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Pensum Trecenti et Viginti sex

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:35 pm
by vastor
Salvete,

This line is concerning me:
Nulla res melius gesta est quam proelium illud ubi Marius multo minore exercitu multo maiores copias Germanorum in fugam dedit

It's not particularly complex, but the second half of the compound sentence doesn't quite seem right. I translated it as:
No thing (nothing) has been borne more greatly than that (famous yonder) battle, when Marius made the much larger (larger by much) troops of the Germans into flight with a much smaller (smaller by much) army.

The first melius appears to be a comparative adverb, but I would have expected the two armies in the second half to be compared directly against one another rather than the seemingly indirect comparison here.

Re: Pensum Trecenti et Viginti sex

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:12 pm
by Kasper
Hi Vastor,

Vastor wrote:
Nulla res melius gesta est quam proelium illud ubi Marius multo minore exercitu multo maiores copias Germanorum in fugam dedit


So there are 3 comparatives in the sentence: 1) melius, 2) minore, and 3) maiores.

Melius uses quam as its pivot, and compares 'nulla res' with 'proelium .... dedit'.

Minore and maiores directly compare the sizes of the two armies. Marius 'with a much smaller army' sent the 'much larger troops of the Germani' into flight.

Hope this helps,
K

Re: Pensum Trecenti et Viginti sex

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:01 am
by vastor
Salve kasper,

Yes that does help, thanks. I was expecting the conjunction quam to be used when comparing the size of the armies, but I guess the meaning is the same regardless of the syntax. The ablative of means also completes the means by which the enemy was defeated.