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The Verbal Noun in -tus (4th Declension) is greatly in evidence in Plautus. We find the Accusative with eo, etc., e.g. the Ablative with redeo, e.g. Cas. 719 (Men. 278, 288) “obsonatu redireto return from marketing; the Dative with habeo, e.g. Cist. 365mehabes perditui et praedatui”, and with sum (see II. 19), also with some Adjectives, e.g. “fabula lepida auditui”; with others the Ablative (Locative?), e.g. celer cursu quick in running. Two of these usages took so firm root in the language that they became part of the Verbal system, the Accusative with eo, etc. (called the ‘First Supine’) and the Ablative (Locative?) with an Adjective (called the ‘Second Supine’).

Whether the terms ‘First and Second Supine’ are applicable to Plautine Latin may be doubted. It would be a truer analysis to distinguish from the real First Supine, two types of the phrase -tum ire. Type (1) is Passive or Intransitive, corresponding to a Transitive -tum dare. Thus nuptum ire (e.g. Cas. 86) bears to nuptum dare the same relation as venum ire (venire) to venum dare (vendere), (cf. “venum ducerefrag. 89, “venum asportare,Merc. 353), or as pessum ire to pessum dare. (See Biese: de obiecto interno apud Plautum et Terentium, Kiel (diss.) 1878, p. 42.) Type (2) is a Periphrastic Future with the same sense as volo with Infinitive, or our ‘I will do,’ e.g.

The real function of the First Supine appears rather in lines like But it is not always easy (e.g. Capt. 179roga emptum”) to distinguish the province of the ‘First Supine’ and the Accusative of the Verbal Noun, e.g. Capt. 793hic homo pugilatum incipit.

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