Chapter 4.28

Hīs rēbus pāce cōnfīrmātā, post diem quartum quam est in Britanniam ventum nāvēs XVIII, dē quibus suprā dēmōnstrātum est, quae equitēs sustulerant, ex superiōre portū lēnī ventō solvērunt. Quae cum appropīnquārent Britanniae et ex castrīs vidērentur, tanta tempestās subitō coörta est ut nūlla eārum cursum tenēre posset, sed aliae eōdem unde erant profectae referrentur, aliae ad īnferiōrem partem īnsulae, quae est propius sōlis occāsum, māgnō suī cum perīculō dēicerentur; quae tamen, ancorīs iactīs, cum fluctibus complērentur, necessāriō adversā nocte in altum prōvēctae, continentem petiērunt.

The cavalry transports are driven back by a storm.

his rebus: the giving of hostages, the demobilization of the British host, and the presence of British leaders in Caesar’s camp (Kelsey)

post diem quartum quam est in Britanniam ventum: post . . . quam = postquam, “after.” The whole expression is equivalent to die quarto postquam est in Britanniam ventum, “on the fourth day after we had come to Britain." The expression does not appear to be susceptible of strict grammatical analysis (Young) The counting is inclusive, so the best translation is “three days after.” (Allen & Judson). Thanks to Caesar’s mention of an eclipse, the day in question can be fixed as August 30, 55 BC (more).

est in Britanniam ventum: ‘we had come into Britain’, literally, ‘it was come into Britain’. The impersonal passive, not uncommon with venio, puts the emphasis on the action rather than the doer of the action ( A&G 208d). With postquam, the perfect tense is often used where we would expect the pluperfect (more).

leni vento: ‘with a light breeze’ (Kelsey)

solvērunt: "set sail," supply naves, see LS solvo A.I.d.ε.

occasum: west. (Allen & Judson)

sui: (Obj. gen. with periculo), to themselves. (Allen & Judson) ( A&G 348)

ancoris iactis: 'yet casting anchor', i.e., notwithstanding the violence of the storm. (Harkness)

adversa nocte: ‘in face of the night’ (Kelsey)

in altum provectae: (being borne into the deep), put to sea and (Towle & Jenks)

proveho, -vehere, -vexi, -vectum: carry forward; pass., be carried forward, sail. (Walker)

confirmo, -āre: make firm, establish, confirm

quartus, -a, -um: forth

Britannia, -ae, f.: modern day Britain

dēmonstro, -āre: indicate, point out, show clearly

suffĕro, sufferre, sustŭli, sublātum: carry under, put or lay under; offer; hold up; undergo, endure

portus, -ūs m.:  port, harbor

lēnis, -e: smooth, soft, mild, gentle

apprŏpinquo, -āre: come near, draw nigh to, approach 

cŏŏrĭor, -orīri, -ortus sum: arise, come forth at once or together; appear, break out

dēĭcĭo, -icĕre, -iēci, -iectum: throw, cast, hurl down; fling away or aside; bring down; to be thrown off course; disappoint

ancŏra, -ae f.: anchor

complĕo, -ĕre, -plēvi, -plētum: fill up; complete the number of an army or fleet; to man

necessarius, -a, -um: unavoidable, inevitable, needful, necessary

prōvĕho, -ĕre, -vexi, -vectum: carry forward; ride forward, drive, sail; provectus, -a, -um: advanced

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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.