The Wooden Horse. Part 7. As we await the October 1 arrival of Legonium pars tertia, here is some complete nonsense in 12 parts.
From the translation of The Aeneid, Book II by John Dryden
Thymoetes first ('t is doubtful whether hir'd,
Or so the Trojan destiny requir'd)
Mov'd that the ramparts might be broken down,
To lodge the monster fabric in the town.
But Capys, and the rest of sounder mind,
The fatal present to the flames designed,
Or to the wat'ry deep; at least to bore
The hollow sides, and hidden frauds explore.
The giddy vulgar, as their fancies guide,
With noise say nothing, and in parts divide.
nonnulli : nonnullus is an adjective made up of two words, non (not) and nullus (none). So, nonnullus means ‘not none’ and is best understood as ‘some’. We saw on the last page how an adjective can stand in for a noun, and that is exactly what is happening here. nonnulli is shorthand for nonnulli Troianorum, meaning ‘some of the Trojans’. It is nominative to indicate that it is the subject of the verb.
hunc : hic is the demonstrative adjective meaning ‘this’. hunc is the masculine, singular and accusative form. It is in this form to ‘agree with’ equum.
equum: equus means ‘horse’ and is in its singular and accusative form. It is a masculine noun. It is in the accusative to indicate that it is the object of the verb.
in : in is a preposition. You may remember from an earlier page that in can mean either ‘into/onto’ or ‘in/on’ depending on the case of the noun (or pronoun) that follows it. If it is followed by the accusative case – and it is here – it means ‘into/onto’.
arcem : arx is a feminine noun meaning ‘citadel’. It is in the singular accusative form to show that it is one citadel, and that it is forming a prepositional phrase with in, where in mean ‘onto’.
trahere : trahere is a verb that means ‘to drag’. It is actually the root of the word ‘tractor’. It is here in its present infinitive form (the form that means ‘to drag’). Some verbs, such as velle, might require an infinitive verb to complete their meaning. trahere is doing that job here.
voluerunt : velle is a verb that means ‘to wish’ or ‘to be willing’. velle is a verb that often requires a second verb in its infinitive form to complete its meaning, in this case trahere. Here voluerunt is in the third person plural form because the subject nonnulli is also third person plural. It is in the perfect tense to indicate that the action was completed in the past.
Translation: Some wanted to drag this horse onto the citadel.