In De differentiis verborum, under the entry of Clemens, Pompa contrasts that word with placidus, and right afterwards writes:

Sed implacidus, qui nullo placamine ad placabilitatem promovetur, ut se placatum ostendat, videat, annon implacabilem Deum quoque sit experturus.

What I understood thus far:

But the implacidus, without any means of appeasing him (to be pushed by them towards calmness), in order that he might display himself placid. Let him see [?].

I have my doubts also of my interpretation of the first part, but it is in the last section I have greater difficulty with. It seem that I can't reconcile the "(quoque) sit experturus" with the sentence. I was thinking maybe:

Let him see, and find out, doesn't it so, God [also] not able to be pleased.

But in this interpretation, I can't make sense of the word order. And if "sit experturus" related to Deum, shouldn't it be in indirect speech taking the accusative as "implacabilem Deum"?

As as side note, I would like to ask if we can connect the "ut se ..." with "videat ..." [ in order to x, do y], but as far as I saw, ut in that sense always comes after the clause?

Edit: Thanks for the helpful answers.Reading them, I would like to suggest my own which is kind of merge between the two and has softer and less harsh tone, which I prefer:

But the implacidus, who by no [regular] means of appeasing is moved to placability, Let him consider, in order that he shows himself placid, whether he will not find God to be implacable as well.

2 Answers 2


I agree with Sebastian Koppehel and the other commenters regarding most of their general comments, but I think that everyone may be overlooking the possibility that the ut clause might be taken as a result clause subordinated to the qui clause. Then annon can be read as introducing an indirect question subordinated to videat. A somewhat literal translation of what I am proposing would run along these lines:

But let the implacidus, who by no token of appeasment is moved to placability such that he shows himself placated, see whether he does not also find God to be implacable.


Yes, we can connect the ut to the videat, and no, the ut does not always come second.

Rule number one of Latin: The words can be in any order.

Videre ut means “take care that, make sure that, see to it that.” The implacidus must also be the subject of sit experturus, as Deum, in the accusative, cannot be the subject (instead must be the object). Let's look up experiri, it can mean “find out,” but the more literal meaning is “to try, prove, put to the test.” In the case of “trying God,” we might also say “tempt.”

Edit: As pointed out by TKR in the comments, a more likely interpretation is to find, experience something or someone to be something. Unless I am overlooking it, this meaning is barely touched upon in Lewis & Short, but Georges (1913) actually mentions it explicitly (II, 1, α under „u. m. dopp. Acc“) and gives a number of nice examples like aliquem fortem inimicum experiri.

So we get:

But the fierce (implacidus) […] should take care that he shows himself peaceful (placatus), or else he will find God to be implacable too.

(As noted in the comment, annon seems a little out of place. Apparently, annon can sometimes be found where one would expect an; for example my dictionary insists one can say: utrum mentitus es annon verum dixisti.)

  • Thanks for the educating answer! I have it now. yet the annon still seems to me out of place. wouldn't an (without the non), be better as the meaning of "or rather"?
    – d_e
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 19:43
  • 2
    I'm guessing experiri here has the meaning of "experience, find", i.e. the implacable person will find God too to be implacable.
    – TKR
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 20:01
  • @TKR Excellent point, now that you point it out it seems the better interpretation to me as well. Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 20:17
  • According to L&S , in C: "Sometimes the opinion of the speaker or the probability inclines to the second interrogative clause (cf. infra, II. E.). and this is made emphatic, as a corrective of the former, or rather, or on the contrary" . So maybe you can use annon in the sense of an, but where the speaker is not inclined to the second, but to the first clause. it fits your example indeed, where the speaker does not seem to think that his friend was speaking the truth.
    – d_e
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 20:29

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