Discussion Topic: Livy -- Ceterum primo quo. . .passi sunt

I'm okay reading Cicero, Horace, Vergil and so on. I thought I would go ad fontes on the Punic wars with Livy. I found myself almost immediately stumped, however, by the first sentence in the second paragraph: 'Ceterum primo quo adminiculo erecta erat eodem innixa M. Furio principe stetit, neque eum abdicare se dictatura nisi anno circumacto passi sunt.' I assume that 'primo quo adminiculo eodem M. Furio principe' is an ablative absolute, albeit without a participle. So is 'Ceterum' the subject of 'stetit'? In 'erecta erat innixa,' is 'innixa' being used as a noun? Why in the neuter plural, if it refers to Furius? And, in the second clause, how does it make sense for 'dictatura' to be the subject of 'passi sunt'? Or what other subject is there for the verb? Translations have extracted plausible meaning from the sentence but I don't find that they help in understanding its construction. Any help will be appreciated.
------bronson - 2020-04-26 09:02:15

Hi Bronson! Innixa can also definitely be fem. sing. ablative or nominative. You are right, it's a difficult sentence. If it helps, I believe the Wikisource translation (Roberts, 1905) of this sentence reads: "At first the State was supported by the same prop by which it had been raised from the ground, M. Furius, its chief, and he was not allowed to resign office until a year had elapsed." Good luck!
------SmidgenCat - 2020-04-27 19:07:49

Thanks, SmidgenCat. I assumed that 'erecta. . .innixa' was neuter plural because I did not see an antecedent for a feminine singular to agree with and thought these words might refer to something indefinite, e.g. "things supported." On second thought, I'm wondering if these words refer to an understood but unstated 'res publica.' This would fit the sense.
------bronson - 2020-04-28 06:43:04

So assuming that 'res publica' is the unstated subject, should we read the first clause as 'the state (res publica) was raised up (erecta erat) [and] stood supported (innixa stetit) in which the first support [was] principally (principe) the same M. Furius [who had defeated the Gauls in the preceding book]? If so (and further clarifications would be welcome), in the second clause, what is the apparently unstated subject of 'passi sunt,' apparently in the masculine plural?
------bronson - 2020-04-29 08:08:36

I suggest that the understood antecedent of erecta and innixa is not res publica but urbs, as in urbis renatae in the previous paragraph. I suggest also that the subject of passi sunt is Romani. Does this make sense of it?
------zwibble - 2020-05-01 08:49:45

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