Quod promissiones & comminationes Dei sunt ut plurimum...

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Diadem, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    This is the name of the fifteenth chapter heading in the second part of Ramon Martin's Pugio Fidei.

    XV. Quod promissiones & comminationes Dei sunt ut plurimum cum conditione, & quod aliquando mandat quod fieri non vult.

    This is how I understand it:

    Whether the promises and curses of God are conditional and finally, whether He commands something that He does not desire to be done.

    I'm having trouble with ut plurimum. Can someone critique my translation and recommend the correct one? Thank you.
  2. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    «ut plurimum» = «at the most».
    «Quod, quod» means rather «because, because», I think.
    «aliquando» could mean «sometimes», here.
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    You kindly posted a link to this curious book with your other query.

    On p. 372 the superscription reads: In quo ostenditur, quod promissiones, & comminationes Dei sunt cum conditione. Et quod aliquando mandat quod fieri non vult.

    “In which is demonstrated that God’s promises and threats are with a condition. And that he sometimes commands that which he does not wish to be done”.

    As you see, ut plurimum is missing here. It would, however, seem to mean “for the most part, generally”, like plurimum on its own.
  4. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    My apology. Yes, you can find the work here. Since that page is on a table of contents, basically, there's no page number in the book itself. But, if you download the PDF, Adobe will show its own page number for that particular page, and it should be on p. 65. There you will find the "ut plurimum." Could plurimim be translated as "most of"? For example, "...most of the promises and threats are conditional (with condition)"?
  5. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    ut plurimum cannot be read without the ut, meaning 'as'.

    However the phrase presumably does not mean 'as for the most part', since that would be saying that God's promises and threats are made on condition, 'as promises and threats generally are'. In other words, this would be defining God's action on the basis that it is always in line with what human beings usually do. This would, at the least, be putting things back to front, from the viewpoint of the faithful.

    The only other way I can see to interpret 'as' is with an understood fieri potest:
    ut plurimum [fieri potest] 'as often as it can be done'.

    That is, 'God's promises and threats are made as often as possible upon a condition'.

    What does that mean? That he will make them conditional as often as it is possible to do so.
    How could it not be possible for an omnipotent God?
    Presumably on the basis argued by Aquinas that not even God can accomplish a logical impossibility.

    The same point would also explain why he would at times command something he does not want, because he will command men to perform the lesser of two evils, since in that case nothing better is logically possible.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  6. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Greetings, all,
    All this is grammatically a pair of subordinate clauses, which would in the English of the time have been rendered "Whereas..."

    ut plurimum clearly means simply "for the most part". "usually",

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