In Plinius I encountered:

"Confitentes iterum ac tertio interrogavi supplicium minatus"

Is supplicium some sort of accusativus belonging to minatus, which comes from deponens minor?

If a form is passive then I would expect that the "accused" has taken his place as the subject already. But then suddenly another "accused" shows up. Somehow that bothers me.

1 Answer 1


Yes, a deponent verb can have an accusative object just like non-deponent verbs do.

If I threaten someone with something in Latin, then alicui aliquid minor. The person (or other entity) being threatened is in dative, but the threat (death, punishment, fine, ...) is in accusative. Since minari is a deponent verb, the seemingly passive form can be used as if it were active. In my experience the non-deponent version minare is less common.

Therefore interrogavi supplicium minatus means "I interrogated and threatened with punishment". The most natural translation of supplicium depends on context.

As a side note, supplicium is also the plural genitive of supplex, but this interpretation makes little sense in this context.

  • 3
    Thank you. That makes things clear. Even your side note is functional (if it is not accusative then what is it?...). I can drop this questioning now. A soon acceptance might cause less attention of others, so I postpone that. I allready know you from Maths.
    – drhab
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 11:23
  • 1
    Only a side note: a better translation of supplicium in this context is torture.
    – Dario
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 11:35
  • 1
    Tibi gratulor, quod iam >centum milia punctorum tulisti! :)
    – drhab
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 14:51

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