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confusing ablative(dative?) in DBG 6.21

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confusing ablative(dative?) in DBG 6.21

Postby Matermultorum » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 am

This is from Caesar DBG 6.21

Ellipted words in brackets are supplied by the text Caesar a Legamus reader.

Deorum numero eos [esse] solos [Germani] ducunt quos cernunt…

The key says:
Among the number of the gods they consider those alone [to be gods] which they perceive…

I do not understand the use of numero. There is no word for among in this Latin sentence that I can see. Is this a certain kind of dative or ablative that gets translated as among or with the idea of among?

Thank you for your time,
matermultorum
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Re: confusing ablative(dative?) in DBG 6.21

Postby Shenoute » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:30 pm

Yes, I guess it is a dative, "to the number of the gods" > "among the gods". French actually has the exact same construction, "au nombre de".
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Re: confusing ablative(dative?) in DBG 6.21

Postby Qimmik » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:37 pm

This is an idiom, with in omitted. "They consider those alone to be in the number of the gods" or "in the ranks of the gods". (Ablative, not dative.)

See Lewis and Short s.v. numerus, II:

http://perseus.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.12:1097.lewisandshort

Trop., number, rank, place, position, estimation, relation, class, category (cf.: nomen, locus, in loco, in vicem): . . . in numero esse, to be of the number of, to be reckoned among, to be any thing, Lucr. 5, 180: Q. Aelius Tubero fuit illo tempore nullo in oratorum numero, Cic. Brut. 31, 117: sine actione summus orator esse in numero nullo potest, id. de Or. 3, 56, 213: quo sunt in numero Curiosolites, etc., Caes. B. G. 7, 75, 4; 3, 7, 2; Nep. Att. 1, 4: quo in numero ego sum, Cic. Fam. 13, 23, 1; Caes. B. C. 2, 44, 3; 3, 53, 2: qui in eo numero fuisset, Cic. Phil. 2, 11, 25; id. Fl. 4, 9; id. Fam. 7, 6, 1: quo in numero hi quoque fuerunt, Liv. 39, 36 fin.— Without in: ut civium numero simus, Liv. 4, 4, 12; 7, 30, 19; 30, 42, 9; 4, 56, 11; 36, 35, 9: aliquem hostium numero habere, Caes. B. G. 6, 6, 3; id. B. C. 3, 82, 3; id. B. G. 6, 21, 2: qui hostium numero non sunt, Cic. Phil. 13, 5, 11; id. Brut. 20, 78: aliquo numero esse, to be of some repute, id. Fam. 1, 10; Caes. B. G. 6, 13, 1; cf. Cic. Or. 62, 208; id. de Or. 3, 9, 33: Bambalio quidam, homo nullo numero, of no account, Cic. Phil. 3, 6, 16: numerum aliquem obtinere, id. Brut. 47, 175.—
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Re: confusing ablative(dative?) in DBG 6.21

Postby Matermultorum » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:34 pm

Thank you!! This is the kind of construction that this text usually makes a note about. I'll add one to my copy.
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Re: confusing ablative(dative?) in DBG 6.21

Postby Shenoute » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:35 pm

It seems I answered too quickly, sorry.
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Re: confusing ablative(dative?) in DBG 6.21

Postby Matermultorum » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:43 pm

That's okay! Thanks for trying. If you had been the only one that had answered I would have been closer with that idea that there was a missing preposition.
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Re: confusing ablative(dative?) in DBG 6.21

Postby Iacobus de Indianius » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:58 pm

I'm reading DBG too. I find it really helpful to consult Lewis and Short when I don't understand the usage of words which I already know. Luckily, Caesar is cited a ton, and Perseus makes it really easy to dig out those buried citations.
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Re: confusing ablative(dative?) in DBG 6.21

Postby Matermultorum » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:09 pm

Thank you for posting. I read what was posted from Lewis and Short but didn't go to the link, so I didn't know how helpful that site is. It is bookmarked now and I'll be using it!
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