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Bellum Sabinum

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Bellum Sabinum

Postby pmda » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:14 am

Here's some (more) Latin I've parsed and translated - from Orberg's LLPSI cap XLII

Bellum Sabinum

Novissimum [nns] ab Sabinis [mabp] bellum [nns] ortum est [pf3s(nns)], multoque [adv] id maximum [nns] fuit [pf3s]
The latest war to arise from the Sabines was the longest.

Nihil enim per [+a] iram [fas] aut cupiditatem [fas] actum est, [pf3s(nns)]
It arose from nothing but anger and greed.

nec ostenderunt [pf3p] bellum [nas] prius [adv] quam intulerunt [pf3p].
neither did they declare war before they brought it.

Non solum vi [fabs], sed etiam dolo [mabs] usi sunt [pf3p(mnp)]:
Not only through strength but also through deceit..

Sp. Tarpeius [mns] arci [fds] Romanae [fds] praeerat [i3s]. Huius [mgs]
Spurius Tarpeius was governor of the Roman citadel. His

filia [fns] virgo [fns] forte [adv] aquam [fas] petitum [sup] extra
unmarried daughter happened to have gone to fetch water outside the walls

moenia [nap] ierat [pl3s]. Ei Tatius auro pollicendo persuasit ut
Tatius with the promise of gold persuaded her

Sabinos [map] armatos [map] in arcem [fas] acciperet [is3s].
to allow the armed Sabines into the citadel.

Accepti [pf3p(mnp)] Sabini [mnp] Tarpeiam [mas] necavere [pf3p]!
The invading Sabines slayed Tarpeius -

- seu ut arx [fns] potius [adv] vi [fabs] quam dolo [mabs] capta esse
- whether it was better that the citadel was seen to be taken by force

videretur [is3s] seu exempli [ngs] causa [fns] ne quis impune [adv]
than by deceit perhaps it provides a lesson that no one

patriam [fas] suam [fas] proderet [is3s]
should, with impunity,betray their country.


- I'm a little confused about the construction seu...seu. My sense is that the construction is something like 'whether..or if..' ?


Additur [pf3s] fabula [fns], Tarpeiam [mas] mercedem [fas] ab Sabinis [mabp]
The story grew that Tarpeius had demanded from the Sabines 'that which they

postulavisse [pfi] 'id [nnp] quod in sinistris [fabp] manibus [fabp] haberent
had on their left hands'.

[is3s]' (nam Sabini [mnp] aureas [fap] armillas [fap] magni [mgs] ponderis
(for the Sabines had braclets of great value on their left arms)

[ngs] bracchio [nds?] laevo [nds?] gemmatosque [map] anulos [map] habebant
and also rings with gem stones.


- not sure of construction '...braechio laevo...' - is it dative of possession?

[i3p]); ergo Sabinos [map] pro aureis donis scuta in eam coniecisse!
Hence the Sabines instead of golden givts gathered their shields in one place.


- is the last line a figure of speech - instead of paying up they defended themselves?
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Re: Bellum Sabinum

Postby Qimmik » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:27 pm

The latest war arose from the Sabines, and that one was by far [multo, ablative of measure of difference] the longest.

For nothing was done by anger or greed [should it be nihil enim nisi "nothing except by anger or greed"?]

nor did they show [an intention to go to] war before they brought it on.

They used [utor requires ablative complement] not only force but also deceit.

Sp. Tarpeius was in charge of the Roman citadel. His unmarried daughter happened to have gone ouside the walls to fetch water.

Tatius, by promising gold, persuaded her to admit the armed Sabines into the citadel.

Once admitted [accepti], the Sabines slew Tarpeia [this is feminine; hence it refers to Tarpeius' daughter]

either so that the citadel should seem to have been taken by force rather than [potius] by deceit,

or for the sake of an example/lesson that no one should betray his/her country without punishment.

A story is added [an additional story is told] that Tarpeia [again, feminine--the daughter] had demanded from the Sabines as her price [mercedem] what they had in their left hands

(for the Sabines had gold bracelets of great weight and rings with gems [in/on] their left arms/hands [bracchio laevo is ablative; bracchium is the forearm from hand to elbow]);

and therefore, instead of [pro] golden gifts, the Sabines threw [their] shields [which they also carried in their left hands/on their left arms] on her [killing her this way]!

Bracchium:

http://perseus.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.1:871.lewisandshort
Last edited by Qimmik on Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bellum Sabinum

Postby mwh » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:30 pm

Tarpeia (not Tarpeius) is the virgin daughter, whom they killed
lit. "whether in order that the citadel might seem to have been taken by force rather than by deceit(treachery) or for the sake of example ..."

The story is a structural replica of a number of Greek ones, in which the besieged king's daughter lets the enemy in; the motive is normally erotic.

EDIT: This posted before seeing Qimmik's.
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Re: Bellum Sabinum

Postby pmda » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:04 pm

Many thanks to you both. Very clear. I knew there was something not quite right about my translation...
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Re: Bellum Sabinum

Postby Qimmik » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:13 pm

Scylla in Ovid's Metamorphoses is an example of the myths mwh mentioned. Nisus is the ruler of Megara. He has a magic purple lock of hair: as long as the lock remains on his head, Megara is invincible. Minos besieges Megara; Nisus' daughter Scylla falls in love with him when she sees him from the city walls, especially when he takes off his helmet. Persuading herself that she is actually doing her father and her city a favor by ending the siege without bloodshed (and offering the city to such a distinguished ruler!), she cuts off the lock while her father is sleeping, slips out of the city and offers the lock to Minos. He rejects it with disgust, and he is so repulsed by Scylla's treachery that he abandons the siege and sails off. And then, of course, the metamorphosis: in an effort to follow Minos as he sails away, Scylla goes into the sea and turns into . . . well, Scylla.

Ovid Metamorphoses VIII 6ff.:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text;jsessionid=A828DA14EB828E4FAB953C963404F354?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0029%3Abook%3D8%3Acard%3D1

Then there is Minos' own daughter Ariadne, who betrays to Theseus how to get out of the labyrinth after he kills the Minotaur and escapes with him, only to be abandoned by him on the island of Naxos on his journey home to Athens; Medea, whose magic allows Jason to steal the golden fleece from her father Aeetes and escapes with him (dismembering her young brother in the process), etc.
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Re: Bellum Sabinum

Postby mwh » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:09 pm

Even closer, the ruler’s virgin daughter betrayed Methymna to Achilles (out of love), only to be killed by the invaders for her act of betrayal. The betrayal of Sardis to Cyrus by Croesus’ daughter is a doublet of this.
(Parthenius 21 & 22, + the Roman Chronicle for Sardis)
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