Why the difference in tenses?


Civis Illustris
The main clause is in historical present.
Well I know that, but can you expound as to why they are different? What would be a good literal translation of the passage?


Civis Illustris
I don't fully understand the question. How is there a difference in tenses?


Staff member
Clauses that are dependent on a historical present-tense verb can take either primary- or secondary-tense verbs. Here, Caesar chose the secondary option.

A very literal translation of ut idem conaretur persuadet eique filiam suam in matrimonium dat would be "he persuades that he should attempt the same and gives him his daughter in marriage". Somewhat more idiomatically, it could be translated as "he persuaded him to attempt the same and gave him his daughter in marriage". (It is OK to translate historical presents as past-tense verbs in English, since the historical present isn't used much in literary English.)