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Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

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Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby hlawson38 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:18 pm

Context: Augustine recapitulates his work so far, reminding readers that the present purpose is to show that all kinds of disasters befell the Romans in the time before the coming of Christianity. Hence the pagan critics of Christianity are deploying a double standard: they blame Christianity for recent disasters, but they don't blame their own religion for earlier disasters. (N.B. Augustine's argument so far has other dimensions, but this is enough to introduce the quotation.)

Promiseramus ergo quaedam nos esse dicturos aduersus eos, qui Romanae rei publicae clades in religionem nostram referunt, et commemoraturos quaecumque et quantacumque occurrere potuissent uel satis esse uiderentur mala, quae illa ciuitas pertulit uel ad eius imperium prouinciae pertinentes, antequam eorum sacrificia prohibita fuissent;


Translation: Now, we had promised that we would expose the errors of those [pagan authors] who blame our religion for the [recent] disasters [endured by] the Roman state, and that we would place on record the calamities, as many and as great as would seem sufficient [for our purpose], which afflicted either that state or the provinces belonging to its domain, in the time before the public pagan rites were outlawed.

1. What about my interpretation of vel . . . vel? I have reduced satis esse viderentur almost to a parenthetic remark. Does this seem OK?

2. I have made provinciae the plural subject of an understood verb, pertulerunt. I did this out of necessity for the only meaning I could construe. Does that seem appropriate?
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:30 pm

Hi Hugh. Nice to see you're making progress with City.

I would say yes to your #2 (sc. pertulerunt).

And yes, I think your interpretation of vel ... vel is correct. (I don't know whether the comma in uel satis esse uiderentur mala, quae ... is yours or your sources; I think the vel ... vel would be clearer without it.)

I'm not sure I understand why you feel your "would seem sufficient [for our purpose]" is reduced to merely a parenthetic remark. But I have a question for you, magister, or others. How do you construe occurrere potuissent and the entire clause commemoraturos quaecumque et quantacumque occurrere potuissent ... satis esse uiderentur mala?
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby Ser » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:36 pm

hlawson38 wrote:Context: Augustine recapitulates his work so far, reminding readers that the present purpose is to show that all kinds of disasters befell the Romans in the time before the coming of Christianity. Hence the pagan critics of Christianity are deploying a double standard: they blame Christianity for recent disasters, but they don't blame their own religion for earlier disasters. (N.B. Augustine's argument so far has other dimensions, but this is enough to introduce the quotation.)

Promiseramus ergo quaedam nos esse dicturos aduersus eos, qui Romanae rei publicae clades in religionem nostram referunt, et commemoraturos quaecumque et quantacumque occurrere potuissent uel satis esse uiderentur mala, quae illa ciuitas pertulit uel ad eius imperium prouinciae pertinentes, antequam eorum sacrificia prohibita fuissent;


Translation: Now, we had promised that we would expose the errors of those [pagan authors] who blame our religion for the [recent] disasters [endured by] the Roman state, and that we would place on record the calamities, as many and as great as would seem sufficient [for our purpose], which afflicted either that state or the provinces belonging to its domain, in the time before the public pagan rites were outlawed.

1. What about my interpretation of vel . . . vel? I have reduced satis esse viderentur almost to a parenthetic remark. Does this seem OK?

2. I have made provinciae the plural subject of an understood verb, pertulerunt. I did this out of necessity for the only meaning I could construe. Does that seem appropriate?

1. The two vel are not related here. I would personally keep occurrere potuissent 'could come [to mind]' in the translation, which you seem to have cut out. A rather literal translation would be: "and that we would place on record bad things, of whatever kind and in as many in number as they could come to mind or seemed [serious] enough, which...".

2. I think this interpretation is correct. However, note that "civitas" here means "city", as it sometimes does in Late Latin (and most Romance languages today), so the contrast is not between the State and the provinces but Rome and its provinces. A rather literal translation would be: "...which the City or the provinces belonging to its domain endured".

