Key to Reading Unit 12

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Unit Key 13

Unit 12

  1. To have conquered nations (lit. conquered nations, i.e. the conquering of nations) is of no use in love. (Propertius, II, 7, 6; Propertius is one of the three surviving elegiac poets from the Augustan age; the other two are Tibullus and Ovid. An elegiac poet is one who wrote in elegiac couplets - 25.1/3).

  2. When the war against the Helvetii had ended (lit. war of the Helvetii having been finished) envoys from (lit. of) almost all Gaul, the chiefs of their communities, came to congratulate Caesar (lit. came to Caesar to congratulate [him] - gratulatum is a supine; note that legatus has two meanings: (i) envoy, as above; (ii) a person of a certain rank in the Roman army whom we usually call in English a legate). (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, I, 30, 1).

  3. Vercingetorix, after quickly collecting an army, sent Lucterius Cadurcus, a man of the utmost recklessness, against the Ruteni with part of his forces; he himself marched against the Bituriges. On his arrival the Bituriges sent envoys to the Haedui, to whom they were loyal (lit. in whose allegiance they were), to ask for assistance (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, VII, 5, 1-2 adapted).

  4. When that day came the Carnutes under the leadership of Cotuatus and Conconnetodumnus, [both] desperate men, assembled at Cenabum (lit. ran together to C.) when the signal had been given, and killed the Roman citizens who were there and looted their property. The news went quickly to all the communities of Gaul. For when any important and noteworthy event occurs (quae is the indefinite adjective; see 10.1/1i) they (i.e. the Gauls) make it known by shouting over fields and districts; next, others take this up (hunc refers back to clamore) and pass it on to their neighbours, as then happened. For [the news of] what had been done at Cenabum at sunrise was heard (lit. what things had been done . . . were heard) in the territory of the Arverni before the end of the first watch, which is a distance of about 160 miles (for purposes of guard-duty the Roman army divided the night into four watches). (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, VII, 3 adapted)

  5. I saw the daughter of Tyndareus staying by the threshold (pl. for s.) of [the temple of] Vesta and quietly (tacitam is an adjective but should be translated as an adverb; see 17.1/3) hiding in a secluded place (aspicio vivid present, as also dant in the next sentence); the fires gave a clear light for me as I wandered and directed my eyes about (passim) over everything (lit. for [me] wandering and bringing . . .). She, the common fury of Troy and her country (i.e. she had been a curse to both), fearing the Trojans (Teucri) [who were] hostile to her on account of the overthrow of Troy (Pergama (n. pl.) = Troy) and [fearing] the punishment of the Greeks (Danai (3 syllables) = Greeks) and the anger (pl. for s.) of her deserted husband, had hidden herself and, hateful [woman], was sitting at the altar (pl. for s.). (Vergil, Aeneid, II, 567-574; despite its obvious merit this passage is probably falsely attributed to Vergil).

  6. To sing is to pray twice (orare in this sense is medieval; presumably the extra effort of singing counts for more).

  7. A person who gives quickly to a needy man gives twice.

  8. After suffering misfortune a fool is wise (lit. misfortune having been received . . .).

  9. Old men [are] boys twice.

  10. Anyone at all (quivis) collects wood when a tree has been felled (i.e. after the hard work of felling a tree anyone can benefit).

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(c) Gavin Betts 2000