vadēs sisti

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vadēs sisti

Post by phil » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:32 am

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus is beseiging a town he wishes to conquer.

Quōdam diē iūs in castrīs sedēns dīcēbat Scīpiō atque ex eō locō id oppidum procul vidēbātur. Tum e mīlitibus, quī in iūre apud eum stābant, interrogāvit quispiam ex mōre, in quem diem locumque vadēs sistī iubēret. Et Scīpiō manum ad ipsam oppidī quod obsidēbātur, arcem prōtendēns, "Perendiē," inquit "sēsē sistant illō in locō."

One day, Scipio was holding court in his camp, and from there, that town seemed a good distance away. Then one of his soldiers who was standing near him in court asked, according to custom, on which day and where you will go to be set he (Scipio) would order. And Scipio, pointing at very citadel the town he was beseiging, "The day after tomorrow," he said "they themselves are placed in that place."

I absolutely cannot make sense of 'vadēs sistī', to such an extent that I don't even know what questions to ask, but it must mean something like 'what day he would order the court to sit, and with 'sēsē sistant' I'm no better. It must mean 'we will sit in that place', but beyond that I've got nowhere.

Please someone help! Cheers, Phil.

Imber Ranae
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Re: vadēs sisti

Post by Imber Ranae » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:23 am

The placement of the commas seems a little strange in your text...

The word vadēs is a noun here, accusative plural of vas, vadis, a juridical term for securities. The verb sistere is used in such contexts to mean "cause to appear [in court]". So ...interrogāvit quispiam ex mōre in quem diem locumque vadēs sistī iubēret. = "one [of the soldiers] asked, according to custom, for which day and place he ordered the securities to appear."

In the other sentence, sistant is jussive subjunctive, and with the reflexive pronoun it literally means "let them cause themselves to be set [i.e. let them appear]". Thus: "Perendiē," inquit, "sēsē sistant illō in locō." = "'The day after tomorrow,' he said 'let them appear in yon place.'"
Ex mala malo
bono malo uesci
quam ex bona malo
malo malo malo.

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