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§ 439. Exercises I, II Dative of Purpose/End for Which, P186

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§ 439. Exercises I, II Dative of Purpose/End for Which, P186

Postby Episcopus » Sun Dec 21, 2003 2:47 pm

I'll begin by uttering a rare criticism: this dative of purpose lesson in my opinion has not been explained very well here. That's to say, every time there is a dative like this I need to see in brackets (for), and D'Ooge does include that :? Hence I don't understand this concept properly, probably the only thing in which I don't see any logic in the whole course here.

I. 1. Rogavit cur illae copiae relictae essent. Responderunt illas copias esse praesidio castris.
-They replied that those troops were a guard to the camp.

Here I can see in a way why a dative might be used, as the troops are there for a purpose, but can't "esse praesidium castrorum" just be used?

2. Caesar misit exploratores ad locum deligendum castris.
-Caesar sent scouts to select a place for camp.

3. Quisque exstimavit ipsum nomen Caesaris magno terrori barbaris futurum esse.
-Every one believed that Caesar's very name would be of great terror to the savages.

4. Primá luce idem exercitus proelium acre commisit, sed gravia suorum vulnera magnae curae imperatori erant.
-At dawn the same army joined the eager battle but the severe wounds of his men were of great trouble to him.

5. Rex respondit amicitiam populi Romani sibi ornamento et praesidio debere esse.
-The kind responded that the friendship of the Roman people ought to be as an ornament and guard for him.

6. Quis praeerat equitatui quem auxilio Caesari socii miserant?
-Who was in command over the cavalry whom the allies had sent as help for Caesar.

7. Aliquibus res secundae sunt summae calamitati et res secundae sunt miro usui.
-To some fortune is of the greatest disaster and adversity is of wonderful advantage.

8. Gallis magno ad pugnam impedimento erat quod equitatus a dextro cornu premebat.
-It was of great hindrance towards the battle for the Gauls because the cavalry was pressing hard on the right wing.

9. Memoria pristinae virtutis non minus quam metus hostium erat nostris magno usui.
-The memory of old courage which was greater than the fear of the enemy was of great advantage to us.

10 . Tam densa erat silva ut progredi non possent.
-So dense was the forest that they could not advance.

II. 1. I advise you to give up the plan of making war upon the brave Gauls.
Ut omittas consilium te moneo Gallis fortibus belli inferendi.

2. Do you know where the cavalry has chosen a place for camp.
-Scisne ubi equitatus locum castris delegerint?

3. The fear of the enemy will be of great advantage to you.
-Metus hostium magno vobis erit usui.

4. Caesar left the three cohorts as a guard to the baggage.
-Caesar cohortes praesidio impedimentis tris reliquit.

5. In winter the waves of the lake are so great that they are of a great hindrance to ships.
-Fluctús hieme lacús tam magni ut magno sint navibus impedimento.

6. Caesar inflicted severe punishment on those who burned the public buildings.
-Caesar supplicium de illis aedificia publica incendentibus sumpsit.
(or you could do qui+pluperfect, I needed context)


Am I right now in saying that the Dative of Purpose is often translated into English as "as" of "of" then often of a second thing affected "to/for"?

Is there anything else that I should know? I know the exercises here are easy and so when I read hard material I fear that I may fail.
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Re: § 439. Exercises I, II Dative of Purpose/End for Which,

Postby Skylax » Tue Dec 23, 2003 4:21 pm

Episcopus wrote:I. 1. Rogavit cur illae copiae relictae essent. Responderunt illas copias esse praesidio castris.
-They replied that those troops were a guard to the camp.

Here I can see in a way why a dative might be used, as the troops are there for a purpose, but can't "esse praesidium castrorum" just be used?


