Questions tagged [ablative]

For questions about the ablative case.

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Mirabile visu, horribile dictu ― is this the ablative?

Are the expressions "mirabile visu", and "horribile dictu", in the ablative case? If so, shouldn't it be "mirabili visu", and "horribili dictu"?
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7 votes
1 answer
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Determining dative vs ablative for coelo

In a piece of fiction my wife recently read, she encountered this bit of latin carminibus coelo possent deducere luman Is coelo in ablative or dative case? Assuming both carminibus and coelo are ...
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5 votes
0 answers
88 views

Why do so many Latin prepositions of place take the accusative and not the ablative to express location?

When talking about the locative case, Latin grammars generally say that its usage was mostly taken over by the ablative case in Latin. For example: Allen and Greenough say: Relations of Place are ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Where does the ablative go in a Latin sentence ? Does it even matter?

I'm learning Latin on my own with the book "Beginner's Latin" by Collar & Daniell, I recently reached Chapter IV where the ablative is introduced with the preposition In, my problem with ...
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4 votes
1 answer
107 views

in terra pax “in“ hominibus bonae voluntatis

Does the occurrence of “in” before “hominibus”, which seems to be found in some but not all renderings of this verse, follow usual Latin usage? A plain dative seems like it would work to me (pax ...
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13 votes
2 answers
1k views

Should “cum” be included in this sentence or not?

I have a sentence that I need to translate: Having left the forum with haste, ... etc And I'm translating it as "e foro cum celeritate egressi, ..." (the rest of the sentence refers to ...
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8 votes
1 answer
128 views

Why is that which is spoken of expressed as in + ablative?

Vīta est spīrandī mūnere fruī, mors prīvārī. Hoc autem spīrandī mūnus apud plērōsque in bonīs dicitur. Livet er å nyte Guds* åndingsgave; døden å berøves [den]. Denne pustingas gave anses dermed i de ...
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2 votes
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Is it possible for adverbs, such as utique, to be used as adjectives?

Reading Ambrose Dē bonō mortis 4.14, I came across this passage: Sed ipsa hīc vīta bona sī est, quibus rēbus bona est? Virtūte utique, et bonīs mōribus. But if this life here is a Good, by which ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is the ablative construction at play here?

I am reading Historia plantarvm vniuersalis. There are many sentences I do not understand, but the particular one I would like to ask about is on page 10 (page 26 in the link): Literal transcription: ...
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2 votes
1 answer
460 views

Conquering darkness by science

I just found that the motto of the Free University of Brussels (VUB) in Belgium is the following: Scientia vincere tenebras This should stand for "conquering darkness by science". This can ...
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Does accipio take the ablative?

In the sentence: ...quō ubi accēpit, in agrum quem arāverat magnā cum dīligentiā sparsit. quo could either be the adverb meaning where/whereupon, or it could be the relative pronoun, assuming that ...
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4 votes
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Can the ablative of agent and a relative pronoun be used at the same time?

Here is an example of an ablative of agent for living things: "Puella a puero amata" = the girl loved by the boy But is it correct if I add a relative pronoun to form: "Puella quae a ...
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7 votes
3 answers
636 views

Use of accusative instead of ablative with 'pro'

I saw written in a coat of arms "PRO MARE NOSTRVM", but we all know that the preposition "pro" takes ablative, so the right form would be "PRO MARI NOSTRO" wouldn't it? I ...
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3 votes
1 answer
144 views

Redundancy of “quo” with “de”

Passage: “Quo de genere mortis difficile dictu est.” Cic. Amic. 12 English translation (from Loeb): “It is hard to speak of the nature of his death.” French translation : “Quant à la nature de sa ...
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9 votes
1 answer
159 views

On different expressions of partitivity in Latin

I was wondering whether there is any difference between the following partitive expressions in Latin: ūnus tribūnōrum and ūnus ex tribūnīs 'one of the tribunes' (cf. the so-called 'partitive genitive' ...
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Ablatives of Agent in Ablative Absolutes in Early Latin?

It is (often) said that participles in Ablative Absolutes in Early Latin have an adjectival nature (e.g., see Ruppel (2013: 124): "the Early Latin Ablative Absolute is not strongly verbal at all"). ...
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8 votes
1 answer
712 views

Ave Verum Corpus: why ablative?

