Commentary Cons. Phil. Book 3 Prosa 1
This book is preceded by one poem about love (2M8) and ends with another (3M12). P. now sets out to answer the second outstanding question from 1P6 (quis sit finis rerum), exploring the nature of true happiness: what it is not (3P1-3M8) and what it is (3P9-3M12). At the center of the book, and of the entire work, is the solemn and difficult 3M9, subject of many medieval commentaries.
P. promises to lead B., highly encouraged by the progress of his cure in Book 2, towards the goal of true happiness.
- section 1
finiuerat: finiuerat . . . defixerat: the pluperfect and paulo post indicate that a few moments have elapsed between books (cf. on 2P1.1).
defixerat: finiuerat . . . defixerat: < defigo, "fix firmly"; the pluperfect and paulo post indicate that a few moments have elapsed between books (cf. on 2P1.1).
- section 2
refouisti: < refoueo, "refresh, revive."
adeo: adverb of degree introducing ut-clause of result.
perhorresco: perhorresco . . . efflagito: "shrink from violently . . . demand urgently"; both intensive (compare horresco and flagito).
efflagito: perhorresco . . . efflagito: "shrink from violently . . . demand urgently"; both intensive (compare horresco and flagito).
- section 3
quippe: "for in fact . . ."
interius: adverb, taken closely with recepta.
- section 4
quonam: "to what place/thing."
aggrediamur: < adgredior, "approach, undertake," governs the complementary infinitive, ducere.
- section 5
somniat: < somnio, "dream about."
occupato ad imagines uisu: ablative absolute; an allusion to Plato's cave-dwellers (Rep. 7.515A), who sat chained in darkness watching shadows cast on the wall by a source of light they could not see; seeing nothing save shadows, they took them for reality.
potest: sc. animus.
- section 7
tui causa: "for your sake"; tui is objective genitive.
quae: sc. felicitas, as outlined in 3P1-8.
[causa]: delete this word; to retain it requires us to see a subtle, and not very successful, play on words between its use here and in the preceding sentence. The most recent editors all delete.
notior: comparative adjective < notus.
eam: sc. felicitatem.
in contrariam partem: cf. 3P9-12.