Demonstrative Pronouns (Hīc et Ille)

There’s a self-effacing story behind every post I offer–some mistake I made in class that demonstrated (pun intended) my need to review a specific topic. This one started with the ‘cell tag’ that ends the messages I send from my smart phone, which began as:

-haec litteras mittae ex mobile

I sent a message to a professor and she politely suggested I fixed it. The disconjunction here was brutal. I have no idea what I was thinking when I designed the damn thing. It now reads:

-hae litterae missae ex mobile

Review carefully and avoid my mistake–

Summary of Use

“Demonstrative pronouns are use either adjectively or substantively” (AG, 296)

As pronominal adjectives, the agree with their corresponding noun

  • With this battle fought, he went out: hōc proeliō factō, proficīscēbātur
  • They died in the same battle: eōdem proeliō periērunt.

In moments of apposition, the pronoun agrees with the appositive, not the antecedent

  • This was the head of things, this the source: rērum caput hōc erat, hīc fōns

As substantives, they are personal pronouns, frequently in the  oblique cases

  • Hostages ought to be given by them: Obsidēs ab eīs dandī sunt.
  • Let the songs be sung by them: carmina ab eīs ca canātur.
  • His army went out: exercitus eius prōfectus est.
  • Those men are the first across the Rhone: hī sunt extrā prōvinciam trāns Rhodanum prīmī 

Hīc, Haec, Hōc

Hīc, Haec, Hōc is referred to as the ‘demonstrative of first person,’ and implies something near the speaker

  • It should be translated this or these
  • These are cats she was seeking: hīs sunt gattī, quōs petēbat.
  • This standard is our own: hōc signum nostrum est.

Hīc, Haec, Hōc originally developed from the stem ho- and the enclitic -ce, hence the ‘c’ in many forms of its declension

Hīc, Haec, Hōc may refer to the speaker himself

  • I, this man, am unwilling: hīc nolō.

Hīc, Haec, Hōc generally refers to ‘the former,’ when two things are apposite in a piece of writing, since ‘the former’ denotes what is “nearer the speaker in time, place or thought; often it refers to that which has just been mentioned” (AG, 297a)

  • You did the former and set the latter aside: hōc fēcistī, illud reservāvistī

Hīc may also scan short (hic) in poetry

Hīc, ‘this one,’ should be carefully distinguished from the adverb hīc, ‘here’

  • These words have the same etymology, but different syntax
  • Adverbs don’t decline, and vary more widely in word order

Ille, Illa, Illud

Ille is attached to objects remote from the speaker, and is referred to as the ‘demonstrative of third person’

  • It should be translated that or those
  • That man is guilty: ille obnōxius est.
  • Those women were washing at the spring: illae in fontem sē lavābant.

Ille often appears as that famous or that well-known

  • That famous archer appeared: ille Architenens adfuit.

Ille generally refers to ‘the latter,’ paired with hīc, haec, hōc, as above

  • You did the former and set the latter aside: hōc fēcistī, illud reservāvistī

The neuter illud may mean ‘the following’

  • I told him the following thing: eī narrābō illud.

A redundant ille may be attached to relative pronouns in colloquial language

  • He who carefully guards, may long enjoy what he has well obtained: ille quī cōnsultē cavet, diūtinē ūtī licet partum bene. 

The Essential AG: 146, 296, 297a-b

Famous Phrase: in hōc sensū / in sensū hōc / s.h. (in this sense)

[an emerging academic notation]