It Escapes Many

The impersonal latet (from the sans-passive lateō, latēre, latuī, —) takes either an accusative or a dative in prose and poetry. The accusative is the more common form.

  • It escapes me: mē latet.
  • Most people are unaware: plērōs latet.
  • She doesn’t know yet: eī adhuc latet.

Lateō can also be used impersonally, with the same variation in form:

  • Rome lies safe from enemies: Rōma hostibus latet.
  • The escaped songbirds elude their keepers: passērēs vāgī custōdēs latent.

In practice, a direct object isn’t always necessary.

  • The finest things remain unseen: pulcherrima latent.

(And yep, this word is related to λανθάνω)

The Essential AG: 388cn1, 396c, 396cn

2 comments on “It Escapes Many

  1. niceros says:

    In your final example which reads “pulchrissima latent,” shouldn’t “pulchrissima,” as the superlative of “pulcher,” be written “pulcherrima”?

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