De Bello Gallico: Liber Primus - Forum Book Club

By Decimvs, in 'De Bello Gallico', May 18, 2010.

  1. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
    I've recently noticed that there are books that compile longer Latin texts didactically, so it's easier for students to grasp their content: The present certain important excerpts in Latin (with a commentary providing vocabulary) and sum up less important or less interesting content coming between the texts in your native language. I wonder if something like this exists in English. I would certainly be helpful since you both make more progress within the opus and still don't miss out on translating important Latin text passages
  2. Reziac Member

    The history book that first got me interested in Latin was presented more or less that way (I don't recall the title, lo these 40 years later). It's an old technique, apparently being revived.

    However, for this particular discussion, I'm interested in seeing both the original and a good complete translation, exactly as we've been doing.
  3. EricDi Member

    A pulse here. I thought I'd ease into a reading group - but have difficulty finding the latest on this Topic and whether it persists or not. (Having read through some of the chain, as best as I could follow it, I found Decimus's coments on the nature of the text re-encouraging towad its import; this was clearly a calulated text and fascinating in that regard.)
  4. Reziac Member

    Caesar is dead and resents being dug up, and has taken drastic steps to ensure his undisturbed rest.

  5. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
    yeah, he's evil
  6. Decimus Canus Civis Illustris

    He got into Vince's dream.
  7. EricDi Member

    But <I> wanted to devour his soul!
    (Sorry to hear it's terminated. Thanks for closing the loop.)
  8. Decimvs Aedilis

    I am seriously going to renew this thread soon. It needs to be broken up, perhaps into separate posts by passage or something.
  9. Alacritas Member

    Serdica, Bulgaria
    Decimus --

    Would it be possible to revive this? I just read through the whole thread, and not having looked at how many pages there were, was expecting to be behind in my reading -- but actually I'm just about there, right in the beginning of the first book (Chapter 8, to be specific).

    Perhaps we could keep going? I quite enjoyed reading the discussion of the text.

    On a more practical note, I have a bit of difficulty in parsing this one sentence from Chapter 2:

    "Id hoc facilius eis persuasit quod undique loci natura Helvetii continentur [...]"

    Is "loci" nom. pl.? If that's the case, with "natura" being (as I interpret it) abl. s., it's "from all places by nature the Helvetii are contained"?
  10. socratidion Civis Illustris

    I should probably look at the context before I go butting in, but I'm inclined to take loci as genitive with the ablative natura, 'because on all sides the Helvetii are hemmed in by the nature of the place'. Technically it could have been nom pl., but I would stumble over "Helvetii loci" meaning "Helvetian localities".
  11. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    it has to be genitive with the abl. natura
  12. Alacritas Member

    Serdica, Bulgaria
    This makes a lot more sense than nom. pl.

    Thank you!
  13. DominaD New Member

    For id hoc facilius iis persuasit, quod undique loci natura Helvetii continentur, what is the use of the ablative for natura? I found an old text that gives the use as an ablative of source, but that seems odd. Any thoughts?
  14. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    abl of means
  15. socratidion Civis Illustris

    Though Matthaeus is right, I think you could look at it as an ablative of source/cause too = from the nature of the place, ie because of the nature of the place. There's something about this in Woodcock's New Latin Syntax (section 45, if you can find it), where he says that in a phrase like morbo perire (to die of a disease), the disease could be regarded equally well as the means or cause of death.

    Which all boils down to: the precise label doesn't really matter, does it?
  16. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
    I think so too
  17. W. Micawber New Member

    Damn, I just joined this sit when I saw this reading group; I can't believe after all that it's not active! I don't suppose anyone out there is reading this and interested in starting up again?

    Or in answering my beginner's question from paragraph 1:

    "Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt..."

    My Loeb edition translates: "For this cause the Helvetii also excel the rest of the Gauls in valor..."

    What are the cases of "qua" and "causa"? And what is "de" the preposition of? Why isn't the phrase something like "hac causa..."?

  18. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    Qua de causa is basically a set phrase meaning "for which reason", "wherefore" — the object of de is qua causa, both in the ablative. You'll find that the preposition often splits phrases like that.

    Literally, I suppose it's "from which cause".

    I might be up to trying to work through Caesar again.
  19. W. Micawber New Member

    Wow, thanks for the quick reply Nikolaos!

    If you or anyone else has something more exciting than the Gallic War that you'd be more enthused about reading, I'm certainly game. I'm just coming back to Latin after nearly a decade's absence and though Caesar would be a good thing to ease back in with. But I love this idea of collective reading with questions and analysis on a forum like this, so I'm willing to get behind any consensus on a text.
  20. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    I see this Book Club has been defunct for quite some time ;) but I don't suppose anyone might be interested in reviving it -- not for Caesar, but for a different work?

    To be specific, I'm preparing to read through Apuleius' Metamorphoses over the next few months, and it would be fun to have company. :)

    Here's a short blurb from Wikipedia if any are interested:

    The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, which St. Augustine referred to as The Golden Ass (Asinus aureus), is the only Ancient Roman novel in Latin to survive in its entirety.
    The protagonist of the novel is called Lucius. At the end of the novel, he is revealed to be from Madaurus, in ancient Algeria,the hometown of Apuleius himself. The plot revolves around the protagonist's curiosity (curiositas) and insatiable desire to see and practice magic. While trying to perform a spell to transform into a bird, he is accidentally transformed into an ass. This leads to a long journey, literal and metaphorical, filled with in-set tales. He finally finds salvation through the intervention of the goddess Isis, whose cult he joins.

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