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Spoken Latin: What does “In Aliud Tempus Differre” mean?

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The last few days I have been read­ing Cicero’s philo­soph­i­cal work on old age (De Senec­tute), which, along with De Amici­tia, is my favorite work of Cicero. The sub­ject remains as rel­e­vant today as 2000 years ago. In this video, I will be treat­ing an expres­sion I came upon in my read­ing: in ali­ud tem­pus dif­ferre. I talk about what it means, and how it is used.

Video in Latin

Latin audio

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Latin text

Sal­vete, sodales! 

Mihi nomen est Daniel et hodie tractabimus locu­tionem utilis­si­mam et hoc saepe dico quia mul­tae locu­tiones sunt utilis­si­mae. Haec vero for­t­asse util­ior est, saltem quibus­dam hominibus,quorum in numero inter­dum numeror, proh dolor. Agi­tur de locu­tione quae est “in ali­ud tem­pus differre.”

Hoc sig­ni­fi­cat plus minusve aliq­uid non nunc facere sed dif­ferre, id est facere alio tem­pore; velut, si hodie non libet cor­pus exercere, id in cras­tinum diem dif­fer­imus. Deinde cras in ter­tium diem et dein­ceps in quar­tum dif­fer­imus. Sic fit. Hoc est in ali­ud tem­pus dif­ferre.

In hanc locu­tionem inci­di abhinc pau­cos dies cum forte leg­erem Cicero­nis opus quod scrip­sit de senec­tute. In prae­fa­tione, vel potius in pri­mo capite ejus operis haec locu­tio inven­i­tur. Sed non modo ibi sed et ali­bi invenitur.

Con­stat ex his partibus: 

  • in
  • ali­ud
  • tem­pus
  • dif­ferre

In prae­po­si­tio cum casu accusati­vo plerumque des­ig­nat vel indi­cat motum ex loco in ali­um locum, ut dicimus: in hor­tum imus. Item, in ali­ud tem­pus.

Tem­pus hic est qua­si locus, in quem rem move­mus. Et dif­ferre est fere movere. Ergo in ali­ud tem­pus dif­ferre plus minusve sig­ni­fi­cat rem movere et qua­si alio tem­pore ponere. Certe sic non dicen­dum est, sed sic in ali­ud tem­pus dif­ferre ali­is ver­bis pla­nius expli­cari potest.

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Quo melius vel quo magis pateat ipsa sig­ni­fi­ca­tio et usus huius locu­tio­n­is, velim vobis praelegere ipsum locum in quem inci­di, dum Ciceronem lego. Pugillares meos quos amo pro­mam eosque ad pag­i­nam, in qua locum descrip­si, aperiemus—et soli­to pul­chrius scrip­si quo facil­ius legerem.

Hic Cicero allo­qui­tur Atticum, amicum suum, immo, famil­iarem suum, id est, opti­mum amicum. Loquitur de con­so­la­tione qua Atti­co for­t­asse opus sit, et negat se posse nunc ipsum eam Atti­co praestare eumque con­so­lari, sed se alio tem­pore id fac­turum esse. 

Audi­a­mus Cicero­nis verba:

Te, (Hoc est, te, Attice) “sus­pi­cor iis­dem rebus quibus me ipsum inter­dum grav­ius com­moveri, quarum con­so­la­tio et maior est et in ali­ud tem­pus differenda

Cic. De sen. 1

Id est nunc ipsum non vult hoc agere, sed in ali­ud tem­pus hoc differt.

Ecce eti­am ali­ud exem­plum habeo ex Cicerone sump­tum, sed non est ex eodem opere. Hoc est, ni fal­lor, ex opere quod scrip­sit de Natu­ra deo­rum. Praelegam: 

Omni­no dividunt nos­tri (sto­ici) totam istam de dis inmor­tal­ibus quaes­tionem in partes quat­tuor. Pri­mum docent esse deos, deinde quales sint tum mundum a dis admin­is­trari, postremo con­sulere eos rebus humanis.

CIc. De natu­ra deorum

Sto­ici de natu­ra deo­rum loqu­un­tur et hanc de natu­ra deo­rum quaes­tionem in quat­tuor partes dividunt. Id est: 

  • esse deos
  • quales sint
  • mundum ab iis administrari
  • eos con­sulere rebus humanis. 

Con­sulere cum casu dati­vo sig­ni­fi­cat fere curare. Sed pergam

Nos autem hoc ser­mone, quae pri­o­ra duo sunt, suma­mus; Ter­tium et quar­tum, quia maio­ra sunt, puto esse in ali­ud tem­pus differenda.

Cic. De natu­ra Deorum

Cicero igi­tur haec fere dic­it “Haec duo (ter­tium et quar­tum) nimis magna sunt, maio­ra sunt quam quae nunc tracten­tur: Cicero for­t­asse non habet spatium vel tem­pus ad ea nunc trac­tatan­da, sed alio loco et tem­pore id faci­et, qua re dic­it ea esse in ali­ud tem­pus dif­fer­en­da.

Itaque si forte quid hodie facere non potestis, id in ali­ud tem­pus, in ali­um diem dif­ferre potestis—quamquam plerumque, ut usu didi­ci, nego­tia prae­sen­tia sta­tim obire prae­s­tat quam ea in ali­ud tem­pus differre. 

Daniel Pettersson

Daniel Pettersson

Teacher and author Daniel Pettersson, M.A., is co-founder of Latinitium and is currently teaching Latin at Stockholm University, where he is also working on his Ph.D. dissertation on Humanist Colloquia. Daniel believes in the importance of Latin literature in the modern world and that you can teach yourself Latin with the right motivation, method, and material.
Written by Daniel Pettersson

Written by Daniel Pettersson

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