The source of this Latin ATM message, as confirmed is a few profiles (such as this one from the Catholic Herald and this one from The Telegraph) is the lately-deceased Reginald Foster, who was arguably one of the greatest Latin speakers of the past century.
The Vatican Diaries, pg. 196 quotes Foster's own translation:
The elevator whirred quietly to the top ...
The Latin Duolingo course is not of particularly high quality.
Completing the course will certainly give you some insight to Latin, but every detail of the course must be taken with a grain of salt.
We have a separate question on the quality of the course.
The words mihi, tibi, ei are the dative forms of the pronouns ego, tu, is/ea/id.
Why the dative is used ...
See Allen and Greenough, §343.c:
c. An infinitive or a clause, when used as a noun, is often limited by a genitive in the predicate.
Neque suī iūdicī [erat] discernere. (B. C. 1.35)
Nor was it for his judgment to decide.
(Nor was it his judgment's to decide)
Cûiusvīs hominis est errāre. (Phil. 12.5)
It is any man's [liability] to err.
Negāvit mōris esse ...
This isn't actually an indirect question, but a relative clause: quod dixit "(that) which he said".
The two constructions are easy to confuse, especially since English can translate both with what. In this case, though, quod can only be a relative pronoun; the neuter interrogative pronoun is quid, so an indirect question like e.g. "I know what ...
This isn't a genitive, it's a locative.
For certain types of nouns, a bare ablative means "from", a bare accusative means "to", and a bare locative means "at". The locative is extremely rare and only used for this one specific construction, so it's easily confused with other cases. But it is still its own case, which looks ...
Cicero does this more than once.
In addition to what you found in De oratore, we have
ea ratio atque doctrina
(also in De oratore)
ratio et doctrina praescripserit
(in De natura deorum)
indicating that Cicero does see ratio et doctrina as a single entity.
This appears to be a case of hendiadys, using what is grammatically two entities for what is ...
You're basically there. Potius does mean "rather", so the whole sentence means:
He made sure that we should be saved from the storm and not drown -- or rather we ourselves (made sure of it), who threw the goods away (=overboard).
"Behold, to him appeared in a dream most grieving Hector, the dead son of Priam—but what he was, how much he had changed from that Hector who had returned the victor from so many battles! He bore a dirty beard and bloody hair and those many wounds that he had taken around the walls of Troy."
I understand sed quālis erat to mean, liberally ...
'There is'/'there are' in indirect speech is just esse, as in this passage from Pliny the Younger's letters (1.11.1):
at hoc ipsum scribe, nihil esse quod scribas, vel solum illud unde incipere priores solebant: 'si vales, bene est; ego valeo.'
Yet write this very thing, that there is nothing....
In indirect speech, there's always some risk of a loss of ...
Christicole is a medieval misspelling, reflecting the way vernacular pronunciation had changed in some parts of Europe. Christicolae is the corrected spelling.
In classical pronunciation, ae was a diphthong, pronounced like English long ī. During the Middle Ages, in much of Europe, the ae phoneme altered and became identical to e, pronounced like English ...
"-cola" is a productive suffix that can be used for the pretty wide array of meanings of colo, -ere:
inhabit (caeli-cola: inhabitant of heaven)
cultivate (agri-cola: cultivator of fields = farmer)
worship (Iunoni-cola: worshipper of Juno)
In this case, the third meaning is intended, so we get Christicola, -ae, a "worshipper of Christ," ...
Yes, the verb is omitted. You can imagine the sentence going idque fit (or fiet) eodem die quo ... (and this happens/will happen on the same day as ...).
The same omission is often seen in English too: "and this on the day when ..."
Esse doesn't take objects, but instead has predicates, and its only job is to link the predicates. The predicates are usually in the nominative, but if they're not, they won't be problematic.
Usually, esse does link two nominatives, like Equus bonus est, "The horse is good", but a genitive can also stand alone in the predicate, like Equus est ...
I would not read the genitive and the gerund together.
I suggest this reordering and grouping to clarify:
…(plus operae) poneremus (in agendo) quam (in scribendo)…
≈ …we would put more work into doing than writing…
I see operae as a genitive qualifying plus.
You could conceivably read in scribendo epistularum as "in the writing of letters", ...
