Immaculate Conception Academy
Latin III: Caesar, De Bello Gallico
Instructor: James Ransom
November 13, 2017
Caesar DBG 4:24
 1 At barbari, consilio Romanorum cognito, praemisso equitatu et essedariis, quo plerumque genere in proeliis uti consuerunt, reliquis copiis subsecuti nostros navibus egredi prohibebant. 2 Erat ob has causas summa difficultas, quod naves propter magnitudinem nisi in alto constitui non poterant, militibus autem, ignotis locis, impeditis manibus, magno et gravi onere armorum oppressis simul et de navibus desiliendum et in fluctibus consistendum et cum hostibus erat pugnandum, 3 cum illi aut ex arido aut paulum in aquam progressi omnibus membris expeditis, notissimis locis, audacter tela coicerent et equos insuefactos incitarent. 4 Quibus rebus nostri perterriti atque huius omnino generis pugnae imperiti, non eadem alacritate ac studio quo in pedestribus uti proeliis consuerant utebantur.
 1 At barbari, consilio Romanorum cognito praemisso equitatu et essedariis But the hostiles had anticipated the Roman strategy and sent their cavalry and chariots on ahead;
“consilio Romanorum cognito”: ablative absolute, “the plan of the Romans having been perceived.”
“consilio” is ablative singular of consilium, consilii n. (2), “plan.”
“cognito” is ablative masculine singular of the perfect passive participle of cognosco, cognoscere, cognovi, cognitum (3).
“barbari” is nominative plural of barbarus, barbari m. (1/2), “savage; foreigner.”
“praemisso equitatu et essedariis: ablative absolute with two nouns; mobile troops were sent in advance; “with cavalry and charioteers having been sent forward
“praemisso” is ablative masculine singular of the perfect passive participle of praemitto, praemittere, praemissi, praemissum, “to send forward or ahead.” The participle “praemisso” controls the two ablatives, “equitatu” et “essedariis: ablative absolute.
“The ablatives of a participle and a noun (or pronoun) are used to form a
substitute for a subordinate clause defining the circumstances or situation in which
the action of the main verb occurs. The ablatives are only loosely connected
grammatically to the remainder of the sentence, hence its name absolute.”
(absolütus = free or unconnected).”
quo plerumque genere in proeliis uti consuerunt which is their standard battle tactic;
“quo…genere”: which kind (of warfare); ablative object of “uti,’ the complementary infinitive of the the deponent “utor.”
The adjective “plerum” = “most; almost all.”
“genere” is ablative singular of genus, generis n. (3), “kind, type, class.”
“consuerunt” is third person plural perfect indicative active of consuo, consuere, consui, consutum, “to devise, plan [lit., “to stitch or patch together”].
“uti” is present infinitive active of the deponent verb utor, usi, usus sum, “to use, employ.”
“proeliis” is ablative plural of proelium, proelii n. (2), “battle.”
reliquis copiis subsecuti nostros navibus egredi prohibebant the infantry then followed on and were preventing our troops’ efforts to disembark;
“prohibebant” is third person plural imperfect indicative active of prohibeo, prohibere, prohibui, prohibitum.
“egredi” is present infinitive active of the deponent egredior, egredi, egressus sum, “march out, disembark.”
“subsecuti” is the perfect participle of the deponent subsequor, subsequi, subsecutus sum.
“copiis” is ablative plural of copia, copiae f. (1), “supply, abundance; [plural] troops, forces.”
“navibus” is ablative plural of navis, navis f. (3), “ship.” Ablative of place from which
2 Erat ob has causas summa difficultas, quod naves propter magnitudinem nisi in alto constitui non poterant This was the cause of a great deal of trouble, since on account of their size, the ships could not drop anchor except in deep water;
“difficultas” is nominative singular of difficultas, difficultatis f. (3), “difficulty, distress, trouble.”
“has” is accusative feminine plural of hic, haec, hoc.
“causas” is accusative plural of causa, causae f. (1), “cause, reason.”
“poterant” is third person plural imperfect indicative active of possum, posse, potui.
“constitui” is present passive infinitive of constituo, constituere, constitui, constitutum.
