I take the following sentence from Fabules Faciles:

...hōc enim ūnō modō tantum scelus expiārī potuit

as "...only in this way could he atone for such a great crime." literally, "indeed in this one way for such an extent of crime to atone was he able". So, expiari seems to be an infinitive ("to atone"). However, I thought that the infinitive of expior was expiare, not expiari. Is it a subjunctive infinitive or something? This form, expiari, is not even listed in the grammar I use (https://www.online-latin-dictionary.com/).

  • 1
    It shows up for me, if I search on that site (online-latin-dictionary.com). – Draconis Oct 24 '20 at 17:26
  • Happy to hear Fab. Fac. Fabulae Faciles still going strong. – Hugh Oct 24 '20 at 20:32

You're correct that this is an infinitive! It's just the passive infinitive, rather than the active, so I would read scelus as the subject rather than the person atoning.

Rearranging the words into an English order rather than a Latin one, we get:

…enim hōc scelus potuit expiārī ūnō modō
…for this crime was able to be atoned for in only one way

The passive infinitives for the four conjugations are am-ārī, hab-ērī, dīc-ī, and aud-īrī. The third conjugation is the only weird one to learn; the others just replace the final -e of the active infinitive with .

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.