The Latin Dual

Don’t worry—it’s extinct! However, it’s insightful to see that ambō the long ō ending that is characteristic of Greek duals and dual-related adverbs: ἄμφω, δύω, κτλ.

The Essential AG: p.59, ftn.


Double Constructions with Verbs of Defending, Prohibiting and Protecting

Normally, we can conceive that interclūdō (hold off) and prohibeō (prohibit) would take an accusative Person with an ablative Object (of separation).

  • He blocked their every approach: hōs totō aditū interclūsit.
  • They prohibit our approach: nōs adventū prohibent.

However, verbs of of defending, prohibiting and protecting may also take the accusative Object and dative Person.

  • He blocked their every approach: hīs totum aditum interclūsit.
  • They prohibit our approach: nōbis adventus prohibent.

Verbs with this Construction:

  • dēfendō, dēfendere, dēfensī, dēfensus: to defend
  • prohibeō, prohibēre, prohibuī, prohibitus: to prohibit or defend
  • interclūdo, interclūdere, interclūsī, interclūsus: to hold off
  • dētineō, dētinēre, dētenuī, dētentus: to hold off
  • muniō, munīre, munīvī, munītus: to wall off, defend
  • servō, servāre, servāvī, servātus: to defend

Recall that interdīcō is an exception: taking dative+accusative or dative+ablative.

For more:
The Essential AG: 364n2

A Forbidding Post

interdīco, interdīcere, interdīxī, interdīctus: forbid
Interdīco (forbid) gets a note of it’s own in A&G because it’s case constructions have varied over time.

  • Earlier writers present interdīco + dative Person & ablative Thing Forbidden
  • Later writers use interdīco + dative Person & accusative Thing Forbidden


  • They forbade him fire and water: aquā et īgnī eō interdīxērunt.*
  • Shall we forbid the women from wearing purple: fēminīs purpurae ūsū interdīcēmus?
  • He forbade the actors from appearing on the stage: histriōnibus scaenam accedere interdīxit.

*This was the standard formally for expressing ‘he is banished’

Also, I discovered during the construction of this post that ‘forbid’ is never the past tense of the English ‘forbid.’ It is usually ‘forbade’ and rarely ‘forbad.’ I hope I wasn’t the only person making this mistake… for 21 years…

The Essential AG: 365n1


Verbs with Double Constructions

Many Latin verbs display flexibility of case use. For instance, the following verbs will take either (a) accusative Person + dative Gift; or (b) dative Person + ablative Gift.

  • dōnō, dōnāre, dōnāvī, dōnātus: give
  • impertiō, impertīre, impertīvī, impertītus: bestow
  • induō, induere, induī, indūtus: put on (clothes)
  • exuō, exuere, exuī, exūtus: take off (clothes)
  • adspergō, adspergere, aspersī, adspersus: sprinkle, scatter, splatter (alt. aspergō, aspergere, etc.)
  • īnspergō, īnspergo, īnspergere, īnspersī, īnspersus: sprinkle, scatter ‘into’
  • circumdō, circumdāre, circumdedī, circumdatus: enclose, encircle


  • She gives her daughter a car: Fīliae autoraedam dōnat.
  • She gives her daughter a car: Fīliam autoraedā dōnat.
  • [More formally, we might say ‘she presents her daughter with a car.’]
  • He puts the robe on his son: Nātō vestem induit.
  • He puts the robe on his son: Nātum veste induit.
  • [More formally, we might say ‘he dresses his son with a robe.’]
  • I sprinkled the altar with water: Ārae aquam aspersī.
  • I sprinkled the altar with water: Āram aquā aspersī.
  • [More formally, for the first ‘I sprinkled water on the altar.’]
  • I enclosed the horses with a fence: equīs caevam circumdedī.
  • I enclosed the horses with a fence: equēs caevā circumdedī.
  • [More formally, for the first ‘I placed a fence around the horses.’]

The Essential AG: 364