply ships that had been scattered from its ranks at sea to catch up."
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby adrianus » Sat May 18, 2013 11:44 am

Qimmik wrote:I think it best fits into the pigeonhole of "temporal clause implying intention or expectancy," a species of "temporal clause" discussed in Allen & Greenough sec. 553

Ut takes the indicative in temporal clauses, not the subjunctive.
Modo indicativo non subjunctivo cum clausulâ temporale servit ut conjunctio.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby Qimmik » Sat May 18, 2013 1:46 pm

"Ut takes the indicative in temporal clauses, not the subjunctive."

Ut takes the indicative when it means simply "when." But in the passages from Tacitus and also LIvy, the subjunctive is used because the ut clause represents what the subject of the main verb was expecting, not something that actually happened (which would take the indicative). Check out sec. 553 of Allen & Greenough. It's a type of construction that's classified as a type of temporal clause, but requires the subjunctive. This construction is apparently not usually introduced by ut--usually by dum or quoad, but I think that's the best explanation for the passage from Tacitus.

Dum, too, behaves just like this: it takes the indicative in temporal clauses that state a fact (A&G secs. 555-556) but the subjunctive in "temporal clauses implying intention or expectancy" (A&G sec. 553) (among other situations).

Opperior doesn't mean simply "wait" but "wait for someone or something," "wait expecting someone or something," or just "expect," as passages cited in the article in Lewis and Scott makes clear. And certainly in the passage from Tacitus, the ut clause, as Limericensis recognized, doesn't make sense as a purpose clause.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby adrianus » Sun May 19, 2013 12:01 am

Qimmik wrote:Check out sec. 553 of Allen & Greenough. It's a type of construction that's classified as a type of temporal clause, but requires the subjunctive. This construction is apparently not usually introduced by ut--usually by dum or quoad, but I think that's the best explanation for the passage from Tacitus.

That's wishful thinking, Qimmik. There is nothing to suggest "apparently not usually introduced by ut".
Qui exoptat es, Qimmik. Nullum ibi quod sic dicere videatur.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby Qimmik » Sun May 19, 2013 4:28 am

There is nothing to suggest "apparently not usually introduced by ut".


Not sure what you're trying to say.

A&G state that dum and quoad take the subjunctive in what they call a "temporal clause implying intention or expectancy". They don't state that ut never introduces such a clause. Here, I think, that's exactly what's going on. It's certainly not a purpose or result clause--neither of those types of clauses would make sense here, as Limericensis recognizes. And characterizing the clause introduced by ut under consideration here as such a temporal clause of intention or expectancy does make sense. I don't see any better way to analyze this sentence. And Lewis and Short cite a similar case with opperiens + ut in Livy.

You're of course free to suggest a better analysis. But it isn't a purpose or result clause. "Nero was expecting/waiting for Vestius to be drawn into the crime", not "Nero was expecting/waiting in order for Vestius to be drawn into the crime" or "Nero was expecting/waiting, with the result that Vestius was drawn into the crime."
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby adrianus » Sun May 19, 2013 11:45 am

You say "This construction is apparently not usually introduced by ut" but there is no evidence apparent for that in A&G. I'm saying that you are trying to make it appear that A&G's passage on "dum" and "quoad" applies also to "ut". There is nothing to imply that in A&G.

You say "I don't see any better way to analyze this sentence. And Lewis and Short cite a similar case with opperiens + ut in Livy." L&S wrote: "I. Neutr., to wait (class.; “syn.: exspecto, praestolor):...Followed by ut with subj.: “simul opperiens, ut terrestris copiae traicerentur,” Liv. 42, 48, 10; Tac. A. 15, 68; Tiro ap. Gell. 6, 3, 42." We know that "opperior" can be followed by "ut" + subjunctive.

Your admission that you don't have a better way to analyze the sentence is colouring your reading of A&G's passage on "dum" and "quoad". If A&G had said that the passage was about "dum" and "quoad" and "ut", I would be agreeing with you.

Locum istum de "dum" et "quoad" et ad "ut" spectare videri facis. Nullum illîc est quod sic attolerat, nec apud A&G nec in L&S est quod sic denotet modo ambagioso.

Afficit interpretationem loci istius confessio tua nullius alius explicationis habendae. Si A&G de "dum" et "quoad" et "ut" in eodem loco scripsissent, tibi concurrissem.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby adrianus » Sun May 19, 2013 12:55 pm

Qimmik wrote:But it isn't a purpose or result clause. "Nero was expecting/waiting for Vestius to be drawn into the crime", not "Nero was expecting/waiting in order for Vestius to be drawn into the crime" or "Nero was expecting/waiting, with the result that Vestius was drawn into the crime."

My Latin isn't good enough to dismiss such nuances as "Nero was holding back, in order for Vestius to be drawn into the crime" but that is rather narrow, I agree. More generally I can imagine a substantive clause as object "Nero was awaiting the outcome/result of Vestius being drawn into the crime." Is it a substantive clause of purpose or a substantive clause of result? You can't use English phrases like "in order that" or "with the result that" to crack that nut. See A&G §§563-571.

