There Was a Time When…

Quite closely relate to expression of existence / non-existence are expressions of past time, which make use of the phrase est cum and fuit cum, which may be translated as ‘there was a time when…’ Like the phrases that describe existence, these make use of a relative clause of characteristic (w/ subjunctive!) to describe an indefinite period of present/past time.

  • est cum …. present subjunctive
  • fuit cum …. imperfect subjunctive
  • est cum in omnis virī aevō domum parentis linquat: there comes a time in every man’s life when he must leave the home of his father
  • est cum omnibus deceat: there is a season for all things
  • fuit cum mihi quoque initium requiēscendī fore iūstum arbitrārer: there was a time when I thought a beginning of rest would be justifiable on my part
  • fuit cum nōn altior meīs genibus essēs: there was a time when you were no taller than my knees

The Essential AG: 535an3


Verbs of Exchange and Trade

With verbs of exchange and trade, either the thing given or the thing taken are placed in the ablative of price:

  • He barters his faith and piety for money: fidem et pietātem suam pecūniā commūtat.
  • He exchanges his wealth for faith and piety: pecuniam suam fidē et pietātē commūtat.
  • He exchanged his native land for exile: exsilium patriā mūtāvit.
  • He exchange exile for his native land: patriam exsiliō mūtāvit.

Note the slight change in English for each variation.

Exchanges are often performed with cum.

  • He exchanged his sword for a bow: ensem cum arcō vertit.

The Essential AG: 417b

Ablative of Manner

Ablative of Manner, Means and Instrument (p 1/3)

Summary of Use

Allen and Greenough identify three major categories of case usage with the ablative: (1) the ablative proper, (2) the instrumental ablative and (3) the locative ablative

  • The ablative of means, manner and instrument are a collected heading under the (2) instrumental ablative

These uses of the ablative are part of what was once the instrumental case, so “no sharp line can be drawn between them, and indeed the Romans themselves can hardly have thought of any distinction” (AG 408)

The ablative of manner is often distinguished by the use of cum as an initiating preposition

Ablative of Manner 

Like the ablative of means and instrument, the ablative of manner qualifies a verb is usually paired with the conjunction cum

  • He came with speed: cum celeritāte vēnit.
  • She died with honor: cum hōnōre periit. 

The ablative of manner may appear without cum where it is paired instead with a limiting adjective, though even here cum is not unheard of

  • He came with the greatest speed: summā celeritāte vēnit.
  • What does it matter how your compel me: quid rēfert quā ratiōne mē cōgātis?
  • I will not say at how great a risk he did this: nōn dīcam quantō cum perīculō id faceret.
With Stock Words

Cum will also disappear with certain ‘stock uses’ of the ablative of manner, such as modō, pactō, ratiōne, ritū, vī, viā, silentiō, iūre, and iniūriā

  • These may be translated as by means of, as agreed upon, with the reason, according to ritual, with force, by the road, silently, rightly, with injury, i.o and etc.

These have become, by frequent use, virtual adverbs

  • He performed the deed according to ritual: ritū actum fēcit.
  • They arrived on the Appian way: viā Appiā vēnit.

Latin poetry will also emit cum, as needed

  • A mountain of water follos in a mass: īnsequitur cumulō aquae mōns.

Famous Phrase: cum hōc, ergō propter hōc

(with this, therefore because of this)

[logical fallacy linking correlation to causation]