By LZY, in 'Latin Beginners', May 17, 2019.

  1. LZY New Member


    'Eas ita dicere, non esse fas Germanos superare, si...'

    It says 'Germanos superare' is the subject. So Germanos and superare are appositive here?

    Another sentence:

    'Caesar, quod satis esse visum est, reliquit (praesidium)...'

    Why is esse used here? Shoudn't 'quod satis visum est' be sufficient?

    Thank you guys!
  2. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Cygnea, Gena
    Who is "it"?


    visum est is the perfect tense of videtur and means "it seems". This word triggers a nominative cum infinitivo construction, which is why esse is in there. However, it's true that esse could be left out.
  3. LZY New Member

    Thank you.

    I am using John Rolfe's A Latin Reader. The footnote for the first sentence says 'esse: the subject is Germanos superare, but begin the trans. with 'it''.
  4. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Cygnea, Gena
    Can you give me the full sentence and the preceding one?

    Btw: to clarify:

    videtur means "it seems"

    visum est means "it seemed".
  5. LZY New Member

    Yes of course.

    Cum ex captivis quaereret Caesar, quam ob rem Ariovistus proelio non decertaret, hanc reperiebat causam, quod apud Germanos ea consuetudo esset, ut matres familiae eorum sortibus et vaticinationibus declararent, utrum proelium committi ex usu esset necne; eas it dicere, non esse fas Germanos superare, si ante novam lunam proelio contendissent.
  6. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Cygnea, Gena
    Thank you! I just wanted to see what the word eas refers to :) It refers to matres in the previous sentence.

    The whole sentence is constructed in such a way that it depends on a more or less implied construction that triggers an AcI, something like captivi dixerunt. An AcI (accusative with infinitive), i.e. an indirect speech construction is dependent on this main clause: eas (=matres) ita dicere: and yet another infinitive construction is dependent on the dicere: non fas esse Germanos superare.

    non fas esse Germanos superare would, if it were a non-dependent clause and an independent sentence, be Germanos superare non est fas. In this sentence, the infinitive construction "Germanos superare" would be the subject of the sentence and "fas" the predicate noun (don't nail me down on the correct terminology, though).

    So literally, Germanos superare non est fas means "The Germans to win is not (divine) right". In English you would probably either say "It is not divine right (= not willed by the gods) that the Germans win" or "It is not right (or: it is not willed by the gods) for the Germans to win".

    Does that help or do you need help with the translation of the full (dependent) sentence as well?
  7. LZY New Member

    Yes great help. Thank you!

    Just haven't seen the construction of noun + infinitive as subject anywhere else yet. Now I have seen! LOL

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