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Second Year Latin - Greenough, D'ooge and Daniell

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Second Year Latin - Greenough, D'ooge and Daniell

Postby phil » Tue Feb 03, 2004 2:25 am

I have just started reading Second Year Latin, and can't understand a couple of bits already! In the second story, Cock-fighting, there is the sentence:
Bello Persico Themistocles cum exercitu iter in hostis faciebat, cum duos gallos vidit in via dimicantis.
During the Persian war, Themistocles was travelling into enemy territory with his army, when he saw two roosters fighting in the road.
With in hostis, I thought that in must be followed by acc (into) or abl (in), but hostis is genitive. Is the word finem missing - into the territory of the enemy? or is there another explanation?
Secondly, dimicantis is singular genitive of the present participle. But as it describes the duos gallos, shouldn't it be plural acc., dimicantes?
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Postby benissimus » Tue Feb 03, 2004 3:39 am

Both of the words you are having trouble with are actually accusative plurals and not genitives. Third declension nominative and especially accusative plurals are found very often in the ending -is rather than -es. The distinction between genitive and nom/acc plural is that the latter is a long I and the former is a short I. This also applies to participles and third declension adjectives.

It is unfortunate that Wheelock does not make this more clear, he only mentions it once or twice in the text (in the small print at the bottom of the page) and maybe a few times in the back.

If you don't have it already, Words is an endlessly useful parsing program. If you had entered "hostis", one of the results would have been
host.is N 3 3 ACC P C
Meaning Noun, Accusative, Plural, C (variable gender)

Bello Persico Themistocles cum exercitu iter in hostis faciebat, cum duos gallos vidit in via dimicantis.

I would translate this something like...
In the Persian War, Themistocles was marching with his army against the enemy, when he saw two roosters fighting in the road.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Ulpianus » Tue Feb 03, 2004 10:35 am

It might be worth noting, also, that "the enemy", when it means "the enemy in general" as opposed to "an enemy person" is generally plural: hostes, hostium not hostis, hostis. In other words, Latin used a true plural where we use a collective noun.

While you are at the peculiarities of 3rd declension nouns with i stems: they also have another irregularity: they often form an ablative singular in -i, rather than -e. This could lead you to confuse an ablative singular for a dative.
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Postby Episcopus » Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:31 pm

haha legi anglice "Gauls"! pugnam gallorum velim conspicere sed...ius non permittit ut id fiat. cum autem in Asia nunc sint aegrae aves quare illae non pugnare? Quocumque modo sunt moribundae.
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Postby Ulpianus » Tue Feb 03, 2004 6:03 pm

A sick suggestion ... sick as a chicken.
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Postby Episcopus » Tue Feb 03, 2004 6:08 pm

I'm very much joking though
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Postby phil » Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:00 pm

Thank you all. I'd missed that -is thing. I'll look out for it in future.
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