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everyone. Here is the sentence and my thoughts about it:

Cui viro divinum quiddam inesse existimabatur, adeo ut putaretur etiam cum numinibus habere sermonem.

First of all, I am curious about the first clause, namely "Cui viro divinum quiddam inesse existimabatur". Is this clause a nominative and infinitive construction (Nominativus cum infinitivo)? Secondly, I wonder whether "inesse" is a verb here or an direct object. I think it is a verb. Thirdly, I wonder what to categorise "habere sermonem" as. Are these words one direct object or two direct objects?

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    I've edited the title so that it lets people see something less generic about the question. Please edit the question to tell us the source of the sentence.
    – user3597
    Dec 19, 2021 at 17:25

1 Answer 1

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Let's see:

Is the first clause a Nominativus cum Infinitivo?

Yes, the nominative being divinum quiddam – “something divine” – and the infinitive being inesse – “to be in.”

How to categorize habere sermonem?

The subordinate clause introduced by adeo ut also looks like an NcI, except that the subject is just implied: hic vir putaretur habere ⋯ Thus, habere is the verb of the indirect speech, just like inesse in the first clause, and sermonem is its direct object. Sermonem habere = “to talk, to be in conversation.”

(Alternatively, I guess putaretur can be viewed as an impersonal passive (“it was thought”) starting an Accusativus cum Infinitivo construction, as putare very regularly does. The subject of the indirect speech would then just be implied: putaretur hunc virum habere ⋯ I would, however, think that in this case the accusative subject would typically be written out, at least as a little eum. Anyway, it makes no significant difference in meaning.)

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    I think OP might be asking whether there's a particular term to describe the role of the infinitive in these NcI constructions. I would probably call it a subject complement, treating putaretur as a linking verb. Dec 19, 2021 at 20:23
  • You are right, Kingshorsey. Does this mean that "inesse" is also a subject complement? Dec 20, 2021 at 2:24
  • @Something71 Inesse is the predicate of the subordinate clause. Dec 20, 2021 at 20:14

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