mikeartin wrote:There is a passage from Livy in Wheelock's Latin Reader (p. 177) with the clause "nec per occupatam armis Punicis Italiam facile erat aut nuntium aut litteras mitti". I can't figure out why mitti is used instead of mittere. The structure of the sentence seems to suggest the translation "and it was not easy to send either a messenger or a letter through Italy, occupied as it was by Punic arms". Is the passive infinitive used as a reflexive passive ("to send either a messenger or a letter for themselves")? That's the only explanation I can come up with.
Great question. "Facile erat nuntium mittere" means "it was easy to send a messenger." "Facile erat nuntium mitti" means "it was easy for a messenger to be sent."