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Finding the main clause

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Finding the main clause

Postby CharlieJ » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:13 pm

In Augustine's Commentary to the Galatians, there is a particularly complicated sentence. I can understand the parts of it and generally make sense of it, but I'm struggling with the sentence structure. What is the main clause, and how do the subordinate parts fit together?

Quamquam et ipsa salutatione, cum dicit se Apostolum non ab hominibus neque per hominem, quod in nulla alia epistola dixisse invenitur, satis ostendit et illos, qui talia persuadebant, non esse a Deo sed ab hominibus et ceteris Apostolis, quantum ad auctoritatem testimonii evangelici pertinet, imparem se haberi non oportere, quandoquidem non ab hominibus neque per hominem, sed per Iesum Christum et Deum Patrem se Apostolum noverit.

"Quamquam et ipsa salutatione ... satis ostendit et illos" seems like the main clause.

the cum clause tells time.

the quod clause is parenthetical, referring to the content of the cum clause.

Is "illos ... non esse a Deo sed ab hominibus" an indirect discourse?

Then, is "ceteris Apostolis ... imparem se haberie non oportere" another indirect discourse?

Then, the "quandoquidem" clause gives the ground of the second indirect discourse clause.

Is this right? One other question: what are the grammatical relationships in the clause "se haberi non oportere"?
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Re: Finding the main clause

Postby lauragibbs » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:06 am

Wow, what a mouthful. I like to read things following the Latin order as much as possible, so here is how I took it - exactly as you did I think... the ostendit does indeed seem to introduce two different indirect statements, but they are nicely coordinated with et...et... - ostendit BOTH (that his critics are not divinely sanctioned) AND (that he should not be considered inferior to the other apostles).

Quamquam et ipsa salutatione - Yet even in the salutation itself,

cum dicit - when he says that
se Apostolum - he (is) an Apostle
non ab hominibus - not from men
neque per hominem - nor through a man

quod - something which
in nulla alia epistola - in no other letter
dixisse invenitur, - he is found to have said

satis ostendit - he clearly shows

et illos - BOTH that those men
qui talia persuadebant - who urge such things (i.e. Jewish law)
non esse a Deo - are not from God,
sed ab hominibus - but from men

et ceteris Apostolis - AND that (compared) to the other Apostles,
quantum - so far
ad auctoritatem testimonii evangelici pertinet - as it pertains to the authority of his evangelical testimony,
imparem se haberi non oportere - he should not be considered unequal;

quandoquidem non ab hominibus - since indeed not from men
neque per hominem - not by a man,
sed per Iesum Christum - but by Jesus Christ
et Deum Patrem - and God the Father
se Apostolum noverit - he knew that he was an Apostle.
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Re: Finding the main clause

Postby CharlieJ » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:48 pm

Thanks. I missed the "et...et" for a long time, so I was trying to read "sed ab hominibus et ceteris Apostolis" as a phrase. I've noticed that Augustine likes lots of indirect statements in long sentences. I suppose, though, that's representative of Latin in general.
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Re: Finding the main clause

Postby lauragibbs » Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:40 pm

Plus, reading Paul is bound to be a bad influence, ha ha... there are some passages in Paul that are a grammatical labyrinth. Admittedly, Augustine was reading Paul in Latin rather than Greek, and I've never studied Paul carefully in Latin ... but in Greek, he can really leave you scratching your head sometimes! :-)
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Re: Finding the main clause

Postby Sinister Petrus » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:36 pm

lauragibbs wrote:I've never studied Paul carefully in Latin ...


I'm in early stages of putting together some Vulgate readings for my students, and some of the parents wanted some of Paul's writing. It looks absolutely vicious in Latin.
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