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Salvete congerrones eruditissimi,

modo legi in lexico Latino-Germanico a Henrico Georges confecto (opus Germanicum illi a Lewis & Short conscripto simile atque satis compar) sub lemmate «vagina» verba haec:

condere vaginae (Lokativ) gladium

⋯ quae Aurelio Prudentio Clementi, clarissimo auctori Christiano, ascribuntur. Lokativ, ut certe, sodales acutissimi, iam conieceratis, casum locativum significat. Hoc si verum esset, verbum vagina illi tabulae addere possemus, in qua verba communia continentur, quae cum locativo saltem interdum inveniuntur. Quod mirum mihi videretur. Habetne res se ita?

Nonne vero propius videtur vaginae in hoc loco dativum esse, quippe cum Georges ipse, sub lemmate «condo», affirmet id verbum cum dativo inveniri, quaestioni respondens: «quem in locum?» (numquam quidem apud Ciceronem). Sed verum est verbum condo locativo casui nonnumquam coniunctum esse, e.g. «aliquid domi suae conditum iam putare». Verbo domus quidem in illa tabula locum esse nemo dubitat.

Quid sentitis?

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  • 1
    Interrogata tua legere semper valde fruor, mi congerro acutissime!
    – Ben Kovitz
    Mar 23 at 1:34
  • 2
    Mihi quoque dubia videtur haec sententia Georgii: si enim ita esset, possemus certe dicere e.g. Gladium vaginae est, quod haud Latinum puto. (Si de casibus disseritur, ut pediculum eligam, nonne scribendum erat in lexico Latino-Germanico ... opere Germanico, etc.?)
    – TKR
    Mar 23 at 2:08
  • Si condo cum dativo casu quaestioni respondens: «quem in locum?» . Quid igitur inter dativum et locativum casūs sit, nisi quam nomina eorum?
    – d_e
    Mar 23 at 8:06
  • @TKR adde «quod est opus etc.» ;-) Mar 23 at 11:48
  • Neue and Wagener 1902, Band 2, p. 642 C. Lokativ. 8. I. 1. Substantivische Lokative archive.org/details/formenlehrederla02neueuoft/page/642/mode/…
    – Alex B.
    Mar 24 at 19:02
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I agree with TKR's comment above that vaginae {is not/cannot be} marked with locative case. I share your view that, to the extent that this expression (condere vaginae gladium) is attested, vaginae is probably a dative.

In fact, it is worth noting that some eminent philologists have claimed that in examples like the following one from Horace proprio horreo is a dative, instead of a non-prepositional ablative phrase, which is often found in poetry. For example, your compatriot Heinrich Düntzer interpreted proprio horreo, which also coappears with the verb condere, as a directional dative (Germ. "Dat des Zieles"): see his comment on horreo here. My hunch is that (again, to the extent that the expression condere vaginae gladium is attested), it could be the case that Aurelius Prudentius Clemens, an egregius Christian poet, also interpreted (some of) these non-prepositional ablative phrases typically found in poetry (e.g., in Horace, Virgil, Ovid, et al.) as datives.

si proprio condidit horreo / quicquid de Libycis verritur areis. (Hor. Od. 1, 1, 9-10)

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