Nimis tenera mea latinitas ut tales sensus subtiles mittam, sensus angustiores, cedo. Faciliùs imaginor hoc: objectum substantivum ut eventus expectatus. Estne finis actionis vel proventûs illa clausula? Non sufficit collocatio anglica ut "in order that" ut "with the result that" ut arbitria distinguas. Vide A&G §§563-571.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby Qimmik » Sun May 19, 2013 2:00 pm

"We know that "opperior" can be followed by "ut" + subjunctive."

Yes, so how do we explain this construction? The best explanation is that it's analogous to the constructions with dum and quoad discussed in A&G sec. 553 - what A&G calls a temporal clause of intention or expectancy. The fact is, as the rest of the passage demonstrates, despite Nero's expectations, Vestius wasn't drawn into the conspiracy, for the reasons that Tacitus explains: the other conspirators disliked him or didn't trust him. So the clause can't be a result clause, and it doesn't make sense as a purpose clause: Nero wasn't acting (or not acting) for the purpose of getting Vestius mixed up in the conspiracy. "Nero waited in order for Vestius to be drawn into the conspiracy," is clearly not what is meant here.

The fact that Allen & Greenough don't mention ut as one of the conjunctions that can introduce this kind of clause doesn't necessarily mean that it can't. While A&G is quite useful and comprehensive, it's nothing more than a compilation of usages found in Latin authors. The classifications of different types of usages in A&G are nothing more than attempts by non-native speakers of Latin, at a remove of a couple of millenia, to group together apparently related phenomena found in the texts. But A&G can't possibly take account of every sentence in every Latin author for the entire period which it covers.

Or maybe Tacitus and Livy just weren't paying attention when the class covered the permissible uses of ut.

If you have a better explanation for ut + subjunctive in this passage, by all means lay it out for us.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby adrianus » Sun May 19, 2013 3:27 pm

The "best explanation" in your opinion.

As I said, I see the "ut" clause in "opperior ut" as a substantive clause used as object. As to whether its a substantive clause of purpose or a substantive clause of result (and A&G allows us only these categories), I see it better fitting the category of "substantive clause of purpose" rather than "substantive clause of result". The reason is because in my view "awaiting something" is "an action directed towards the future" alongside verbs of admonishing, asking, bargaining, commanding, decreeing, determining, permitting, persuading, resolving, urging, wishing, caution and effort (§563) rather than "a verb denoting the accomplishment of an effort" (§568). Of course, I could be wrong headed but that is how I reason in the absence of an authoritative voice on the thing.

Tuâ sententiâ, "optima explicatio".

Ut jam dixi, meâ sententiâ, substantiva et objectum est clausula per "ut" post "opperior". An finis actionis an proventûs (quas solas formulas nobis A&G proponunt) clausula sit, aptior est finis actionis. Sic habeo: opperiri verbum esse quod futurum spectat, non verbum quod conatum effectum denotat. Fieri potest me errare at sine definitione huius rei ratâ sic puto.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby Qimmik » Sun May 19, 2013 4:45 pm

The "best explanation" in your opinion.

As I said, I see the "ut" clause in "opperior ut" as a substantive clause used as object. As to whether its a substantive clause of purpose or a substantive clause of result (and A&G allows us only these categories), I see it better fitting the category of "substantive clause of purpose" rather than "substantive clause of result". The reason is because in my view "awaiting something" is "an action directed towards the future" alongside verbs of admonishing, asking, bargaining, commanding, decreeing, determining, permitting, persuading, resolving, urging, wishing, caution and effort (§563) rather than "a verb denoting the accomplishment of an effort" (§568). Of course, I could be wrong headed but that is how I reason in the absence of an authoritative voice on the thing.


OK, thanks for your analysis. You're absolutely right--it's just my opinion.

One more thing. The tone of your comments suggests that you were somehow offended by mine. If so, let me apologize: I had no intention of giving offense. In the impersonal interchange that the internet facilitates, it's sometimes difficult to gauge how one's words will be perceived. Again, please accept my apologies if I've somehow offended you. Minor details of Latin syntax shouldn't give rise to personal antagonisms.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby adrianus » Sun May 19, 2013 6:22 pm

Qimmik wrote:The tone of your comments suggests that you were somehow offended by mine

You're imagining that. I'm can't see I said anything to suggest I was offended.
Id imaginaris. Nullum dixi quod me laesum esse suadet.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: opperiebatur ut

Postby GJCaesar » Mon May 20, 2013 12:22 pm

We discussed this particular sentence in class. In the end, there was a general concensus about how this sentence should be translated:

''Nero expected, that consul Vestinus as well would be charged, since Vestinus was in his eyes violent and hostile''.

But I agree: multiple interpretations are definitely possible.
vincatur oportet aut vincat
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