De Bello Gallico: Liber Primus - Forum Book Club

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Decimvs dixit:
Sorry that this has taken so long. I am going to start chopping up this thread and making new ones very soon.

We will do readings from De Bello Gallico Liber Primus, and there will be a thread for each chapter (or maybe for every 2-3 so that the Reading Forum does not appear overrun with Caesar threads) - Latin text and translations (the usual) as the first post, and then discussion of that chapter below.
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
 

Reziac

Member
Bitmap dixit:
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
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.
 

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.)
Thanks.
 

Reziac

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

:hide:
 

Alacritas

Member
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"?
 

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".
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
it has to be genitive with the abl. natura
 

Alacritas

Member
Matthaeus dixit:
it has to be genitive with the abl. natura
socratidion dixit:
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".
This makes a lot more sense than nom. pl.

Thank you!
 

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?
 

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?
 

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..."?

Thanks!
 

Nikolaos

schmikolaos
Staff member
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.
 

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.
 

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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