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Unfortunately, an all too simple question...

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Unfortunately, an all too simple question...

Postby cdm2003 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:16 pm

Hello all, this is probably an incredibly easy question, but it's been nagging me and I'd like to be certain of the answer.

If the English is "The walls are ten feet high," is the Latin simply "Moenia decem pedes sunt alta?" (Mind you, the "alta" in that sentence in simply an appositive adjective in the nominative modifying "moenia.")

I'm slightly confused by the translation of "high." In the above sentence, is "alta" better represented in the ablative? That is, translating "high" as "in height" or "by height."

Also, what about taking the construction to the next step, i.e., "The walls are ten feet high and three feet thick?" Would that be "Moenia decem pedes sunt alta ac tres pedes lata?" (Again, my intent is to represent "alta" and "lata" here as nominatives.)

Anyway, I just want to be certain of my construction...

Many thanks,
Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae
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Postby cb » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:31 pm

hi, book 7 of caesar's BG shows some ways to write this:

(a) make ALTVS agree with the noun it modifies, and then specify the "extent" of ALTVS using an accusative, eg BG 7, 73, 2 (FOSSAE subject, ALTAE agrees, accusative of extent QVINOS PEDES):

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... loc=7.73.2

for some caesar using forms of both ALTVS and LATVS in the same sentence (each in the accusative agreeing with AGGEREM, and then each having an accusative of extent) see BG 7, 24, 1:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... chapter=24

or (b) leave out ALTVS and use the genitive to specify the height, eg BG 7, 46, 3 (genitive SEX PEDVM):

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... chapter=46

both uses (a) and (b) are discussed in A&G s425 (search for the section "Extent of Space" in the following link http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... b%3D%23672 ).

however i prefer the explanations in Woodcock 1959, "A New Latin Syntax", ss10 and 84-85; though i am not sure if this is online.

cheers :)
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