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qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

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qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

Postby pmda » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:16 am

Cum igitur multitudo omnis a vi et armis ad res divinas curandas conversa esset, tum finitimi etiam populi - qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse ad turbandam omnium pacem crediderant - nefas putabant violare civitatem quae tanta diligentia deos coleret. Quam ob rem tuta pax per omne Numae regni tempus conservata est.

I've been looking at the text above (particularly the clause in parenthesis) and find it perplexing. The clause seems to be saying that the presence of an armed camp in the old centre of Roma tended to lead to a disturbed peace....

When, therefore, all of the people would have been concerned, in [matters of] power and arms, to what the gods wished [res divinas curandas - divine things that should be done], then foreigners and indeed the people [citizens] - who had thought that the camp, placed in the centre before to the city, caused all peace to be disturbed - believed that it was unholy to violate the citizen who with such diligence cared for the god. for this reason peace was preserved for the entire time of Numa's reign.
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Re: qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:26 pm

pmda wrote:Cum igitur multitudo omnis a vi et armis ad res divinas curandas conversa esset, tum finitimi etiam populi - qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse ad turbandam omnium pacem crediderant - nefas putabant violare civitatem quae tanta diligentia deos coleret. Quam ob rem tuta pax per omne Numae regni tempus conservata est.

I've been looking at the text above (particularly the clause in parenthesis) and find it perplexing. The clause seems to be saying that the presence of an armed camp in the old centre of Roma tended to lead to a disturbed peace....

When, therefore, all of the people would have been concerned, in [matters of] power and arms, to what the gods wished [res divinas curandas - divine things that should be done], then foreigners and indeed the people [citizens] - who had thought that the camp, placed in the centre before to the city, caused all peace to be disturbed - believed that it was unholy to violate the citizen who with such diligence cared for the god. for this reason peace was preserved for the entire time of Numa's reign.


Well, there are several things that need attention here. First of all, what is this from? It's always helpful to see things in context... I would render the cum clause "When, therefore, the entire crowd had been converted from force of arms (lit., "from force and arms," a hendiadys) to taking care of religious affairs..." Then note that finitimi must modify populi, "then even the neighboring peoples," which I assume refer to the nearby tribes. To mean what you rendered you'd need "cives." Now, the section which is causing you trouble probably should cause you trouble. It's really not very clear. I'm not sure what it's supposed to say, but note that the subject of positam esse has to be urbem, not castra. Antea is an adverb and not placed where urbem could be the object even if it were a preposition. Usually there is an ellipsis in cases like this, so you would understand posita esse with castra and supply whatever else from the following clause, but that reads oddly, "who had believed before that the camp had been placed in the middle, not that the city had been placed in the middle, resulting in the disturbing of the peace of all..." Not sure that makes much sense.

Notice that civitatem is "state" not citizen, and that deos is plural, not singular, so "[they] thought it a crime to violate a state which worshiped the gods with such great diligence." The last sentence is fine.
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Re: qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

Postby pmda » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:02 pm

Thanks for this Barry,
I should have explained. It's from Cap XLII of Hans Orberg's Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata and it's a piece of adapted (by Orberg) Livy.

I'll review your comments carefully.

Thanks again for your kind attention.

Paul MacDonnell
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Re: qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

Postby Qimmik » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:13 pm

tum finitimi etiam populi - qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse ad turbandam omnium pacem crediderant

This means something like "then even the neighboring populations--who had previously thought that an [armed] camp, not a city, had been placed in [their] midst resulting in disturbing everyone's peace . . . "

Barry, this is simplified Livy. He's contrasting the tranquil reign of pious Numa, who established the institutions of Roman religion and supposedly turned the primitive Roman population way from warfare to religious activities, following the turbulent reign of warlike Romulus (1.21.2). The original reads:

et cum ipsi se homines in regis uelut unici exempli mores formarent, tum finitimi etiam populi, qui antea castra non urbem positam in medio ad sollicitandam omnium pacem crediderant, in eam uerecundiam adducti sunt, ut ciuitatem totam in cultum uersam deorum uiolari ducerent nefas.

"And when the people had conformed themselves to the behavior of the king as sole example, even the neighboring populations, who had previously thought that an armed camp, not a city, had been set in their midst resulting in disturbing the peace for everyone, were brought to such a degree of respectful reverence that they considered it sacrilege to violate a community that had completely turned to religion."

Bill
Last edited by Qimmik on Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

Postby pmda » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:24 pm

Thanks.

Bit disconcerting how one can go so wrong in understanding the text. One's mind is apt to reach for sense when none is there. ....must try harder..... I did look at this for about an hour yesterday. I think what confused me was the adjective 'finitimi' separated from 'populi' by 'etiam'.... I couldn't figure out why he was talking about the neighboring tribes in this context...
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Re: qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

Postby Qimmik » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:23 pm

what confused me was the adjective 'finitimi' separated from 'populi' by 'etiam'....


Hyperbaton like this is very common in Latin--noun and adjectives declension and agreement make it possible. In English relationships between nouns and adjectives are established by word order.
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Re: qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

Postby pmda » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:05 pm

OK so positam in:

...qui antea castra non urbem positam...

refers to both castra and urbem but takes the gender of urbem as that is the object nearest it, right?
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Re: qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

Postby Qimmik » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:27 pm

positam in: ...qui antea castra non urbem positam... refers to both castra and urbem but takes the gender of urbem as that is the object nearest it


Right.
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Re: qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

Postby pmda » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:00 pm

Many thanks.
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Re: qui antea castra, non urbem in medio positam esse

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:15 am

Ah, figured it was probably adapted from Livy. I have noticed that sometimes the edited version is more difficult than the original if you are used to reading real Latin. But here I see the original is as highly eliptical as the edited version!
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