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  5. "Mars et Minerva hastas conto…

"Mars et Minerva hastas contorquent."

Translation:Mars and Minerva hurl spears.

September 29, 2019


[deactivated user]

    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".


    Can you throw a spear with a spinning move? I remember I saw it in some movie, but not exactly sure.


    These changed over time, but late classical use : Pilum (thrown javilin) or hasta (thrusting spear) . But I assume hasta could be hurled too.


    Well, i guess the gods could throw anything they wanted, :-) but every source I looked at has agreed with wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasta_(spear) Unlike the pilum, verutum and lancea, the hasta was not thrown, but used for thrusting. A hasta was about 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in length, with a shaft generally made from ash, while the head was of iron. Later a ceremonial was given as an award, but it was not a military weapon as didn't have an iron head. oh well, learned something new


    Isn't a throwing spear called "javelin"?


    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.


    Who are they thowing them at, drunk parrots?


    At each other, I'm assuming.


    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.


    Is this the correct term for the spear of the gods? From what I found, the hasta was a thrusting spear used by hastati, poor soldiers in the early days of Rome (https://www.definitions.net/definition/hasta). The pila was a throwing spear, or javelin, that was more commonly used during Roman times.


    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.


    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.


    Et tu, Minerva?


    As far as I'm aware of, 'hasta' can also be translated by 'lance'. (It is taught this way in the Phoenix books in Belgium.) A lance indicates mainly a cavalry weapon, but also a spear that is of considerably length but shorter than a pike (sarissa), as used by the triarii and hoplites. In most cases, one wouldn't hurl a spear or lance though, rather javelins (pila).

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