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Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

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Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby jamesbath » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:29 pm

My question concerns the first sentence of paragraph 22, Liber III, page 168 and it's translation on the facing page, 169.

"Qua re impetrata arma tradere iussi faciunt."

Translated: "Their request was granted, and they proceeded to deliver up their arms as ordered."

Now "iussi" is first person singular, perfect tense, and means "I ordered" (unless I'm wrong). This is strange to me because Crassus did the ordering but up to this point he is has been written about in the third person, I think. Did the Latin scribe who wrote this account make a mistake? Should he have written "iussit" (3rd pers perf) instead?

And while I'm asking, should not "faciunt" have been "faciebant" instead? The translation seems to reflect the imperfect tense instead of the present, as the original Latin has it.

Anyway, I know that many liberties must be taken in translating. But this question is representative of many similar occurrences throughout the book. I think an experienced answer to it will clear a few stumbling blocks out or my way in the future.

Thanks,
James
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby adrianus » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:22 pm

Salve jamesbath

iussi = (also) first person plural masculine past participle ("they having been ordered")
// et participium praeteritum primae personae masculini generis pluraliter

In Latin as in English, etc. // Sicut anglicè latiné et aliis linguis:
A&G §469 wrote:The Present in lively narrative is often used for the Historic Perfect...
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby jamesbath » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:14 am

Adrianus,

Gratias tibi ago. You've given me something I can sharpen my focus on.

Vales,
James
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby adrianus » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:41 am

jamesbath wrote:Gratias tibi ago. You've given me something I can sharpen my focus on.

And to you, James, because it works both ways: you give something we all can sharpen our focus on. And, if I'm wrong, I'll be corrected, too. Win, win.

Et tibi, Jacobe, —quia invicem agit: id quod paras patitur ut animum nobis acuamus. Et si erravero ego, equidem corrigar. Utrinquè vincimus.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby edonnelly » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:04 am

adrianus wrote:iussi = (also) first person plural masculine past participle ("they having been ordered")

I wouldn't call it "first person," though. Participles don't really have person, and even if they did, this would be third person.
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby ptolemyauletes » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:38 pm

Just a few more notes...

iussi is, as noted, a perfect passive participle in this instance.

A more literal translation of this passage may be

'with which matter obtained, having been ordered to hand over arms, they do.'



The present use here is the so-called historical present, used to create a vividness in the prose.

'So I was in a bar last night with my friends when all of a sudden a guy walks up to me and says...'
Note the change to the present. This is often how we tell stories to make them sound real and exciting.
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby adrianus » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:51 pm

edonnelly wrote:I wouldn't call it "first person," though. Participles don't really have person, and even if they did, this would be third person.

You're right, of course, Ed. I should have said "nominative case", not "first person"! Case in point! Thanks.
Verum quidem dicis. Edouine. "Nominativo casu" non "primae personae" dicerem! Veram rem provisam! Gratias.
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby jamesbath » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:29 pm

ptolemyauletes wrote:'So I was in a bar last night with my friends when all of a sudden a guy walks up to me and says...'
Note the change to the present. This is often how we tell stories to make them sound real and exciting.


Analogia docens. Gratias tibi ago.
(An enlightening analogy. Thank you.)

Vales,
James
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby vastor » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:08 am

jamesbath wrote:"Qua re impetrata arma tradere iussi faciunt."

An interesting sentence. I would break down the structure of it as follows:
Qua re impetrata - This looks like the ablative absolute construction, where qua is an interrogative adjectival modifier of re, and the attendant circumstance appears to be temporal in nature: After what matter had been entreated, they who have been commanded to surrender (their) arms, do.
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby jamesbath » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:42 pm

vastor wrote:Qua re impetrata - This looks like the ablative absolute construction, where qua is an interrogative adjectival modifier of re, and the attendant circumstance appears to be temporal in nature: After what matter had been entreated, they who have been commanded to surrender (their) arms, do.


Thanks for jumping in. What I understand impetrare to mean is: "to actively obtain" something "by asking for it" or entreating someone for it. So impetrata being passive perfect participle of that should mean: to be in a state of "having received a thing that had been asked for" -- that is, not only having asked for it but having received it as well.

Or am I wrong?

I can see that the second part of your translation is spot on. I'm just confused about the first part.
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby vastor » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:33 pm

jamesbath wrote:
vastor wrote:Qua re impetrata - This looks like the ablative absolute construction, where qua is an interrogative adjectival modifier of re, and the attendant circumstance appears to be temporal in nature: After what matter had been entreated, they who have been commanded to surrender (their) arms, do.


Thanks for jumping in. What I understand impetrare to mean is: "to actively obtain" something "by asking for it" or entreating someone for it. So impetrata being passive perfect participle of that should mean: to be in a state of "having received a thing that had been asked for" -- that is, not only having asked for it but having received it as well.

Or am I wrong?


I think you are correct. It should have been: obtained/procured by way of asking/entreating. Apologies for the confusion, mea culpa.
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby Damoetas » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:14 pm

Yeah, it especially makes sense if you consider the preceding context. Crassus has been besieging a town of the Sotiates; when they realize that they can't hold out any longer, legatos ad Crassum mittunt seque in deditionem ut recipiat petunt. Qua re impetrata ... "They send legates to Crassus and ask him to accept their surrender. When the request had been granted ..."
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby vastor » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:23 pm

That seems to make better sense now, thanks Damoetas.
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby Imber Ranae » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:04 pm

jamesbath wrote:
vastor wrote:Qua re impetrata - This looks like the ablative absolute construction, where qua is an interrogative adjectival modifier of re, and the attendant circumstance appears to be temporal in nature: After what matter had been entreated, they who have been commanded to surrender (their) arms, do.


Thanks for jumping in. What I understand impetrare to mean is: "to actively obtain" something "by asking for it" or entreating someone for it. So impetrata being passive perfect participle of that should mean: to be in a state of "having received a thing that had been asked for" -- that is, not only having asked for it but having received it as well.


Careful. Impetrata agrees with re, so: "the thing (which was asked for) having been obtained". Remember that it's a perfect passive participle.
Ex mala malo
bono malo uesci
quam ex bona malo
malo malo malo.
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Re: Loeb's Caesar The Gallic War question

Postby jamesbath » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:33 pm

Imber Ranae wrote:Careful. Impetrata agrees with re, so: "the thing (which was asked for) having been obtained". Remember that it's a perfect passive participle.


Thanks, Imber Ranae, for adding to this discussion. I did use the Present Active Infinitive in my reply to Vastor because I considered it a kind of root of the whole unified idea of "asking for something and receiving it". I wasn't focused on activity or passivity in my hurry to get across the idea that the state of "asking" and the state of "receiving" were, in this verb, actually two characteristics or aspects of only one thing -- "the state of procuring/receiving a thing in the flavor of having asked for it".

Anyway, though I may not have mastered the whole of the idea of this verb and its participles, my focus is now much better in regard to participles in general. I thank you and everybody else who chimed in.

Gratias vobis ago,
James
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