In the Tusculan Disputations V.iii, Cicero writes about Pythagoras declaring that life seems to him like the great Greek games:

Nam ut illic alii corporibus exercitatis gloriam et nobilitatem coronæ peterent, alii emendi aut vendendi quæstu et lucro ducerentur, esset autem quoddam genus eorum, idque vel maxime ingenuum, qui nec plausum nec lucrum quærerent, sed visendi causa venirent studuiosque perspicerent quid agitur et quo modo…

How is vel working in this sentence and what does it mean? Without vel I would translate the relevant portion something like "there was however a certain class of them, and that of the highest character, who sought neither applause nor money," etc. But I don't know what the addition of vel does.

Any thoughts?

1 Answer 1


It's a way of intensifying the superlative: "of the very highest..."

L&S, s.v. vel, II.B: " With superlatives, to denote the highest possible degree, the very; the utmost; the most...possible."

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