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Aug. Conf. 1.9.15

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Aug. Conf. 1.9.15

Postby vir litterarum » Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:26 am

sed maiorum nugae negotia vocantur, puerorum autem talia cum sint, puniuntur a maioribus, et nemo miseratur pueros vel illos vel utrosque. nisi vero approbat quisquam bonus rerum arbiter vapulasse me, quia ludebam pila puer et eo ludo impediebar quominus celeriter discerem litteras, quibus maior deformius luderem.

Is the subjunctive being used in this relative clause because the clause is expressing purpose, i.e. "Unless in fact any good judge of things approves that I was flogged because I was playing ball as a boy and through that game was being impeded from learning my letters quickly, with which I might play more shamefully as an older man," or for some other reason? I thought it might just be expressing futurity in the past, but wouldn't this be expressed by "lusurus eram"?
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Re: Aug. Conf. 1.9.15

Postby adrianus » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:07 pm

vir litterarum wrote:Is the subjunctive being used in this relative clause because the clause is expressing purpose...
I reckon so, too. (A&G, §531.2)
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Re: Aug. Conf. 1.9.15

Postby Iulia » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:09 pm

Salve,

eo ludo impediebar quominus celeriter discerem litteras, quibus maior deformius luderem.


It might be fruitful also to look at the verb "impedire," as it is frequently used with quominus and the subjunctive (A&G 558b).

But as to the second clause that begins with "quibus," both the thought and the grammar do seem somewhat elusive though I would suggest something like a relative clause of result: "I was hindered by that game from learning letters quickly, [with the result that] I when older would amuse myself more disgracefully with which [letters]."

Is the sense here that, had he been more interested in his studies as a young boy, he would have enjoyed more serious literary pursuits as he aged [rather than the more disgraceful ones with which he did in fact amuse himself]?

Vale, /Iulia
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Re: Aug. Conf. 1.9.15

Postby adrianus » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:56 pm

Augustinus, Confessiones, 1.9.15 wrote:sed maiorum nugae negotia vocantur, puerorum autem talia cum sint, puniuntur a maioribus, et nemo miseratur pueros vel illos vel utrosque. nisi vero approbat quisquam bonus rerum arbiter vapulasse me, quia ludebam pila puer et eo ludo impediebar quominus celeriter discerem litteras, quibus maior deformius luderem. aut aliud faciebat idem ipse a quo vapulabam, qui si in aliqua quaestiuncula a condoctore suo victus esset, magis bile atque invidia torqueretur quam ego, cum in certamine pilae a conlusore meo superabar?

A possible translation? Ità offero ut corrigatur.
But the trifles of adults are called business; those of boys however, although they are no different, are punished by adults, and no one feels anything for boys,—either those punished or whatever ones. Unless indeed any [so-called] good judge of things approves that I was beaten, because I used to play ball as a boy and, as a result, I was held back from quickly learning letters, so that as an adult I might play with letters in a more offensive way. For did the very same one by whom I was beaten do something else, who, if he were beaten by a fellow teacher in some trivial question, would be more tortured by bile and jealousy than I when, in a ball match, I would lose to my competitor?

[You don't think it a good thing, do you, that, because playing ball held me back from my lessons, I should have been beaten that I might [better] play at letters later on in life in a worse way!? Didn't the very same teacher who beat me behave habitually with more bitterness and jealously than I upon losing in a ball game to my competitor, when he was bested in some trivial argument by a colleague!]
Last edited by adrianus on Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Aug. Conf. 1.9.15

Postby vir litterarum » Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:22 pm

It's funny how academia never changes.
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Re: Aug. Conf. 1.9.15

Postby ptolemyauletes » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:26 pm

It seems to me to be a contrary to fact present condition. The imperfect subjunctive is used to imply a present state that is not a fact, but would be if other things had been true. 'Since I used to play ball as a boy and it held me back from learning letters, with which (If I had kept playing) I would (now) play more disgracefully as an adult (but I don't).
I believe this is a contrary to fact present condition with the protasis omitted.
What do others think?
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