172 THE ABLATIVE OF SPECIFICATION
b. On the other hand, when the cum clause describes the circumstances under which the main act took place, the subjunctive mood is used. So, in the second example, the principal clause states that Caesar made an attack, and the cum clause describes the circumstances under which this act occurred. The idea of time is also present, but it is subordinate to the idea of descrip- tion. Sometimes the descriptive clause is one of cause and we translate cum by since J sometimes it denotes concession and cum is translated although. . Rule. Constructions with Cwm. The conjunction cum means when, since, or although. It is followed by the subjunctive unless it means when and its clause jixes the time at which the m^ain action took place. Note. Cum in clauses of description with the subjunctive is much more common than its use with the indicative. . Note the following sentences : . Oppidum erat parvum magnitudine sed magnum multitudine homi- num, the town was small in size but great in population. . Homo erat corpora infirmus sed validus animo, the man was weak in body but strong in courage. a. Observe that magnitiidine, multitudine, corpora, and animo tell in what respect something is true. The relation is one covered by the ablative case, and the construction is called the ablative of specification. . Rule. Ablative of Specification. The ablative is used to denote in what respect something is true. . IDIOMS aliquam certioram facare, to inform some one (lit. to make some 07ie more certain) certior fieri, to be informed (lit. to be made more certain) iter dara, to give a right of way ^ allow to pass obsides inter se dara, to give hostages to each other . EXERCISES I. I. Helvetil cum patrum nostrorum tempore domo profecti assent, consulis exercitum in fugam dederant. 2. Cum Caesar in Gralliam venit, Helvetil alios agros petebant. 3. Caesar cum in citeriore GalUa esset, tamen de Helvetiorum consiliis certior flebat.