EDIT: Ninja'd by RandyGibbons. I wrote this response without seeing his.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby Hylander » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:51 pm

I'm not entirely sure, but I'm wondering whether potuissent (pluperfect) is a contrary to fact or potential subjunctive (in an indirect question), while uiderentur (imperfect) is simply a usual subjunctive in an indirect question, as evidenced perhaps by indicative pertulit: "how many disasters the city and its provinces actually endured seemed sufficient", contrasting the disasters that could have occurred and those that actually did occur with the contrast between plp subj and imp subj.

"We had promised that . . . we would place on record how great and how many [calamities] might/could have occurred or [how great and how many] calamities that that city and/or the provinces attached to it endured seemed sufficient . . ."

I agree that the two uel's are not coordinate. Also, Latin doesn't need you to "understand" pertulerunt; pertulit does the job for both, even if prouinciae is plural.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby hlawson38 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:30 pm

Many thanks to Randy, Ser, and Hylander. So many things about this passage puzzled me that I'll forbear reply, and instead spend some time studying the helpful comments they gave.

I'm enjoying reading Augustine as a student of history, which lets me enjoy the experience without fretting about whether I should see things as A. does. I keep wondering if NIetzsche studied Augustine, who seems to be to be engaged in the "transvaluation of values", so that N. could follow A.'s technique to undermine what A. wants to make solid. It's also becoming more obvious that Augustine, in particular, was an architect of the old-time religion.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:03 pm

While Hugh ponders ...

et commemoraturos quaecumque et quantacumque occurrere potuissent uel satis esse uiderentur mala, quae illa ciuitas pertulit uel ad eius imperium prouinciae pertinentes,

Ser and Hylander,

Yep, I think you are right, the vels are not coordinate (and the comma after mala is appropriate.)

Also, I think uiderentur represents a future perfect in the direct speech?

Here's my take now: "[we had promised that ... and that we were going to recall whichever and however many ills will have been able to occur [to us] or that seemed to be sufficient, which that City had suffered or the provinces belonging to its imperium"
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby Nesrad » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:06 pm

I think the final part of the paragraph means:

...and to recall all the great evils that could have occurred, even though the evils that did occur to the state or to the rule of its province, before their sacrifices were banned, seem sufficient [for my purpose of refuting those men].
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby mwh » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:47 pm

So many problems?! But there doesn’t seem to be much left to sort out other than the tense difference between potuissent and viderentur—and perhaps the meaning of occurrere?, which will surely be as Ser took it, “come to mind.” I read potuissent as representing direct-speech future perf.: all that he could (would have been able to) think of, sc. by the time he came (would come) to write. That seems to be how Randy takes it in his translation—it looks as if when he typed viderentur he meant potuissent. Alternatively it could be more like prohibita fuissent in the closing antequam clause, I don’t think it makes much practical difference.
I don’t see a great deal of significance in the tense change. He’s going to record all the mala he can think of (when he comes to recount them) or at any rate those that he thinks (at the moment) enough to make his point. I don’t quite see how Nesrad arrives at his reading.
But I always feel insecure when it comes to Latin.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby Nesrad » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:18 am

Mwh, I was waiting for you to intervene with the correct reading. How about it?
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:37 am

it looks as if when he typed viderentur he meant potuissent

Oops. Thanks, Michael!

SPOILER ALERT!!!

For those, perhaps Hugh, who want to continue chewing on the Latin, don't read further.

But I finally couldn't resist, and here's the translation in my Cambridge/M.W. Dyson edition:

"I undertook to say something against those who attribute to our religion the disasters lately sustained by the Roman commonwealth. I promised also that I should recall the evils - as many of them and as great as I could remember, or as might seem sufficient - which the city of Rome, or the provinces belonging to her empire, suffered even before it was forbidden to sacrifice to demons."

Conclusion: (1) The vel's are not coordinate. (2) occurrere means, as Ser had it, 'occur to Augustine' (and not 'happen to the Romans'). (3) potuissent renders future perfect of direct speech. (4) Once again, Hugh, an excellent question that pulls me into reading this great work. In gratitude, I shall be sacrificing to the demons.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby hlawson38 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:06 pm

Many thanks for the comments on this passage, which gave me much trouble.

If I ever learned the future perfect of direct speech, I have forgotten it. I'd be most grateful for a reference in Allen and Greenough, or a URL reference to this topic.

