How can I say in Latin that it is raining on something? I can find ways around like pluvia rem tingit, but I would like something more literally "it rains on something" than "the rain makes something wet". Would something like pluit super re or pluit in rem work?

1 Answer 1


Augustine uses super in the following:

pluit super iustos et iniustos / it rains on the just and the unjust (City of God, 4.2)

However, it could be as simple as using impluere. It's used literally of rain (e.g. Pliny, Nat. Hist., 2.210) and figuratively, of punches raining down on someone, for example (Plautus, Most., 871).

EDIT RE: USAGE The Oxford Latin Dictionary specifies that the dative is used in figurative phrases. Hence the ceteris & mi in the Plautus example. This must also explain the summis silvis in Ovid, Met., 1.573 but I have to admit it doesn't seem that figurative to me (although the OLD lists it under figurative uses).

Pliny (Nat. Hist., 2.210) uses in + accusative, in addition to impluere:

in cuius quandam aream non impluit / into whose particular courtyard it doesn't rain

All other uses cited imply the object or impluere is simply used impersonally without expressing an object, so it makes it hard to extrapolate a hard and fast rule about the use of prepositions and/or the accusative.

  • Thanks! Could you add a note on using impluere? Judging by the examples in L&S, it looks like it needs a dative, not an accusative or a preposition.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Nov 9, 2017 at 9:32
  • @JoonasIlmavirta I tried! Hope it helps.
    – Penelope
    Nov 9, 2017 at 10:41

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