In the famous Caesar's sentence:

*Perfacile factu esse illis probat conata perficere, propterea quod ipse suae civitatis imperium obtenturus esset: non esse dubium quin totius galliae plurimum helvetii possent: se suis copiis suoque exercitu illis regna conciliaturum (esse), confirmat. *

The first illis in Perfacile factu esse illis probat is ok and easy. The problem is with the illis on se suis copiis suoque exercitu illis regna conciliaturum (esse), confirmat.

To me, that second one shouldn't be on ablative nor on dative but on genitive. Can somebody please make sense of whatever case it is in that sentence?

1 Answer 1


In this sense, concilio means "gain" or "win over," and a very common construction (see meaning I.B.1.β) is conciliare aliquem [acc.] alicui [dat.], i.e. "to win over something [acc.] for someone [dat.]."

Breaking down your sentence, which uses indirect discourse:

1. confirmat                              verb of main clause
2.     se conciliaturum [esse]            ACI: indirect discourse
3.         suis copiis suoque exercitu    ablative of means
4.         regna                          accusative direct object of conciliare
5.         illis                          dative with conciliare

Putting it all together:

[1] He assures [them] [2] that he will win over [3] with his troops and with his army [4] the royal powers [5] for them.

  • 1
    Nice & clear answer! Cf. the same dative associated to a gerundival form of this verb: ad eorum voluntatem mihi conciliandam maximo te mihi usui fore video (Cic. Att. 1.2). One could say that mihi is a "dative of agent" in this gerundival context, but it is not. Here mihi is, as you rightly note, the beneficiary dative argument selected by the verb. (Context of the discussion: (typical) "datives of agent" cannot depend on the gerundive form. Cf. latin.stackexchange.com/questions/12844/… ).
    – Mitomino
    Feb 28 at 17:38

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