Translation:Perhaps the drunk parrots hurl spears.
I'm imagining that these sentences all fit together somehow to tell a story.
- Bacchus and the parrots drink wine.
- (a spear gets thrown at Jupiter)
- Jupiter throws thunderbolts.
- Bacchus: "Don't throw the thunderbolt!"
- (Jupiter accuses Bacchus.)
- Bacchus: "Perhaps the drunk parrots hurl spears."
- a watching soothsayer: "Perhaps the gods aren't wise."
I can't wait to see the whole story.
My "The New College" edition Latin-English dictionary describes (including all four parts) "contor-qeo, -quere, -si, -tus" as a transitive verb meaning "to twist, whirl; to throw hard; to twist (words) around." I see no reason why it shouldn't accept throw unless they think "throw" alone doesn't have a strong enough connotation.
You're right, but, as you said, "hurl" is probably better than just throwing. When I hear "contorquent", I really see a rotation in the air. But "to throw" is not wrong, it probably depends the kind of throwing weapons, for many throwing weapons, just throwing them makes them twirl in the air.
It's also possible that twirl/twist in the air was the first meaning of the word, and that throw became later synonym.
Is it a special technique in the art of war, or every time a spear is thrown, "contorquere" is used? It's really possible that they really do the difference between contorquere hastam, and iacere hastam (both are found in Roman literature).
For those who are interested, this is a medieval treatise about the art of war (a 1540 German codex in Latin), with beautiful illustrations:
Atque impetuose cursu citato si hosti occursaris supinum eum consternes contorquendo hastam in hostem*:
-Note that "contorcere" still exists in modern Italian, and means to twist/to contort. (contort = same root, to contort = to roll on oneself)
Indeed, even large siege machinery like the ballistae and the onagri would still be thought of as throwing machines, and I know modern reenactors use iacere for their action from documentaries. And since contorquere seems to imply an induced stabilising rotation similar to rifling, which arguably wouldn't happen to a spear or thunderbolt, it's a very odd word choice. I wonder if this does indeed reflect ancient usage, as I wonder with a lot of this course. Not that it matters all that much, I'll be able to correct it with other texts like the de bello gallico
I disagree, I found several occurrences of "hastam contorquere" and variants, so it can't be erroneous. I think the course is right about spears, and is also right about hurling as the first meaning of the word.
Contorquere gladium (a sword) can also be found. And when it's used, it's often rather to use the sword in someone's body, than to brandish.
Brandish has 2 meanings in English: : to shake or wave (something, such as a weapon) menacingly. (And to ": to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner". )
It's the first meaning here, to "wave" that is the "contorquere" meaning, as it implies a rotating move.
Proiacere/projacere is still another verb, involving a move, with the preposition "pro": pro (from) + iacere/jacere (to throw).
It gave the French projectile, borrowed later in English.
I just cannot imagine how drunk parrots hurl spears. First most of the parrots I've come across would be hard pressed to throw dark ( size problem) secondly, wings are not designed to throwing things. Do they also carry shields ? When I studied Latin in school "Galli fossas cum sagittibus hastibusque oppugnant". I think my Latin teacher missed out an awful lot of Roman history
The past participle is "drunk". "Drunken" is the adjective. "My drunken parrot has drunk another beer." Using "drunk" as an adjective is a very common mistake, even among native speakers of English. I hope the Latin team will help promote English accuracy by making "drunken" the given solution, while still accepting "drunk" as an alternate.