17

As is well known, "etiam si" is a Latin conjunction that means "even if." Are there any examples in Classical or Medieval Latin in which reversing the word order and saying "si etiam" preserves the meaning "even if", or does "si etiam" always mean "if also"?

2

I could find one example from the Vulgata:

Vulgata: Considerate et videte omnia latibula ejus, in quibus absconditur : et revertimini ad me ad rem certam, ut vadam vobiscum. Quod si etiam in terram se abstruserit, perscrutabor eum in cunctis millibus Juda.

Douay Rheims: Consider and see all his lurking holes, wherein he is bid, and return to me with the certainty of the thing, that I may go with you. And if be should even go down into the earth to hide himself, I will search him out in all the thousands of Juda.

There is also this second verse, where I think the meaning is also closer to "even if" than to "also if", but I might be wrong.

Vulgata: Quod si etiam, Vivit Dominus, dixerunt, et hac falso jurabunt.

Douay Rheims: And though they say: The Lord liveth; this also they will swear falsely.

Again, although the latter is not exactly "even if", it's meaning is in my view more or less equivalent to it. For example, the translation "And even if they say "The Lord liveth", this also they will swear falsely" conveys imo a very close meaning.

PS: Douay Rheims version is perhaps the most important translation into English of the Vulgata.

  • 2
    I wonder whether it makes a difference to have quod before the si etiam. Perhaps it's quod-si etiam instead of quod si-etiam? I expect quod to make a bigger difference than the word order. – Joonas Ilmavirta May 5 '18 at 18:24
  • @JoonasIlmavirta Mmm, I'm not sure how I can help with that, as the versions I find online have quod si etiam. Are you suggesting the "original" Vulgata had quod-si in it? Where dashes used at that time? – luchonacho May 6 '18 at 8:30
  • Dashes were not used; I used them for emphasis. I meant the grouping of the words: Are quod and si a tighter pair than si and etiam? The spellings quodsi and sietiam would not be surprising. Since quodsi is so common, it seems likely that the quod effects the meaning of si etiam significantly. – Joonas Ilmavirta May 6 '18 at 9:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.