Chapter 11

(1) Tālī cohortātiōne mīlitum factā, classis ab utrīsque in proelium dēdūcitur. Quārum aciē cōnstitūtā, priusquam signum pugnae darētur, Hannibal, ut palam faceret suīs, quō locō Eumenēs esset, tabellārium in scaphā cum cādūceō mittit.

(2) Quī ubi ad nāvēs adversāriōrum pervēnit epistulamque ostendēns, sē rēgem professus est quaerere, statim ad Eumenem dēductus est, quod nēmō dubitābat, quīn aliquid dē pāce esset scrīptum. Tabellārius, ducis nāve dēclārātā suīs, eōdem, unde erat ēgressus, sē recēpit.

(3) At Eumenēs, solūtā epistulā, nihil in eā repperit, nisi quae ad irrīdendum eum pertinērent. Cuius etsī causam mīrābātur neque reperiēbat, tamen proelium statim committere nōn dubitāvit.

(4) Hōrum in concursū Bīthȳniī Hannibalis praeceptō ūniversī nāvem Eumenis adoriuntur. Quōrum vim rēx cum sustinēre nōn posset, fugā salūtem petiit; quam cōnsecūtus nōn esset, nisi intrā sua praesidia sē recēpisset, quae in proximō lītore erant conlocāta.

(5) Reliquae Pergamēnae nāvēs cum adversāriōs premerent ācrius, repente in eās vāsa fīctilia, dē quibus suprā mentiōnem fēcimus, conicī coepta sunt. Quae iacta initiō rīsum pugnantibus concitārunt, neque, quā rē id fieret, poterat intellegī.

(6) Postquam autem nāvēs suās opplētās cōnspexērunt serpentibus, novā rē perterritī, cum, quid potissimum vītārent, nōn vidērent, puppēs vertērunt sēque ad sua castra nautica rettulērunt.

(7) Sīc Hannibal cōnsiliō arma Pergamēnōrum superāvit, neque tum sōlum, sed saepe aliās pedestribus cōpiīs parī prūdentiā pepulit adversāriōs.

Hannibal lays a trap for Eumenes, who escapes (1–4). Hannibal's biological weapon routs the Pergamene navy (5–6).

 

(1) tālī cohortātiōne mīlitum factā: ablative absolute. mīlitum: objective genitive limiting cohortātiōne, "exhortation of the soldiers."

ab utrīsque: i.e., Hannibal and Eumenes II.

dēdūcitur and mittit: historical presents, see note on adficitur (4.3).

quārum: i.e., nāvium.

aciē cōnstitūtā: ablative absolute.

priusquam signum pugnae darētur: for the temporal subjunctive, see on 7.6.

suīs: i.e., Hannibal’s men.

quō locō Eumenēs esset: indirect question with faceret. quō locō: ablative of place.

in scaphā: a scapha is a skiff or small rowboat.

cum cādūceō: the staff carried by heralds and ambassadors as a symbol of their office and so as a symbol of safe passage to and from enemies. [image: Hermes with caduceus]

(2) quī: antecedent is tabellārius.

sē rēgem professus est quaerere: professus est introduces the indirect statement sē rēgem…quaerere. Word order in this sentence is determined by an intelligible set of stylistic preferences: the first word in the phrase, , refers to the subject of the previous clause; rēgem follows because of the Roman preference for juxtaposing personal nouns; then professus est, because the verb introducing the indirect statement has a tendency to come before the verb in the indirect statement, quaerere.

quod nēmō dubitābat: the indicative reveals that this is Nepos’ own assessment of the situation, not necessarily that of Eumenes or his sailors (compare 1.1).

quīn...esset scrīptum: quīn often introduces subjunctive clauses after expressions of hindering, resisting, and doubting (nēmō dubitābatAG §531), “because no one was doubting that (quīn)....”

ducis nāve dēclārātā suīs: ablative absolute. ducis: i.e., Eumenes. Note how Nepos places the genitive, ducis, before the noun it limits, nāve, in order to juxtapose it with tabellārius. suīs: dative with dēclārātā, i.e., "to his own men."

eōdem: i.e., eōdem [locō], specified by the subsequent clause, unde erat ēgressus.

(3) solūtā epistulā: ablative absolute. solūtā: i.e., by breaking the wax seal on the letter.

nisi quae ad irrīdendum eum pertinērent: a clause of characteristic; when nisi follows an interrogative or negative clause, as here, it often has the sense of "except" or "only, "except the kind of thing suitable to...."

ad irrīdendum eum: gerundive indicating purpose (see 10.3).

cuius: connective relative; its antecedent must be epistulā.

dubitāvit: on the use of dubitō + infinitive, see 2.4.