As for occurrere, I did not know the possible meaning, "to come to mind", and I'm happy to hear about that. It is right there in Lewis and Short, as well as in the English cognate, "I occurred to me that you might have been . . .."
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:16 pm

Occur meaning occur to one: it didn't occur to me either. (I think there's the making of a song lyric there.)

sequence of tenses in Allen and Greenough. See 484c.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby Hylander » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:20 pm

Future perfect in direct speech (represented by pluperfect subjunctive in "secondary sequence", as Randy's cite indicates): a verb that occurs (no pun intended) before a future verb to which it is subordinate (here commemoraturos [esse]).

Potuissent is in "secondary sequence" because the verb to which the entire indirect speech is subordinate, promiseramus, is pluperfect, i.e. a past tense, and therefore potuissent is pluperfect subjunctive, "representing" future perfect indicative in direct speech. Direct speech would be something like nos commemorabimus . . . quaecumque et quantacumque occurrere potuerunt . . . mala, quae . . .

In sum, the "coming to mind" of the disasters necessarily happens before A. records them, so future perfect would be used here in direct speech, and this becomes pluperfect subjunctive in indirect speech in "secondary sequence". (The "seeming adequate", satis esse uiderentur, presumably happens at the same time as A. is recording the disasters, so uiderentur is imperfect subjunctive, representing present tense or simple future of direct speech in secondary sequence.)

A&G 478 is confusing and not very helpful:

The Future Perfect denotes an action as completed in the future:—

“ut sēmentem fēceris, ita metēs ” (De Or. 2.261) , as you sow (shall have sown), so shall you reap.
“carmina tum melius, cum vēnerit ipse, canēmus ” (Ecl. 9.67) , then shall we sing our songs better, when he himself has come (shall have come).
sī illīus īnsidiae clāriōrēs hāc lūce fuerint, tum dēnique obsecrābō; (Mil. 6), when the plots of that man have been shown to be as clear as daylight, then, and not till then, shall I conjure you.
“ego certē meum officium praestiterō ” (B. G. 4.25) , I at least shall have done my duty (i.e. when the time comes to reckon up the matter, I shall be found to have done it, whatever the event).

[*] Note.--Latin is far more exact than English in distinguishing between mere future action and action completed in the future. Hence the Future Perfect is much commoner in Latin than in English. It may even be used instead of the Future, from the fondness of the Romans for representing an action as completed:—

“quid inventum sit paulō post vīderō ” (Acad. 2.76) , what has been found out I shall see presently.
“quī Antōnium oppresserit bellum taeterrimum cōnfēcerit ” (Fam. 10.19) , whoever crushes (shall have crushed) Antony will finish (will have finished) a most loathsome war.


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=AG+478&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0001
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby hlawson38 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:00 pm

Thanks to Randy Gibbons the reference, and to Hylander for the lucid explanation which was exactly on point.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby hlawson38 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:37 am

I want to submit, for critique, grammatical rationales for the tense and mood of the verbs in this sentence, as I understand them after some study. I needed some re-learning on this topic.

I repeat the quotation for ease of reference.

Promiseramus ergo quaedam nos esse dicturos aduersus eos, qui Romanae rei publicae clades in religionem nostram referunt, et commemoraturos quaecumque et quantacumque occurrere potuissent uel satis esse uiderentur mala, quae illa ciuitas pertulit uel ad eius imperium prouinciae pertinentes, antequam eorum sacrificia prohibita fuissent;

promiseramus: indicative, pluperfect. "I had promised, had undertaken". The promise was made in the past, before Aug. had written the text he is summarizing.

dicturos ... commemoratos: future infinitives in indirect discourse. The fulfillment of the promises would happen later than the promise.

referunt: present, active, indicative. This verb is indicative, rather than subjunctive, in conformity with Allen and Greenough, #583: "A Subordinate Clause . . . regarded as true independently of the quotation takes the Indicative." It is present tense because Augustine's adversaries continue to blame Augustine's religion.

occurrere potuissent: This is a subjunctive verb in a subordinate clause in indirect discourse. Pluperfect tense tells us that Aug. already knew the disasters he wanted to write about, before he promised to do the writing.

