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Helps for the Teaching of Caesar: Studies in the Syntax of Caesar's Gallic War

by William F. Little - 1902

III STUDIES IN THE SYNTAX OF CAESAR'S GALLIC WAR In most of the editions of Caesar that are upon the market the syntactical points are treated as occasion demands in the commentaries, but there is no systematic attempt to gather to­gether into groups the prominent features of Caesar's syntactical usage for the purpose either of comparison or summary. And it seems unquestionably true that the majority of the teachers of Caesar are not equipped with the knowledge of the peculiarities of Caesarian usage which would seem to be requisite for proper interpretation of the text. If this statement may seem to be too strong, a few questions put to the ordinary teacher of Caesar would prove the point. Such questions, for example, as: Wherein do the constructions of Caesar differ from those of Cicero? What constructions follow the verbs postulare, flagitare, petere, implorare, quaerere, antecedere, convenire, obire, subire, praecedere, submittere, inferre? Does Caesar use a preposition after discedere or excedere? In how many different ways does Caesar em­ploy the preposition ex or ab? What are the uses of cum with the ablative? To what extent does Caesar use the subjunctive? What does Caesar show in regard to the sequence of tenses? By such questions as these the truth of the foregoing statement can be incontrovertibly established. Experience teaches that specific knowledge is wanting. Hence we often meet the rather peculiar phenomenon of a teacher trying to teach something that he does not know fully himself; and, as a result, it frequently happens that pupils read their Caesar and pass on to the next year without having gained very much accurate information. They are not at all sure, for example, of a partitive genitive, or what construction follows iubere or imperare.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 3 Number 3, 1902, p. 168-237
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 9756, Date Accessed: 2/24/2020 1:13:21 AM

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  • William Little

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