Is there a Latin equivalent to the English phrase "on the run" to indicate someone who's avoiding capture/recapture? For example, "The prisoner is on the run." Would something like in fuga be accurate, or would I need to settle for something like Captivus effugit?


The closest phrase I could come up with is in fuga, which is quite literally "on the run". There are a number of classical attestations of this phrase. Another good choice is the participle fugiens, possibly with a prefix ef- or pro-.

There is no Latin phrase that behaves exactly like "on the run", so you have to judge each context separately. For "the prisoner is on the run" I would simply say captivus profugit. For "while on the run, the prisoner slaughtered a dog", I would choose either captivus profugiens canem necavit, captivus in fuga canem necavit, or use two personal verbs like captivus profugiebat et canem necavit. The choice is a matter of style and fluency.

  • So would you say that Latin favors constructs with a non-linking verb, thus Captivus in fuga would probably not be preferred?
    – jpyams
    Sep 21 '17 at 12:02
  • @jpyams I'm not sure if it's a general tendency, but using ille in fuga est sounds weird, as opposed to ille fugit. I would say that "to be on the run" is best translated without in fuga, but it's safer not to draw too strong conclusions from it.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Sep 21 '17 at 12:09
  • mactāre is a religious word, and the only way to understand it in this context is "sacrificed". You probably want the simplest option, which is necāvit. in fugā is a good suggestion, however - it's found repeatedly in Justinian's Dīgesta ("aut sī servus in fugā est"), and "quī in fugā esse dīcitur" confirms it's an established legal term. Jun 20 '19 at 0:29
  • @Unbrutal_Russian I changed the verb as you suggested. Thanks!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jun 20 '19 at 6:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.