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visum amicos Athenas iniit.

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by William Stein, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. William Stein Senior Member

    San Jose, Costa Rica
    American English
    Salvete!

    What is the role of the visum here? I think it looks like the masculine accusative past passive participle of video, but I don't see how it can mean what it says in the answer key:

    Deinde, ab ea insula nave profecta,
    visum amicos Athenas iniit.

    Then, having set out from that island by ship, she entered Athens to see her friends.
     
  2. dubitans Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria
    German - Austria
    supinum: in order to
     
  3. William Stein Senior Member

    San Jose, Costa Rica
    American English
    I see, it's neuter singular supine, thanks!

    I just dreamed up (literally) this poem for would-be Latin teachers:

    If you don't know the supine
    you'll stand in the soupline!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  4. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Reading, UK
    English - UK
    salvete vos quoque

    The supine corresponds exactly with the neuter nom.sing. of the past participle, but it does not itself decline. It is an idiotically superfluous bit of Latin accidence, and I wish Remmius Palaemon had done away with it altogether.

    Σ
     
  5. Dib Senior Member

    Germany
    Bengali (India)
    I believe, it is historically the accusative of the u-declension masculine verbal nouns in -tus (vid- + -tus > visus). There is also the supine in -tu/-su used in dative/ablative sense which plainly gives this away. Plus, Sanskrit also has a parallel construction in -tum.
     
  6. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    That is correct. But this means that although the neuter singular of the perfect passive participle looks just like the first supine (in both cases visum) it does not “correspond” to it etymologically. The p.p.p. is from the thematic stem *vid-to-, but the supine is from the athematic u-stem *vid-tu- > acc. visum and dat. visū.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  7. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    Without it, though, we would not have such gems as:

    spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut ipsae (Ovid, AA).
     
  8. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    To follow up further on Dib’s astute comments: in Vedic the verbal noun in –tu is attested in several (but not all) cases; in the later stage of Old Indian (that is: in Sanskrit stricto sensu) only the accusative singular in –tu-m survives; it is the principal form of the infinitive, e.g. dātum “to give”.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  9. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Reading, UK
    English - UK
    salvete amici!

    It was in a querulous mood (for other reasons) that I wrote my previous contribution to this thread (# 4), and I apologise (bad day at the schoolmastering office). Of course fdb is right (## 6, 8) on the exact philology (thanks fdb for explaining that too). But is it then still appropriate to regard the -u form as a "dative"? Virgilian phrases such as miserabile dictu are cosily explained to sixth-formers as such ("lamentable for relation"), but this cannot be the philological explanation, as by the time our beloved Caesar and Cicero got their hands on the language it had already undergone a remarkable process of systematisation, and datives in -u are unknown.

    Genuine curiosity here,

    Σ
     
  10. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I see your point. By Caesar’s time dictu is either a fossilised dative, or else it was at least understood to be an ablative of specification. Does that sound plausible?
     

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