idiom: quanti pendenda

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idiom: quanti pendenda

Post by hlawson38 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:20 pm

Augustine, de civita dei, book VII, ch v

Augustine continues to hammer pagan religious ideas, in particular those of Varro, concerning the relationship between the religion of natural philosophy and the civil religion of the Roman state.
Verum ista mysteria doctrinae qualia sint quantique pendenda, quae sequuntur ostendent.
Trial translation: In reality, just what these secrets of [their] doctrine [mysteria doctrinae] are, and what they are worth, the following (paragraphs) will show.

I'm interested in quanti pendenda. Dictionary work suggests that this phrase might also mean just what we mean when we say "how much should that bring on the market (in cash money)?" Of course, Augustine surely wants to assess worth not by market value, but by value in relation to the truth Augustine professes.

I recalled the famous phrase "cash value", used by William James in a philosophical essay. James speaks of "the cash value" of an idea, although the standard for assessing value is different. Sometimes in reading Augustine, I get that feeling, "It's deja vu all over again" (attrib. Yogi Berra).

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: idiom: quanti pendenda

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:06 pm

"Cash value" in terms of "what do we get out of it" is a nice example of pragmatic extension in English. The same with quanti pendenda, and your translation "what it's worth" captures the sense nicely. It's one of those expressions whose meaning is instantly transparent in the context.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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