In Q: Memento quod <subjunctive> brianpck cited five examples from the Latin Vulgate (Fourth Century). Taking one of these:

"memento quod et ipse servieris in Aegypto et eduxerit te inde Dominus Deus tuus." (Deut. 5:15) =

"Remember both that you have served (as a slave) in Egypt and that the Lord himself, your God, brought you out of that place."

Allen & Greenough p.592: "A subordinate clause takes the subjunctive...[Section 3]...When a reason or explanatory fact is introduced by a relative or by a "quod"...".

Does this explain the use of the (perfect) subjunctive, "eduxerit", in the example?

What if normal indirect speech, "eduxisse", had been deployed?

1 Answer 1


No, that does not explain the subjunctive, because no reason or explanatory fact is introduced by the quod. Therefore Allen & Greenough's § 592 does not apply. Please note that the section you quoted refers to § 540, which begins thus:

The Causal particles quod and quia

But quod is not a causal particle here. It does not mean “because.”

A simple example for causal clauses, as described by Allen & Greenough (but note that they have plenty of examples themselves):

Profectus est, quod constitutum cum aliquo habuit.
He set off because he had an appointment with somebody.

He had an appointment—you have it on my authority.

Profectus est, quod constitutum cum aliquo haberet.
He set off because (or so he said) he had an appointment with somebody.

He said he had an appointment, maybe he did, but I haven't checked.

If you wanted to use classic(al) indirect speech, you'd get rid off the quod and put the subject in the accusative:

Memento et ipsum servivisse in Aegypto et eduxisse te inde Dominum Deum tuum.

(Who led whom out of Egypt? Awkward.)

  • A & G called this "informal Indirect Discourse". In discussions, in the original Q., indirect discourse was discussed; but, not with a final conclusion. In the example, the subject is having recent events/ consequences explained to him, I think. God led the subject out of Egypt. I knew this would be difficult, thanks for having a go.
    – tony
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 19:16
  • 2
    @tony It is an explanation for why the Israelites must observe the Sabbath, but that is besides the point. Quod does not introduce a causal clause here. I have edited my answer to clarify this. Commented May 1, 2020 at 22:22
  • Yes, "memento quod" = "remember that", as translated above; nothing to do with "because". In the Vulgate example the speaker/ writer is telling the subject what God (a third party, in the sentene) had done. This would normally be expressed indirectly (John told Fred what Mary had done.). In Latin, "te eduxisse". Here, quod + perfect subjunctive, "eduxerit"--why?
    – tony
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 8:29
  • 1
    @tony Because the Latin language changed? It is a late Latin/Medieval construction, as has been (I think) quite extensively discussed in the question you cited. Commented May 2, 2020 at 21:43
  • The Vulgate example dates from the 4th. Century. The original Q., for all its erudition, did not delve into the indirect-speech, eduxisse/ eduxerit, conflict. Your theory, that this is a case of (Latin) linguistic evolution is interesting and it may well be the correct answer. I hope so. I'd like to put this Q. to bed and get my life back.
    – tony
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 11:07

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