I'm reading Ficīnus's Latin translation of Plato's Apology and came across the following passage, two things in which baffle me. (They're unrelated, so I'm making them two separate questions.)

Socrates is talking about why he never entered politics.

Hujus autem causa est, dē quā sæpe mē passim dīcentem audīvistis, dīvīnum vidēlicet quiddam atque dæmonium in vōce quādam mihi adesse.... Sed mihi quidem ab ipsā pueritiā hoc adest—vōx scīlicet quædam—quæ quotiēs fit, mē prohibet agere, quod āctūrus eram, prōvocat vērō nunquam. Hoc, inquam, est, quod mihi repugnet quō minus mē ad publica cōnferam.

Why is repugnet subjunctive? It's not a generic thing ("I found something that fought against my going into politics"); it's one specific thing—the voice and its counsel to him.

So what gives?

  • 2
    It could be of the consecutive/defining type, "this, I say, is such that it fights against me..."?
    – Cerberus
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 22:46
  • @Cerberus Definitely a possibility, if not a deeply satisfying one. :) Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 23:02
  • Always love reading your questions.
    – ktm5124
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 1:06
  • @ktm5124 I'm glad my puzzlement is good for something! :) Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 2:35

2 Answers 2


Translated by the English 'would' or 'should' gives something like :

Let me say that I should find this so distasteful that I would not inflict it on the public,

— for which the subjunctive would naturally be used in turning it back into Latin.


There are two possibilities:

1) The relative clause is consecutive (like Cerberus commented) and you could translate it like this: "This, I say, is (generally) such a thing / something, that fights against me, ..."

2) The subjunctive could be jussive, like: "This, I say, is it, that shall fight against me, ..."

In my opinion, it's more likely to be the first one, considering the Greek original (Pl. Apol. 19), that does not have a jussive construction.

  • 1
    Welcome to the site!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 8:13

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