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North and Hillard Ex 40A

Posted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:31 am
by jacknoutch
Another North and Hillard's Latin Prose Composition exercise, focussing on expressions of time, place and space.

Here's the English:
Three days after we crossed a river forty-five feet broad. From this river we marched along a good road for four days, and came to Carthage. For a short time we stayed in the city, but for fear of the citizens soon left it and made a camp upon the seashore. Food was brought to the camp from the country every day. At the beginning of spring we marched to Utica, a town which had been captured by the Romans five years before.
And here's my Latin:
tribus post diēbus transiimus flūmen quīnque et quadrāgintā pedēs lātum, unde quatuor diēs viā bonā contendimus et tandem Carthāginem perventum est. in urbe manēbāmus paulum, sed metuentēs cīvium mox discessimus ut castra in lītore pōnērēmus, quō frumentum rūre in castra cōtīdiē allātum est. prīmō vēre Uticam prōgressī sumus, quod oppidum ab Rōmānīs quīnque ante annīs captum erat.
Following mwh's advice from my last exercise, I've been more willing to destroy punctuation in favour of connecting the ideas. I'm also aware that I've rendered the factual "and made a camp upon the seashore" into a purpose clause; but the text continues to make it clear that the camp actually was put there.

As ever, I'm obliged to any corrections and comments on the points I've picked out, or any things else.

Re: North and Hillard Ex 40A

Posted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 10:02 pm
by mwh
A valiant and mostly successful attempt. Well done!
I think it’s helpful for compositional and analytical purposes to reduce the syntax to skeletal form. For instance in your version of this piece you have two sentences in asyndeton (without any kind of connection with what precedes): in urbe …, primo vere …, and these provide your main structure. That’s more English than Latin.
And is coordination (et) really the best way of representing the relation between “we marched … and came …”?, especially when you’re so keen on subordinating so much of the rest.
These are larger compositional issues, of course, but it’s as well to bear them in mind all along.
My point about punctuation was just that if the Latin is to flow well it will be intelligible without it. No piece of prose should depend on the punctuation. Ciceronian prose is instructive here.

metuentēs cīvium as if metuo takes genitive?!

manēbāmus paulum rather calls for mox tamen following.

Re: North and Hillard Ex 40A

Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:34 pm
by jacknoutch
Thanks - insightful as ever.

metuō does take the genitive! L&S:
Hence, mĕtŭens, entis, P. a., fearing, afraid of any thing; anxious for any person or thing; with gen. or absol.
but I've left out the following note, my downfall:
(mostly poet. and in post-Aug. prose)
Doh! I'm just too poetic for my own good. I remember that when I was writing, I didn't like the ring of metuentēs cīvēs, because it would leave an ambiguous, more apparent reading that it was the citizens who were afraid. Perhaps a noun phrase like the English would serve it better, propter timōrem cīvium.