viderentur: imperfect subjunctive. This is another subordinate clause in indirect discourse, hence the subjunctive. The imperfect tense tells us that when Aug. made the promise to write up these historic disasters, he did not yet know how many of them he would write up. Presumably he meant to decide that matter after he got some of the writing done.

pertulit: perfect active indicative. That Rome and its provinces endured these disasters is a historical fact. Same rationale for indicative as for "referunt" above.

antequam . . . prohibuisset: this is part of the indirect discourse, I tentatively suggest. The pluperfect subjunctive is relative to the main verb's establishment of secondary sequence.

I'll be grateful for corrections.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby Hylander » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:33 pm

occurrere potuissent: I think that potuissent, pluperf. subj., represents the future perfect indicative, not the pluperfect, relative to commemoraturos. Some disasters might come to mind before he got around to writing about them.

viderentur -- after thinking about this and considering the possibility that (contrary to the usual rules for sequence of tenses) the imperfect subjunctive might represent the future tense in secondary sequence, I think it actually looks back to the time when he made his promise, so it represents the present tense in secondary sequence. He thought he already knew about enough disasters to make his point when he made his promise to tell us about them.

He already had some disasters in mind when he made the promise, and those seemed (viderentur) sufficient at the time, but he recognized that others might (potuissent) occur (as we would say in English, or more consistent with Latin sequence, have occurred) to him before he got around to writing about them.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:50 pm

Sorry, disregard this.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:20 pm

[Note: I thought I had saved a draft response, which went poof, then I though I submitted a response, which went poof. So I apologize if there is a technical problem and these show up at some point.]

occurrere potuissent: ... Pluperfect tense tells us that Aug. already knew the disasters he wanted to write about, before he promised to do the writing.

Incorrect. As Hylander reminds, we had pointed out that in this case potuissent represents not a past tense in the direct discourse but the future perfect in the direct discourse. It tells us that the disasters will have occurred to Augustine by the time he sits down to write. (That in reality he pretty much had them in mind at the time he made the promise is certainly likely, but we're speaking here strictly grammatically.)

The direct discourse: "I promise that I will ... recall [in my writing] whichever and however many disasters will have occurred to me [by the time I put plume to parchment] or those which seem sufficient [for my purposes, at the time I write]." Technically, at the time of writing, the recollection in his mind of the complete litany of disasters will be a completed action, the decision as to which will be sufficient an incomplete action. This seems to me standard sequence of tenses rules, and I respectfully disagree with Hylander here.

antequam . . . prohibuisset: this is part of the indirect discourse, I tentatively suggest. The pluperfect subjunctive is relative to the main verb's establishment of secondary sequence.

Why tentative? The entire sentence after promiseramus is in indirect discourse, so yes, including this temporal clause. Since promiseramus is in past time, the sequence of tenses rules determine that the subjunctive in the dependent clauses will be either imperfect or pluperfect. Nitpickily, prohibuisset being in the pluperfect is not relative to the main verb's establishment of secondary sequence but to the time of the main verb, i.e., the laws prohibiting sacrifices to the devils had been promulgated prior to the time Augustine made the promise.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby hlawson38 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:25 pm

Many thanks to Hylander and Randy for their critiques. It is very good of you to give me this attention.

I need more work before I have this doped out.

Hugh
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby mwh » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:51 pm

I haven’t looked carefully at the more recent posts, and it may be redundant to refer back to my own post, where I summed up my reading by writing “He’s going to record all the mala he can think of (when he comes to recount them) or at any rate those that he thinks (at the moment) enough to make his point.”
Is this satisfactory, or not?
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby Hylander » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:26 am

mwh, that is the way I'm reading this -- "at the moment" would be the moment when he made the promise.

But Randy may still be right.

In direct speech--

(1) if A. was thinking of the present moment when he made the promise, he would have used the present indicative: commemorabimus quaecumque et quantacumque satis uidentur.

(2) if A. was thinking of the future moment when he would come to gather his thoughts and memorialize the disasters, I think he would have used future indicative, not the present: commemorabimus quaecumque et quantacumque satis uidebuntur. (This is in contrast to English, where we can use the so-called "present" tense to refer to the future in a subordinate clause.)

