Passage: “Quo de genere mortis difficile dictu est.” Cic. Amic. 12

English translation (from Loeb): “It is hard to speak of the nature of his death.”

French translation : “Quant à la nature de sa mort, il est difficile de se prononcer.”

Question : What is the syntactic role of “quo” in this passage? In the Loeb translation, it looks like the word is redundant, because “De genere mortis difficile dictu est” would (seemingly) have meant the same thing.

1 Answer 1


More context is always helpful with questions like this. But I would assume that quo goes with genere: "of which kind of death it is difficult to speak", or taking quo as a connective relative equivalent to a demonstrative, "Of this kind of death it is difficult to speak".

  • It is from Cicero's Laelius III. And yes, I agree that this ought to be mentioned in the question. TKR's first suggestion seems the right one.
    – fdb
    Jun 8, 2020 at 12:45

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