North & Hillard Ex. 228 includes:

Next day Caesar had again an army which, though diminished, was prepared to face all dangers manfully.

A footnote states: "Of the concessive conjunctions quamvis is most frequently used where the verb is omitted." The Answer Book gives:

Postridie igitur Caeser exercitum habuit restitutum, qui, quamvis deminutus, pericula fortiter obire paratus est.

If deploying quamvis why not use the subjunctive as the grammatical rule requires, giving quamvis deminueretur?

1 Answer 1


You do need a subjunctive, but here the pluperfect diminutus esset rather the imperfect that you propose provides the correct sequence of tenses. Just as the English omits the auxiliary verb, so has this been contracted (in a quite normal way) from 'though it had been diminished' to 'though diminished' by omitting esset.

  • 1
    +1 but, isn't also possible to read diminutus working as an adjective? (And hence explain the reference to verb omission?)
    – Rafael
    Mar 2, 2018 at 17:15
  • 1
    @Rafael Just a matter of style. Without an auxiliary verb, it is effectively an adjective. Doesn't any participle, in effect, have all the properties of an adjective?
    – Tom Cotton
    Mar 2, 2018 at 17:40
  • 2
    @Rafael I think verb omission here means the omission of a verb in a personal form, not a full omission. I would read deminutus as a participle belonging to the pluperfect with implicit esset as Tom did. (The analogy to English is a good observation here! The omission of auxiliary verbs is not unique to Latin.)
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Mar 2, 2018 at 20:00

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