There's no preposition because this is the instrumental use of the ablative. @TKR helped me out with this long ago when he pointed out that you would not say cum to indicate using the teeth to attack. This meaning is indicated by the plain ablative with no preposition (with a non-human noun).
I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds the dative-...
Indeed, Cicero himself uses in mentem venire impersonally, though with the genitive rather than de:
cum hoc vereor et cupio tibi aliqua ex parte quod salva fide possim
parcere, rursus immuto voluntatem meam; venit enim mihi in mentem oris
And as I am afraid of this, and as I wish to spare you in some degree,
as far as I can, saving my duty to my client,...
This is a common construction called the accusativus cum infinitivō (AcI), or "accusative plus infinitive". Linguists sometimes also call it "ECM" (exceptional case marking) since we see an accusative in a place where we might not expect one; it's the most common way for entire clauses to be used in noun-like ways in Latin, and can ...
As a general first note, praestandi looks much more like a gerund than a gerundive here.
A gerundive would be passive in nature.
A gerund is active; it is best understood as a case inflection of the infinitive.
If praestare is "to excel", then praestandi is roughly "of excelling".
For example, ars magna scribendi is "the art of ...
I think the context makes it clear that this is an indirect question. The previous sentence is ego nesciam unde descenderim?, where nesciam (like the quaeram in the previous sentences) is a deliberative subjunctive ('Am I not to know...?'), and descenderim is the subjunctive in an indirect question. The sentence that you quoted, plus the two that follow it, ...
The message is indeed hard to parse because of the broad meanings of ratio, facere, and cognoscere.
I am not sure whether there can be a very solid and authoritative answer, so I will just share my view.
I think the future imperative is simply used for sollemnity.
I would not understand it referring to the future but just promoting the register of the text ...
Technically, the verb esse does not have an object, but has a "predicate" which can be either a noun or an adjective. But you are right in a sense, the predicate does agree with the subject and is in the nominative case.
A pronoun is called a pronoun because it stands in place of a noun. The preposition pro in Latin means “in place of, on behalf of” (well, it is a bit more versatile, but it fits here). So a proconsul acts on behalf of a consul and a pronomen stands in for a nomen.
Marcus Claudiae obviam factus est et eam [= Claudiam] salvere iussit.
Marcus came ...
I would say that illud might be translated as that, referring to the subordinate clause introduced by quod, which might also be translated as that:
Quid illud quod mori non timuit?
What [is] that that he didn't fear dying?
This use of illud is described by Allen and Greenough:
e. The pronouns hīc, ille, and is are used to point in either
direction, back ...
I thought some context might help understanding this inscription. Since I knew little about St. Monica, I looked her up on the Catholic Encyclopedia, where I read (emphasis mine):
St. Monica was buried at Ostia, and at first seems to have been almost forgotten, though her body was removed during the sixth century to a hidden crypt in the church of St. ...
Both are perfect passives. The difference is in the subject. For passives in the perfect stem (so also pluperfect and future perfect), you use the fourth principal part, and that declines based on the gender and number of its subject. The form of esse will conjugate based on the person and number of the subject.
So you'll see puer datus est, but puella data ...
"Now, the Trojans, since they thought the Greeks had sailed away to Argos in their homeland, then, at last, after so many years, dared to open the gates and go out."
Graecōs is the subject of esse. It's an adjective used substantively, not an adjective modifying Argōs.
Argōs is the object of āvectōs. I gather that in the passive voice, āvehī, &...
Glauce is feminine (which you just now figured out). One way to tell in the future is that Greek names that end in -e are feminine - that 'e' is actually the Greek eta, and they're all feminine first declension. The masculine first declension names end in alpha sigma or eta sigma. So Glauce has to be a daughter.
As pointed out in the previous answers, it seems quite clear that plus...operae is an argument of the verb poneremus. I found that some philologists corrected the text as follows: in agendo plus quam in scribendo operam poneremus (e.g. see here), which led me to misinterpret the syntax of this example (see the relevant comment by cnread, who alerted me of ...
IN + accusative indicates ENTRANCE to a place: insulae incolae in silvam veniunt (the inhabitants of the island arrive in the woods).
AD + accusative indicates APPROACH to a place: ferae ad silvas currunt (the beasts run towards the wood).
IN + ablative indicates STAY IN PLACE: belvae in silvis vivunt (the wild beasts live in the woods).
With the names of ...