Tantum molis erat, urbs condita

betterbr

New Member
Can anyone tell me which is the meaning (if any) of the following sentence:

"Tantum molis erat, urbs condita"

Thank you in advance.

Daniel, from Brazil
 

Nikolaos

schmikolaos
Staff member
Re: Question

Hm, one could try to shoehorn a meaning into that phrase, but it isn't worth it. The original phrase was tantae molis erat romanam condere gentem, from Vergil's Aeneid, which means (to quote an existing translation) "so great a task it was to found the Roman people".
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Re: Question

Read the pink banner above.
The Aeneid l.33 reads tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem, it was such a great task to establish the Roman people.
 

socratidion

Civis Illustris
Re: Question

Whatever misgivings one may have about its provenance, or indeed its elegance, the given phrase does at least make some kind of sense, doesn't it? I mean, it's not completely ungrammatical: the founding of the city was so much of a burden.
 

Nikolaos

schmikolaos
Staff member
Question

That would make sense as urbem condere, but it really seems a stretch for urbs condita, to me at least. I do admit that a meaning could be given to it which would account for the grammar, but it seems odd to have to make up a meaning which wasn't the original intention of the phrase.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Re: Question

Nikolaos dixit:
That would make sense as urbem condere, but it really seems a stretch for urbs condita, to me at least.
Socratidion is right, actually. urbs condita is fine for "the founding of the city". I just wonder why somebody put a comma in there
 

Nikolaos

schmikolaos
Staff member
Re: Question

Bitmap dixit:
Nikolaos dixit:
That would make sense as urbem condere, but it really seems a stretch for urbs condita, to me at least.
Socratidion is right, actually. urbs condita is fine for "the founding of the city". I just wonder why somebody put a comma in there
Really? It sounded odd to me, and I thought that AVC was just some sort of idiomatic oddity.

Anyway, I believe you. So, I ask this not out of doubt, but out of the urge to learn the construction thoroughly - can anyone offer an explanation of this sort of thing from a good grammar?
 
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