petitor wrote:Pyrrhus was unwilling to fight until his allies had arrived a few days after. The two armies then joined battle on the banks of the river, and for a long time the issue was in doubt. Finally one wing of the Roman army was victorious, but the other was driven back to their camp by the elephants of Pyrrhus. Although the Romans fought very bravely, they were not able to resist the repeated attacks of the enemy: they took to flight, and on that account have been accused of cowardice: since they had been successful in one part of the field, could they have not won in the other? But Pyrrhus himself, when visiting the field of battle the next day, saw the bodies of the Romans all turned towards the enemy, and said that no one could have fought more bravely than these men.
Socii Pyrrhi, qui ante adventum eorum pugnare nolebat, post paucis diebus cum advenerunt, tum demum uterque utroque exercitus proelium in ripis commisit, re perdiu in dubio pendente. postremo, una ex alis Romanis vincente alteraque autem in castra ab elephantis Pyrrhi repulsa, magno cum animo Romani pugnantes tamen nequiebant crebris incursibus hostium resistere: dederunt se in effugium, ideoque ignaviae accusati sunt: quoniam una in parte campi praestarant, num potuere quin superarent in altera? at Pyrrhus ipse postridie campum invisens, universis Romanorum corporibus ad hostes adversis conspectis, dixit tum neminem potuisse fortius quam hos viros pugnare.
I do have a specific question regarding syncopated perfect forms, particularly with respect to when, and how often, they should be employed. I've seen them used frequently in poetry and sometimes in prose - though I've since forgotten exactly where (it all "blurs out" after a while) - but rarely in Livy, Cicero, and Tacitus. So, while I personally find them attractive, especially because they're somewhat uncommon, I'm not sure if using them almost exclusively is appropriate; as such, they occur only twice in this exercise (sc. "praestarant" and "potuere"). Are there any conventions or guidelines that govern their usage? Any help on this would be much appreciated.
benissimus wrote:With skylax and whiteoctave gone, I'm not sure that we have any compositionists advanced enough to give you the kind of stylistic advice that you need
benissimus wrote:1) qui ... nolebat: sort of clumsy with the qui and eorum, I recommend removing eorum and replacing qui with quorum: quorum ante aduentum pugnare nolebat.
benissimus wrote:2) vincente: no doubt the compactness of an ablative absolute is very alluring here, but using a present participle here would imply not that the wing won, but that it was in the process of winning.
benissimus wrote:3) ab elephantis Pyrrhi: this is fine, but it might be better stylistically to express agency through Pyrrhus, e.g. a Pyrrho elephantis
benissimus wrote:I can't tell you their frequencies by author, but I think I've seen syncopation and -ere forms fairly frequently in Cicero (-ere is actually an alternate form, not a syncopation). I agree that you should not use them exclusively. Certain forms seem more prone to contraction, especially those where a short vowel is lost (as in the contracted perfect infinitive) rather than a long vowel (as in the 3rd person plural perfect). nosco and moueo (and eo, if you consider the -v- forms uncontracted) are particularly prone to syncopation, as you probably know.
benissimus wrote:(-ere is actually an alternate form, not a syncopation)
thesaurus wrote:May I ask where you are deriving these exercises from, and whether they're for a class? I need to practice my composition more.
thesaurus wrote:It appears from your earlier post that you're using Bradley Arnold's.
thesuarus wrote:A thought on syncopation/alternate forms: from what I know, someone like Cicero was very concerned with the rhythms, metrics, and suavitas of his prose, so I wouldn't be surprised if he chose alternates purely for artistic reasons.
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