Why is the subjunctive used in this sentence?

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spqr
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Why is the subjunctive used in this sentence?

Post by spqr » Fri May 10, 2019 4:45 pm

Pyrrhus, Fabricii virtutem admiratus, illi secreto quartam etiam regni sui partem obtulit si patriam desereret.

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Re: Why is the subjunctive used in this sentence?

Post by bedwere » Fri May 10, 2019 5:40 pm

It's the protasis of a conditional clause in indirect speech. It must be subjunctive.

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Re: Why is the subjunctive used in this sentence?

Post by Constantinus Philo » Fri May 10, 2019 6:31 pm

Can we say: si patriam deserturus esset? I think it would be wrong but I don't know why.
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Re: Why is the subjunctive used in this sentence?

Post by spqr » Sat May 11, 2019 2:46 am

The sentence does not look like the usual form of indirect speech to me.

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Re: Why is the subjunctive used in this sentence?

Post by Hylander » Sat May 11, 2019 3:44 am

It's subjunctive because it implicitly represents what Pyrrhus said to Fabricius: "I am offering you a quarter of my kingdom if you desert." A speech act is implicit in obtulit.

I don't think deserturus esset, representing a future indicative verb in direct speech, would necessarily be wrong, but see Allen & Greenough 468, 516.2.a, Note, and 516.2.f:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... 99.04.0001

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... 99.04.0001

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Re: Why is the subjunctive used in this sentence?

Post by spqr » Sat May 11, 2019 6:34 pm

Is this sentence an example of what some refer to as informal indirect discourse?

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Re: Why is the subjunctive used in this sentence?

Post by Constantinus Philo » Sun May 12, 2019 4:28 am

Implied oratio obliqua
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Re: Why is the subjunctive used in this sentence?

Post by spqr » Mon May 13, 2019 2:16 am

Ah yes, implied oratio obliqua. Thank you Constinus

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Re: Why is the subjunctive used in this sentence?

Post by talus » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:05 am

"Pyrrhus, having admired the manly virtue of Fabricius, proffered to him in secret, even a fourth part of his realm, if he would desert his fatherland."
[Note to the side: secreto is an adverbial use of an adjective to predicate an attribute to a person in the
specific context only. The text is not claiming that Fabricius is a secretive fellow as a matter of character but that he is secretive in this instance. Called by some "the adverbial use of an adjective as secondary predicate."]

We are used to seeing the imperfect subjunctive in contrary-to-fact conditionals. However the imperfect subjunctive can also be used of a possible future event (one that could actually come to fruition) that is future to a past situation. From Allen and Greenough 516, f:
"A future conditional is frequently thrown back into past time, without implying that it is contrary to fact." A&G give this example from Caesar:
non poterat, nisi decertare vellet
"He was not able, unless he wished to fight".

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