But this is a subordinate clause in indirect speech, in secondary sequence. The present indicative of direct speech, uidentur, is represented by the imperfect subjunctive, according to the rules in A&G 483, which is what A. uses here: promiseramus . . . nos commemoraturos quaecumque et quantacumque satis uiderentur. In other words, the imperfect subjunctive here would seem to stand for a present indicative and relate back to the moment when he made the promise, not the moment when he would come to memorialize the disasters.

But if he were thinking of the moment when he came to memorialize the disasters, how could he have expressed the idea? The problem is that there is no way to form a periphrastic passive verb form for the future with the imperfect subjunctive to follow the rules for sequence of tenses in Latin. A periphrastic form for this situation exists in the active: A&G's example is rogaueram quid facturus esses. But I'm not aware of any way to do this with a passive verb. Videnda essent would imply obligation or necessity, which is not appropriate in this context.

Maybe Randy is right after all: perhaps A. just fell back on the simple imperfect subjunctive passive to stand for a simple future indicative passive in direct speech, for want of a periphrastic passive form that would be dictated by the usual sequence of tenses rules. I would say it's at least ambiguous here what he meant.

Of course, A. did not necessarily have his copy of A&G open before him as he was writing . . .
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:15 am

To answer Michael's question, yes, I think his summation of his reading is satisfactory, but looking at his reading, I think it's clear for him "at the moment" was referring to the moment in the future when Aug. would be writing, not at the moment he made the promise.

It's kind of amusing when we get tangled up to the point that, in trying to interpret what Augustine said, we find ourselves trying to interpret what we are saying :lol: .

Hylander, with respect to the point in time of reference for potuissent and viderentur, how would you say Dyson understood it in his translation?

"I undertook to say something against those who attribute to our religion the disasters lately sustained by the Roman commonwealth. I promised also that I should recall the evils - as many of them and as great as I could remember, or as might seem sufficient - which the city of Rome, or the provinces belonging to her empire, suffered even before it was forbidden to sacrifice to demons."
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby Hylander » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:33 pm

Randy, it's not clear to me where Dyson gets "might" out of uiderentur, but I concede your point.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:43 pm

I think "might" speaks to your point, viz., that while according to the grammar books the imperfect in secondary sequence represents the present of the direct discourse (and an incomplete action), it can have a future-ish feel to it.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby mwh » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:48 pm

It looks like we’ve been tying ourselves up in knots here. But anyway, here’s how I would perform the artificial exercise of “reconstructing” the second half of his promise:
commeminerimus quaecumque et quantacumque occurrere potuerint vel satis videantur mala.
Here potuerint is perf.subj., faute de mieux representing potuerint fut.perf. (fortuitously the same form!); videantur represents videntur (I’m discounting future). I’m thinking subjunctive would be more likely than Hylander’s indicative in the relative clauses. (Cf. Dyson’s “might seem”, not “seem” or “seemed”?)
In secondary sequence (promiseramus), the potuerint perf.subj. of course becomes potuissent, and videantur viderentur.
So I said in my post, “I read potuissent as representing direct-speech future perf.: all that he could (would have been able to) think of, sc. by the time he came (would come) to write.”
As to my “He’s going to record all the mala he can think of (when he comes to recount them) or at any rate those that he thinks (at the moment) enough to make his point”, by “at the moment” I meant at this present moment, as he’s writing.

Such are the paradoxicalities of Latin syntax that pluperfect potuissent refers to a point in time later than imperfect viderentur! I think I’ll stick to Greek. It’s so much more sensible.

The Dyson translation understandably doesn’t attempt to capture the tense difference. It's too fine a distinction for English, and as I suggested it doesn’t have a great deal of significance.
Last edited by mwh on Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby hlawson38 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:03 pm

While looking for more light on this problem, I discovered at the end of Book I this passage, which I had read but forgotten. If I had recalled it, it would have provided helpful context. In this earlier passage, Augustine states the promise that he recalls later in the passage under study in this thread.

