Livy 1:9

Notascooby

Civis Illustris

  • Civis Illustris

I've confused myself again.

"Ac plerisque rogitantibus dimissi ecquod feminis quoque asylum aperuissent:"

I have it as; and many( states) were asking repeatedly if the( legati) who had been sent away had opened the asylum for women also.

Dimissi according to one commentary is just a PPP and is the subject of aperuissent. This is what I've got, I take it that it's come away from the indirect question for some reason?

The other commentary says it's dimissi (sunt) but to me that sounds wrong?

Could someone clarify for me what's happening in this sentence?

Thanks
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima

  • Civis Illustris

  • Patrona

I think "ecquod feminis quoque asylum aperuissent" depends on "rogitantibus".
Yes.

And the commentary that sounds wrong to Notascooby is right. Dimissi, with sunt implied, is the main verb here. Such ellipses of forms of sum aren't uncommon in general, and the historians in particular are rather fond of them. Rogitantibus cannot be the main verb, as that is just an ablative participle in an ablative absolute.

More or less literally, the sentence says: "They (the legates) were sent away, most people asking (them) if they had founded a sanctuary for women too."
 

Notascooby

Civis Illustris

  • Civis Illustris

Thanks folks

Quick follow up question.

I see now that there must be a main verb. However it has confused me that dimmisi sunt is the main verb and the subject of it is also the understood object of the ablative absolute. I thought that this was not meant to happen?

This leads me to think that the object of rogitantibus is not an understood legatos but the indirect question. According to this theory they are not asking the legati but instead simply asking? Can rogare be used intransitively?

Seems very likely that I've started off with a wrong belief and then tried to make everything fit it though.

Thanks
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima

  • Civis Illustris

  • Patrona

Rogare can be used transitively (aliquem rogare or aliquid rogare) or ditransitively (aliquem aliquid rogare).* The aliquid, of course, can be an indirect question, like here. So here we have the indirect question as object of rogantibus. The other object, "them", is not there but it is understood, even if it isn't stated, they the ambassadors were the ones who were asked the question.

*Other constructions exist but these are the most common ones and the only ones relevant here.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima

  • Civis Illustris

  • Patrona

However it has confused me that dimmisi sunt is the main verb and the subject of it is also the understood object of the ablative absolute. I thought that this was not meant to happen?
That sort of thing can and often does happen. I suspect you're getting confused with the rule that says the subject of an ablative absolute can't be the same as the subject or object or (usually, with few exceptions) any other grammatical component of the clause. So here, for instance, rogantibus couldn't refer to the ambassadors — the ambassadors couldn't be the ones asking the question — since they are the subject of the main verb.
 
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