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(Walder: der Infinitiv bei Plautus. Berlin, 1874; and, especially for Terence, P. Barth: de Infinitivi apud scaenicos poetas Latinos usu. Berlin, 1882.)

The Infinitive has its original function of a Verbal Noun in lines like these, where it is Object of a Finite Verb:

Or in these, where it is Subject: From this origin comes the association of various Verbs and Verbal Phrases with the Infinitive, e.g. Occipio prefers an Infinitive to any other object, but incipio in Plautus' time is not yet so freely used with an Infinitive as with the Accusative of a Noun or Pronoun. The Infinitive plays the part of a Gerund in lines like Also in its use with est (like Virgil's “cernere erat,6.596), which is better attested for Terence ( Heaut. 192miserum? quem minus credere est?(crederes: alii), Adelph. 828scire est (scires: alii) liberum ingenium atque animum”) than for Plautus (Truc. 501?).

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