Plutarch: infinitive with accusative subject, not indirect?

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handsomechuck

Senior Member
American English (NYC region)
A bit unsure about this: Isis is the subject of the infinitive here, even though there's no verb of reporting or believing? Would this be the relevant explanation? Thank you.

Yet it [acc+inf construction] can be also in use with any infinitival use, no matter whether indirect speech is involved or not.

μόνον δὲ τῶν μερῶν τοῦ Ὀσίριδος τὴν Ἶσιν οὐχ εὑρεῖν τὸ αἰδοῖον:

Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride, section 18
 
  • Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings ὦ φίλοι
    I guess the infinitive refers to a previously mentioned or an implied verb in the sense of "say" ("they say").
    This is correct. In the entire paragraph Plutarch is re-telling various accounts (not all entirely consistent with one another) of the death and dismemberment of Osiris, and Isis' attempts to recover his body-parts in order to be able to perform the proper rites to ensure his place in the afterlife. It's almost all in indirect discourse, therefore.
    Σ
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    A bit unsure about this: Isis is the subject of the infinitive here, even though there's no verb of reporting or believing? Would this be the relevant explanation? Thank you.
    Perseas and Scholiast are both right: there is a repeated indirect speech with verbs in the sense of "say" ("they say"), “φασίν” mainly being the reporting verb. As in various places throughout the text, just a few lines above the sentence in question you can see the verb φασιν in its negative form (οὔ φασιν meaning “they do not say, they deny” what has been related just above) and inevitably imply it immediately after the conjunction “ἀλλά” (=but) in its positive form “φασίν” (here meaning “they say, they ascertain” that εἴδωλα
    ποιουμένην ………… and that “μόνον δὲ τῶν μερῶν τοῦ Ὀσίριδος τὴν Ἶσιν οὐχ εὑρεῖν τὸ αἰδοῖον”.)

    Consequently, you can be sure that there is an indirect speech, there is a (n implied) verb of reporting or believing and Isis (in accusative “τὴν Ἶσιν”) is the subject of the infinitive “(οὐχ) εὑρεῖν”. The same construction can be found in various places above and below as well, e.g. (φασίν) τὴν Ἶσιν διδόναι … τὴν Ἶσιν καθιερῶσαι etc.

    Yet it [acc+inf construction] can be also in use with any infinitival use, no matter whether indirect speech is involved or not.
    If I adequately understand the observation: No, such construction [acc+inf] cannot exist autonomously (by itself) without a dependence from a verb either in direct or indirect speech.
     
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