My question concerns the forms dēfēcisse (dēficio, active infinitive perfect) and the variant dēficisse. I found both forms in a text from Justin/Trogus (Epitome.11.2.7) :

In cuius apparatu occupato nuntiatur Athenienses et Lacedaemonios ab eo ad Persas defecisse auctoremque eius defectionis magno auri pondere a Persis corruptum Demosthenem oratorem extitisse, [...]

Nothing in the critical apparatus of these editions helps me to distinguish the two forms.

I analyze dēficisse as a late variant of dēfēcisse, dēficisse being built on the theme of the present (dēfic-) instead of being built on the theme of the perfect (dēfēc-). About this analyse,see by example this document (in Spanish, §60+note 105) on a late Latin text.

I have three questions:

(1) Is my analysis of dēficisse correct?

(2) When did this variant appear? In particular, did this variant already exist in Classical Latin?

(3) How long is the first -i- in dēficisse? Is there a poetic text or an inscription showing the quantity of the first -i- in dēficisse?

  • It sounds like you found your answer to the first two questions in the literature, I'm not sure what you'd like us to add to it. For the third, the i in deficisse can only be short regardless of the source, because it would be a product of vowel weakening.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented May 10 at 13:04


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