Augustine, City of God, b. 5, ch. 26 use of quod

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hlawson38
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Augustine, City of God, b. 5, ch. 26 use of quod

Post by hlawson38 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:22 am

Context: Augustine addresses disparagingly actual or possible critics of the principles he has laid down in the first five books of City of God.
Deinde ad me perlatum est, quod iam scripserint, sed tempus quaerant, quo sine periculo possint edere. Quos admoneo, non optent quod eis non expedit. Facile est enim cuiquam uideri respondisse, qui tacere noluerit. Aut quid est loquacius uanitate? quae non ideo potest quod ueritas, quia, si uoluerit, etiam plus potest clamare quam ueritas.
Translation: Next, they tell me that some already have written, but are looking for a good time to publish without danger. To these I say, don't want what is no use to you. It's easy enough for anybody to pretend to himself that he has answered, when really he just didn't want to keep silent. And what is more empty than chatter? Though it might be louder than truth, it is not more powerful.

My question concerns quod in the clause quae non ideo potest quod ueritas.

I translated this use of quod by brute-force guesswork, but I don't have a proper understanding of it.

Nesrad
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Re: Augustine, City of God, b. 5, ch. 26 use of quod

Post by Nesrad » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:48 pm

I think there are some implicit omissions:

quae non ideo potest [facere id] quod ueritas [potest facere], quia, si uoluerit, etiam plus potest clamare quam ueritas.

It can't accomplish the same thing as the truth for the mere reason that (non ideo... quia) it shouts more.
Last edited by Nesrad on Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RandyGibbons
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Re: Augustine, City of God, b. 5, ch. 26 use of quod

Post by RandyGibbons » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:49 pm

Hi Hugh. Here's my guess (I underline guess!).
Aut quid est loquacius uanitate? quae non ideo potest quod ueritas, quia, si uoluerit, etiam plus potest clamare quam ueritas. Your translation: "And what is more empty than chatter? Though it might be louder than truth, it is not more powerful."
I'm a little confused by your translation "And what is more empty than chatter?". It reads to me almost as if you are construing loquacius and uanitate backwards? I would translate "Or what is more loquacious [in its negative sense] than vanity?" (As a minor point, aut could mean "and" and introduce an additional argument, as you translated it. But taken more literally it means "or" and introduces an alternative argument (vanity more narrowly as his critics' motive rather than just general loquaciousness, inability to keep silent.)

quae non ideo potest quod ueritas, quia, si uoluerit, etiam plus potest clamare quam ueritas:

(1) quae, the subject, is vanity, not chatter.
(2) I take ideo as anticipating quia. "Which [vanity] for this reason cannot [whatever], just because, if it wished, it could even out shout truth."
(3) potest could certainly be intransitive, as you seem to be taking it. But since grammatically, I believe, quod is a relative pronoun and object of veritas (sc. potest), I read potest as governing an unexpressed verb or verbal phrase, let's say, for the sake of illustration, respondere: quae non potest (sc. respondere) quod (sc. potest respondere) veritas. "Which [vanity] for this reason cannot (sc. respond effectively) what truth (can respond effectively), just because, if it wished, it could even out shout truth." Unacceptably awkward translation, to be sure.

My guess.

Randy

EDIT: I submitted this before seeing Nesrad's response, who (regarding quod) says the same thing, but so less loquaciously!

hlawson38
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Re: Augustine, City of God, b. 5, ch. 26 use of quod

Post by hlawson38 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:01 pm

Quotation repeated for ease of reference:
Deinde ad me perlatum est, quod iam scripserint, sed tempus quaerant, quo sine periculo possint edere. Quos admoneo, non optent quod eis non expedit. Facile est enim cuiquam uideri respondisse, qui tacere noluerit. Aut quid est loquacius uanitate? quae non ideo potest quod ueritas, quia, si uoluerit, etiam plus potest clamare quam ueritas.
I like Nesrad's and Randy's solution to my quod problem. I often struggle to grasp implications of this kind.

I think Randy is right that I reversed the relation of loquacius and vanitate. I need more precision in translation.

Thanks again for the help!

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