Considerate Vulgatam. Exempli gratia, hi versiculi utuntur "ad" prepositione:

Numeri 11:2:

Cumque clamasset populus ad Moysen, oravit Moyses ad Dominum, et absorptus est ignis

4 Regnum 4:33

ingressusque clausit ostium super se et super puerum, et oravit ad Dominum

Interim, hi versiculi omittunt "ad" prepositionem:

Ecclesiasticus 38:9:

Fili, in tua infirmitate ne despicias teipsum : sed ora Dominum, et ipse curabit te.

Exodus 8:30:

Egressusque Moyses a Pharaone, oravit Dominum

Et cetera...

Quid versiculi differunt? An idem sunt?

Why do some verses use the "ad" preposition and others do not? Are they equivalent?


1 Answer 1


In classical Latin, oro usually means "I request" and is transitive. Usually it takes two objects, the person asked and the thing requested, though one can be omitted if it's clear from context. (When used intransitively, oro usually means "I orate".)

In ecclesiastical Latin, oro takes on the more technical meaning of "I make a prayer" or "I am engaging in prayer" in the specifically religious sense, and when it does so, it's usually intransitive. At least, it isn't necessary to specify the thing requested, since the prayer doesn't have to be a request. But when ecclesiastical writers want to specify or imply a thing requested, they can still use the verb actively, just like classical writers.

In the two examples you gave without ad, the thing requested is stated immediately beforehand, so the classical transitive sense seems appropriate, with the request implied.

However, it's not always correct to make a sharp distinction between the two constructions. For instance, in the Vulgate, you can find both "oravit ad Dominum, dicens" and "oravit Dominum, dicens." I see no reason to press a distinction in that case.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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