Word order with compound subjects

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YIt
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Word order with compound subjects

Post by YIt »

Hi all,
As I am new here, please forgive any deviation from forum norms and etiquette.

Does a subject being compound affect word order?
For example:

"fasces huic securesque Romanae viam faciunt" (Plin., NH, 9.127)

Rackham translates: "the official rods and axes of Rome clear it a path"

A friend has suggested that perhaps 'viam' here means "through, by way of", and 'faciunt' means take possession (despite it not being in a genitive clause).
Accordingly, the sentence would read "Through the official rods and axes of Rome it was taken possession".

I think that there are a number of problems with this suggestion (e.g. 'faciunt' has no subject).
I am wondering if the word 'viam' should have been placed elsewhere, as it seems to me awkward to come in the middle of the clause and after a compound subject ("fasces huic securesque").

Any thoughts?
Thank you!

mwh
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by mwh »

No, the position of viam as the direct object of faciunt is perfectly normal. The fact that the subject is compounded makes no difference to that. So the basic order here is subject-object-verb (sometimes known as SOV), which is extremely common.

The only thing that might cause trouble is huic, the indirect object, which intervenes immediately after the first word of the sentence. But that too in accordance with ordinary word-order behavior.

YIt
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by YIt »

Thank you for your help!

Is there any issue with 'viam' being used as an adverb, and 'faciunt' not being in the genitive?

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bedwere
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by bedwere »

Viam is not an adverb. It's the object of faciunt, which, not being a noun, cannot be in the genitive.

YIt
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by YIt »

Yes, you are right. Thank you!
According to the translation proposed above, 'viam' would be a preposition. Can this be true?
Regarding 'faciunt' - are you saying that it can be the active equivalent of fiunt in "omnia qua quae mulieris fuerunt, viri fiunt dotis nomine", i.e. take possession?
Wouldn't the sentence be lacking the people who are taking possession?

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bedwere
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by bedwere »

mwh has already explained everything that requires an explanation. via in the accusative cannot be a preposition. fīō is rather the passive of faciō. Often it can be translated as "become." This is the case of the example you quoted (become of the husband etc..). That friend of yours seems to be very confused to me.

YIt
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by YIt »

Many thanks to both of you for your kind and patient help!

In Lewis and Short I see the following:
3. With gen., to make a thing the property of a person, subject it to him: omnia, quae mulieris fuerunt, viri fiunt, Cic. Top. 4, 23.—Esp.: facere aliquid dicionis alicujus, to reduce to subjection under a person or power: omnem oram Romanae dicionis fecit, Liv. 21, 60, 3: dicionis alienae facti, id. 1, 25, 13; 5, 27, 14; cf.: ut munus imperii beneficii sui faceret, to make it (seem) his own bounty, Just. 13, 4, 9: ne delecto imperatore alio sui muneris rempublicam faceret, Tac. A. 15, 52.—
Can you explain to me why 'faciunt' can't mean to actively take possession accordingly?
(I am not doubting, just want to understand clearly.)

Thanks again!

Hylander
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by Hylander »

Can you explain to me why 'faciunt' can't mean to actively take possession accordingly?
With gen., to make a thing the property of a person, subject it to him:
Bill Walderman

YIt
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by YIt »

Thanks!
That's actually what I had in mind when I asked above:
Is there any issue with [...] 'faciunt' not being in the genitive?
to which bedwere responded:
faciunt, [...] not being a noun, cannot be in the genitive.
Is there is some other type of genitive modifier that would be necessary?
Can you give an example?

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seneca2008
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by seneca2008 »

Is there is some other type of genitive modifier that would be necessary?
Can you give an example?
The verb would have to take a noun in the genitive case. The snippet from L&S which you posted has several examples : omnia, quae mulieris fuerunt, viri fiunt, etc (viri is the noun vir in the genitive case)

How long have you been studying Latin and what are you currently working on?
Persuade tibi hoc sic esse, ut scribo: quaedam tempora eripiuntur nobis, quaedam subducuntur, quaedam effluunt. Turpissima tamen est iactura, quae per neglegentiam fit. Et si volueris attendere, maxima pars vitae elabitur male agentibus, magna nihil agentibus, tota vita aliud agentibus.

YIt
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by YIt »

Thank you!
I'm actually beginning a course on Latin, but I posted the question because a friend had asked me about this passage (with his proposed translation), and it didn't seem right to me.

Thank you all for your great and patient help!

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seneca2008
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Re: Word order with compound subjects

Post by seneca2008 »

I hope your course goes well.

I think your friend needs to think carefully about the grammar of this sentence and decide what (s)he thinks "huic" means.
Persuade tibi hoc sic esse, ut scribo: quaedam tempora eripiuntur nobis, quaedam subducuntur, quaedam effluunt. Turpissima tamen est iactura, quae per neglegentiam fit. Et si volueris attendere, maxima pars vitae elabitur male agentibus, magna nihil agentibus, tota vita aliud agentibus.

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