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Pensum Trecenti et Viginti sex

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Pensum Trecenti et Viginti sex

Postby vastor » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:35 pm

Salvete,

This line is concerning me:
Nulla res melius gesta est quam proelium illud ubi Marius multo minore exercitu multo maiores copias Germanorum in fugam dedit

It's not particularly complex, but the second half of the compound sentence doesn't quite seem right. I translated it as:
No thing (nothing) has been borne more greatly than that (famous yonder) battle, when Marius made the much larger (larger by much) troops of the Germans into flight with a much smaller (smaller by much) army.

The first melius appears to be a comparative adverb, but I would have expected the two armies in the second half to be compared directly against one another rather than the seemingly indirect comparison here.
vastor
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Re: Pensum Trecenti et Viginti sex

Postby Kasper » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:12 pm

Hi Vastor,

Vastor wrote:
Nulla res melius gesta est quam proelium illud ubi Marius multo minore exercitu multo maiores copias Germanorum in fugam dedit


So there are 3 comparatives in the sentence: 1) melius, 2) minore, and 3) maiores.

Melius uses quam as its pivot, and compares 'nulla res' with 'proelium .... dedit'.

Minore and maiores directly compare the sizes of the two armies. Marius 'with a much smaller army' sent the 'much larger troops of the Germani' into flight.

Hope this helps,
K
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Re: Pensum Trecenti et Viginti sex

Postby vastor » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:01 am

Salve kasper,

Yes that does help, thanks. I was expecting the conjunction quam to be used when comparing the size of the armies, but I guess the meaning is the same regardless of the syntax. The ablative of means also completes the means by which the enemy was defeated.
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