Bellum Catilinae 56.4

By legio septima, in 'Reading Latin', May 15, 2019.

  1. legio septima Member

    Hello everyone,
    There are some expressions in piece 4 that I don’t fully understand. I hope you can explain me how to interpret them.

    [4] Sed postquam Antōnius cum exercitū adventābat, Catilīna per montīs iter facere, modo ad urbem, modo Galliam* vorsus castra movēre, hostibus occāsiōnem pugnandī nōn dare. spērābat propediem magnās cōpiās sēsē habitūrum, sī Rōmae sociī incepta patrāvissent**.

    My translation
    [4]However after Antonius was approaching with army, Catilina made jurney through the mountains; moved the camp merely toward the city, merely in direction of Gaul, gave enemies no occasion to fight. He was hoping to have to himself at near time large troops, if roman associates would have accomplished the plans

    *modo ad ... modo - ? Is he talking about distance between two points?

    **sē habitūrum (esse), sī…patrāvissent - is this some sort of future less vivid conditional. Why protasis is in plusperfect subjunctive?
  2. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    with his army

    modo A ... modo B in that repetition means something like "at one moment A, at another moment B" or "sometimes A, sometimes B". So "he moved his camp sometimes towards the city, sometimes towards Gaul"


    It is in the pluperfect because of the sequence of tenses. The pluperfect actually just means that the sentence antecedes the actions described in the AcI. "He was hoping he would have large troops in the near future, if his associates in Rome accomplish their plans".

    If the last sentence was not dependent on sperabat, it would be "propediem magnas copias habebit, si socii Romae incepta patraverint."
  3. legio septima Member

    I see. Thank You.
  4. AoM nulli numeri

    • Civis Illustris
  5. legio septima Member

    Thank you AoM for the link.

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