Ave Verum Corpus ("Hail, true Body!") is a short Latin poem that was set to music by Mozart. For most of it, the language is quite plain and straightforward. However, there's a bit in the middle ...
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7 votes
1 answer
236 views

What is the longest sequence of ablative/dative nouns ever to appear in Latin texts

I was intrigued by my question to ask this question. In that questions we have a sequence of 2 ablative nouns in a row: "[Dama] differt a capreis [solis] cornibus ..." I don't count solis because ...
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2 votes
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How did the preposition "de" evolve into meaning "from"?

I see that in reconstructed PIE "de" or "do" has a meaning of "towards" which is retained in Germanic "to" and Slavic "do". But in Latin "de" has a meaning of "from". Is that simply due it taking the ...
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8 votes
1 answer
391 views

Can a "dative of agent" appear in an Ablative Absolute construction (and, more generally, in a non-verbal context)?

I was wondering to what extent the syntactic distribution of so-called “datives of agent” and that of “ablatives of agent” is different. For example, besides appearing in verbal contexts (e.g., ...
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4 votes
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Why is the form "Antares" used as an ablative in some Latin texts?

Jam inquiro nomen stellae Antares. Multa documenta quae "ab Antares" dicunt comperi. At non scio ablativi qui in "es" terminantur. Potestne nomen "Antares" indeclinabile esse? Quare? Exempla: "Lanx ...
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4 votes
1 answer
112 views

Declension uncertainty regarding Ablative / Nominative

I'm struggling, particularly, with determining the correct case for some of the words in the following expressions: Natura est semper invicta Here, is the word "invicta" in Ablative or Nominative ...
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In memoriam: why not "in memoria"?

Consider this usual example of Latin+English: As Wiktionary states, in memoriam literally means "into memory" (memoriam is in accusative case). However, as Wiktionary (above) and Wikipedia state, the ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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Disambiguation of "nobis vobis" and "nobis nobis"

For many words, the dative and ablative take the same form. Two examples are nos and vos (nobis and vobis, respectively). Imagine you want to say something like "from us to you [plural]" (where "...
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1 vote
1 answer
193 views

Ablative of Specification or Dative of Reference

Spinoza, Ethics, De Dei, Propositio 15, Scholium: Ego saltem satis clare meo quidem judicio demonstravi ... meo judicio is dative or ablative? I cant recognize that it is Ablative of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
103 views

The Nominative Case Uses

Spinoza writes in the last passage of Ethics: Cum contra sapiens, quatenus ut talis consideratur, vix animo movetur, sed sui et Dei et rerum aeterna quadam necessitate conscius nunquam esse desinit,...
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3 votes
3 answers
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"Fīliolō me auctum scito, salva Terentia"; what is "me" role in this phrase?

Is "Fīliolō me" the ablative of the phrase or "me" refers to "me auctum" in the accusative? If is in the ablative, how does it translates?
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1 answer
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Nemo te alius pari potestate saepius profuit (Apul. Florida 9)

Would you consider te to be dependent from pari ("with a position as powerful as yours") or saepius ("more often than you")? par can be constructed with simple ablative, but rarely and more common is ...
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7 votes
2 answers
164 views

Why would the prae­po­si­tion "per" ᴇᴠᴇʀ take an ab­la­tive in­stead of an ac­cu­sa­tive com­ple­ment?

ᴘᴇʀ + ᴀʙʟ.: Bar­bar­ism, solœ­­cism, or di­a­chron­ic evo­lu­tion? Lewis and Short clear­ly state that per is a prae­po­si­tion whose nor­mal com­ple­ment is in the ac­cusative. With­out hav­ing dol­...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why is the ablative used here instead of the genitive

Mark 1:6 starts with Et erat Joannes vestitus pilis cameli... Which is translated as "John was clothed with camel's hairs...." Why is it pilis instead of pilorum? Shouldn't pilis use genitive ...
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5 votes
1 answer
114 views

Regarding the mode of "terram" in Deuteronomy 28:38

Deuteronomy 28:38 reads: Sementem multam jacies in terram, et modicum congregabis: quia locustæ devorabunt omnia. I think the first phrase before the comma has the following structure (but ...
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6 votes
1 answer
123 views

Consecutive ablatives

Consider the phrase I met in Rome with a friend As far as I know, "in Rome" and "with a friend" both represent the ablative case in Latin. Thus, the above could be translated as convēnī Rōmā ...
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4 votes
1 answer
259 views

Ablative of Comparison w/ Relative Pronoun?

