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  5. "Mars et Minerva hastas conto…

"Mars et Minerva hastas contorquent."

Translation:Mars and Minerva hurl spears.

September 29, 2019



Why is 'throw' wrong?


They want to distinguish between throwing a weapon (i.e. a spear) and something that isn't (i.e. a fish). You would not hurl a fish and you would not throw a spear, in this sense. I mean you could, but both are bad manners.


I don't know if you know the comics Astérix. In this comic, the fish seller sells horribly rotten and smelly fish, and always hurls fish to Roman faces when they say it smells, and everyone fights with rotten fish.

They don't throw them, they hurl/contorquent them, as there's a nice rotation before punching the faces.


"Throw" is not really wrong, but "contorquere" means to throw with a spinning move. Sometimes it is equivalent "to throw" as the projectile weapon spin on itself. But it's important to know that it's not a simple "throw".


hurl: abuse, accusations, insults, etc. (at somebody) to shout insults, etc


Virgil uses it to refer to casting a spear (or more literally to send it spinning), but this use does seem to be pretty much restricted to the poets. "Iacit", "conicit", "mittit" would all be more usual.


Thank you! English isn't my native language :)


I agree with everything, except "restricted to the poets". I've found war treatise explaining how to "contoquere" "hastas".


But also, hurl: "to throw something with a lot of force, usually in an angry or violent way". This definition was taken from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/hurl and is the way hurl is being used in this sentence.


At each other, I'm assuming.


Throw is accepted for contorquet when Jupiter is doing his thing with a thunderbolt but not valid when it's a spear apparently. Hurl a spear does not sound great English


Agree. Throw is accepted in other lessons.


Isn't a throwing spear called "javelin"?


Who are they thowing them at, drunk parrots?


Yes. The Latin word for it is "Telum, teli." The direct translation of this word would be dart or projectile, so it can also be used to mean bullet.


It would be so helpful for my beginning ear if the speaker made a distinction of the separate words. Although it may certainly not be how Romans used to speak, I find myself confused.

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