Latin for beginners (1911)/Part II/Lesson XV

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LESSON XV

THE ABLATIVE DENOTING WITH

100. Of the various relations denoted by the ablative case (§50) there is none more important than that expressed in English by the preposition with. This little word is not so simple as it looks. It does not always convey the same meaning, nor is it always to be translated by cum. This will become clear from the following sentences:

a. Mark is feeble with (for or because of) want of food
b. Diana kills the beasts with (or by) her arrows
c. Julia is with Sextus
d. The men fight with great steadiness

a. In sentence a, with want (of food) gives the cause of Mark's feebleness. This idea is expressed in Latin by the ablative without a preposition, and the construction is called the ablative of cause:

Mārcus est īnfīrmus inopiā cibī

b. In sentence b, with (or by) her arrows tells by means of what Diana kills the beasts. This idea is expressed in Latin by the ablative without a preposition, and the construction is called the ablative of means:

Diāna sagittīs suīs ferās necat

c. In sentence c we are told that Julia is not alone, but in company with Sextus. This idea is expressed in Latin by the ablative with the preposition cum, and the construction is called the ablative of accompaniment:

Iūlia est cum Sextō

d. In sentence d we are told how the men fight. The idea is one of manner. This is expressed in Latin by the ablative with cum, unless there is a modifying adjective present, in which case cum may be omitted. This construction is called the ablative of manner:

Virī (cum) cōnstantiā magnā pugnant

101. You are now able to form four important rules for the ablative denoting with:

102. Rule. Ablative of Cause. Cause is denoted by the ablative without a preposition. This answers the question Because of what?

103. Rule. Ablative of Means. Means is denoted by the ablative without a preposition. This answers the question By means of what? With what?

N.B. Cum must never be used with the ablative expressing cause or means.

104. Rule. Ablative of Accompaniment. Accompaniment is denoted by the ablative with cum. This answers the question With whom?

105. Rule. Ablative of Manner. The ablative with cum is used to denote the manner of an action. Cum may be omitted, if an adjective is used with the ablative. This answers the question How? In what manner?

106. What uses of the ablative do you discover in the following passage, and what question does each answer?

The soldiers marched to the fort with great speed and broke down the gate with blows of their muskets. The inhabitants, terrified by the din, attempted to cross the river with their wives and children, but the stream was swollen with (or by) the rain. Because of this many were swept away by the waters and only a few, almost overcome with fatigue, with great difficulty succeeded in gaining the farther shore.

107.

EXERCISES

First learn the special vocabulary, p. 286.

I. The Romans prepare for War. Rōmānī, clārus Italiae populus, bellum parant. Ex agrīs suīs, vīcīs, oppidīsque magnō studiō virī validī ad arma properant. Iam lēgātī cum legiōnāriīs ex Italiā ad Rhēnum, fluvium Germāniae altum et lātum, properant, et servī equīs et carrīs cibum frūmentumque ad castra Rōmāna portant. Inopiā bonōrum tēlōrum īnfīrmī sunt Germānī, sed Rōmānī armātī galeīs, lōrīcīs, scūtīs, gladiīs, pīlīsque sunt validī.

II.

1. The sturdy farmers of Italy labor in the fields with great diligence.
2. Sextus, the lieutenant, and (his) son Mark are fighting with the Germans.
3. The Roman legionaries are armed with long spears.
4. Where is Lesbia, your maid, Sextus? Lesbia is with my friends in Galba's cottage.
5. Many are sick because of bad water and for lack of food.
6. The Germans, with (their) sons and daughters, are hastening with horses and wagons.

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References