The idea seems to be "to act as a guard" (without being so by nature, nor permanently), but you can consider that it is simply idiomatic. Moreover, the dative of purpose etc. is a "fossilized" way of expression. It is only used with a finite number of words. No new phrases using this dative were still forged at the time of Cicero.

de illis aedificia publica incendentibus
(or you could do qui+pluperfect, I needed context)


Grammatically correct but not so natural in Latin. I would say simply
de eis qui aedificia publica incenderunt or as you suggest incenderant

And one more time : what a good job ! :)
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Postby Episcopus » Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:24 pm

Thankyou as always Skylax :D I agree that it seems very much idiomatic :P

I have finished this book now...do you have any suggestions about where to go now?
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Postby Skylax » Wed Dec 24, 2003 1:28 pm

You are now ready to read some Caesar (from Perseus, The Latin Library or elsewhere), but I warn you : real Latin is always different from what you find in exercices. You will see : it is really a foreign language written by people with different ideas. Try maybe Caesar 4, 30 or 5, 8 : Caesar in Great Britain... Use Perseus' translation.

Bonne lecture et Joyeux Noël !
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Postby bingley » Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:19 pm

I'd second that, especially as you can read the Gallic War in the safe hands of Dr. D'Ooge.
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Postby Emma_85 » Fri Dec 26, 2003 12:25 pm

Caesar is really boring, though. What was the first real Latin text I read now... hmm... think it was Nepos, even more boring if anything :wink: .

Congrats to finishing the exercise book! You did really well managing to learn Latin by yourself and not to give up early!
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Postby Episcopus » Fri Dec 26, 2003 9:47 pm

:cry: Bless you Emma!

I agree that Caesar is very boring. I don't quite know why I learned Latin, but one of the reasons was that I might be able to be entertained somehow. I have been so far, especially with the very well written and vivid reading matter at the end of D'Ooge's great book. I read a few paragraphs of Caesar and I lose the urge for any Latin. It's strange and unhealthy for my progress. :shock:
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Postby bingley » Sat Dec 27, 2003 1:32 am

Ok, episcopus tell us what sort of thing you enjoy reading in English, and we'll find the nearest Latin equivalent.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Dec 27, 2003 11:00 am

I can't think of anything in prose that is interesting in Latin :? , so I think you should try and progress to poetry as soon as possible. Don't want to translate Caesar, Cicero and Sallust for ever :P .
Ovid is fun, but again that's poetry...
What do you need to read for your GCSE?
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Postby Episcopus » Sat Dec 27, 2003 12:30 pm

Virgil :shock:

I like something that is nice. I may not find it entertaining in English, but in Latin some things sound great. They make me glad that I can read them. For example the stories about the Roman boy and his family, growing up in the countryside. The D'Ooge Reading Matter is great. And I know many other strange words. In the past 3 days I have 130 new words that I know.

I also like writings of churches especially by bishops but that's medieval latin. Easy enough but begins bad habits :P
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Postby Skylax » Sat Dec 27, 2003 2:51 pm

Episcopus wrote:I agree that Caesar is very boring. I read a few paragraphs of Caesar and I lose the urge for any Latin.


1. Please can you explain why it seems very boring to you?

2. To appreciate the Bellum Gallicum, we must put this work back in its context, make a few remarks and ask some questions.

- Caesar is not to be considered as a hero who might do what he wanted using the resources of the Roman State. He was a politician who wanted to get the biggest possible power in Rome, but until 58 BC he made a more or less normal political carreer. In 58, he was sent pro consule in three Roman provinces, Illyricum (now in Croatia) Gallia Cisalpina and Gallia Transalpina. As he crossed the border of the Roman Empire and managed to attack the Helvetii, he wanted to do so but had absolutely no right to do so.

- The first time Caesar's soldiers attacked Gauls, they attacked from behind people that had done no harm to them. And Caesar explains it with two words : adgressus... concidit (B.G., I, 12, 3) - to relate a scene like in Little Big Man when the U.S. Cavalry attacks an Indian's camp.

- So, in his book, Caesar tried to vindicate his illegal, risky and agressive undertaking. (Note that Caesar's Roman political adversaries proposed at a certain moment to hand Caesar over to some Germans because of treacherous behaviour against these people)

- Nevertheless, some Gauls, namely the Haedui were faithful allies to Caesar from 58 to 52 BC.

