North & Hillard Ex. 198 begins: "It was already dawning when the general gave the signal, promising a great reward to the first man who climbed the walls."
The translation: "iam illucescebat cum dux signum dedit, magnum praemium ei pollicitus qui primus moenia ascenderet."
N & H gave a footnote for this section: "In such phrases the superlative must be transferred to the relative clause--"the man who first (qui primus)…" So for "he sent the most faithful slave he had," the Latin idiom is, "he sent the slave whom he had the most faithful." Also "the only man who" = "the man who alone (qui solus).)
Firstly: why must the superlative be included in the relative clause, in "De Bello Gallico" (5.44.1): "erant in ea legione fortissimi viri, centuriones, qui primis ordinibus appropinquarent..", superlative, "fortissimi", is not so included?
Secondly: N & H did not offer the translations to the footnote phrases. Have added the two (easy) ones, the longer one is trickier: "he sent the slave whom he had the most faithful". Tried: "servum misit, qui fidissimus esset eius (omnium servorum)." Here, though,"eius" would link to "qui", in the relative clause; not, to the antecedent (the slave-owner who did the sending).
Then: "servum misit, qui fidissimus esset quos possidebat (omnium servorum)." = "he sent the slave, who was the most faithful, of all the slaves, whom he owned." Here, "possidebat" is indicative because it refers to the antecedent, not the-most-faithful-slave.
The use of two relative, "qui", clauses calls this into question. The simplest things, at first sight, can tie the student up in knots!
Any thoughts, please?