List of Caesarian Idioms

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from William Rainey Harper and Herbert Cushing Tolman, Gaius Julius Caesar: Four Books of Caesar’s Gallic War (New York: American Book Company, 1908), pp. 321-323.


a dextro cornu: on the right wing

a fronte: in front

a pueris: from boyhood

a sinistro cornu: on the left wing

ab armis discedere: to lay down the arms

ab signis discedere: to leave the ranks

ab officio discedere: to fail in one's duty

ab cohortatione: after exhorting

ab eis defendere: to defend against them

ab milibus passuum octo: eight miles off

ab re frumentaria laborare: to suffer with respect to provisions

ad Caesarem deferre: to lay before Caesar

ad equum rescribere: to enroll in the cavalry

ad hunc modum: in this way

ad milia decem: about ten thousand

ad speciem: for show

ad unum: to a man

ad urbem: near the city

ad urbem pervenit: he arrived at the city

ad Alpes pertinent: extend as far as the Alps

apud Caesarem: in the presence of Caesar

de ea causa: for this reason

de improviso: suddenly

ex aqua mensurae: measures by the water-clocks

ex itinere: on the march

ex navi egredi: to disembark

ex usu Galliae: of advantage to Gaul

ex vestigio: on the spot

e vinculis: in chains

soror ex matre: sister on the mother's side

unus e filiis: one of the sons

in Caesaris fidem venire: put one's self under the protection of Caesar

in dies: daily

in flumine pontem facere: to build a bridge across the river

in fugam dare: to put to flight

in itinere: on the march

in perpetuum: forever

in praesentia: for the present

in reliquum tempus: for the future

in vicem: in turn

habere in animo: to intend

inter se cohortati: exhorting one another

inter se dare: to exchange

inter se differunt: they differ from one another

pro beneficiis: in return for favors

pro multitudine: in proportion to the large body

pro perfuga: as a deserter

sub corona vendere: to sell as slaves


ad extremum: at last

adverso colle: up the hill

adverso flumine: up-stream

aequo animo: with contented mind

alienum aes: debt

alienum tempus: an unfavorable time

alii aliam in partem: some in one direction, others in another

aversi ab hosti circumventi: surrounded by the enemy in the rear

certiorem eum facere: to inform him

certior fieri: to be informed

de improviso: suddenly

extremo oppido: at the end of the town

in arido: on dry land

in perpetuum: forever

loco suo: in a favorable place

medio in colle:" on the middle of the hill

multa lingua Gallica uti: to speak the Gallic language fluently

multa nocte: late at night

multo die: late in the day

primo vere: at the beginning of spring

quisque nobilissimus: all the nobles

rari pugnabant: here and there men were fighting


alias... alias: at one time... at another

contra atque: different than

cum primum: as soon as

graviter ferre: to be annoyed

largiter posse: to have great influence

multum valere: to have great power

quam maximus: the greatest possible

quam primum: as soon as


ante exactem hiemem: before the winter had passed

confectus vulneribus: weakened by wounds

sol oriens: the East


accedit ut: moreover

adficere supplicio: to punish

adfici beneficio: to receive favors

agere gratias: to thank

capere consilium: to form a plan

capere portum: to reach a harbor

castra movere: to break camp

castra ponere: to pitch camp

causam dicere: to plead a case

causam inferre: to allege a reason

conlocare nuptum: to give in marriage

consciscere sibi mortem: to commit suicide

consilium inire: to form a plan

convertere signa: to face about

dare manus: to yield

dare operam: to take pains

defendere bellum: to ward off war

ducere bellum: to prolong a war

ducere uxorem: to marry

facere iter: to march

ferre signa: to advance

gerere bellum: to wage war

gratiam habere: to be grateful

gratias referre: to requite

habere eodem loco: to consider in the same light

habere id conpertum: to have learned

habere sibi persuasum: to be persuaded

inferre bellum: to make war

inferre signa conversa: to face about and charge

laxare manipulos: to open the ranks

memoriam deponere: to forget

naves armare: to fit out ships

naves deducere: to launch ships

naves solvere: to weigh anchor

naves subducere: to beach, draw up ships

praestare virtutem: to show courage

recusare mortem: to shrink from death

referre pedem: to retreat

repetere poenas: to inflict punishment

sententia desistere: to give up a plan

sumere supplicium de eo: to punish him

vertere terga: to flee

vim facere: to use violence


aliquid consilii: some new plan

Caesare consule: in the consulship of Caesar

celerius opinione: sooner than anyone supposed

inita aestate: at the beginning of summer

minus dubitationis: less doubt

nihil reliqui: nothing left

nihil vini: no wine

plus doloris: more pain

quantum boni: how much advantage

quid negotii: what business

quod navium: what ships