Fairly frequently in Latin one encounters a "backwards" comparison, in which the relative pronoun in the ablative precedes the term of comparison. ...philosophiam ad te adlegem, qua nec ...
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do we know that Italian words come from accusatives, not ablatives?

I have been told by several sources that Italian nouns and adjectives that originate from Latin come from accusative forms. Also the final -m is lost and an u becomes o. For example, caro > carnem > ...
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6 votes
3 answers
515 views

Can the absolute ablative be used with a prepositional phrase?

In all cases of ablativus absolutus that I know, there is a main word and an attribute and both are in ablative. For example, me absente is "while I am away" and Caesare duce is "when Caesar is in ...
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

When and why did the ablative form?

When did the ablative originate? Additionally, I’d like to know which case was used before the ablative for adverbials. I think it replaced the dative, as I also study Ancient Greek. In that language, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
135 views

Help with what I believe is an ablative

Conferre nostris tu potes te laudibus? Moror inter aras, templa perlustro deum; ubi immolatur, exta praegusto omnia; (Phaedrus, "Formica et Musca") I understand it to mean "Are YOU able to ...
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8 votes
1 answer
923 views

Dative–ablative ambiguity

When I first looked into Latin, I saw in a textbook that the dative and ablative singular are the same in the second declension: nom. servus acc. servum gen. servi dat. servō abl. servō voc. serve ...
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5 votes
0 answers
62 views

Can I use an instrument with the supine ablative of respect?

If a book is easy to write, I might say liber facilis est scriptu. Here the supine ablative scriptu is an ablative of respect (ablativus respectus). If I want to be more specific about my writing, I ...
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6 votes
1 answer
347 views

Comparing ablative and genitive of quality

The ablative and genitive of quality (ablativus qualitatis and genetivus qualitatis) are similar. One can describe a high mountain as mons magna altitudine or mons magnae altitudinis. Is there any ...
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Genitive vs Ablative of Price

In Latin, worth or value can be expressed by the genitive or by the ablative. Here are some examples: Genitive Non pono utrique par pretium: pluris aestimo beneficium quam iniuriam. (Sen Ep. Mor. 81....
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9 votes
4 answers
340 views

In contemporary spoken Latin, do people mark the 1st-declension ablative case?

In contemporary spoken Latin, such as (I think) occurs among canon lawyers in the Vatican and at Latin-only conventicula, do people clearly lengthen the -ā at the end of first-declension nouns in the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
131 views

Is the unmarked 1st-declension ablative in writing ever jarring or confusing?

Occasionally while reading, I've mistaken a first-declension ablative for a nominative, or vice versa,* and gotten confused for a moment until I sorted it out. Both appear the same in writing, of ...
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9 votes
1 answer
3k views

When to use the Greek accusative?

The Greek accusative or the accusative of respect (accusativus Graecus or accusativus respectus) is used like the ablative of respect (ablativus respectus). This construction is a loan from Greek, ...
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12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does the "re" in emails have an ancient origin?

The Latin ablative re has become a word in English, meaning "regarding" or "with reference to" or something along those lines. This is also used in emails as an automatically generated prefix "Re:&...
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6 votes
2 answers
462 views

Is "cum haruspex in templo cenaret" correct Latin in this sentence?

Cum haruspex in templo cenaret, rex ipse appropinquabat. My problem is with the part in bold, firstly the cenaret, an imperfect subunctive does not agree with haruspex. (Or does it? I could be wrong.)...
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4 votes
1 answer
652 views

eadem mutata resurgo

What is the role of eadem mutata in this phrase? I'm guessing either neuter plural accusative of extent, or feminine nominative as apposition to an implied ego. The original context of this line is ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Which agents are human?

The agent of a passive construction is in ablative, and human agents also come with the preposition a/ab. For example, Marcus a Gnaeo occisus est but Marcus sica occisus est. But which agents should ...
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25 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do ablatives of the 3rd declension sometimes end on -e, at other times on -i?

Normally, substantive nouns of the 3rd declension get an -e in the ablative (patre), and adjectives of the 3rd get an -i (audaci). This is already odd: normally, substantives and adjectives, both ...
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20 votes
5 answers
4k views

"Miserando atque eligendo"

There seem to be two schools of thought about the meaning of the motto on Pope Francis's coat of arms: miserando atque eligendo These words are taken from the 21st homily of the Venerable Bede, ...
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