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Latin Online

Lesson 2

Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum

This selection is taken from Book 2, Section 10 of Livy's history. It deals with an episode in the struggle of the Romans to maintain themselves. Aeneas is assumed to have landed in Latium shortly before 750 B.C. In the following 250 years the Romans maintained themselves, but had conflicts with other peoples, especially the Etruscans.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The Etruscans were at the gates of Rome in 503, and set out to enter the city over a bridge across the Tiber River. The Romans retreated over it into the city and set out to destroy it. While they were doing so, it was defended by three men. Horatius Cocles asked the two others to withdraw as well and then held off the Etruscans by himself until the bridge was destroyed. He then plunged into the river and swam across in full armor. The episode was greatly celebrated. It formed the topic of the poem on Horatius in Thomas Babingdon Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome of 1842. (A passage after the sentence ending in pontis was omitted, to avoid undue length of this selection.)

Cum hostes adessent, pro se quisque in urbem ex agris demigrant, urbem ipsam saepiunt praesidiis.

  • cum -- conjunction; <cum> since, when -- when
  • hostes -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <hostis, hostis> enemy -- enemies
  • adessent -- verb; 3rd person plural imperfect subjunctive of <adsum, adesse, adfui> be present -- appeared
  • pro -- preposition; <pro> for, before -- for
  • se -- reflexive pronoun; ablative of <sui> self -- self
  • quisque -- indefinite pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <quisque, quaeque, quodque> everyone -- each for himself
  • in -- preposition; <in> in, on -- in
  • urbem -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <urbs, urbis> city -- into the city
  • ex -- preposition; <ex> out of, from -- from
  • agris -- noun, masculine; ablative plural of <ager, agri> land -- the fields
  • demigrant -- verb; 3rd person plural present indicative of <demigro, demigrare, demigravi, demigratum> withdraw -- withdrew
  • urbem -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <urbs, urbis> city -- urbs
  • ipsam -- intensive pronoun; accusative singular feminine of <ipse, ipsa, ipsum> self -- itself
  • saepiunt -- verb; 3rd person plural present indicative of <saepio, saepire, saepsi, saeptum> surround -- they surrounded
  • praesidiis -- noun, neuter; dative plural of <praesidium, praesidii> guard -- with guards

Alia muris, alia Tiberi obiecto videbantur tuta.

  • alia -- pronominal adjective; nominative plural neuter of <alius, alia, aliud> other, some -- some parts
  • muris -- noun, masculine; ablative plural of <murus, muri> wall -- by walls
  • alia -- pronominal adjective; nominative plural neuter of <alius, alia, aliud> other, some -- other parts
  • Tiberi -- noun, masculine; ablative singular of <Tiber, Tiberis> Tiber -- by the Tiber
  • obiecto -- verb; ablative singular masculine of perfect participle passive of <obicio, obicere, obieci, obiectum> oppose -- in front of them
  • videbantur -- verb; 3rd person imperfect passive of <video, videre, vidi, visum> see -- seemed
  • tuta -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <tutus, tuta, tutum> safe -- secure

Pons sublicius iter paene hostibus dedit, ni unus vir fuisset, Horatius Cocles.

  • pons -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <pons, pontis> bridge -- the bridge
  • sublicius -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <sublicius, sublicia, sublicium> resting on piles -- resting on piles
  • iter -- noun, neuter; accusative singular <iter, itineris> way -- way
  • paene -- adverb; <paene> almost -- almost
  • hostibus -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <hostis, hostis> enemy -- to the enemies
  • dedit -- verb; 3rd person singular perfect of <do, dare, dedi, datum> give -- provided
  • ni -- conjunction; <ni> if not, unless -- if there had not
  • unus -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <unus, una, unum> one, alone -- one
  • vir -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <vir, viri> man -- man
  • fuisset -- verb; 3rd person singular past perfect subjunctive of <sum, esse, fui> I am -- had been
  • Horatius -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Horatius, Horati> Horatius -- Horatius
  • Cocles -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Cocles, Coclitis> Cocles -- Cocles

Id munimentum illo die fortuna urbis Romanae habuit.