“causas” is accusative plural of the first declension noun causa, causae, f., “cause, reason, situation.”
“nisi in alto”: “except in the deep”; the Roman ships did not have flattened keels to come closer to the shore.
militibus autem, ignotis locis, impeditis manibus, magno et gravi onere armorum oppressis simul et de navibus desiliendum et in fluctibus consistendum et cum hostibus erat pugnandum while the landing force, unfamiliar with the terrain, their hands full, impeded by their heavy armor and weaponry, had to simultaneously leap from the ships, find a foothold in the surf, and engage the enemy;
“militibus”: dative of agent with passive periphrastics “desilendum,” “consistendum,” and “pugnandum erat.”
“the soldiers having been overcome”; dative of agent of passive periphrastic “desiliendum erat” it was necessary for [dative of agent] to jump down.”
“Arguably, the most difficult thing about the passive periphrastic is its name. "Periphrastic" is derived from Greek and refers to a "roundabout (peri-) way of saying (-phrastic) something"—cf. the Latin-based term circumlocution ("speak around")—in this case "something said in an indirect way using the passive voice." A more descriptive and precise name might be the "gerundive of obligation or necessity."
"pugnandum" is the future passive participle (gerundive) of pugno, pugnare, pugnavi, pugnatum, "fight, combat, give battle, engage"; the future passive sense would literally be something like "the enemy which is to be fought," however, as Steadman suggests, an active translation is necessary. "consistendum" and "desiliendum" are also gerundives. See Steadman's note to line 6.
“manibus impeditis”: ablative absolute, “with their hands having become entangled.”
“locis ignotis”: ablative absolute, “with the local places being unfamiliar”
“consistendum” passive periphrastic, “it was necessary for [dative of agent] to take a stand”
“pugnandum”: passive periphrastic, “it was necessary for [dative of agent] to fight
3 cum illi aut ex arido aut paulum in aquam progressi omnibus membris expeditis, notissimis locis, audacter tela coicerent et equos insuefactos incitarent meanwhile the opposition, some on the shore and others advancing just into the surf, knew the lay of the land perfectly, fought with both hands free, and hurled their missiles and managed their trained warhorses with audacity and skill;
“notissimus”: superlative of “notus,” “very familiar. “notissimus locus: ablative absolute, “with the local places being well known”; supply “being.”
“omnis membris expeditis”: ablative absolute, “with all their limbs free”
"incitarent" is third person plural imperfect active subjunctive of incito, incitare, incitavi, incitatum, "to incite, encourage, spur on."
"coicerent: is third person plural imperfect active subjunctive of coicio, coicere, coieci, coiecutum, "to throw, hurl."
audacter: adv., "boldly fearlessly."
"expeditis" is second person plural present indicative active of expedio, expedire, expedivi, expeditum, "to expedite, deploy, gain."
"progressi" is perfect participle of the deponent progredior, progredi, progressus sum, "to advance, march forth."
The adjective “insuefactos,” modifying “equos,” is accusative masculine plural of insuefactus, insuefacta, insuefactum (1/2), “well-trained.”
4 Quibus rebus nostri perterriti atque huius omnino generis pugnae imperiti, non eadem alacritate ac studio quo in pedestribus uti proeliis consuerant utebantur All these things swept fear through our men, who lacked the training to storm a defended shoreline, and thus did not display the same elan and intensity they typically brought to land warfare;
“quibus rebus”: “by which circumstances”; ablative of means or cause; Caesar often uses a relative pronoun for transition where English employs a demonstrative.
“quo”: ablative object of “uti.”
“nostri”: “our men.” Genitive plural of ego. “huius…generis pugnae”: genitive governed by the adjective “imperiti.” “generis” is genitive singular of genus, generis n. (3), “kind, type, class.” The adjective “imperiti” is genitive singular of imperitus, imperita, imperitum (1/2), “inexperienced.”
“eadem…studio” ablative objects of “utebantur.”
"utebantur" is third person plural imperfect indicative active of the deponent utor, uti, usus sum, "to use, enjoy." "consuerant" is third person plural pluperfect indicative active of consuesco, consuescere, consuescevi, consuetum, "to accustom." "uti" is present infinitive of the deponent utor, uti, usus sum.