I'm having some trouble with indirect speech and was wondering if my answers to these questions are correctly worded.

Quid Priamus ante Pyrrhō praedīxit quam periit? Priamus praedixit deos Pyrrhum punituri esse propter trucidatio filii coram patre.

Quid dīxit Hecuba cum marītum senem arma capere vīdit? Cum maritum senem arma capere vidit, Hecuba dixit arma inutilia esse, quod solum auxilium deorum eos servare potuisse.

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


Hello and welcome to the site!

  • punituri: The future participle must agree with its subject, so it should be deos punituros
  • potuisse: As pointed out by Jasper in the comments, this is a subordinate clause and as such should be rendered in the subjunctive according to the consecutio temporum (c.t.). It depends on the nearest finite verb, dixit, and describes a simultaneous action, which calls for the imperfect subjunctive: quod solum auxilium deorum eos servare posset

As far as I can see, that's it for the indirect speech, aside from that:

  • propter governs the accusative, so it should be propter trucidationem
  • a temporal subordinate sentence with cum in this case should be in the subjunctive mood, so it should be Hecuba cum videret … (or vidisset, I guess that is a matter of taste). (Note: The same does not apply to antequam in a purely temporal meaning, which is the case here, so that is good.)
  • "545. A temporal clause with cum (when) and some past tense of the indicative dates or defines the time at which the action of the main verb occurred." dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/cum-clauses -- So vidit is fine.
    – Jasper May
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 10:26
  • "540. The Causal particles quod and quia take the indicative, when the reason is given on the authority of the writer or speaker; the subjunctive, when the reason is given on the authority of another." dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/causal-clauses -- So I'd expect potuerit.
    – Jasper May
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 10:26
  • 2
    @JasperMay I believe this is a textbook example for a cum that is not purely temporal. The seeing prompted the saying; thus the subjunctive. You are right that the quod clause must be in the subjunctive here. Even if it took the indicative mood in direct speech, it would have to be rendered in the subjunctive in indirect speech. I believe it should be the imperfect subjunctive though. Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 14:47
  • To be fair, I didn't quite understand the distinction made in note 3 on 546. But it doesn't seem that one action prompting another has anything to do with the second needing to be subjunctive. The question "Quid dīxit Hecuba cum marītum senem arma capere vīdit?" comes from Oerberg's Exercitia Latina II, Ch. 37, Ex. 7, Nr. 13. 'Vīdit' is Oerberg's choice, and I don't want to disagree with him without a good reason.
    – Jasper May
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 15:57
  • 2
    @JasperMay Hard to argue with Ørberg, but it does not strictly describe the time, much rather the circumstances of Hecuba's utterance, right? Anyway, this is rather ancillary to the question at hand, maybe a matter for a new question. Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 18:48

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