(4) ūniversī: "all at once," modifies Bīthȳniī. Note how Nepos embeds the ablative of cause, (Hannibalis) praeceptō, within the noun-adjective phrase to emphasize why the Bīthȳniī attacked ūniversī (12.4, 13.2).

adoriuntur: "fell upon."

quōrum vim rēx cum sustinēre nōn posset: by now Nepos’ tendency to postpone the subordinating conjunction, cum, after words that associate the clause with elements of the preceeding sentence, should be familiar; also 11.5, below.

fugā: ablative of means.

quam: its antecedent is salūtem.

intrā sua praesidia: i.e., Eumenes’ fortified naval encampment (ad sua castra nautica in 11.6). Ancient warships were built for speed and maneuverability. Because they were unstable in foul weather and lacked accommodations for their crews, sailors tended to make camp on land at night.

(5) eās: i.e., Pergamēnās nāvēs.

vāsa fīctilia: the subject of conicī coepta sunt.

dē quibus suprā mentiōnem fēcimus: Nepos first introduced the earthenware jars in 10.4fēcimus: ancient authors often used plural forms to refer to themselves, especially in prose (3.1).

coepta sunt: the passive of the defective verb coepī is often used with passive verbs (AG §409a), “they began to be thrown (conicī).”

quae iacta: "these (vāsa fīctilia) having been thrown."

initiō: ablative of time, "at first."

concitārunt: = concitā()runt, syncopated perfect (AG §181), "arouse, excite, cause" something (in the accusative, rīsum) in someone (in the dative, pugnantibus).

quā rē id fieret: indirect question, dependent on poterat intellegī; quā rē: = quārē.

(6) serpentibus: an ablative of means may be used with verbs and adjectives of "filling, abundance, etc.," opplētās (AG §409a).

novā rē: ablative of means. novā: "strange, unusual, unprecedented," as often in Latin.

perterritī: perfect passive participle, agreeing with implicit subject of vertērunt.

quid potissimum vītārent: indirect question introduced by cum...nōn vidērent, i.e., the Pergamene sailors were in confusion whether they should rid themselves of the snakes or continue to attack Prusias’ ships. potissimum: adverb, "first of all, especially, in preference to all."

puppēs vertērunt: puppēs, literally "sterns," refers by synecdoche to the entire ship; compare the idiom, terga vertere, "turn (their) backs," i.e., retreat.

(7) cōnsiliō: i.e., his ingenious use of snakes. Nepos often contrasts ingenuity (cōnsilium) with brute force (arma).

neque tum sōlum, sed saepe aliās: "not only at that time...but often at other times..."; a variation on the common correlative construction, nōn sōlum...sed etiam (6.4, 7.5); aliās: adverb, "in other places, times" (AG §215.3).

pedestribus cōpiīs: ablative of instrument, “with infantry” → “in land battles.”

parī prūdentiā: ablative of manner (AG §412; 12.4); Nepos introduced tactical brilliance (prūdentiā) as Hannibal’s defining characteristic in 1.1[Supplementary Text: Frontinus, Stratagems 2.6–7, 21–25, 27]

(1) cohortātiō cohortātiōnis f.: exhortation 

palam: openly ※

Eumenēs Eumenis m.: Eumenes (II, king of Pergamum in Asia Minor) ※

tabellārius tabellāriī m.: letter-carrier, messenger ※

scapha –ae f.: small boat, skiff 

cādūceus –ī m.: herald's staff 

(2) adversārius –a –um: opposite, hostile, contrary ※

profiteor –fitērī –fessus sum: declare publicly 

quod: because ※

dēclārō –āre: indicate, reveal 

(3) irrīdeō –rīdēre –rīsī –rīsum: mock, make fun of 

etsī: although ※

(4) concursus concursūs m.: meeting, collision, encounter 

Bīthȳnius –ī m.: inhabitant of Bithynia (a kingdom in northern Asia Minor) 

ūniversus –a –um: all together 

adorior –orīrī –ortus sum: assault, approach (as an enemy) 

conlocō –āre: place, station, set up 

(5) repente: suddenly 

vāsum –ī n.: vase, container ※

fīctilis fīctile: made of clay, earthen ※

mentiō mentiōnis f.: mention ※

coniciō –icere –iēcī –iectum: cast, fling, toss ※

concitō –āre: rouse, excite 

(6) oppleō –plēre –plēvī –plētum: fill up 

cōnspiciō –spicere –spexī –spectus: catch sight of, perceive 

serpēns serpentis f.: snake ※

perterreō –terrēre –terruī –territum: terrify 

potissimum: first of all, especially, principally 

puppis puppis f.: ship, stern 

nauticus –a –um: naval

(7) pedester pedestris pedestre: on foot, on land, of infantry 

prūdentia –ae f.: practical skill, intelligence ※

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Suggested Citation

Bret Mulligan, Nepos: Life of Hannibal. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-947822-01-6. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/nepos-hannibal/chapter-11