  • id -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <is, ea, id> him, her, this -- (on) this
  • munimentum -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <munimentum, munimenti> defence -- defence
  • illo -- demonstrative pronoun; ablative singular masculine of <ille, illa, illud> he, she, that -- on that
  • die -- noun, masculine; ablative singular of <dies, diei> day -- day
  • fortuna -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <fortuna, fortunae> fortune -- fortune
  • urbis -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <urbs, urbis> city -- city
  • Romanae -- adjective; genitive singular feminine of <Romanus, Romana, Romanum> Roman -- of Rome
  • habuit -- verb; 3rd person singular perfect of <habeo, habere, habui, habitum> have -- depended

Qui positus forte in statione pontis. [Sentences omitted at this point.]

  • qui -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <qui, quae, quod> who, which, what, that -- he
  • positus -- verb; nominative singular masculine of perfect participle passive of <pono, ponere, posui, positum> place, situate -- placed himself
  • forte -- adjective; ablative singular masculine of <fortis, fortis, forte> strong -- in a mighty way
  • in -- preposition; <in> in, on -- on
  • statione -- noun, feminine; ablative singular of <statio, stationis> station, guard -- guard
  • pontis -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <pons, pontis> bridge -- of the bridge

Circumferens inde truces minaciter oculos ad proceres Etruscorum nunc singulos provocare, nunc increpare omnes.

  • circumferens -- verb; present participle nominative singular masculine of <circumfero, circumferre, circumtuli, circumlatum> carry around -- darting
  • inde -- adverb; <inde> from that -- then
  • truces -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <trux, trucis> fierce -- fierce
  • minaciter -- adverb; <minaciter> threateningly -- threateningly
  • oculos -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <oculus, oculi> eye -- glances
  • ad -- preposition; <ad> to, towards -- at
  • proceres -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <procer, proceris> nobleman -- chiefs
  • Etruscorum -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural masculine of <Etruscus, Etrusca, Etruscum> Etruscan -- of the Etruscans
  • nunc -- adverb; <nunc> now -- now
  • singulos -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <singulus, singula, singulum> single, individual -- as individuals
  • provocare -- verb; present infinitive of <provoco, provocare, provocavi, provocatum> challenge -- he challenged
  • nunc -- adverb; <nunc> now -- now
  • increpare -- verb; present infinitive of <increpo, increpare, increpui, increpitum> scold, rebuke -- he rebuked
  • omnes -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <omnis, omnis, omne> all -- all of them

Servitia regum superborum, suae libertatis immemores alienam oppugnatum venire.

  • servitia -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <servitium, servitii> servitude -- as servants
  • regum -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <rex, regis> king -- of kings
  • superborum -- adjective; genitive plural masculine of <superbus, superba, superbum> haughty -- haughty
  • suae -- possessive pronoun; genitive singular feminine of <suus, sua, suum> own -- their own
  • libertatis -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <libertas, libertatis> liberty -- of ...liberty
  • immemores -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <immemor, immemoris> heedless -- heedless
  • alienam -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <alienus, aliena, alienum> foreign, unfitting -- of others
  • oppugnatum -- verb; perfect participle passive of <oppugno, oppugnare, oppugnavi, oppugnatum> overthrow -- to overthrow
  • venire -- verb; present infinitive of <venio, venire, veni, ventum> come -- were coming

