...μαθεῖν πῶς καὶ τίνι γένει πολιτείας ἐπικρατηθέντα σχεδὸν πάντα τὰ κατὰ τὴν οἰκουμένην ἐν οὐδ᾽ ὅλοις πεντήκοντα καὶ τρισὶν ἔτεσιν ὑπὸ μίαν ἀρχὴν τὴν Ῥωμαίων ἔπεσεν...
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... hapter%3D2
I just don't know how to translate the participle ἐπικρατηθέντα.
Here is my translation for the rest of it:
...to learn how and by what kind of consitution ἐπικρατηθέντα nearly all of the inhabited world, in less than 53 years, fell under the rule of Rome...
Now some, such as the Perseus translation, just dodge the issue and pretend the word doesn't exist in the text, or perhaps they somehow absorb it into "all of the inhabited world" (See 6.1 for the English).
Others see ἐπικρατηθέντα working with the main verb ἔτεσιν and opt for a parallel translation "had been conquered and fell" ("a été conquis et est passé"-Weil).
So really the question comes down to who is the agent for the passive participle? Is it somehow those who had ruled before the Romans, or the Romans themselves? And if it is the Romans themselves, how are we to think of this participle working with the finite verb?
Any thoughts? Context doesn't help at all. Is this the kind of thing that I should worry about? Or is it wrong to worry about it? After all, if much better translators diverge like this, why should I waste my time trying to come up with anything more definite?
Thanks in advance
P.S. I guess I lied about the "EASY" part.