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Cicero, de natura deorum, help needed on sentence

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Cicero, de natura deorum, help needed on sentence

Postby hlawson38 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:09 pm

context: Cicero wants to examine the main philosophical doctrines dealing with the nature of the gods.

"Sed iam, ut omni me invidia liberem, ponam in medio sententias philosophorum de natura deorum."

my translation: in order to free myself from captious criticism, I place before the public the doctrines of the the philsophers concerning the nature of the gods.


My trouble starts here:

"Quo quidem loco convocandi omnes videntur qui quae sit earum vera iudicent...."

In English we might say, "With the opinions laid before them, readers may judge which one of the doctrines may be the true one....." But my problem is how to crank the meaning out of the Latin sentence.

I cannot satisfactorily parse "Quo quidem loco convocandi omnes videntur. . . ."

This part I think I get: "qui quae sit earum vera iudicent"

Who may judge which of them may be true. The antecendent of "qui" is Cicero's audience for this book.
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Re: Cicero, de natura deorum, help needed on sentence

Postby Qimmik » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:38 pm

Very tentatively--

qui quae sit earum vera iudicent: a relative clause of purpose?

convocandi videntur: soemthing like "they seem to ought to be called together". This doesn't work with English modals, but I don't see why it doesn't in Latin. In English, I think, you would have to use an impersonal construction--"it seems they should be called together". And videor sometimes means not just "seem" but "seem appropriate".

I would take omnes without a noun as "everyone" and as the antecedent of qui.

"At that place [i.e., in medio, where all the doctrines have been metaphorically deposited] it seems appropriate that everyone should be called together to judge ['so that they might judge'] which of them [the doctrines] is true."

I'm not completely sure of this--just a suggestion how you might wring some meaning out of this sentence.
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Re: Cicero, de natura deorum, help needed on sentence

Postby hlawson38 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:09 pm

Thanks Qimmik. Usually after reading a translation, I see the sentence's grammar fall into place. But that difficult clause has something of the quality of an idiom.
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