Livy: te documenta intueri

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Dib, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Hi again,

    Another question from the Praefatio to Livy's History. He writes:

    "10. Hoc illud est praecipue in cognitione rerum salubre ac frugiferum, omnis te exempli documenta in inlustri posita monumento intueri; ..."

    I have a problem parsing the "te". I parse the infinitive clause "omnis ... intueri" as follows:

    1. omnis exempli = genitive singular qualifying (2)
    2. documenta ... posita = accusative plural, direct object to "intueri" in (4)
    3. in inlustri monumento = providing the location for the "posita" in (2)
    4. intueri = infinitive, the head of the clause.

    But I have no clue where the "te" fits in. Some help please!
  2. CapnPrep Senior Member

    It is the subject of intueri ("for you to contemplate, that you contemplate").
  3. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Thanks CapnPrep. I did consider that possibility, but ruled it out - now it seems, wrongly - because I thought it was possible only when some sort of an indirect discourse was meant, i.e. there was a verb of reporting, thinking, etc. (or at the very least some other transitive verb) in the main clause, that can be thought as governing the so-called subject accusative, like:
    "Dixerunt te documenta intueri", where I guess I have always construed the te as a formal object to dixerunt, though logically the subject to intueri. It's just easier to feel it that way for my non-Latinly wired brain. As a result I have had problems in the past getting my head around the passive construction, like "Dictum est te documenta intueri", but have learnt to expect it. So, I suppose it's time to rewire my brain, and learn to feel the accusative subjects outside of indirect discourse.

    On a related note, I have always wondered whether it is ungrammatical to say "Dictus/Dicta es documenta intueri" as a passive of "Dixerunt te documenta intueri" (I mean passivization only of the main clause). Any comments?
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  4. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    Indirect statement, both in Latin and in English, can be introduced by a noun, or its equivalent (such as illud above), as well as by a verb of saying or thinking.
    Both the passive forms that you mention (Dictum est te documenta intueri and Dictus/Dicta es documenta intueri) are correct grammatical Latin.
  5. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Thanks a ton, wandle!

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