Terence Adelphoe 254-255

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Japonicus
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Terence Adelphoe 254-255

Post by Japonicus » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:57 pm

I'm having a little trouble with the grammar of this sentence from Terence. It comes from act 2 scene 3 of Adelphoe. Ctesipho is praising his brother for helping in the "acquisition" his beloved prostitute.

verum enimvero id demum iuvat si quem aequomst facere is bene facit.

I've looked at some translations, but I'm not quite sure if I've understood the sense and grammar of the sentence correctly. Here is my (very literal) translation: "But the truth is it helps most of all if he does well that which is right (for him) to do"
Does this just mean that its most helpful when someone does what they are supposed to? Or am I missing something? Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

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Constantinus Philo
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Re: Terence Adelphoe 254-255

Post by Constantinus Philo » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:25 pm

Please indicate act and scene
Semper Fidelis

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Constantinus Philo
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Re: Terence Adelphoe 254-255

Post by Constantinus Philo » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:54 pm

No, it really helps/it makes one happy if he who ought to perform a good deed does perform it. Here quem facere is acc cum infinitivo depending on aequum est. It may also mean: it really makes one happy if someone who ought to act does act well.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Terence Adelphoe 254-255

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:51 pm

Constantinus Philo wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:54 pm
No, it really helps/it makes one happy if he who ought to perform a good deed does perform it. Here quem facere is acc cum infinitivo depending on aequum est. It may also mean: it really makes one happy if someone who ought to act does act well.
Yes, considering the previous thought:

Abs quivis homine, cum est opus, beneficium accipere gaudeas, it certainly continues the idea of beneficium, so that your first rendering is more accurate in that regard.

iuvat is in this sense:
OLD wrote:5 (usu. of things) To give pleasure to, delight, gratify.
aeqom'st (aequum est)
OLD wrote:6 (of actions, laws, and similar) Fair, just, reasonable, right; ~um est (with accusative and infinitive, etc.), it is right (that).
The force of verum enimvero ... demum is practically hyperbole, "it really, really is gratifying a lot..." or something like that.
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Callisper
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Re: Terence Adelphoe 254-255

Post by Callisper » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:02 pm

Most people do not realize that aequum est is construed with Acc+Inf because they feel like Dat+Inf would be more natural. Now you know.

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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Terence Adelphoe 254-255

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:09 pm

Callisper wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:02 pm
Most people do not realize that aequum est is construed with Acc+Inf because they feel like Dat+Inf would be more natural. Now you know.
Thanks for sharing... :lol: Seriously, that's a good point. I don't know how often, especially as a beginning-intermediate student, my expectations of the text threw me off what the text was actually saying. Never happens now of course... :roll:
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Japonicus
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Re: Terence Adelphoe 254-255

Post by Japonicus » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:29 pm

Thank you for the help, everyone. That Acc. + Inf. makes a great deal more sense now that I see it. Hopefully I can catch it in the future...

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Re: Terence Adelphoe 254-255

Post by Callisper » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:23 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:09 pm
Thanks for sharing... :lol: Seriously, that's a good point. I don't know how often, especially as a beginning-intermediate student, my expectations of the text threw me off what the text was actually saying. Never happens now of course... :roll:
I felt like it was a good time for a comment because I have seen philologists stumble over this one, so clearly it's a bit of an unusual sticking point.

The difference between e.g. mihi licet+Inf and licet me+Inf (or similar e.g. bonum est) is clear to an intermediate student. But that aequum est is construed with Acc+Inf (Dat being unusual; not unparalleled), and that ellipsis of Acc is genuinely somewhat rare (again though, far from unparalleled), is not something everybody knows.

(It is knowledge of the latter point that enables one to understand why Terence phrased the second part of the sentence the way he did.)

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