DBG VI:21 -- how could they tell?

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Another little thing, from chapter 28.

Haec [cornua] studiose conquisita ab labris argento circumcludunt atque in amplissimis epulis pro poculis utuntur.

Shouldn't he have switched to an ablative for that second part of the sentence ("atque his...utuntur")? L&S does list a rare use of a direct object for utor, but apparently this is seen only in the gerundive in Classical Latin. Did Caesar just mess up?
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Ah, I see. But can ramus mean "finger"? That meaning isn't in L&S at any rate. Or are you saying it would just be understood to mean that metaphorically?
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Another little thing, from chapter 28.

Haec [cornua] studiose conquisita ab labris argento circumcludunt atque in amplissimis epulis pro poculis utuntur.

Shouldn't he have switched to an ablative for that second part of the sentence ("atque his...utuntur")? L&S does list a rare use of a direct object for utor, but apparently this is seen only in the gerundive in Classical Latin. Did Caesar just mess up?
Not really ... the use of uti (and other deponents like frui) + direct object was still known from Old Latin and it was retained in gerundive constructions. It doesn't seem to be much of a problem for me for that reason alone given that he constructs it parallely with circumludunt, which takes a direct object ... and that direct object is at the beginning of the sentence. And well, apart from all that, all he's leaving out (grammatically speaking) is an implied eis. I can at least easily see how he can arrive at such a sentence.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Ah, I see. But can ramus mean "finger"? That meaning isn't in L&S at any rate. Or are you saying it would just be understood to mean that metaphorically?
That was a comment I found, but I thought it made some sense. ramus cannot mean "finger" (that was an exaggeration, maybe), but I can relate to the picture of a hand with branches growing out of it. I think the -que actually does quite a bit of clarification because it enforces your reading. Without it, it could be read as "branches spreading out like palms" :>
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
I think the -que actually does quite a bit of clarification because it enforces your reading. Without it, it could be read as "branches spreading out like palms" :>
I suppose I was thinking of palma more in the "palm tree" meaning, which already implies the "branches" aspect, but I do see what you mean now.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
By someone who was stretching things or dreaming things up a bit, maybe. :D
It didn't seem to much of a stretch to me ...
I always had the palm of a hand in mind when I read palmae.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I guess it's possible that plama here means the palm of a hand, and that branches are said to be sprouting from it instead of fingers. That couldn't quite have been expressed by the single word manus, though, so I'm not sure it's right to call it a hendiadys.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Here is a bit of an interesting sentence (VI:37.4):

Circumfunduntur ex reliquis hostes partibus, si quem aditum reperire possent.

I suppose we're supposed to understand an implicit conantes or such in there?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I'm not sure you have to understand any implied word. But maybe. Dunno. I've never actually considered the question whether the construction had originated from an ellipsis at an earlier stage.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
So you can just have an indirect question hanging out by itself like that?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I don't know if it's an indirect question (it could be some derivation of a potential conditional), but whatever you call it, si + subjunctive can just "hang out by itself like that" with a meaning like "in case..." or "to see if...", yes.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Done (DBG VI)!! :banana:

Toward the end there were some interesting expressions which I hadn't seen before, like interdicere alicui aqua et igni (to forbid someone fire and water, i.e. to banish them) and supplicium sumere de aliquo (to exact punishment upon someone).

I think I'm going to do some Cicero next...the Pro Archia as that's what's on my PhD reading list (which I am slowly but surely working through). I should be able to get through at least that & one more thing before the end of the summer :)
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Toward the end there were some interesting expressions which I hadn't seen before, like interdicere alicui aqua et igni (to forbid someone fire and water, i.e. to banish them)
That's surprising because it is quite common an expression and also played a role in Cicero's biography.
Technically, it doesn't mean to banish somebody, though, at least not in the sense that you expel them. The Romans didn't expel people by means of an aquae et ignis interdictio until the very end of the Republic under Caesar's dictatorship (IIRC). An aquae et ignis interdictio simply prohibited people who were already gone from returning to Rome.

I suppose you could also consider this some kind of ban; but people often mistake the term for sending people into exile, which it doesn't mean. (And by people I mean even a lot of scholars)
 
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