Cunctati aliquamdiu sunt, dum alius alium, ut proelium incipiant, circumspectant

  • cunctati -- deponent verb; 3rd person plural perfect of <cunctor, cunctari, cunctatus sum> hesitate with sunt -- hesitating
  • aliquamdiu -- adverb; <aliquamdiu> for a while -- for a while
  • sunt -- auxiliary verb; 3rd person plural present of <sum, esse, fui> I am with cunctati -- ...
  • dum -- conjunction; <dum> while -- while
  • alius -- pronominal adjective; nominative singular masculine of <alius, alia, aliud> other, some -- one
  • alium -- pronominal adjective; accusative singular masculine of <alius, alia, aliud> other, some -- the other
  • ut -- conjunction; <ut> that, so that -- that
  • proelium -- noun, neuter; accusative singular <proelium, proelii> battle -- battle
  • incipiant -- verb; 3rd person plural present subjunctive of <incipio, incipere, incepi, inceptum> begin -- they might begin
  • circumspectant -- verb; 3rd person plural present indicative of <circumspecto, circumspectare, circumspectavi, circumspectatum> look around -- looked

Pudor deinde commovit aciem, et clamore sublato undique in unum hostem tela coniciunt.

  • pudor -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <pudor, pudoris> shame -- shame
  • deinde -- adverb; <deinde> then -- then
  • commovit -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <commoveo, commovere, commovi, commotum> move -- moved
  • aciem -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <acies, aciei> line of battle -- line of battle
  • et -- conjunction; <et> and -- and
  • clamore -- noun, masculine; ablative singular of <clamor, clamoris> shout -- shout
  • sublato -- verb; ablative singular masculine of perfect participle of <suffero, sufferre, sustuli, sublatum> take up, lift -- having been started
  • undique -- adverb; <undique> from every quarter -- from all sides
  • in -- preposition; <in> in, on -- at
  • unum -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <unus, una, unum> one, alone -- a single
  • hostem -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <hostis, hostis> enemy -- enemy
  • tela -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <telum, teli> weapon, spear -- their javelins
  • coniciunt -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <conicio, conicere, conieci, coniectum> throw -- they threw

Quae cum in obiecto cuncta scuto haesissent, neque ille minus obstinatus ingenti pontem obtineret gradu.

  • quae -- relative pronoun; nominative plural neuter of <qui, quae, quod> who, which, what, that -- these
  • cum -- conjunction; <cum> since, when -- while
  • in -- preposition; <in> in, on -- in
  • obiecto -- verb; ablative singular neuter of perfect participle passive of <obicio, obicere, obieci, obiectum> oppose -- opposed
  • cuncta -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <cunctus, cuncta, cunctum> all -- all
  • scuto -- noun, neuter; ablative singular of <scutum, scuti> shield -- shield
  • haesissent -- verb; 3rd person plural pluperfect subjunctive of <haereo, haerere, haesi, haesurum> stick -- stuck
  • neque -- adverb; <neque> neither ... nor -- no
  • ille -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ille, illa, illud> he, she, that -- he
  • minus -- adverb; <minus> less -- less
  • obstinatus -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <obstinatus, obstinata, obstinatum> obstinate -- obstinately
  • ingenti -- adjective; ablative singular masculine of <ingens, ingentis> great -- strong
  • pontem -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <pons, pontis> bridge -- the bridge
  • obtineret -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect subjunctive of <obtineo, obtinere, obtenui, obtentum> hold -- he holds
  • gradu -- noun, masculine; ablative singular of <gradus, gradus> step -- position

Iam impetu conabantur detrudere virum, cum simul fragor rupti pontis, simul clamor Romanorum alacritate perfecti operis sublatus, pavore subito impetum sustinuit.

