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Getting started on classical Latin
Getting started on classical Latin

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4.4.1 English prose: subjects and objects

In order to consolidate your knowledge so far, you will first practise identifying subjects and objects in the context of a passage of English text.

Activity 11

The following passage is about the Roman emperor Gaius, better known as Caligula.

Read through it and identify as many subjects, verbs and objects as you can. You will note that not all of the verbs in the passage have an object. Type your answers in the box provided.

Gaius deprived the noblest men at Rome of their ancient family emblems – Torquatus lost his golden collar, Cincinnatus lost his lock of hair, and Gnaeus Pompeius lost the surname ‘Great’. He invited King Ptolemy to Rome, welcomed him with appropriate honours, and then suddenly ordered his execution, because, at Ptolemy’s entrance into the amphitheatre during a gladiatorial show, his fine purple cloak had attracted universal admiration. And if Gaius encountered a good-looking man with a fine head of hair – he himself was bald – the back of his scalp was brutally shaved.

(Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Caligula 35; adapted from the translation by R. Graves)

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Gaiusdeprivedthe [noblest] men
Torquatuslosthis [golden] collar
Cincinnatuslosthis lock [of hair]
Gnaeus Pompeiuslostthe surname
HeinvitedKing Ptolemy
(He)orderedhis execution
his [fine purple] cloakhad attracted[universal] admiration
Gaiusencountereda [good-looking] man
(He himself)was
the back [of his scalp]was shaved