in laevīs habuerant

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in laevīs habuerant

Post by phil » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:44 pm

The Sabini are attacking Rome, and have found Tarpeia, a Roman maiden, outside the walls.

Titus Tatius, Sabīnōrum dux, Tarpēiae optiōnem mūneris dedit, sī exercitum suum in Capitōlium perdūxisset. Illa petiit, quod Sabīnī in sinistrīs manibus gererent, vidēlicet aureōs ānulōs et armillās. Quibus dolōsē prōmissīs, Tarpēia Sabīnōs in arcem perdūxit, ubi Tatius scūtīs eam obruī iussit ; nam et ea in laevīs habuerant. Sīc impia prōditiō celerī poenā vindicāta est.

Titus Tatius, the Sabini's leader, gave Tarpeia a choice of gifts, if she would lead his army into the Capitol. She asked for what the Sabini were wearing on their left hands, namely gold rings and bracelets. Titus deceitfully promised these, and she led the army into the citadel, where Titus ordered that she be buried under shields, because already they'd had these on their left arms. In such a way treacherous betrayal is revenged by a swift punishment.

Why is habuerant plural? I thought it was just Tarpeia, and it should be nam et ea in laevā habuerat "because she'd already had these on her left hand.". What, then is the subject of habuerant? What have I missed?

Cheers, Phil

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Re: in laevīs habuerant

Post by Alatius » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:23 am ea in laevīs habuerant...
They had had also these on their left arms.

Note that the form of the verb is pluperfect (-erant, not -erint). There is no word in the original corresponding to your "already" (usually jam).

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Re: in laevīs habuerant

Post by ingrid70 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:35 am

Tarpeia asked for the rings and bracelets the soldiers had, but instead she gets the shields they were holding in their left hands. They were thrown upon her, and killing her that way. So the soldiers are the subject of habuerant.


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