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Seneca, Epistulae Morales I

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Seneca, Epistulae Morales I

Postby thesaurus » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:48 am

I'm a little confused with a sentence of Seneca's and I wanted to see what you all thought:
[3] Dum differtur vita transcurrit. Omnia, Lucili, aliena sunt, tempus tantum nostrum est; in huius rei unius fugacis ac lubricae possessionem natura nos misit, ex qua expellit quicumque vult. Et tanta stultitia mortalium est ut quae minima et vilissima sunt, certe reparabilia, imputari sibi cum impetravere patiantur, nemo se iudicet quicquam debere qui tempus accepit, cum interim hoc unum est quod ne gratus quidem potest reddere.


I'm thinking "And such is the stupidity of mortal men that those things which are smallest and most worthless, and certainly replaceable, when they [mortals] have acquired them, they [the things] are allowed to be attributed to one's self, [although] nobody would judge himself to owe anything who takes/passes time, when this is the one thing which he cannot happily restore."

The subjunctives for "patiantur" and "iudicet" are tripping me up. As are a number of constructions like "imputari sibi" and "tempus accepit." Also, I'm not sure what to make of "gratus" in this context. Is it functioning adverbially?
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Seneca, Epistulae Morales I

Postby adrianus » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:06 pm

Salve thesaure,
And such is the stupidity of mortal men that they would allow the slightest and cheapest things, which are certainly replaceable, to be charged to them when they have acquired them, [but] no one who has received Time would judge that he owes anything whatsoever, while at the same time this is the one thing that not even a grateful person can pay back.

Du usu subjunctivi in hôc loco, vide A&G, §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: Seneca, Epistulae Morales I

Postby thesaurus » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:09 pm

adrianus wrote:Salve thesaure,
And such is the stupidity of mortal men that they would allow the slightest and cheapest things, which are certainly replaceable, to be charged to them when they have acquired them, [but] no one who has received Time would judge that he owes anything whatsoever, while at the same time this is the one thing that not even a grateful person can pay back.

Du usu subjunctivi in hôc loco, vide A&G, §571.


Gratias tibi ago, Adriane, qui mihi indicium de usu subjunctivi das.

Sed etiam nunc nescio quid significet "imputari sibi patiantur." Quid significat "cheapest things are charged to them"? What is being charged?

Fortasse etiam ita (haud stricte)verti potest? "They allow themselves to feel responsible for the least important things once they have acquired them, although nobody feels himself responsible for the time he has taken..."
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Seneca, Epistulae Morales I

Postby adrianus » Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:16 pm

charged to them = to mortals, put onto their account = sibi, id est, mortalibus
"[quae vilissima] imputari sibi patiantur." = "they [mortals] would allow [some of] the cheapest/most worthless things to be charged to them [put on their accounts as debts to be paid]"

Three verbs and an adjective connected to money and trade: imputare, debere, reddere, vilis. We put a price on even the most worthless things. How stupid to treat Time as less than worthless when it is beyond price.

Habes verba tria ac adjectivum quod negotium et pecuniam spectant. Vilissima quidem aestimamus. Quam stultum ideò est tempus ut minùs vile aestimare cum verò inaestimabile.
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: Seneca, Epistulae Morales I

Postby adrianus » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:12 pm

http://www.archive.org/details/adluciliumepistu01seneuoft Epistle 1, vol. 1, p.5 Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65) - Lucius Annaeus Seneca LOEB Classics Translation (Latin/English)
Richard M. Gummere (1917), translator, wrote:What fools these mortals be! They allow the cheapest and most useless things, which can easily be replaced, to be charged in the reckoning, after they had acquired them; but they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity,—time! And yet time is the one loan which even a grateful recipient cannot repay.
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.
adrianus
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