AP Latin : Context-Based Meaning of Words and Phrases in Caesar

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Caesar

After being warned of an imminent attack by the Gauls, Caesar’s men debate whether to stay in their camp or attempt to join another unit.

1 Lucius Aurunculeius compluresque tribuni militum et primorum ordinum

2 centuriones nihil temere agendum neque ex hibernis iniussu Caesaris

3 discedendum existimabant: quantasvis [magnas] copias etiam Germanorum

4 sustineri posse munitis hibernis docebant: rem esse testimonio, quod

5 primum hostium impetum multis ultro vulneribus illatis fortissime 

6 sustinuerint: re frumentaria non premi; interea et ex proximis hibernis et a 

7 Caesare conventura subsidia: postremo quid esse levius aut turpius, quam

8 auctore hoste de summis rebus capere consilium?

The best translation for the phrase "a Caesare conventura subsidia" in lines 6-7 is __________.

Possible Answers:

help was about to be assembled from Caesar

Caesar was about to assemble help

help from Caesar was about to assemble

help was being assembled by Caesar

Correct answer:

help from Caesar was about to assemble

Explanation:

Remembering different types of participles is the best way to answer this question. "Conventura" is a future active participle. These participles translate as about to __________. With this knowledge, we can eliminate “was being assembled,” which would require a perfect passive participle, and “was about to be assembled,” which would require a future passive participle. "Caesare" is in the ablative and therefore cannot be the subject as in “Caesar was about to assemble…” The correct answer is “Help from Caesar was about to assemble.”

(Passage adapted from Gallic Wars, 5:28)

Example Question #2 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Caesar

(1) Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. (2) Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit. (3) Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, (4) proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. (5) Eorum una pars, quam Gallos obtinere dictum est, initium capit a flumine Rhodano, continetur Garumna flumine, Oceano, finibus Belgarum, attingit etiam ab Sequanis et Helvetiis flumen Rhenum, vergit ad septentriones. (6) Belgae ab extremis Galliae finibus oriuntur, pertinent ad inferiorem partem fluminis Rheni, spectant in septentrionem et orientem solem. (7) Aquitania a Garumna flumine ad Pyrenaeos montes et eam partem Oceani quae est ad Hispaniam pertinet; spectat inter occasum solis et septentriones.

How is the word se in part 2 translated?

Possible Answers:

Itself

Herself

Themselves

Himself

Correct answer:

Themselves

Explanation:

The word se refers to the three tribes mentioned in the previous section. You can tell from context that the Hi omnes refers back to these tribes, making them the subject of this section as well. The correct choice is "themselves."

Passage adapted from De Bello Gallico by Caesar, I. 1-7

Example Question #3 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Caesar

(1) Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. (2) Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit. (3) Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, (4) proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. (5) Eorum una pars, quam Gallos obtinere dictum est, initium capit a flumine Rhodano, continetur Garumna flumine, Oceano, finibus Belgarum, attingit etiam ab Sequanis et Helvetiis flumen Rhenum, vergit ad septentriones. (6) Belgae ab extremis Galliae finibus oriuntur, pertinent ad inferiorem partem fluminis Rheni, spectant in septentrionem et orientem solem. (7) Aquitania a Garumna flumine ad Pyrenaeos montes et eam partem Oceani quae est ad Hispaniam pertinet; spectat inter occasum solis et septentriones.

What is the correct translation of gerunt (part 4)?

Possible Answers:

They manage

They wage war

They carry

They wear

Correct answer:

They wage war

Explanation:

The word gerunt has many different translations (all examples given are correct translations of this word), but when this verb is used in context with the word bellum, it means to wage war. The correct choice is "they wage war."

Passage adapted from De Bello Gallico by Caesar, I. 1-7

Example Question #4 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Caesar

(1) Apud Helvetios longe nobilissimus fuit et ditissimus Orgetorix. Is M. Messala, [et P.] M. Pisone consulibus regni cupiditate inductus coniurationem nobilitatis fecit et civitati persuasit ut de finibus suis cum omnibus copiis exirent:(2) perfacile esse, cum virtute omnibus praestarent, totius Galliae imperio potiri. (3) Id hoc facilius iis persuasit, quod undique loci natura Helvetii continentur: una ex parte flumine Rheno latissimo atque altissimo, qui agrum Helvetium a Germanis dividit; altera ex parte monte Iura altissimo, qui est inter Sequanos et Helvetios; tertia lacu Lemanno et flumine Rhodano, qui provinciam nostram ab Helvetiis dividit. (4) His rebus fiebat ut et minus late vagarentur et minus facile finitimis bellum inferre possent; (5) qua ex parte homines bellandi cupidi magno dolore adficiebantur. (6) Pro multitudine autem hominum et pro gloria belli atque fortitudinis angustos se fines habere arbitrabantur, qui in longitudinem milia passuum CCXL, in latitudinem CLXXX patebant.

What is the correct translation of ut (part 1)?

Possible Answers:

So that

That (indirect command)

That (result)

As

Correct answer:

That (indirect command)

Explanation:

This ut indicates an indirect command. The line "civitati...exirent" translates: He persuaded the community that they should leave their own borders with all their supplies. In truth, this suggestion/persuasion is a command. The correct choice is "that (indirect command)."

