A TEI Project

Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Declaratory Sentences in Indirect Discourse

582. When the verb of saying etc. is passive, the construction may be either Personal or Impersonal. But the Personal construction is more common and is regularly used in the tenses of incomplete action:—

    beātē vīxisse videor (Lael. 15), I seem to have lived happily.

    Epamīnōndās fidibus praeclārē cecinisse dīcitur (Tusc. 1.4), Epaminondas is said to have played excellently on the lyre.

    multī idem factūrī esse dīcuntur (Fam. 16.12.4), many are said to be about to do the same thing. [Active: dīcunt multōs factūrōs (esse).]

    prīmī trāduntur arte quādam verba vīnxisse (Or. 40), they first are related to have joined words with a certain skill.

    Bibulus audiēbātur esse in Syriā (Att. 5.18), it was heard that Bibulus was in Syria (Bibulus was heard, etc.). [Direct: Bibulus est.]

    cēterae Illyricī legiōnēs secūtūrae spērābantur (Tac. H. 2.74), the rest of the legions of Illyricum were expected to follow.

    vidēmur enim quiētūrī fuisse, nisi essēmus lacessītī (De Or. 2.230), it seems that we should have kept quiet, if we had not been molested (we seem, etc.). [Direct: quiēssēmus ... nisi essēmus lacessītī.]

Note— The poets and later writers extend the personal use of the passive to verbs which are not properly verba sentiendī etc.: as,—colligor dominae placuisse (Ov. Am. 2.6.61), it is gathered [from this memorial] that I pleased my mistress.

a. In the compound tenses of verbs of saying etc., the impersonal construction is more common, and with the gerundive is regular:—

    trāditum est etiam Homērum caecum fuisse (Tusc. 5.114), it is a tradition, too, that Homer was blind.

    ubi tyrannus est, ibi nōn vitiōsam, sed dīcendum est plānē nūllam esse rem pūblicam (Rep. 3.43), where there is a tyrant, it must be said, not that the commonwealth is evil, but that it does not exist at all.

Note— An indirect narrative begun in the personal construction may be continued with the Infinitive and Accusative (as De Or. 2.299; Liv. 5.41.9).

XML File