In the twentieth class of the Latin from Scratch course, we’ll study the apposition, a type of phrase or syntagma in which a noun or noun phrase follows another element of this same kind to give details about it.
I explain everything in the following video ():
The apposition agrees in case with the noun it refers to, but not necessarily in gender or number. The noun with an apposition may have any syntactic function (subject, direct object, etc.).
We must not mistake it for an attribute or a predicative complement. Some appositions are written between commas (specifically, the explanatory apposition), so we must be careful not to confuse it for a vocative.
Iuppiter, rex Olympi, deus fulminis est.
Jupiter, king of Olympus, is the god of thunder.
The first underlined word, Iuppiter, is the subject, whereas the second phrase, rex Olympi, is a parethentic explanation which acts in a similar way to an adjective (despite rex being a noun). This explanation is made without any verb. Here, rex is the apposition of the subject Iuppiter.
Sometimes an apposition appears without commas (specifying apposition), as in the following example:
Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen dividit.
The river Garonne separates the Gauls from the Aquitani.
In our last example we will see that not always is the agreement in all three case, gender and number:
Praxiteles admirabilem sculpturam, Apollinem, sculpsit.
Praxiteles sculpted an admirable sculpture, the Apollo.
So we see that the direct object (admirabilem sculpturam) has an apposition (Apollinem) which of course agrees in case (accusative), but not in gender (sculptura is feminine, whereas Apollo is masculine); it could even not agree in number either (e.g. Deos Olympi instead of Apollinem).
In the next class we’ll study another kind of complement which at first might look quite similar to the apposition: the predicative complement.