Sed adhuc mihi quaedam dicenda sunt aduersus eos, qui Romanae rei publicae clades in religionem nostram referunt, qua diis suis sacrificare prohibentur. Commemoranda sunt enim quae et quanta occurrere poterunt uel satis esse uidebuntur mala, quae illa ciuitas pertulit uel ad eius imperium prouinciae pertinentes, antequam eorum sacrificia prohibita fuissent. . . . ( From ch. 36 of book 1).


(With chagrin I note that Augustine refers to this Book 1 passage just a few lines above the quotation under study.)

Trial translation:

I must yet say some things against those who blame the late disasters suffered by the Roman commonwealth on our religion, by whom [by whose principles ?] it has been forbidden to perform sacrifices to their gods. There must be put on record what catastrophes, and what great catastrophes, will come [note the simple future tense] to mind, or at least enough of them, which Rome endured, and that the provinces subject to Rome's rule endured, before their sacrifices were prohibited. . . .

Both poterunt and videbuntur are simple future tense, which indicates that Augustine expected to identify more disasters for his subsequent writing.

I think I have missed some grammatical principle about the pluperfect subjunctive in subordinate clauses in indirect discourse.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby mwh » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:35 pm

So we were all wrong? but I most of all?

But it's interesting that the Latin not only has gerundives rather than futures but more to the point that it has poterunt and videbuntur both in the same tense, unlike the later recapitulation.

Your translation isn’t quite right, Hugh, but no doubt others will correct it, as well as explaining use of pluperf.subj. Thanks for coming up with the original passage!
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:51 pm

I think I was right, actually. At the close of Book I, he's looking ahead to the definitive list of mala he will come up with (future) and then the editing process that will determine (future) which of those will seem sufficient as he writes. This is just recalled (promiseramus), almost verbatim, in Book IV, so these future verbs are now recast per the sequence of tense rules. That by the time he got to the fourth book occurrere poterunt became potuerunt (fut. perf., potuissent in the indirect discourse) is a perfectly normal and trivial difference. The slight technical but as Michael says untranslatable difference is that coming up with the definitive list is now represented as what will be a completed action by the time he sits down to write.

I think I have missed some grammatical principle about the pluperfect subjunctive in subordinate clauses in indirect discourse.

Hugh, all I can say is that I still have permanent bumps on my head from the many times I hit it on the wall studying Latin indirect discourse. But it's not "some grammatical principle", it's right there in the A&G citation I gave you. You should probably carefully review the entire section on sequence of tenses, as I do from time to time.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:05 pm

Hugh,

I wanted to mention this yesterday but didn't have access to my library. As fyi, the Arthur Tappan Walker 1907 Caesar's Gallic War has an appendix that converts all the indirect discourse in Books 1 and 2 into their direct form. As an exercise some years ago, I attempted my own conversion of each of these and then compared it to Walker's. I found this very valuable.

Randy
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby hlawson38 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:18 am

RandyGibbons wrote:Hugh,

I wanted to mention this yesterday but didn't have access to my library. As fyi, the Arthur Tappan Walker 1907 Caesar's Gallic War has an appendix that converts all the indirect discourse in Books 1 and 2 into their direct form. As an exercise some years ago, I attempted my own conversion of each of these and then compared it to Walker's. I found this very valuable.

Randy


Very interesting. When I stumbled through Caesar some years ago, my grasp of indirect discourse was even more primitive than now. I had rushed through grammar study thinking that reading would quickly sort things out. I haven't read a line of Latin in company with another person since the early 1950s, and that is a big disadvantage.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:46 am

I haven't read a line of Latin in company with another person since the early 1950s, and that is a big disadvantage.

Very true. In July at the invitation of a friend I attended a 5-day Latin workshop led by Chris Francese at Dickinson College (PA). It is an annual workshop intended mostly for Latin teachers who want to turbocharge their own Latin during their summer break, but Chris welcomes a few outliers (non-teachers) like my friend and myself. I went in part because I was very enthusiastic about reading the chosen author, a Jesuit historian (Giovanni Pietro Maffei) who wrote a fascinating history (published in 1588) of the age of Portuguese exploration, in excellent Latin. We read together for four hours each morning. Some us had a study group after dinner to prepare for the next day's reading, with the help of a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of wine, and some bags of pretzels. There are no translations of Maffei*, which made it especially interesting. We debated many a sentence! Yes, reading with a group of fellow enthusiasts is fun, beneficial, and occasionally humbling.

