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Questions tagged [ablative-absolute]

Absolute ablative is a grammatical construction in Latin which is used as a short form of temporal clauses. "Absolute" in its name means "disconnected", as it, unlike most ablatives, does not describe the predicate.

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How would you say "I think our stick insect will die by me giving it to our hamster to eat."? Can you use absolute ablative to mean a cause of death?

My attempt would be: "Ego censeo nostrum phasmidum (insectus qui ut baculum parvum videtur) moriturum esse me danti eum nostro criceto, ut cricetus noster eum voret." But I don't know ...
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Subject of the ablative absolute in the main clause

In the Historia Regum Britanniae there is the following sentence: Superveniente ergo illa cesserunt ei Saxones et aliquantulum dilapsi vix iterum sese consociaverunt. The editor makes the following ...
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On the (alleged) ambiguity of "Fabricius a subsellis demisso capite discesserat" (Cic. Clu. 58)

Some Latinist scholars (e.g. Lavency (1986) and Longrée (2014), i.a.; see the full references at the bottom of this post) have noted that the following example from Cicero could in principle be ...
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Searching for a proper definition of "Ablative Absolute" (AA)

When including the following two examples from Cicero in what turned out to be a too long! answer to a previous post, a terminological question came to my mind: How would one classify those ...
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Cethegus (...) recitatis litteris debilitatus atque abiectus conscientia repente conticuit. (Cic. Catil. 3, 10)

I was wondering about the correct/preferred syntactic analysis of recitatis litteris in the following complex sentence from Cicero: Tum Cethegus, qui paulo ante aliquid tamen de gladiis ac sicis, ...
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Declension usage for the King on a diploma

In my PhD diploma, the first lines are the following: D D IMPERANTE AUGUSTISSIMO CAROLO XVI GUSTAVO SUECORUM REGE DOMINO NOSTRO CLEMENTISSIMO IUSSU FACULTATIS SCIENTARUM UPSALIENSIS EGO <name of &...
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Why is nominative instead of ablative absolute used in 'Ibi egressi Trojani'?

In LLPSI 2 'Roma Æterna', Chapter XLI 'Origines', it is written: Ibi [Siciliâ] egressi Trojani, quibus ab immenso prope errore nihil præter arma et naves supererat, cum prædam ex agris agerent, ...
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Is "Te id dicente id non fit." good Latin for "You saying so does not make it so."?

Is "Te id dicente id non fit." good Latin for "You saying so does not make it so."? There are a couple of things I am not sure about it. When the participle is in ablative ("...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
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On the alleged ambiguity of the Ablative Absolute "Mutatis mutandis"

According to the wikipedia entry of Mutatis mutandis, "Mutatis mutandis is a Medieval Latin phrase meaning 'with things changed that should be changed' or 'having changed what needs to be changed'...
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Grammatical structure of "Obsidibus imperatis centum hos Haeduis custodiendos tradit"

@Mitomino points out in this comment that my understanding of what modifies what in the sentence shown below from De Bello Gallico (VI.4.3) is mistaken. I'll diagram my understanding below. Can you ...
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Inveniturne participium futuri activi in ablativo absoluto?

Constructio ablativi absoluti, quae vocatur, frequenter affirmatur constare ex nomine in casu ablativo et participio, quod cum nomine congruere debeat. Tria autem genera participiorum habet lingua ...
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The difference between ablative absolute and a participle coniunctum

(old misleading title: The difference between ablative absolute and present participle) On participles A&G notes: The present and perfect participles are often used as a predicate, where in ...
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participium coniunctum vs. ablative absolute of transitive deponent verbs

I was wondering why the "active meaning" and the transitivity of deponent perfect participles like cohortatus in (1) are not naturally preserved in the Ablative Absolute in (2). Why is it ...
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What is the literary effect of an Ablative Absolute?

I'm analyzing Book 4, lines 129-139 for my final in Virgil's Aeneid: Oceanum interea surgens Aurora reliquit. It portis iubare exorto delecta iuventus; retia rara, plagae, lato venabula ferro, ...
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Scope of negation with absolute constructions

In Latin and Greek, when a negator appears in an absolute construction (ablative absolute, genitive absolute), it is generally taken to negate the predicate within that construction: hostibus ...
TKR's user avatar
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Is an Ablative Absolute construction like "portā clausā" ambiguous in Early Latin?

As a follow-up question of two previous posts (cf. here and here), I was wondering if an Ablative Absolute construction like portā clausā is ambiguous in Early Latin as it is in Classical Latin. For ...
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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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The longest Ablative Absolute construction attested in the Latin literature?

I was curious about the longest Ablative Absolute (AA) construction attested in the Latin literature. For example, the following one from Plautus has seven AAs juxtaposed (used by him to create a ...
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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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Can Gerundives be predicates of Ablative Absolutes?

I was wondering if Gerundives, the verbal adjectives referred to as "future passive participles" by Latin grammarians, can appear as predicates of Ablative Absolute constructions. As is well-known, ...
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ante solem occasum vs. *ante diem adventum

The intransitive verbs that typically enter into constructions with perfect participles of the so-called "dominant" type are deponent: e.g., ante Ciceronem mortuum, post Ciceronem natum, etc....
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Present Participles: can "respicienti" be part of an ablative absolute in this sentence?

Suetonius, Caius (Caligula) 58: ...alii Sabinum summota per conscios centuriones turba signum more militiae petisse et Caio "lovem" dante Chaeream exclamasse: "accipe ratum" respicientique maxillam ...
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Quo mortuo nuntiato (Cicero) // Ab urbe condita nuntiata (?)

Given my description below on nested/double predicative participle constructions (e.g., quo mortuo nuntiato) and given the well-known parallelism between so-called “dominant” participle constructions (...
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What forms are the verbs in "Omnibus rebus paratis, Caesar milites naves conscendere jussit"?

In "Omnibus rebus paratis, Caesar milites naves conscendere jussit", what forms are the verbs "paratis" and "jussit", and why? This sentence was taken from Gramática latina de Napoleão Mendes, from ...
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How "sōlā fidē" means what it is supposed to mean

The question is whether the phrase (a) denies there being more than one faith or (b) excludes there being any other means of salvation. BACKGROUND I am assuming that the phrase is intended to ...
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Why does the substantive come second in 'mutatis mutandis'?

The Wikipedia section on ablative absolute gives these examples. urbe captā Aenēās fūgit. Ovidiō exule, Mūsae planguntur. Caesare cōnsule... īrā calefactā, sapientia dormit. dominō absente, ...
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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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Is "victa serpente" an ablative absolute?

I'm reading Ovid's Metamorphoses, and there's this sentence: Delius hunc nuper, victa serpente superbus, viderat adducto flectentem cornua nervo “quid” que “tibi, lascive puer, cum fortibus ...
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18 votes
2 answers
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Why do we say that an ablative absolute has a participle?

An ablative absolute consists of a noun in the ablative and a participle modifying it. Except that that's not really the case. We frequently find the participle replaced with just an adjective (or ...
Mar Johnson's user avatar