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timido . . . fratri, ‘one can forgive the brother's fears.’ The subjunctive may be referred, as in 685, to Roby, § 1544, R. § 646, Madv. § 370. Here, however, it might also be referred to Roby, § 1536, R. § 644, as side by side with the use of the indicative in possum and in expressions generally of capacity and quality (Roby, §§ 1529, 1535, 1566, cf. 17, 72) is found the use of the subjunctive. Sometimes this use may indicate, as Roby says, that ‘this very lawfulness or power, etc., is itself only conditional,’ as in Liv.xxii. LX. 7, “quid enim aliud quam admonendi essetis”, where it depends on the previous condition, “si tantum modo postulassent legati”, or may follow some general principle, as in Cat. m. III. § 7, “qui mihi non id videbantur accusare quod esset accusandum” (Roby, § 1680, R. § 704), but often it seems to be due only to the general tendency to speak vaguely and hypothetically. A remarkable instance of this is in Liv. XLIV. xxvii. 4-6, “quae manus...Perrhaebiae saltum in Thessaliam traducta, non agros tantum nudare populando potuit, sed ipsas exscindere urbes. ipsis quoque Romanis de se cogitandum fuisset: quando neque manere amissa Thessalia...potuissent, neque progredi”. In each case the power depends on the hypothetical condition (“si traducta esset”) expressed in the participle, yet in one the indicative is used, in the other the subjunctive. So there seems to be no difference of meaning between the two expressions in de Off. III. xxv. § 94, “quanto melius fuerat in hoc promissum patris non esse servatum”, and Cat. m. XXIII. § 82, “nonne melius multo fuisset otiosam et quietam aetatem sine ullo labore et contentione traducere?

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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 22, 60
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