My question stems from a passage in Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata Familia Romana in chapter 12 on page 90 beginning at line 117 as follows.

<< "Mīles Rōmānus, quī hostem armātum accurrere uidet, nōn ab eō fugit, sed armīs sē dēfendit. >>

My understanding of active infinitive verbs informs that the subject of 'accurrere' is 'Mīles Rōmānus', however I am yet to have the distinction of whether Accūsātīvus cum Īnfīnītīuō permits adjectives.

Question: Does 'hostem armātum' form part of an AcI with 'accurrere'?

  • 1
    When I read this sentence I see the hostis armatus as the subject of accurrere. I don’t claim any grand authority for this but it does seem to make the sentence make more sense. Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 7:51
  • "My understanding of active infinitive verbs informs that the subject of 'accurrere' is 'Mīles Rōmānus'" -- what, pray, do you think this sentence actually means? Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 21:49
  • @Sebastian Koppehel I am of the opinion that the sentence informs that a Roman soldier does not flee but defends himself with arms. The object of the initial consternation if it had to be defined might concern the function of an object in relation to a verb phrase, however the question was answered well by cmw, and given extra light by Mitomino.
    – Mr. Blythe
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


Short Answer: Yes, hostem armatum is part of the AcI.

In AcI/Indirect Statements, the subject of the infinitive is in the accusative. In this case, hostem is the subject, not miles. Miles instead is the subject of fugit and the antecedent of qui, which in turn is the subject of uidet. Without all that, the basic sentence would be:

Hostis accurrit.

Adjectives aren't treated specially. The armatum agrees with hostem regardless of what hostem is doing or in what construction it's in.

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    Perhaps a relevant point to be noted is that in the OP's question armatum can be an attributive modifier ([NP hostem armatum]) or a predicative one ([NP hostem] [armatum]). Perhaps the OP's question is whether the subject of an AcI construction can be modified by a predicative adjective, which is of course possible. Perhaps the question is whether quī hostem armātum accurrere uidet can be understood as a sort of an extension of quī hostem armātum uidet. It's really difficult to find a sense to the question above...
    – Mitomino
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 20:05
  • @Mitomino I would not have read that much into the question. I suppose we should wait until the OP clarifies.
    – cmw
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 20:14
  • I am here inclined to read 'armātum' as an attributive modifier for its simplicity despite its locality, however as a predicative adjective I think it affords a richer sense for 'uidet' within the whole sentence and I appreciate the food for thought.
    – Mr. Blythe
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 2:02
  • @Mr.Blythe Did this answer your question, or was it something else you were looking for?
    – cmw
    Commented Nov 9, 2023 at 17:10
  • @cmw Yes and I found your rationale particularly helpful. The comment by Mitomino added a facet to adjectival phrases that I had not previously considered.
    – Mr. Blythe
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 18:08

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