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Primum Afros naval certamine superant [Subject?]

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by melonidas, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. melonidas Junior Member

    spanish
    Hello friends,

    In: Primum Afros navali certamine superant

    Afros: accusative pl of afre 3rd declension Direct object
    superant: 3rd person plural present tense
    Naval: nom/acc. dg neuter 3rd declension , dock
    There has to be a subject that matches with the verb tense, but I dont see it.

    Thx
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  2. Scholiast Senior Member

    Reading, UK
    English - UK
    Greetings

    This quotation is not immediately identifiable (though possibly from Ps-Caes. Bell. Afr.?).

    Almost certainly we should here read navali certamine anyway, but besides that, the subject of superant is probably implicit (or explicit) from the wider context. The default "rule" in Latin prose usage is that the subject will be carried over from the previous sentence, unless there is an unambiguous marker to the contrary (such as a relatively emphatic pronoun, in the nominative). Could we have a precise reference please?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  3. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    France
    Français
    No hay.
    En latin como en español, no es menester que todas las oraciones tengan un sujeto.

    «Al principio vencen a los africanos en la batalla naval» --> no sujeto en español tampoco.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  4. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    It is from Eutropius’ epitome of Roman history, II 12:

    M. Aemilio Paulo, Servio Fulvio Nobiliore css. ambo romani consules ad Africam profecti sunt cum trecentarum navium classe; primum Afros navali certamine superant.

    The subject, as you can see, is “ambo consules”.
     
  5. melonidas Junior Member

    spanish
    Yes it was navali, sorry for the mistake. On the other hand, in my pov we should say, "al principio vencen a los africanos", because if we omit the "a" before "los africanos" it can be understood as the subject and not the direct object.
     
  6. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    In Latin, the finite verb form includes its subject, since it employs different endings according to person and number.
    Thus amo means 'I love' and does not need a separately expressed subject.

    M. Aemilio Paulo, Servio Fulvio Nobiliore css. ambo romani consules ad Africam profecti sunt cum trecentarum navium classe; primum Afros navali certamine superant.

    In the present case, superant means 'they overcome'. No separate subject is needed to make it a complete sentence.
    As this is an example of the historic present, the translation in context should be:

    ... primum Afros navali certamine superant. '... first, they overcame the Africans in a naval battle.'

    By the way, the nom. sing. of Afros is Afer.
     
  7. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    France
    Français
    Lo todo exactamente como en Español.
     

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