Commentary Cons. Phil. Book 4 Prosa 4
The misery of the wicked.
- section 1
quorum: antecedent is eis in following clause.
id ipsum: i.e., bonorum pernicie saeuire.
- section 2
conuenienti: conuenienti . . . loco: 4P6.
loco: conuenienti . . . loco: 4P6.
magna ex parte: "to a great extent."
- section 3
cupita: < cupio.
- section 4
potuisse: praua is still the object.
quo: antecedent is potuisse.
uoluntatis: genitive with effectus, "the will's effectiveness," i.e., its power to influence action. Cf. 4P2.5 on potestas and uoluntas.
- section 5
singulis: "each," i.e., the three stages of crime (uelle, posse, perficere) listed below; dative of possession.
- section 6
cito: adverb, "quickly, soon."
patrandi sceleris possibilitate: cf. 4P2.44.
- section 7
ocius: "more swiftly."
carituros: (sc. esse) < careo, "be lacking."
metis: < meta, "boundary, limit."
serum: < serus, "late, long-delayed."
quod exspectare: quod: relative (antecedent: aliquid) introducing result clause. quod exspectare: "to await which."
longum: sc. esse, in indirect discourse governed by putet.
- section 8
Quorum: antecedent is the mali of sections 4P4.3ff.
machina: "machine," but particularly of military siege-works.
Quod: antecedent is the preceding clause.
miserior: miserior . . . nequam: "it is necessary for the one (who is) wicked longer to be more wretched."
nequam: miserior . . . nequam: "it is necessary for the one (who is) wicked longer to be more wretched."
- section 9
extrema: an adjective with force of an adverb, "at last."
infinitam: infinitam . . . aeternam: wretchedness that is unlimited must be eternal.
aeternam: infinitam . . . aeternam: wretchedness that is unlimited must be eternal.
- section 10
concessu: ablative supine (< concedo), with difficilis.
- section 11
aequum est: ("it is equitable/fair") governs the subjunctive clauses (demonstret . . . ostendat) -- compare necesse est.
efficacem: "productive of," with objective genitive (a later Latin construction).
nihil: nihil . . . causetur: (< causor, "plead, quibble"): "there is nothing which can be cavilled at concerning the conclusion," i.e., "there can be no quibble about . . ."
causetur: nihil . . . causetur: (< causor, "plead, quibble"): "there is nothing which can be cavilled at concerning the conclusion," i.e., "there can be no quibble about . . ."
- section 13
Feliciores: Feliciores . . . esse: sc. dico or a similar verb of speaking.
esse: Feliciores . . . esse: sc. dico or a similar verb of speaking.
- section 14
ueniat: potential subjunctive.
rectum: "[what is] right."
deduci: < deduco.
ceteris: ceteris . . . exemplum esse: "and that others have an example."
exemplum esse: ceteris . . . exemplum esse: "and that others have an example."
culpanda: object of fugiendi.
ratio: ratio . . . respectus: almost interchangeable in meaning here; "account . . . attention," perhaps catch the idiom best.
respectus: ratio . . . respectus: almost interchangeable in meaning here; "account . . . attention," perhaps catch the idiom best.
- section 15
quis: interrogative adjective, modifying modus.
praeter: "in addition to."
- section 16
eo: sc. uiro; ablative of comparison.
- section 17
multo: "much, by far," ablative of the measure of difference.
eo: see on 4P4.16.
- section 18
18: Lines 18-21: The manuscripts (and most editors) give these sections in the following order: 20-21-18-19. See Gruber.
boni: partitive genitive with aliquid.
idemque: antecedent is improbi.
impunitas: in apposition with aliquid2.
iniquitatis merito: "by reason of inequity "; the construction of merito with the genitive in late Latin is similar to that of causa and gratia with the genitive in classical Latin.
- section 20
puniri: puniri . . . elabi: infinitives in indirect statement (after iustum [esse] and iniquum esse respectively, which depend on manifestum est).
elabi: puniri . . . elabi: infinitives in indirect statement (after iustum [esse] and iniquum esse respectively, which depend on manifestum est).
