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The English equivalent of the Latin sentence 'Vobis erat timor nostri sed multi nostrum vos timebant' is the following: Was your fear of us or was it fear of our many troops? The word-by-word translation is as follows: 'vobis' means 'to you'; 'erat' means '[it] was'; 'timor' means 'fear'; 'nostri' means 'our'; 'sed' means 'but'; 'multi' means 'many'; 'nostrum' means 'our'; 'vos' means 'you'; and 'timebant' means '[they] dreaded, feared, or were afraid'. In other words, the speaker or writer asks whether his peers were feared for themselves or for their numbers.

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Q: What is the meaning of 'Vobis erat timor nostri sed multi nostrum vos timebant'?
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I got this from the web and is as good an answer as any [owing to the variety of translation and implication possible]:sic vos non vobis: Thus do ye, but not for yourselves.(The commencement of each of four verses which Virgil wrote but left incomplete, on the occasion when Bathyllus claimed some lines really written by the poet, who alone was able to complete the verses, and thus prove their authorship.) [Sometimes used of persons by whose labors others have unduly profited.]Sent in byDr David R Rosseinsky MSc (Rhodes) PhD DSc (Manc) FRSC Email: _______________________________A further web page is by Arnold Joseph Toynbee, David Churchill Somervell - 1957 - History - 432 pagesSIC VOS NON VOBIS Cue vos non vobis ...NON VOBIS ... from which I quote in fuller amplification, Sic vos non vobis mellificatis, apes [Virgil] "Thus you bees make honey, but not only for yourselves" The cited authors note that " The 'only' is not in the Latin, but it might well be, for the poet must have known that if the bees do not get any honey for themselves they go on strike."DRR _________________________________________ Finally, the full story: From Brewer's Readers' Guides Vos non Vobis. The tale is that Virgil wrote an epigram on Augustus Cæsar, which so much pleased the emperor that he desired to know who was the author. As Virgil did not claim the lines, one Bathyllus declared they were his. This displeased Virgil, and he wrote these four words, Sic vos non vobis… four times as the commencement of four lines, and Bathyllus was requested to finish them. This he could not do, but Virgil completed the lines thus- Sic vos non vobis nidificatis aves;Sic vos non vobis villera fertis oves;Sic vos non vobis mellificatis apes;Sic vos non vobis fertis aratra boves.Not for yourselves warm nests ye song-birds build;Not for yourselves ye sheep your fleeces bear;Not for yourselves store hives ye bees have filled;Not for yourselves ye oxen draw the share.-E. C. B DRR

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