Questions (for example):
Why is Gallia the first word of the work, not Caesar?
Why has it taken twelve chapters to come to the relation of the first slaughter?
Why were Caesar's legions originally concentrated at Aquileia, in the NE of Italy before hurriedly going to Genava?
Why did the "last" battle (at Alesia) take place so near to the place of the first?
Why did Caesar remain fighting another year in Gaul after having written his Bellum Gallicum that was later finished by Hirtius, his secretary?
Why did Caesar write (or more exactly dictate) his book in Gaul, at Bibracte (near Autun, not so far from Alesia), although his headquarters remained for years at Samarobriva (Amiens, more than 400 km NNW from Autun?)
Why did Caesar go (twice!) to Britain?
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Postby Episcopus » Sat Dec 27, 2003 3:50 pm

I'm sorry :cry:

It does not call out to me, the text does not seem alive, I can't picture anything in my head, it's hard for me then.
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Postby Skylax » Sat Dec 27, 2003 4:00 pm

I understand. You can only find life under and around the text. So when Caesar explains why the Roman defeat at Gergovia was no defeat at all. There, he had to try hard.
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Postby Episcopus » Sat Dec 27, 2003 4:13 pm

What page is that? Is that exciting?
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Postby Skylax » Sun Dec 28, 2003 5:45 pm

The whole story : Bellum Gallicum, VII, 36-53

Caesar's conclusion :

A. It is the soldier's, not Caesar's defeat :

52, 1. Postero die Caesar contione advocata temeritatem cupiditatemque militum reprehendit, quod sibi ipsi iudicavissent quo procedendum aut quid agendum videretur, neque signo recipiendi dato constitissent neque a tribunis militum legatisque retineri potuissent...

And, you see, this is explained in a discourse adressed to the soldiers. Nobody answers nothing, thus... what Caesar says must be true.

B. Moreover, Caesar's plans are unchanged : he will do what he already wanted to do before.

53, 1 Hac habita contione et ad extremum oratione confirmatis militibus, ne ob hanc causam animo permoverentur neu, quod iniquitas loci attulisset, id virtuti hostium tribuerent, eadem de profectione cogitans, quae ante senserat, legiones ex castris eduxit aciemque idoneo loco constituit. cum Vercingetorix nihilo minus in aequum locum descenderet, levi facto equestri proelio, atque eo secundo, in castra exercitum reduxit.


That's what is called bad faith : "Don't be afraid, soldiers, the enemy has won only because his position was better than yours" - Thereafter, Caesar offers battle to Vercingetorix in a fair battlefield, without result (Vercingetorix, you coward!). But there is a fight between horse soldiers, and then ... WE WON! and went back to the camp, because there was nothing else to do yet. QED
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Postby bingley » Mon Dec 29, 2003 1:39 am

If the military life doesn't really appeal, Episcopus, you could try the following:

Pliny's Letters (includes his eyewitness account of the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii)

Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars -- all the gossip

Apuleius -- The Golden a** [stupid machine, I'm trying to use the old-fashioned word for donkey, not the American for arse], he accidentally gets changed into a donkey when trying to learn magic and his adventures trying to get changed back.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jan 03, 2004 6:02 pm

Virgil! That's great!
My teachers all side stepped Virgil for some reason. It's all Ovid, Ovid, Ovid. I've read the Metamorphosis, the Ars Amartoria and the Amores. But soon we'll be reading Virgil (after some Cicero)...
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Postby Episcopus » Sat Jan 03, 2004 6:37 pm

It's great if you can understand more than 1 word per two lines :)
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jan 03, 2004 6:49 pm

Ah, yes... well... understand the text that's the big problem, isn't it? :wink:
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Re: ? 439. Exercises I, II Dative of Purpose/End for Which,

Postby potatohog » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:32 pm

Episcopus wrote:9. Memoria pristinae virtutis non minus quam metus hostium erat nostris magno usui.
-The memory of old courage which was greater than the fear of the enemy was of great advantage to us.

why is nostris used instead of nobis? Does it simply stand for viris nostris?
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