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Cicero was a consul who would obey the senate

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by William Stein, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. William Stein Senior Member

    San Jose, Costa Rica
    American English
    The answer key gives:
    Cicero fuit consul qui senatui pareat.

    Shouldn't it be: ...qui senatui pareret?
     
  2. ablativ Senior Member

    German(y)
    I think so, too.

    fuit = past tense / perfectum

    pareat = conj. present tense

    pareret = conj. past tense

    according to the consecutio temporum rules, there should be past tense in the subordinate clause (qui senatui pareret) as there is past tense in the main clause (C. fuit consul); right?
     
  3. William Stein Senior Member

    San Jose, Costa Rica
    American English
    That's my line of reasoning, too, but this is a "relative clause of characteristic" (the type of person who...), so I thought it might be different. I think it still follows the same rules, though, because I found this example: "Nemo erat qui hoc sciret" in the same section of Wheelock, translated as "There was no one who knew this" (I guess the use of the subjective in the last example is justified by the negative).
    Anyway, thanks for the input.
     
  4. relativamente Senior Member

    catalan and spanish
    Maybe parebat ?
    This would make more sense than pareat
     
  5. William Stein Senior Member

    San Jose, Costa Rica
    American English
    I think the subjunctive is okay, the problem is the tense. The explanation is at the beginning of Chapter 38 of Wheelock if you have it: Relative Clauses of Characteristic: e.g., sunt qui (there are people who)/quis est qui (who is there who); nemo est qui (there is no one who) + subjunctive (according to the great and mighty W, before whom all cower)
     
  6. William Stein Senior Member

    San Jose, Costa Rica
    American English
    From what I understand of Wheelock's explanations in Chapter 38:
    Cicero fuit consul qui senatui parebat. = Cicero was a consul who obeyed the senate. (simple statement of fact)

    Cicero fuit consul qui senatui pareat. = Cicero was the type of consul who would obey the senate. (relative clause of characteristic)
     
  7. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Reading, UK
    English - UK
    Salvete

    NO NO NO!

    Wheelock is great on matters of formal grammar, but not hot on idiom.

    But here he is right.

    The subjunctive is certainly required, is fuit qui senatui pareret = "He was the sort of man to obey the senate".

    But the sequencing of the tenses is subtler. "Cicero was [the kind of man] who would [under any possible circumstances, present or conceivable] obey the senate. In other words, pareat is in this context perfectly good Latin.

    Unwittingly, Wheelock has here highlighted a neglected trope in Latin syntax and grammar, namely aspect - conveyed in classical Greek and by some slavonic languages by an optative mood, and in English by other subtle refinements.

    Σ
     
  8. William Stein Senior Member

    San Jose, Costa Rica
    American English
    So how would you say in Latin: Cicero was a consul who obeyed the senate. (simple statement of fact)
     
  9. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Reading, UK
    English - UK
    salve!

    [to William #8]

    Cicero consul fuit qui senatui parebat

    that is, with the indicative. The impf. of course suggests that Cic. used to, or habitually, obeyed the senate. You would use the perf.paruit if referring to a single and specific occasion.

    Σ
     
  10. William Stein Senior Member

    San Jose, Costa Rica
    American English
    So one No! would have sufficed :) Your point is that indirect speech with an "internal truth" can be seen from two different perspectives, right:

    a) He said the earth turns around the sun.
    or
    b) He said the earth turned around the sun.

    Both are okay, with (a) equivalent to pareat in Wheelock's sentence (with a lot of heavy-duty mutation, mutatis mutandis)
    and (b) equivalent to "pareret"
    Verumne est?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  11. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Reading, UK
    English - UK
    salvete iterum!

    William Stein asks:

    I'm not sure that this example is based on the right syntactical premiss. The original sentence is not an instance of oratio obliqua but a relative clause. And in relative clauses, a subjunctive verb will usually be either...

    (a) generic (is est homo qui juste agat - "he is the kind of man to act justly")
    (b) optative (is est homo quem essem - "he is a man I would like to/whom I would gladly eat"
    Or (c) causal (is est homo qui peccaverit - "he is a man because he has sinned".

    (c) is relatively rare, but see e.g. Gildersleeve/Lodge § 633.

    I hope this helps,

    Σ
     

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