Tacitus Annals 1.4

Phoebus Apollo

Civis Illustris
  • pars multo maxima inminentis dominos variis rumoribus differebant: trucem Agrippam et ignominia accensum non aetate neque rerum experientia tantae moli parem, Tiberium Neronem maturum annis, spectatum bello, sed vetere atque insita Claudiae familiae superbia, multaque indicia saevitiae, quamquam premantur, erumpere. hunc et prima ab infantia eductum in domo regnatrice; congestos iuveni consulatus, triumphos; ne iis quidem annis, quibus Rhodi specie secessus exul egerit, aliud quam iram et simulationem et secretas lubidines meditatum. accedere matrem muliebri inpotentia: serviendum feminae duobusque insuper adulescentibus, qui rem publicam interim premant, quandoque distrahant.
I'm stuck on the bit in bold - not quite sure how the gerundive (?) works. It's how to translate servio (I serve, I am a slave to) which is throwing me off, because I'm struggling to translate it passively - I guess 'be subjected to' or 'be made a slave to'?

I think that serviendum agrees with the aforementioned Tiberium Neronem and that you should understand 'esse' with it in the indirect statement. At first I thought feminae and duobus adulescentibus were dative of agent, but I think they're just dative after servio. So ultimately: '(that) he had to be subjected to/be made a slave to the female and to the two young men'

Is this correct? Thanks in advance.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
It is a gerundive (with an implied esse) and it is an impersonal construction. A gerundive with esse denotes a passive necessity. Usually, the agent (for whom something is necessary) is in the dative, but in this particular case the datives are indeed simply the dative objects to servire. I would simply translate servire as 'to serve': "[rumour had it that ...] a woman and, on top of that, two young men had to be served, who would [sup]press the state for a while and at some point tear it apart."
 

Phoebus Apollo

Civis Illustris
It is a gerundive (with an implied esse) and it is an impersonal construction. A gerundive with esse denotes a passive necessity. Usually, the agent (for whom something is necessary) is in the dative, but in this particular case the datives are indeed simply the dative objects to servire. I would simply translate servire as 'to serve': "[rumour had it that ...] a woman and, on top of that, two young men had to be served, who would [sup]press the state for a while and at some point tear it apart."
Thank you so much!
 
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