According to A&G, the ablative supine with verbs is "extremely rare" and even the example given: pudet dictu is somewhat not regular since pudet is impersonal (as if it is almost an adjective).

(1) What are other classical examples of the usage of the u-supine with verbs?

(2) In Gen 3:17 of Sebastian Castellio:

Deinde ad Adamum: quia uxori tuae morem, inquit, gerens, de arbore comedisti, cuius ego tibi esu interdixeram, erit humus infelix propter te, quaeresque ex ea victum laboriose per omnem vitam".

Can we justify this usage of the supine by Castellio attaching the u-supine with interdixeram? (See note at the bottom)

(3) Castellio maybe using double dative construction here (whether of not this use makes sense with interdico), but then should we expect esui (4th declation dative of esus)? or rather any 4th declination nouns based on verbs to be declined as ablative? for example should we use esu or esui here:

hoc relinquo animalibus esu/esui (I leave it for animals to eat[as a food for animals])

Edit: With respect to (2), it now occurred to me, that esu is probably a regular ablative of the noun esus, as interdico can be joined with ablative of the thing prohibited. In our case (the eating of which..)

1 Answer 1


(1) The answer to this question was already given in another question, :as stated, there are examples but primarily not classical. Most teaching sources don't even mention this as a possibility, writing only that "The Supine in -u (Dative and Ablative) is used with some Adjectives ..." (Kennedy, The revised Latin primer, p.167); A&G could not stress the rarity more with the "extremely rare". A copious Latin Grammar p.255 notes that if the u-supine is joined with verbs those are "verbs to the question from what" and gives the following examples:

obsonatu redeo (return from marketing) [Plaut. Men. 2.2.5]

primus cubitu surgat (Let him rise from bed first) [Cat. R. R. 5]

(3) Given the answer in (1) it can be said with enough certainty that the use of esu in: "hoc relinquo animalibus esu" to designate a double dative construction is off. Though indeed the u-supine traces his origin in some respects back to the dative of purpose, we should not feel uneasy using the regular 4th declination dative suffix -ui in double dative construction . There are examples:

communis autem usus serpentes fugare, percussis esui dari(*) decoctum. (All kinds are used to keep away serpents, are given to eat boiled to those who have been bitten. Loeb translation). [N.H. 20.178]

Actually, As "Alex B" mentions ui-supines forms also exist, so again, there seem to be no reason to be deterred by the origin of the u-supine and to suggest it also includes the dative case in it.

(*) Loeb reads here dare


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