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Help re Caesar.

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Help re Caesar.

Postby Rufus Coppertop » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:45 pm

I'm going crazy over a construction in Caesar's Gallic War.

Book II. Coniurandi has esse causas.

has causas is accusative so the purpose construction of a genitive plus ablative causa doesn't work. coniurandi is probably a masculine nominative plural gerundive because if it was singular genitive it would mean "of the oaths to be taken these causes to be". If it's indirect speech (hence the infinitive plus accusative) then where is the verb introducing the fact that it's indirect speech?

The Loeb translation, "the causes of their conspiracy, it was said" annoys the hell out of me because there is no "dicatus est". Also, why wouldn't it be, "coniurationis" for "of the conspiracy"?

Is it some weird, idiomatic mixture of the passive periphrastic, plus indirect speech with an implied verb of speech and a whacky use of the accusative?
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Re: Help re Caesar.

Postby modus.irrealis » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:16 pm

It is indirect speech, but it continues on from before.

Cum esset Caesar in citeriore Gallia [in hibernis], ita uti supra demonstravimus, crebri ad eum rumores adferebantur litterisque item Labieni certior fiebat omnes Belgas, quam tertiam esse Galliae partem dixeramus, contra populum Romanum coniurare obsidesque inter se dare. Coniurandi has esse causas:

Basically it's part of the indirect speech introduced by "certior fiebat". That's why the Loeb translation has "it was said", although there's no really good way in English to do this. "Coniurandi" here is the gerund, "causes of their conspiring", and I'm guessing the translator just felt that "conspiracy" is better English but still preserves the meaning.
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Re: Help re Caesar.

Postby adrianus » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:14 pm

Salve Rufe Rutile
Don't forget "has". // "Has" non ignores.
"These were the causes of the conspiracy/conspiring: [a list follows // inventarium sequitur]"

Sorry, you probably weren't ignoring it at all! // Me excuses. Non ignorabas, nunc credo.
Last edited by adrianus on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Help re Caesar.

Postby Rufus Coppertop » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:16 pm

Quomodo stultus sum?

Because I had gerundives of the brain, I didn't recognize the very simple fact that coniurandi is a gerund. I was trying to work out how to make sense of it as a gerundive.

Gratias omnibus vestrum do.
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