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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

ACCUSATIVE CASE/ Secondary Object

395. Transitive verbs compounded with prepositions sometimes take (in addition to the direct object) a Secondary Object, originally governed by the preposition:—

Caesar Germānōs flūmen trāicit (B. C. 1.83), Cæsar throws the Germans across the river.

idem iūs iūrandum adigit Afrānium (id. 1.76), he exacts the same oath from Afranius.

quōs Pompêius omnia sua praesidia circumdūxit (id. 3.61), whom Pompey conducted through all his garrison.

Note 1— This construction is common only with trādūcō, trāiciō, and trānsportō. The preposition is sometimes repeated with compounds of trāns, and usually with compounds of the other prepositions. The ablative is also used:—

dōnec rēs suās trāns Halyn flūmen trāicerent (Liv. 38.25), till they should get their possessions across the river Halys.

(exercitus) Padō trāiectus Cremōnam (id. 21.56), the army was conveyed across the Po to Cremona (by way of the Po, § 429. a).

Note 2 The secondary object may be retained with a passive verb: as, —Belgae Rhēnum trāductī sunt (B. G. 2.4), the Belgians were led over the Rhine.

Note 3 The double construction indicated in § 395 is possible only when the force of the preposition and the force of the verb are each distinctly felt in the compound, the verb governing the direct, and the preposition the secondary object.

But often the two parts of the compound become closely united to form a transitive verb of simple meaning. In this case the compound verb is transitive solely by virtue of its prepositional part and can have but one accusative,—the same which was formerly the secondary object, but which now becomes the direct. So trāiciō comes to mean either (1) to pierce (anybody) [by hurling] or (2) to cross (a river etc.):—

gladiō hominem trāiēcit, he pierced the man with a sword. [Here iaciō has lost all transitive force, and serves simply to give the force of a verb to the meaning of trāns, and to tell the manner of the act.]

Rhodanum trāiēcit, he crossed the Rhone. [Here iaciō has become simply a verb of motion, and trāiciō is hardly distinguishable from trānseō.]

In these examples hominem and Rhodanum, which would be secondary objects if trāiēcit were used in its primary signification, have become the direct objects. Hence in the passive construction they become the subjects and are put in the nominative:—

homō trāiectus est gladiō, the man was pierced with a sword.

Rhodanus trāiectus est, the Rhone was crossed.

The poetical trāiectus lōra (Aen. 2.273), pierced with thongs, comes from a mixture of two constructions: (1) eum trāiēcit lōra, he rove thongs through him,1 and (2) eum trāiēcit lōrīs, he pierced him with thongs. In putting the sentence into a passive form, the direct object of the former (lōra) is irregularly kept, and the direct object of the latter (eum

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Notes
1
Perhaps not found in the active, but cf. trāiectō fūne (Aen. 5.488) .