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strange place for an ac

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strange place for an ac

Postby phil » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:51 am

Hannibal had routed the Romans twice, and killed three of its imperators, all in short order, and the citizens, unsure what to do, had formed a commitee. (This calls for immediate discussion!)

Maesta igitur cīvitās ac prope inops cōnsiliī comitiōrum diē in campum dēscendit.

Therefore the gloomy (state)citizens, and the almost lack of ideas from the commitee, during the day descended onto the plain.

That makes no sense. The lack of ideas didn't go down into the the plain. What is 'ac' doing there? Can ac mean 'because of'? The citizens, sad because of the lack of ideas... but I don't think it does.

Can someone help?

Cheers, Phil
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Re: strange place for an ac

Postby Alatius » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:31 am

I understand the meaning as "Therefore the citizens, gloomy and almost destitute of ideas, descended onto the plain on the day of the assembly." In other words, the sentence could be rearranged as follows: "Igitur maesta ac prope inops cōnsiliī cīvitās comitiōrum diē in campum dēscendit."

The comitia is not really a commitee; it's the general assembly of the Roman people (cīvitās). The campus is probably Campus Mārtius.
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Re: strange place for an ac

Postby Imber Ranae » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:13 pm

Alatius is correct. The problem seems to be (1) that you interpreted inops a noun, when it's really and adjective, and (2) that you took the genitive comitiorum as modifying consilii rather than die. As far as I know, die by itself, unlike nocte for "by night / at night", never means "during the day / in the daytime". This latter meaning is reserved for the adverb interdiu, and occasionally by diu in certain collocations like diu noctuque (this is the original meaning of diu, though by classical times it regularly meant "for a long time").
Ex mala malo
bono malo uesci
quam ex bona malo
malo malo malo.
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