Passage adapted from De Bello Gallico by Caesar, I. 2.1-6

Example Question #5 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Caesar

(1) Apud Helvetios longe nobilissimus fuit et ditissimus Orgetorix. Is M. Messala, [et P.] M. Pisone consulibus regni cupiditate inductus coniurationem nobilitatis fecit et civitati persuasit ut de finibus suis cum omnibus copiis exirent:(2) perfacile esse, cum virtute omnibus praestarent, totius Galliae imperio potiri. (3) Id hoc facilius iis persuasit, quod undique loci natura Helvetii continentur: una ex parte flumine Rheno latissimo atque altissimo, qui agrum Helvetium a Germanis dividit; altera ex parte monte Iura altissimo, qui est inter Sequanos et Helvetios; tertia lacu Lemanno et flumine Rhodano, qui provinciam nostram ab Helvetiis dividit. (4) His rebus fiebat ut et minus late vagarentur et minus facile finitimis bellum inferre possent; (5) qua ex parte homines bellandi cupidi magno dolore adficiebantur. (6) Pro multitudine autem hominum et pro gloria belli atque fortitudinis angustos se fines habere arbitrabantur, qui in longitudinem milia passuum CCXL, in latitudinem CLXXX patebant.

What is the correct translation of quod (part 3)?

Possible Answers:

Which

Because

How?

Who

Correct answer:

Because

Explanation:

The context of this sentence indicates that the word quod is being used as a conjunction. As a conjunction, quod means "because."

Note that quod cannot be a relative pronoun because the only possible antecedent (hoc - referring to a motive/plan in this sentence) does not make any sense in context.

Passage adapted from De Bello Gallico by Caesar, I. 2.1-6

Example Question #6 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Caesar

(1) Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. (2) Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit. (3) Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, (4) proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. (5) Eorum una pars, quam Gallos obtinere dictum est, initium capit a flumine Rhodano, continetur Garumna flumine, Oceano, finibus Belgarum, attingit etiam ab Sequanis et Helvetiis flumen Rhenum, vergit ad septentriones. (6) Belgae ab extremis Galliae finibus oriuntur, pertinent ad inferiorem partem fluminis Rheni, spectant in septentrionem et orientem solem. (7) Aquitania a Garumna flumine ad Pyrenaeos montes et eam partem Oceani quae est ad Hispaniam pertinet; spectat inter occasum solis et septentriones.

What is the correct translation of quod (part 4)?

Possible Answers:

Because

What?

That

Which

Correct answer:

Because

Explanation:

The context of this passage tells you that quod is not being used as a relative pronoun in this line, meaning it is the conjunction meaning "because." The other two options are not translations of quod.

Passage adapted from De Bello Gallico by Caesar, I. 1-7

Example Question #7 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Caesar

(1) Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. (2) Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit. (3) Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, (4) proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. (5) Eorum una pars, quam Gallos obtinere dictum est, initium capit a flumine Rhodano, continetur Garumna flumine, Oceano, finibus Belgarum, attingit etiam ab Sequanis et Helvetiis flumen Rhenum, vergit ad septentriones. (6) Belgae ab extremis Galliae finibus oriuntur, pertinent ad inferiorem partem fluminis Rheni, spectant in septentrionem et orientem solem. (7) Aquitania a Garumna flumine ad Pyrenaeos montes et eam partem Oceani quae est ad Hispaniam pertinet; spectat inter occasum solis et septentriones.

What is the correct translation of cum (cum aut suis..., part 4)?

Possible Answers:

With

Although

Since

While

Correct answer:

While

Explanation:

The cum in this line is not followed by a word in the ablative case (you can tell from context that suis finibus is dative). Furthermore, it is followed by an indicative verb, ruling out "although" as an answer (the cum concessive clause uses the subjunctive mood). In this line, "while" makes the most sense in context. "While" is the correct choice.

Passage adapted from De Bello Gallico by Caesar, I. 1-7

Example Question #8 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Caesar

(1) Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. (2) Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit. (3) Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, (4) proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. (5) Eorum una pars, quam Gallos obtinere dictum est, initium capit a flumine Rhodano, continetur Garumna flumine, Oceano, finibus Belgarum, attingit etiam ab Sequanis et Helvetiis flumen Rhenum, vergit ad septentriones. (6) Belgae ab extremis Galliae finibus oriuntur, pertinent ad inferiorem partem fluminis Rheni, spectant in septentrionem et orientem solem. (7) Aquitania a Garumna flumine ad Pyrenaeos montes et eam partem Oceani quae est ad Hispaniam pertinet; spectat inter occasum solis et septentriones.

What does the word finibus mean (part 4)?

Possible Answers:

Deaths

Conclusion

Victory

Borders

Correct answer:

Deaths

Explanation:

The word finibus is metonymy for "death" here. The inclusion of bellum gerunt in the same line tells you that war is being waged - specifically, for the purpose of killing the tribe's enemies.

Passage adapted from De Bello Gallico by Caesar, I. 1-7

Example Question #9 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Caesar

(1) Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. (2) Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit. (3) Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, (4) proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. (5) Eorum una pars, quam Gallos obtinere dictum est, initium capit a flumine Rhodano, continetur Garumna flumine, Oceano, finibus Belgarum, attingit etiam ab Sequanis et Helvetiis flumen Rhenum, vergit ad septentriones. (6) Belgae ab extremis Galliae finibus oriuntur, pertinent ad inferiorem partem fluminis Rheni, spectant in septentrionem et orientem solem. (7) Aquitania a Garumna flumine ad Pyrenaeos montes et eam partem Oceani quae est ad Hispaniam pertinet; spectat inter occasum solis et septentriones.

What is the meaning of finibus (part 5)?

Possible Answers:

Conclusion

Deaths

Borders

Victory

Correct answer:

Borders

Explanation:

In this part of the passage, Caesar is talking about the lengths of the land of the Helvetii and other tribes. The context of this part of the passage indicates that finibus should be translated as "borders" here. 

Passage adapted from De Bello Gallico by Caesar, I. 1-7

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