What is the syntax of ille in the sentence: "numquam est ille miser cui facile est mori"? I get that cui is indirect object, but what is the function of the demonstrative pronoun ille in the sentence?

  • I added the "Seneca" tag, since this sentence seems to come from his works; feel free to revert if this is wrong.
    – Draconis
    Mar 12, 2019 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


In this case, ille is the subject of the sentence: just generically "he", or "that man", or "that person" (since masculine gender is sort of a default in Latin), or even just "the one".

You can split this sentence in half to make translation easier. The first half, numqvam est ille miser, is a full sentence in and of itself: "that man is never miserable".

And who is "that man"? That's what the second half clarifies: …cui facile est mori "…for whom dying is easy". To make this a bit more idiomatic in English, I'd say "someone who can die easily is never miserable".

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