Consider the sentence "Marcus spoke as a manager". Imagine that Marcus was speaking at a company event, and he gave his speech as a manager, not as a coworker — as a representative of the company, not his private self. To emphasize this aspect, one might say "Marcus spoke in the capacity (or role) of manager". I am not sure if I master the English idiom perfectly, but I hope my point gets across.

Now, I would like to be able to add this emphasis in Latin, too. The best starting point would be an apposition, I believe:

Marcus dux locutus est.
Marcus spoke as a manager.

Dux might not be a good translation for "manager", but that is irrelevant. But how to form a more emphatic version? I imagine some of these might work:

Marcus in/e munere ducis locutus est.
Marcus in/ex officio ducis locutus est.

I prefer classical Latin if attested examples are available.

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    "Marcus, gubernator quidem, quaestiones clamavit." Is that too understated?
    – Hugh
    Jan 16, 2017 at 13:52
  • @Hugh I didn't know you could use quidem that way. Sounds promising. If you have examples to demonstrate such use, I would much appreciate it as an answer. It might not be as strong as "in the capacity of", but it matches my intention quite well.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jan 16, 2017 at 13:55
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    @Hugh, This strikes me as an odd usage of quidem. Maybe it's just because of all the Pliny the Younger that I've been reading lately, but if I saw Marcus, gubernator quidem..., my first thought would be something like, 'Marcus – true, he's (just) a manager – but....' It may finally be time for me to dive into that copy of Joseph Solodow's book, The Latin particle quidem.
    – cnread
    Jan 16, 2017 at 18:19

4 Answers 4


Another option (in addition to the several excellent ones in answers so far) is to use (in) loco + gen., as in the phrase in loco parentis "as a parent, in the position of a parent".

Lewis and Short (part IID of the entry) give a number of examples of this usage, such as:

  • “in uxoris loco habere,” Ter. Heaut. 1, 1, 52: "to consider as a wife"
  • “in liberum loco esse,” Cic. de Or. 2, 49, 200: "to be in the position of sons"
  • “hostium loco esse,” Liv. 2, 4, 7: "to be in the position of an enemy"

So you could say e.g. Marcus ducis loco locutus est.

  • All the answers are excellent, and I had great difficulties choosing the one to accept. This feels like the best fit for my idea, but only by a narrow margin; different answers have different strengths. Many thanks to all who answered!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jan 22, 2017 at 19:29

I suggest that simple word order would also do the trick here:

Marcus locutus est dux [or procurator or whatever].

  • A good suggestion. Caesar would have approved!
    – Tom Cotton
    Jan 16, 2017 at 19:10
  • I like this best of all the answers. Jan 16, 2017 at 19:47
  • Yes, the best. Latin is always better for a simple and direct structure.
    – Tom Cotton
    Jan 16, 2017 at 22:02

A common and classically attested way of saying "to perform the role of X" is munere X fungi, where "X" is an adjective or genitive noun. Here is an example:

fungar enim iam interpretis munere, ne quis me putet fingere. (Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, 3.41)

I will now play the role of an interpreter, lest anyone accuse me of making things up.

(Note that vice X fungi is also a common expression, with an important difference in meaning: it means to "assume the role of another" outside the normal course of things.)

My proposed translation of your sentence is thus:

Marcus, munere ducis fungens, locutus est.

I did a quick corpus search and think a short caveat is in order: the present participle of fungens is not very common, probably because it is deponent. Here is one clear attested example though:

Datames militare munus fungens primum, qualis esset, aperuit in bello, quod rex aduersus Cadusios gessit. (Cornelius Nepos, Vitae Dat., 1.2)

As a final note, I recommend praepositus or praefectus as better translations of "manager".

  • 2
    Gratias maximas tibi ago simulque gratulor, quod decem milia punctorum tulisti!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jan 16, 2017 at 15:18
  • Excellent answer, though I would prefer procurator (in that sense see the meaning of procuro) as translation of "manager".
    – qwertxyz
    Jan 16, 2017 at 17:32

I should like to extend @brianpck's answer by providing two further suggestions.

1. A neat way to express this is by using qua, as in these examples:

Ad hoc stipatum tribunal, atque etiam ex superiore basilicae parte qua feminae qua viri et audiendi — quod difficile — et — quod facile — visendi studio imminebant. [Pl. Sec. ep.6, 33]

nam gladiatoribus qua dominus qua aduocati sibilis conscissi [Cic. Att. 2, 19]

As in Marcus qua procurator locutus est.

2. You might also consider using in statu. The best-known example is in statu pupillari, widely used at Cambridge University, while old wills use a similar construction. In or ex statu procuratoris might serve.

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    I don't think either of these two examples shows a use of qua meaning "as": qua ... qua in both of them seems to mean "both ... and" or "now X, now Y". In any case, in Marcus qua procuratore locutus est surely it should be procurator, nominative.
    – TKR
    Jan 16, 2017 at 19:38
  • @TKR Of course it should be procurator — that was careless of me. But I would defend the use of qua : certainly, both... and... if you like (but you might equally say whether ... or). The point is that status is being shown, even if (as I concede) less exactly than it might be.
    – Tom Cotton
    Jan 16, 2017 at 19:48
  • 1
    I think you're right that qua can mean "as" (it can even be used in that sense in English), though I don't actually know if this sense is found in classical Latin. But I don't think it means that in these examples: it doesn't seem right to translate "as women, as men" or "as the master, as the patrons" (or whatever the advocati are in this case). This usage looks more similar to things like pars ... pars or partim ... partim or cum ... tum, which isn't really what the OP is asking about.
    – TKR
    Jan 16, 2017 at 20:07

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