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Translation & Gramma

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Translation & Gramma

Postby Asterix » Tue Aug 03, 2004 4:19 pm

I got the following sentence that is unclear to me. It'S :

Populus quotannis duos consules et alios magistratus creabat. Consulatus apud Romanos erat summus magistratus. In bello consules exercitum convocabant et exercitui praeerant. In pace autem magistratibus mandatum erat statum civitatis firmare et domos civium et magnas et parvas a scleribus servare.

What does the beginning of the last sentence means exactly ("In pace autem magistratibus mandatum erat statum ...) ?

Why it is magistratibus (Dativ) and mandatum (neuter) ?

I know, it has to signify that the magisters were ordered to keep the state of citizen safe and so on.

But I don't exactly understand this phrase on a grammatical way ?

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Postby whiteoctave » Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:33 pm

mandatum is a passive personal = 'it was entrusted'
magistratibus is, as you say, dat. governed by mandatum = 'to the magistrates'
firmare and servare are the auxiliary infinitives that mandatum introduces. it was entrusted to the officials to ... ktl.
the more 'radical' grammars, i suppose, would regard such infinitives as the neuter subjects of the sentence.

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