- section 21
illud: in apposition with the accusative/infinitive, bonum esse omne.
Liquere respondi: "I answered that it was clear." (Liquere is the present infinitive related to liquet.)
- section 23
alia: sc. supplicia (in both cases).
poenali: < poenalis, "penal, pertaining to punishment."
alia: sc. supplicia (in both cases).
purgatoria clementia: "by forbearance that cleanses"; though the phrase has a Christian resonance already at this period, B. more likely has Platonic teaching in mind (see Gorgias 52 5Bff).
- section 24
Id: id . . . egimus ut: "we have brought it about that"; introducing a substantive clause of result.
egimus ut: id . . . egimus ut: "we have brought it about that"; introducing a substantive clause of result.
longam: sc. licentiam (as with infeliciorem and infelicissimam).
diuturnior: sc. est.
post haec: sc. argumenta, then supply a verb like uideres or disceres.
iniusta impunitate dimissos: "let go with an unjust lack of punishment."
- section 25
tum demum: "just precisely then."
urgueantur: variant spelling of urgeantur.
- section 26
audienda: "worthy of a hearing."
- section 27
assuetos: < adsuesco, "accustom."
intuitum: object of inluminat.
affectus: "feelings, emotions"; accusative plural.
- section 28
conformaueris: jussive subjunctive with force of a proviso: "[Assume] you have conformed . . ."
Nihil opus est: "there is no need of," with ablative (iudice).
- section 29
deflexeris: cf. on conformaueris in 4P4.28.
trusisti: < trudo, "thrust down."
uicibus: "by turns, in turn."
cunctis extra cessantibus: "with all external circumstances giving way," i.e., being disregarded.
ipsa cernendi ratione: "by the means of seeing."
interesse: < intersum, "be present."
- section 31
uidentes: "[we] people who could see."
eadem: object of putaremus, here with dative, caeco; "the same things as the blind man [thinks]." The manuscripts all read caecos, which makes little sense; caeco is deduced by comparison with a medieval Greek translation.
- section 32
illud: anticipates the quod-clause.
adquiescent: "agree to," with accusative; subject to be inferred from beluis similes (4P4.30).
infeliciores eos esse: in apposition with illud. See on 4P4.21.
- section 34
multipliciter: "in many ways."
- section 35
Si igitur cognitor: si cognitor . . . resideres: "if you were to sit as judge."
resideres: si cognitor . . . resideres: "if you were to sit as judge."
inferendum: sc. esse.
perpesso: < perpetior, "suffer"; here, "the victim," dative with satisfacerem.
dolore: ablative of instrument with satisfacerem.
facientis: "of the culprit" (i.e., of the one faciens iniuriam).
- section 36
inlator: "the one who brings, who inflicts" (< infero).
- section 37
Hac: sc. causa.
ea radice: explained by quod . . . faciat.
iniuriam: iniuriam . . . esse miseriam: accusative/infinitive after apparet.
esse miseriam: iniuriam . . . esse miseriam: accusative/infinitive after apparet.
- section 38
contra faciunt: "do the opposite."
perpessi sunt: see on 4P4.35.
admittentibus: "the guilty ones," < admitto, "allow to approach," hence, "become guilty [by reason of admitting evil to one's presence]."
quos: quos . . . duci oportebat: "who ought to be led."
duci oportebat: quos . . . duci oportebat: "who ought to be led."
culpae: genitive with morbos.
resecarent: "cut back, curtail"; sc. iudices as subject.
- section 39
defensorum: "of defense attorneys."
frigeret: < frigeo, "grow chilly," hence "wane in influence."
- section 40
aliqua rimula: ablative of means: rimula is the diminutive < rima, "chink, crack."
cruciatibus: < cruciatus, "torment, punishment."
uiderent: governs accusative/infinitive: se deposituros [esse] sordes uitiorum.
ducerent: here as often, "think, consider."
- section 41
oderit: < odi, "hate"; perfect subjunctive. Since this defective verb lacks a present system, the perfect tense is to be translated as present.
- section 42
quidam: modifies morbus.
aegros corpore: "sick in body."
insequendi: < insequor, "pursue, persecute."