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    #1

    need help

    Could anyone please help me with the paragraph below? The paragraph is from an old travel book. I couldn't understand what exactly it says especially when the coloured words involved. If the sentence is rephrased or put in different order it will be easier for me to understand . Thanks in advance.

    We read of its having been a famous city even in the time of Philip of Macedon, who took possession of it apparently after a siege of some duration, which would suppose fortifications on a large scale, but of which, it must be allowed, the Romans, who took possession of it again in the time of Julius Caesar, took care there should be left but the scantiest remains.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: need help

    Quote Originally Posted by manevela View Post
    Could anyone please help me with the paragraph below? The paragraph is from an old travel book. I couldn't understand what exactly it says especially when the coloured words involved. If the sentence is rephrased or put in different order it will be easier for me to understand . Thanks in advance.

    We read of its having been a famous city even in the time of Philip of Macedon, who took possession of it apparently after a siege of some duration, which would suppose fortifications on a large scale, but of which, it must be allowed, the Romans, who took possession of it again in the time of Julius Caesar, took care there should be left but the scantiest remains.
    "...we must accept/understand that the Romans in the time of Julius Caesar made sure that the large scale fortifications were mostly destroyed."

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    #3

    Re: need help

    We read of its having been a famous city even in the time of Philip of Macedon, who took possession of it apparently after a siege of some duration, which would suppose fortifications on a large scale, but of which, it must be allowed, the Romans, who took possession of it again in the time of Julius Caesar, took care there should be left but the scantiest remains.

    This is how I understand the text, expressed in simpler, less flowery language. I hope it helps. Uncle M (not a teacher).

    We read that it was a famous city, even in the time of Philip of Macedon. He took possession of it, apparently, after a long siege. This would lead us to assume that it had extensive fortifications. However, it must be said that, when the Romans took possession of it again in the time of Julius Caesar, they took care to leave only the minimum remains.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: need help



    It seems to me there are several difficulties about this text, notably -

    • The verb 'allow' used in the archaic sense of 'admit/concede/agree'.
    • What is already a difficult word is dressed up [that is, made more obscure] in complex/dated grammar (impersonal 'it', passive, modal)
    • 'there should be left' - another passive
    • 'but the scantiest' - dated use of but' (in the meaning 'only')
    • If you're not familiar with that use of but, what is the superlative doing?
    • Anyway, even if you recognize the superlative, 'scantiest' isn't the most common of words.
    • And your dictionary probably won't have it as a head-word anyway


    Are you sure this is an appropriate text for you to struggle with?

    b

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    #5

    Re: need help

    No, normally it is not, but I am helping a friend who is struggling with this kind of texts for his dissertation. And it is appropriate for him. :))

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    #6

    Re: need help

    thank you all. I very much appreciate for the help

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: need help

    You're welcome.

    (Incidentally, 'I appreciate your help'=(approximately "=") 'I am grateful for your help.')

    b

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