de republica, liber secundus, by Lauro Quirini

Latin after CDLXXVI
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ohlavrac
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de republica, liber secundus, by Lauro Quirini

Post by ohlavrac »

Now I'm translating the second book of de republica.
There is a passage I'm having trouble understanding:

Non ergo opes urbi terminum ponemus sed virtudem.
I'd translate as follows:
We will not, therefore, set a limit on the city's wealth, but virtue on it.
But I'm not sure, because it could be:
We will not, therefore, set a limit on the city's wealth, but on virtue.

Thanks for any help.

Shenoute
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Re: de republica, liber secundus, by Lauro Quirini

Post by Shenoute »

With both terminum and opes being accusative, I don't really see how a translation "to set a limit on" could work.

I take the sentence as meaning something like "Therefore, we will not put wealth as a endpoint to the city, but [we will put] virtuousness [as an endpoint]".

I think I'd like more context to know what exactly Quirini had in mind with terminus. Is it a "goal/purpose"? "We will therefore not put wealth, but virtuousness, as a goal/purpose for a/the city"? Is he talking about what a city should ideally be?

ohlavrac
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Re: de republica, liber secundus, by Lauro Quirini

Post by ohlavrac »

In the first moment, I thought something like your translation, but I didn't find a translation of terminus as endpoint, always as limit, end, boundaries etc. But, since terminus can be translated as endpoint, it all makes sense now.

The passage goes as this:
(...) Felix mediae quisque turbae sorte quietus aura stringit (Seneca, ag. 103-104). Nam si recte in moralibus probatum est virtute consistere, necesse est fateri in mediocritate vitae felicitatem existere. Non ergo opes urbi terminum ponemus sed virtutem. Ubi enim divitiae proponuntur virtus sempre postponitur.

Shenoute
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Re: de republica, liber secundus, by Lauro Quirini

Post by Shenoute »

Thanks for the additional context.

Terminus as "goal/purpose/aim/..." doesn't show up in the Classical dictionaries I have looked at, which explains why I was, like you, cautious about translating terminus as such. But even then, going from "limit/end" to "goal" is not that big a shift, especially if we consider the way English uses the word "end", or how French uses "fin".

Since then I have looked at A Lexicon of St. Thomas Aquinas and the entry for terminus confirms the meaning existed. It is something I have seen a lot: even if these Renaissance humanists often despised non-Classical Latin, they were still relying on many of its developments (assuming, of course, that this shift in meaning is a non-Classical development; finer dictionary work may show that it had already happened during the Classical period).

ohlavrac
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Re: de republica, liber secundus, by Lauro Quirini

Post by ohlavrac »

I've looked up the entry in the Langenscheidts Dictionary and it relates terminus to το τερμα that, indeed, means not only limit, end but also goal, purpose. The problem is that it gives no example of classical usage with this meaning. Anyway, now my translation makes sense, and that's what's important for me right now.

Thanks a lot for your help.

mwh
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Re: de republica, liber secundus, by Lauro Quirini

Post by mwh »

Shenoute explained the construction, and then the meaning is clear enough.

“ag” refers to the Agamemnon. The lemma (in anapestic meter) stops short, as is common practice in commentaries. It makes no sense without its continuation, and is impossible to translate as it stands.

sempre is presumably an italianizing typo for semper. But I’m not sure I understand the beginning of the comment, “si recte in moralibus probatum est virtute consistere.” I can see what it’s supposed to mean but just how does it work? Is there something missing?

ohlavrac
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Re: de republica, liber secundus, by Lauro Quirini

Post by ohlavrac »

Sempre was a typo of mine or my spelling checker, because semper is sempre in Portuguese. As to Agamemnon, I've managed to translate the quotation only by consulting the original.
Apart from my typo, there's anything else to correct.
Quirini sometimes sounds weird to me, I'm much more comfortable with Bruni, because, with Quirini, even though I understand and translate, not always I understand the syntax of some passages. And as there is no translation of this text, that I know of, I can't consult and compare. So, again, your help is much appreciated!

Shenoute
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Re: de republica, liber secundus, by Lauro Quirini

Post by Shenoute »

mwh wrote: Sun Jul 10, 2022 11:58 pmBut I’m not sure I understand the beginning of the comment, “si recte in moralibus probatum est virtute consistere.” I can see what it’s supposed to mean but just how does it work? Is there something missing?
I read it as a typo for virtutem consistere, which seemed to fit nicely with the whole sentence (virtutem consistere/felicitatem existere).

After your post I looked online for the text. I can only see snapshots of the 1977 edition at GoogleBooks but the text there has virtute. I can't make sense of that so I'm really tempted to assume this is a typo/mistake by the editors.

ohlavrac
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Re: de republica, liber secundus, by Lauro Quirini

Post by ohlavrac »

It may be. Anyway, I assumed it should be virtutem, therefore I translated it as such.

Thank you

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