Chapter 4.29

Eādem nocte accidit ut esset lūna plēna, quī diēs maritimōs aestūs māximōs in Ōceanō efficere cōnsuēvit, nostrīsque id erat incōgnitum. Ita ūnō tempore et longās nāvēs, quibus Caesar exercitum trānsportandum cūrāverat quāsque in āridum subdūxerat, aestus complēverat et onerāriās, quae ad ancorās erant dēligātae, tempestās adflīctābat, neque ūlla nostrīs facultās aut administrandī aut auxiliandī dabātur. Complūribus nāvibus frāctīs, reliquae cum essent fūnibus, ancorīs, reliquīsque armāmentīs āmīssīs ad nāvigandum inūtilēs, māgna, id quod necesse erat accidere, tōtīus exercitūs perturbātiō facta est. Neque enim nāvēs erant aliae quibus reportārī possent, et omnia deërant quae ad reficiendās nāvēs erant ūsuī et, quod omnibus cōnstābat hiemāre in Galliā oportēre, frūmentum hīs in locīs in hiemem prōvīsum nōn erat.

    The storm and the tide wreck Ceasar's fleet.

    eadem nocte: According to astronomical calculation, this was on the night of August 30th, 55 BC (Harkness). The moon was full at 3:00 a.m. (Allen & Greenough)

    qui dies: 'which period' (Harkness)

    aestus maximos: the "spring" tide. The average rise and fall of the tide at Deal is said to be 16 ft. This tide, helped by the wind, rose much higher (Walker). The tides in the English channel are notably high, as much as twenty feet, while the rise off the coast of Italy is only a few inches. (Towle & Jenks)

    nostris...incognitum: the Romans were best acquainted with the Mediterranean, where the tides rise only a few inches. Yet they had some experience with the tides in the war with the Veneti (Walker).

    adflictabat: 'dashed about' (Allen & Judson)

    quae...deligatae: 'which were riding at anchor' The transports were heavier than the war-ships, and Caesar had not thought it worth the effort to beach them. (Walker)

    facultas: 'opportunity (to do a thing)' (Allen & Greenough).

    funibus…amissis: ‘on account of the loss of…’ (Kelsey)(A&G 420)

    magna: with perturbatio (Kelsey)

    id quod necesse erat: ‘as was bound to happen’ (Kelsey). ‘a thing which could not but happen.’ ‘Id’ is generally prefixed to the relative when a sentence is the antecedent, for the purpose of summing it up in one word, and clearing it to view. (Moberly) (A&G 307.d)

    perturbatio: ‘commotion’ (Kelsey)

    exercitus: here, as often, used of the infantry in contradistinction to the cavalry (Rice Holmes).

    quibus...possent: a clause of characteristic (Walker)(A&G 535.a).

    omnia quae erant usui: 'all the things which were needed' (Walker); usui: dat. of purpose (A&G 382).

    quod...constabat: 'because it was manifest to all' (Harkness).

    hiemare opportere: 'that they must pass the winter' (Walker)

    in hiemem: 'for the winter' (Walker)

    mărĭtĭmus, -a, -um: of the sea, marine, maritime; the sea-coast

    aestus, -ūs m.: boiling, agitation, seething

    Ōceanus, -i m.: refers to the ocean

    consŭĕo, -ēre: be accustomed, be wont

    incognĭtus, -a, -um: not examined, unknown

    transporto, -āre: carry over or across

    aridus, -a, -um: dry, withered, parched

    complĕo, -ēre, -plēvi, -plētum: fill up; complete the number of an army, fleet, or legion; to man; fill one with feeling; finish

    ŏnĕrārĭus, -a, -um: of or belonging to burden, transport, or carriage

    ancŏra, -ae f.: anchor

    dēlĭgo, -āre: fasten, bind up

    adflīctō, -āre: agitate, knock-about; harass, distress, to be upset

    admĭnistro, -āre: help, assist; manage, direct, administer

    făcultas, -ātis f.: feasibility, possibility, opportunity, power, means; resources, stock, abundance

    auxĭlĭor, -āri: help, assist, support

    complūres, -es, -a (-ia): several, a fair number of, many

    fūnis, -is m.: rope, cord, line

    armāmenta, ōrum, n.: implements or utensils for any purpose; the tackle of a ship

    nāvĭgo, -āre: sail, set sail

    ĭnūtĭlis, -e: useless, unserviceable, unprofitable

    perturbātĭo, -ōnis f.: confusion, disorder, disturbance

    rĕporto, -āre: bring back, carry back; deliver

    rĕfĭcĭo, -ficĕre, -fēci, -fectum: make again, restore, repair; get back again; refresh, revive

    hĭĕmo, -āre: winter, spend the winter

    prōvĭdĕo, -vidēre, -vīdi, -vīsum: to look forward to, see at a distance

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    Christopher Francese, Caesar: Selections from the Gallic War. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2011, revised and enlarged 2018. ISBN: 978-1-947822-02-3.