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Groton and May Ch. 21 question

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Groton and May Ch. 21 question

Postby karendawn » Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:26 am

So far I've been doing okay with the stories in this book, but I've come to a sentence in this story (The Golden Age Returns) that feels like I've come to a brick wall. I'm just not getting it. Here's the sentence and what I've been able to do with it so far. Thanks in advance for your help!

Remanebunt tamen pauca scelera quae homines temptare mare navibus, quae homines cingere urbes muris iubebunt.

A few crimes nevertheless will remain [nevertheless there will remain a few crimes] which men .... and here's where I get stuck.

I know temptare is an infinitive, so I look for a finite verb and find iubebunt, which means to command or bid, so then I have "a few crimes which men will command to test" - okay, so what are they testing? the sea with ships? [mare accusative and navibus ablative of means?]

And then I really get stuck with the second quae phrase: which men will command to encircle the cities with walls?

So putting it all together: Nevertheless there will remain a few crimes ... oh, wait! what if homines is accusative (I've been treating it as a nominative, which obviously doesn't go with quae!)... so ...

Nevertheless there will remain a few crimes which will bid men to test the sea with ships, which will bid men to encircle the cities with walls.

It still feels a little awkward though. Any thoughts?
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Postby benissimus » Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:54 am

Looks like you got it on the second try. The passage means something like "some evils will remain that will make/force (command) men sail elsewhere and build walls around their cities (to keep others out)".
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Thank you!

Postby karendawn » Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:18 am

Thank you! Good to know that I was on the right track. This is definitely one of those sentences that needs to be reworded to make more "sense" in English.
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