I am working through Jenney's Second-Year Latin and I came across this sentence:

Pyrrhus Romanos mille octingentos cepit, eosque summo honore tractavit.

It's the first clause that's giving me the trouble. I think it means Pyrrhus captured the Romans after eight-hundred miles. I would have written post octingentos millium. I don't understand the construction mille octingentos. Is my translation even correct?

Can anyone help? Thanks.

2 Answers 2


Mille isn't "miles", it's just the number "thousand." The translation is actually that "Pyrrhus captured 1,800 (1,000 + 800) Romans."

What you're probably thinking of is mille passuum, which is more literally "a thousand paces", i.e. a "mile." But for that to be mile, you really do need the passuum. Without that, it's more natural to read the accusative plural octingentos with the other accusative plural Romanos.


There are two separate numbers: mille (one thousand) and octingentos (eight hundred). So, it is:

Pyrrhus captured one thousand, eight hundred Romans, and treated them with the greatest respect.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.