vastor wrote:What concerns me is "a Caesare". I would have expected it to accompany a passive verb form as it often denotes the ablative of personal agent. Unless it just means separation/deprivation?
Well, one of the construction with "quaero" is with "ab" indicating the person you're asking whatever from. But I think this is just one of the usual meanings of "ab", like "from" in English.
vastor wrote:Firstly, it didn't quite match the translation in the key (note legio):
Caesar rumore audito imperavit ut legiones celerius (citius) progrederentur.
Ignoring the word order, the case of legiones is odd because I thought impero takes a dative argument? I realise this is probably a substantive clause of purpose, but shouldn't impero be governing the dative of legio?
"Impero" has different constructions, one like yours with the dative, and the other where the person being ordered is put inside the ut-clause as the subject (so in the nominative). I don't think there's a difference in meaning and I don't think you're translation is incorrect. If you look at the dictionary entry for "impero"
there are a number of attested constructions.
While semantically indistinguishable, the syntax differs slightly because the english heard can be imperfect or past participle. So my question is, could both translations be reasonably accurate or does the english construction necessitate the use of the ablative absolute?
This has confused me in the past as well. The thing is that Latin is much stricter about the relative time of the participle compared to the main verb than English. So In English you can say, "Hearing the rumour, he ordered..." to mean "when he heard the rumour, he ordered..." but in Latin the present participle means that it happens at the same time so "rumorem audiens imperavit..." means "while he was hearing the rumour, he ordered..."