  • iam -- adverb; <iam> already -- just as
  • impetu -- noun, masculine; ablative singular of <impetus, impetus> attack, charge -- by a charge
  • conabantur -- deponent verb; 3rd person plural imperfect passive of <conor, conari, conatus sum> attempt, aim -- they tried
  • detrudere -- verb; infinitive of <detrudo, detrudere, detrusi, detrusum> dislodge -- to dislodge
  • virum -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <vir, viri> man -- the man
  • cum -- conjunction; <cum> since, when -- when
  • simul -- adverb; <simul> at the same time -- at the same time
  • fragor -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <fragor, fragoris> crashing, noise -- the crash
  • rupti -- verb; genitive singular masculine of perfect participle passive of <rumpo, rumpere, rupi, ruptus> break -- broken
  • pontis -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <pons, pontis> bridge -- the bridge
  • simul -- adverb; <simul> at the same time -- and simultaneously
  • clamor -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <clamor, clamoris> shout -- the shouting
  • Romanorum -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural masculine of <Romanus, Romana, Romanum> Roman -- of the Romans
  • alacritate -- noun, feminine; ablative singular of <alacritas, alacritatis> delight -- in delight
  • perfecti -- adjective; genitive singular neuter of <perfectus, perfecta, perfectum> complete -- completed
  • operis -- noun, neuter; genitive singular of <opus, operis> work -- at the ... work
  • sublatus -- verb; nominative singular masculine of perfect participle passive of <suffero, sufferre, sustuli, sublatum> take up, lift -- elated
  • pavore -- noun, masculine; ablative singular of <pavor, pavoris> fear, dread -- with dread
  • subito -- adjective; ablative singular masculine of <subitus, subita, subitum> sudden -- sudden
  • impetum -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <impetus, impetus> attack, charge -- their charge
  • sustinuit -- verb; 3rd person singular perfect of <sustineo, sustinere, sustinui, sustentum> hold back -- held back

Tum Cocles "Tiberine pater," inquit, "te sancte precor, haec arma et hunc militem propitio flumine accipias."

  • tum -- adverb; <tum> then -- then
  • Cocles -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Cocles, Coclitis> Cocles -- Cocles
  • Tiberine -- adjective; vocative singular masculine of <Tiberinus, Tiberini> Tiberinus -- Tiberinus
  • pater -- noun, masculine; vocative singular of <pater, patris> father -- father
  • inquit -- defective verb; 3rd person singular present indicative of <inquam> say -- said
  • te -- pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <tu> you -- you
  • sancte -- adjective; vocative singular masculine of <sanctus, sancta, sanctum> holy -- holy one
  • precor -- deponent verb; 1st person singular present indicative of <precor, precari, precatus sum> pray -- I pray
  • haec -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative plural neuter of <hic, haec, hoc> there, this -- these
  • arma -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <arma, armorum> arms -- armor
  • et -- conjunction; <et> and -- and
  • hunc -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <hic, haec, hoc> there, this -- this
  • militem -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <miles, militis> soldier -- soldier
  • propitio -- adjective; ablative singular neuter of <propitius, propitia, propitium> propitious -- propitious
  • flumine -- noun, neuter; ablative singular of <flumen, fluminis> river -- with stream
  • accipias -- verb; 2nd person singular present subjunctive of <accipio, accipere, accepi, acceptum> receive -- receive

Ita sic armatus in Tiberim desiluit multisque superincidentibus telis incolumis ad suos tranavit

  • ita -- adverb; <ita> thus -- in this manner
  • sic -- adverb; <sic> so, thus -- so
  • armatus -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <armatus, armata, armatum> armed -- armed
  • in -- preposition; <in> in, on -- into
  • Tiberim -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <Tiber, Tiberis> Tiber -- the Tiber
  • desiluit -- verb; 3rd person singular perfect of <desilio, desilire, desilui, desultus> jump down -- he jumped down
  • multisque -- adjective; dative plural neuter of <multus, multa, multum> many + conjunction <-que> and -- and with many
  • superincidentibus -- verb; ablative plural neuter of present participle of <superincido, superincindere> fall down -- falling down
  • telis -- noun, neuter; ablative plural of <telum, teli> weapon, spear -- spears
  • incolumis -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <incolumis, incolumis, incolume> unharmed -- unharmed
  • ad -- preposition; <ad> to, towards -- to
  • suos -- possessive pronoun; accusative plural masculine of <suus, sua, suum> own -- his own
  • tranavit -- verb; 3rd person singular perfect of <trano, tranare, tranavi> swim across -- he swam across

rem ausus plus famae habituram ad posteros quam fidei.

