Motus celer fluminis intellegendus erit ne cui transeunti noceatur

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

  1. ClassicalSoul New Member

    Why is noceatur passive and not active, i.e. noceat? Doesn't noceo belong to the family of verbs typified by persuadeo where the active form can have also a sort of passive meaning? E.g. Tibi persuadeo, 'I persuade you' or persuadeo, 'I am persuasive'. So if that's the case, what's the point of the passive here --- all the more since the aim is obviously an active meaning?

    Motus celer fluminis intellegendus erit ne cui transeunti noceatur
    Last edited by ClassicalSoul, May 17, 2019
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Because that's what the author chose. They chose to write "lest harm be done to anyone"/"lest anyone be harmed" rather than "lest it harm anyone".

    Noceatur is an impersonal passive. Have you heard of this construction before?
  3. ClassicalSoul New Member

    Yes, but can't you just as well have an active impersonal?
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    No. There isn't really any such thing as an active impersonal outside impersonal verbs like oportet, placet, etc.
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Persuadeo is active. It doesn't have a passive meaning. A passive meaning would be "I am persuaded".

    Maybe you're getting confused between passive and stative.
  6. ClassicalSoul New Member

    Oh my, you're right. But am I correct in saying that in this case using the active would have given the same as using the passive impersonal?
  7. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    No. The active would mean "lest it (= the river's current) harm anyone", while the passive means "lest harm be done to anyone"/"lest anyone be harmed".
    ClassicalSoul likes this.

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