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I'm having a bit of trouble with the following sentence, that comes in a description of David's temple.

Ex hac igitur animi magnitudine et pietate regis potentissimi et pientissimi intelligendum reliquit quale esset tabernaculum quod preparaverat Domino talis ac tantus rex tali tantaeque Maiestati.

It's reliquit that's throwing me off. Should we take as equivalent to reliquitur, i.e. "it remains that/we're left to understand of what sort was the tabernacle"?

Also, should the prepositional phrase that begins the sentence be taken as description of why reliquit? Or a description of the evidence from which intelligendum?

Thanks in advance.

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    Can you give the preceding sentence? Is there a possible subject for reliquit in the previous context?
    – TKR
    Dec 19, 2021 at 23:30
  • Sorry—the subject of the previous sentence is unclear: it could be David or it could be the Bible, or it could be quasi-impersonal: Pro domo Dei aedificanda omnes thesauros suos exposuit, nam aiebat: 'Domus....quam aedificari volo Domino, talis esse debet, ut in cunctis regionibus nominetur.' Ex hac igitur... Dec 20, 2021 at 19:32
  • I think the subject is clearly David: "he left it to be understood..."
    – TKR
    Dec 20, 2021 at 19:38
  • This does make the most sense to me, too—though I just didn't quite get the grammar. Dec 21, 2021 at 12:24
  • Why can't the subject of "reliquit" be the clause "quale esset tabernaculum quod preparaverat Domino talis ac tantus rex tali tantaeque Maiestati"? Dec 21, 2021 at 13:56

1 Answer 1

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I think the additional context you provided points to David being the subject:

Pro domo Dei aedificanda omnes thesauros suos exposuit, nam aiebat: 'Domus....quam aedificari volo Domino, talis esse debet, ut in cunctis regionibus nominetur.' Ex hac igitur animi magnitudine et pietate regis potentissimi et pientissimi intelligendum reliquit quale esset tabernaculum quod preparaverat Domino talis ac tantus rex tali tantaeque Maiestati.

That is: "He spent all his treasures on building the house of God, for he said: 'The house ... which I wish to build for the Lord ought to be such that it will be spoken of in all regions.' So out of this greatness of soul and piety of a most powerful and pious king he left it to be understood of what kind was the tabernacle that he had prepared for the Lord, such and so great a king to such and so great a Majesty."

This translation is over-literal, but I think it reflects the intended syntax. At least, it's hard to see what else the subject of reliquit could be if not David.

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  • I think this is a reasonable reconstruction of the author's intention, but the personal active use of this verb is very odd. There is a passage in Lucretius with a quasi-impersonal second-person subjunctive: quod cohibet solidum constare relinquas. There's also a generic pronominal subject in Celsus: illud non relinquit, ut... (that does not leave [ut-clause] as the conclusion). We have the same impersonal construction in English: "I can rule out A, B, and C, so that leaves D as the correct answer." Dec 21, 2021 at 19:29
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    @Kingshorsey Why do you say it's odd? It looks to me like a normal use of the verb.
    – TKR
    Dec 21, 2021 at 19:38
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    @Kingshorsey Maybe there happen to be no exact parallels attested, but any transitive verb can take an id as object, so I'm not sure we need them. And the meaning here is different from your Cicero and Celsius examples (which are about options "remaining" rather than someone "leaving behind" something). LSJ has examples with an infinitival object clause: Poet., with obj.-clause: “(metus) Omnia suffundens mortis nigrore, neque ullam Esse voluptatem liquidam puramque relinquit,” Lucr. 3, 40; 1, 703; Ov. M. 14, 100: “dum ex parvo nobis tantundem haurire relinquas,” Hor. S. 1, 1, 52.
    – TKR
    Dec 21, 2021 at 20:39
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    @Kingshorsey Here's a parallel example: latin.packhum.org/loc/2349/5/1070/188-192,193-201#1070
    – TKR
    Dec 21, 2021 at 21:14
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    In English, we can use "leave" with an AcI rather freely. "You left me to die!" "Oh no, I left the cookies to burn in the oven!" But classical Latin seems to avoid doing so. However, your examples from Horace (slightly different construction, but same principle) and Servius demonstrate that such a development did occur. Thanks for the discussion. Dec 21, 2021 at 21:17

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