How to understand a meaning of the infinitive 'habere' here, is it here as a subject (The Infinitive as a Subject, Gildersleeve & Lodge, page 275)?

Nam cum posse existere potentia sit, sequitur quo plus realitatis alicujus rei naturæ competit eo plus virium a se habere ut existat adeoque Ens absolute infinitum sive Deum infinitam absolute potentiam existendi a se habere, qui propterea absolute existit. (Spinoza, Ethics)<

For, as the potentiality of existence is a power, it follows that, in proportion as reality increases in the nature of a thing, so also will it increase its strength for existence. Therefore a being absolutely infinite, such as God, has from himself an absolutely infinite power of existence, and hence he does absolutely exist. (R.H.M.Elwes)

eo plus virium a se habere ut existat <

..., more strength from itself (it would) possess in order to exist,...


1 Answer 1


Accusativum cum infinitivo triggered by sequitur, though the accusative has been ellipsed: 'it follows that it has...'

This use falls under definition 7 of sequor in the Oxford Latin Dictionary:

7 To follow from (a premiss), follow logically.


(w. acc. and inf.) nec si omne enuntiatum aut uerum aut falsum est, ~quitur ilico esse causas immutabilis .. quae .. Cic. Fat. 28; Lucr. 3.665.

  • But how does 'competit',then fits in, why not 'competere' in it's place? @cnread
    – Aili J.
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 21:47
  • 1
    @aili-j It's not infinitive because quo...competit is a subordinate clause within the ACI construction, triggered by eo. Main idea: 'it follows that it has from itself more strength for existing to that degree'; subordinate ([cor]relative) clause: '(to the degree) that more reality belongs to the nature of some thing.'
    – cnread
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 23:52

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