* Technically that's not true; there is an old Italian translation I found on Google Books. Chris and his fellow teacher at this workshop, a Latin professor from Brazil (Maffei tells how the Portuguese, trying to get around the Cape of Good Hope and drifting too far west, accidentally discovered Brazil. We read a fascinating description of native Brazilian flora and fauna), are working on a digital edition and eventually a critical edition of Maffei. When it's ready, this will be a terrific entry in the category of Renaissance Latin.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby mwh » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:25 pm

A parallel exercise to converting indirect speech in Caesar into direct speech—even more instructive, and more challenging—is to do the same with Plato’s Symposium, Apollodorus’ account of Aristodemus’ account of the drinking party, where what was said is reported at second hand. E.g. 175c μετὰ ταῦτα ἔφη σφᾶς μὲν δειπνεῖν, τὸν δὲ Σωκράτη οὐκ εἰσιέναι. τὸν οὖν Ἀγάθωνα πολλάκις κελεύειν μεταπέμψασθαι τὸν Σωκράτη, ἓ δὲ οὐκ ἐᾶν. ἥκειν οὖν αὐτὸν οὐ πολὺν χρόνον ὡς εἰώθει διατρίψαντα, ἀλλὰ μάλιστα σφᾶς μεσοῦν δειπνοῦντας. τὸν οὖν Ἀγάθωνα—τυγχάνειν γὰρ ἔσχατον κατακείμενον μόνον—δεῦρ᾽, ἔφη φάναι, Σώκρατες. It can be quite tricky. In this little bit we have εφη twice, but often that is dispensed with. It would be fun to turn this into Latin too. Of course, there are better things to do with the Symposium.

Back for a moment to the Augustine passage, which I proposed represented an “original” commeminerimus quaecumque et quantacumque occurrere potuerint vel satis videantur mala. This turned out to be wrong. But it could have been right. The result would have been the same.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:40 pm

Michael, if there were a student edition or commentary, equivalent to Walker's for Caesar, converting Apollodorus' account of Aristodemus’ account into direct speech, I assume you would have mentioned it? I'd love to have it, otherwise the next time I read the Symposium, and I dearly hope that will happen, I'm going to turn to YOU :D .
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:55 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:We read together for four hours each morning. Some us had a study group after dinner to prepare for the next day's reading, with the help of a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of wine, and some bags of pretzels.


Ah, the food and drink of the gods!

mwh wrote:A parallel exercise to converting indirect speech in Caesar into direct speech—even more instructive, and more challenging—is to do the same with Plato’s Symposium...


The high school textbook Latin for Americans 2 includes large portions of Caesar, and regularly converts the longer sections of indirect statement to direct, one reason I stopped using it for Caesar.
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καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby mwh » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:46 pm

Barry, Yes it’s usually more valuable to convert direct speech (not only statement) to indirect than vice versa, though either way is instructive. But try converting that Plato from a 2nd-hand to a 1st-hand account!

Randy, I don’t know if there’s any such student edition, but I doubt it. I think this is something we have to do for ourselves as we read the dialogue (or rather monologue—It's an extraordinary form for Plato to have chosen). I sometimes use it as a test or exercise for grad students. I don’t think any have ever done it with complete success.

I’d be interested to know if you concede my point about the Augustine.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby RandyGibbons » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:17 pm

Barry - Just to be clear, for Hugh and others' benefit, the Walker Caesar is the genuine, undoctored text of Caesar. The conversion of the indirect discourses in the first two books to their direct discourse equivalents is in an appendix.
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Re: Augustine, City of God, Book 4, ch.2

Postby hlawson38 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:21 am

I don't recall mention here of McClardy's Caesar Completely Parsed.

It's like the Olympic Champion of what my h.s. Latin teacher called ponies, elsewhere called trots I believe.

https://archive.org/details/Commentarie ... arsedBookI
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