  • rem -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <res, rei> thing, matter -- act
  • ausus -- verb; nominative singular masculine of perfect participle passive of <audeo, audere, ausus sum> dare to do -- having dared to do
  • plus -- adjective used as substantive; accusative singular neuter of <plus> more -- more
  • famae -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <fama, famae> report, talk -- fame
  • habituram -- verb; accusative singular feminine of future participle active of <habeo, habere, habui, habitum> have -- which would have
  • ad -- preposition; <ad> to, towards -- among
  • posteros -- adjective used as substantive; accusative plural masculine of <posteri, posterae, postera> future generations -- future generations
  • quam -- adverb used as conjunction; <quam> than -- than
  • fidei -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <fides, fidei> faith, pledge -- belief

Lesson Text

Cum hostes adessent, pro se quisque in urbem ex agris demigrant, urbem ipsam saepiunt praesidiis. Alia muris, alia Tiberi obiecto videbantur tuta. Pons sublicius iter paene hostibus dedit, ni unus vir fuisset, Horatius Cocles. Id munimentum illo die fortuna urbis Romanae habuit. Qui positus forte in statione pontis. [Sentences omitted at this point.] Circumferens inde truces minaciter oculos ad proceres Etruscorum nunc singulos provocare, nunc increpare omnes. Servitia regum superborum, suae libertatis immemores alienam oppugnatum venire. Cunctati aliquamdiu sunt, dum alius alium, ut proelium incipiant, circumspectant Pudor deinde commovit aciem, et clamore sublato undique in unum hostem tela coniciunt. Quae cum in obiecto cuncta scuto haesissent, neque ille minus obstinatus ingenti pontem obtineret gradu. Iam impetu conabantur detrudere virum, cum simul fragor rupti pontis, simul clamor Romanorum alacritate perfecti operis sublatus, pavore subito impetum sustinuit. Tum Cocles "Tiberine pater," inquit, "te sancte precor, haec arma et hunc militem propitio flumine accipias." Ita sic armatus in Tiberim desiluit multisque superincidentibus telis incolumis ad suos tranavit rem ausus plus famae habituram ad posteros quam fidei.

Translation

When the enemies appeared, the Romans withdrew, everyone for himself, from the fields into the city, and they surrounded the city itself with guards. Some parts seemed to be secure by their walls, others by the Tiber in front of them. The bridge resting on piles almost provided a way in to the enemies, if there had not been one man, Horatius Cocles. He was the defense on the day that the fortune of the city of Rome depended. He by chance was placed on guard of the bridge. ... Then darting around fierce glances threateningly at the chiefs of the Etruscans, he now challenged them individually, now rebuked all of them as servants of haughty kings heedless of their own liberty who were coming to overthrow that of others. They hesitated for a while -- one looked after the other that they might begin the battle. Then they moved the line of battle, and with a haughty shout they threw their spears from all sides at a single enemy. When these all struck on his opposing shield, he no less obstinately held the bridge with great dispatch. Just as they tried to dislodge him by a charge, at the same time the crash of the falling bridge and the shouting of the Roman elated with delight at the completed work checked the charge with sudden dread. Then Cocles said: "Father Tiber, I pray you, oh holy one, that you receive these arms and this soldier with a propitious stream." In the manner armed as he was, he jumped down into the Tiber, and unharmed by the falling spears he swam across to his own. He had dared to perform a deed that would have more favor than belief among future generations.

Grammar

6. Historical Present.

The historical present, also known as the dramatic present, refers to use of the present tense with past meaning. As the alternate designation indicates, it may be found where the author seeks to accentuate a statement. Used in older English literature, as by Shakespeare, it now is pretty well restricted to popular narration, as when a narrator uses sequences like "an' then he says...." Instances are found in these selections, such as adfirmat, condunt, and appellat in the first unit, adessent, demigrant, and saepiunt in the second; these forms in the first sentence of the second selection were clearly used to reflect the dangerous situation for the Romans. Infinitives may be used similarly, e.g. evocare and quaerere in the first unit.

