Here is the sentence and my thoughts about it:

Interea ad Hispanias, ubi occisis duobus Scipionibus nullus Romanus dux erat, P. Cornelius Scipio mittitur, filius P. Scipionis, qui ibidem bellum gesserat, annos natus quattuor et viginti, vir Romanorum omnium et sua aetate et posteriore tempore fere primus.

I understand what the sentence means. But I don't fully understand the syntax of this sentence. I have three questions about the sentence. The first question is related to "annos natus quattuor et viginti". I understand that (the accusative) "annos" is an adverbial, while "natus" could be said to be a subject complement. I don't understand, however, what I should categorise "quattuor and "viginti" as. My first question is this: Is "quattuor" and "viginti" an adverbial here?

My second question is this: What is the main clause in this sentence? I think that "interea ad hispanias + P. Cornelius Scipio mittitur, filius P. Scipionis + vir Romanorum omnium et sua aetate et posteriore tempore fere primus" forms a main clause in this sentence. But I'm not completely certain. At the very least I think "filius P. Scipionis" may not be part of this main clause after all.

My third question is what I should categorise "vir Romanorum" and "primus" as. I understand that they refer to "P. Cornelius Scipio". But I'm not certain whether I should consider them subject complements, appositives or even seperate subjects.

What do you think?

  • 1
    Welcome to latin.SE! I've edited the title so that it provides some text from the sentence. Please edit the question to tell us where this sentence is from. That would give context and information about the period and dialect. Is this a school assignment?
    – user3597
    Dec 19, 2021 at 17:25
  • 1
    Salve Something71, could you perhaps clarify what kind of answer you are looking for: do you have trouble understanding the passage? Or are you interested in grammatical theory/terminology? Dec 19, 2021 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


quattuor et viginti

These are cardinal numbers: they can function like adjectives, in that they can directly modify substantive noun-like heads as attributes, except that they often have no adjectival endings. So this phrase is best considered an attributive phrase modifying annos.

In the broadest sense, the main clause is the entire sentence. In the narrowest sense, it is only "Interea ad Hispanias P. Cornelius Scipio mittitur", though what follows is an appositive ("filius...") to "P. Cornelius Scipio"; you might consider appositives as such to be part of the constituent they are apposed to.

vir Romanorum omnium et sua aetate et posteriore tempore fere primus

This is a second appositive to "P. Cornelius Scipio".

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