I'm reading Columella's De Re Rustica and I'm stuck on a sentence:
"Et quoniam hunc sexum custodiae et diligentiae assignaverat, idcirco timidiorem reddidit quam virilem. Nam metus plurimum confert ad diligentiam custodiendi."
And since he (a god) had assigned this sex (the female) carefulness and diligence, therefore he made it more timid than the male. For fear contributes to diligence with caring.
I have a few issues here; first of all, there's no direct object to "reddidit". I'm assuming "eum" is implicit?
Secondly, how about "plurimum"? It doesn't seem to fit anywhere (at least I can't make it fit). It could either be masculine accusative or neuter nominative or accusative, but "metus" is masculine nominative and "diligentia" feminine. Could it be an adverb of some sort?
Thirdly, I probably didn't translate the gerund properly. Any better suggestions are welcome
Thanks for any help!