7. The subjunctive.

Beside the indicative mood, which expresses certainty, subjunctive mood forms are found for the present, the preterite, the perfect, and the pluperfect, active and passive. As a general characteristic, the subjunctive forms indicate uncertainty. In keeping with this meaning, they are used in many subordinate clauses introduced by conjunctions and pronouns. A typical use is found in the first sentence of this selection, cum hostes adessent..., and also in the first sentence of the initial unit, cum ... constitissent.... The uncertainty is greater in the second sentence of that unit, where a question is asked: qui mortales essent and at its conclusion exissent. A use without conjunction is found in the prayer of Horatius to the Tiber: precor ... accipias 'I ask that you accept.' As in this translation, subjunctive forms may correspond to English sentences that express fact, but often they are best represented by modal auxiliaries.

In the identification of verbal forms of these texts, those in the indicative are not especially so noted.

8. The third declension of nouns.

While nouns of the first and second declensions have bases ending in vowels and are accordingly regular, those of the third conjugation end in consonants or -i, with a possible consequent modification of the base in some forms. An example is the word for king, rex, which has a base ending in -g; when the nominative ending -s is added, the -g- is devoiced, and the two sounds are represented by -x. When the ending begins with a vowel, however, the base is unmodified, as in the genitive regis. Other modifications of bases may be determined from dictionary entries, which typically provide the genitive as well as the nominative.

Nouns in this declension may be masculine, feminine or neuter. Like the endings of the base, the gender must be noted from the dictionary entries.

Nom sg   rex   pons   genus   homo   urbs
Gen sg   regis   pontis   generis   hominis   urbis
Dat sg   regi   ponti   generi   homini   urbi
Acc sg   regem   pontem   genus   hominem   urbem
Abl sg   rege   ponte   genere   homine   urbe
 
Nom pl   reges   pontes   genera   homines   urbes
Gen pl   regum   pontum   generum   hominum   urbium
Dat pl   regibus   pontibus   generibus   hominibus   urbibus
Acc pl   reges   pontes   genera   homines   urbes
Abl pl   regibus   pontibus   generibus   hominibus   urbibus
9. The perfect forms of verbs.

The perfect system of verbs is parallel to the present system. It consists of the simple perfect, the pluperfect or past perfect, and the future perfect, with indicative and subjunctive forms except for the future perfect, and passive forms beside the active. In general it implies past time, often with the meaning of completed action.

As the forms in these two units indicate, it is made in a variety of ways. In the first conjugation, as well as the fourth, it is generally made with a -v- suffix and further endings. In the second conjugation, and also the fourth, the marker is often -u-. The third conjugation verbs have a variety of markers, among them -s-. The differences among verbs provide the reason for learning the principal parts of verbs; these are generally included in dictionary entries. Examples are given here of the verbs cited in the section 4 of the grammar as well as forms of do and haereo. Instead of the ending -erunt in the third plural, a short form -ere may be found, both with long -e-.

1 sg   laudavi   monui   texi   audivi   dedi   haesi
2 sg   laudavisti   monuisti   texisti   audivisti   dedisti   haesisti
3 sg   laudavit   monuit   texit   audivit   dedit   haesit
 
1 pl   laudavimus   monuimus   teximus   audivimus   dedimus   haesimus
2 pl   laudavistis   monuistis   texistis   audivistis   dedistis   haesistis
3 pl   laudaverunt   monuerunt   texerunt   audiverunt   dederunt   haeserunt
10. Prepositions.

Most prepositions govern the accusative case, as do ad and apud found in these units, as well as ante 'before', contra 'against', inter 'among', per 'through', post 'after', trans 'across', and many others. In and sub 'under', however, govern the accusative case when indicating direction, and the ablative when indicating place.