Imperative of Sciō, Habeō and Meminī

The imperative of sciō is scītō in the singular and scītōte in the future. These are the future forms, but they are used in the present tense.

Even if you’re a whiz and you know that already, it might be a little less where how to use this imperative in a Latin sentence. The Romans don’t appear to have ordered others to do things like ‘know these by heart before Friday’s exam.’ Instead, the imperative of ‘know’ was more often something like ‘rest assured’ or ‘recall,’ confirming or searching for what is already known rather than standing for the imperative ‘learn.’

  • Scītōte vobīs semper deum propitium esse, sī bonīs: Know that the god will always favor you, so long as you are good.
  • Scītō tibi gratiās dābō: trust that I will return the favor.
  • Scītō exemplum tuī patris: recall the example of your father.

This is also true of habeō, where it means understand, and mēminī. 

  • Habētō tibi me nōn irātum esse: realize that I  am not angry with you.
  • Habetōte vostrum finem: know your limits.
  • Mementō ora candentia parentis: recall your mother’s glowing features.

From the examples in Lewis and Short, I cannot be sure, but it appears that the imperatives of sciō will always take a direct object or an infinitive construction, and never the + ablative construction that may appear with other moods of sciō.

The Essential A  & G: 182a.

Have Some More

My curiosity about habeō, habēre, habuī, habitum led me to Lewis and Short. I’ll share some of the less intuitive uses I found there.

  • habēre in metū = to fear
  • habēre quemquam can also refer to a sense of esteem. That is, how you ‘hold’ someone in your mind, and how you think of them.
  • habēre + infinitive, in addition to ‘I must do x‘ could also mean ‘I am able to do x,’ much like the Greek ἔχω + infinitive
  • habēre sē benē = to be well
  • habēre sibi/sēcum aliquid = to keep something to oneself
  • habēre without a direct object = to dwell [eum domī advēnimus, quō nunc habet — we went to visit him at the house where he now lives]
  • habēre in animō = to have in mind to, to be inclined to
  • the future imperative, habētō means ‘consider’ or ‘understand’ with a present sense [sīc habētō, mī amīce–consider it this way, friend]

To Have and Holding, For as Long as You Both Shall Live

In this post, I’d like to differentiate between the three ways that habeō takes a direct object: (a) an accusative, (b) an accusative perfect participle, and (c) an infinitive.

Habeō takes an accusative direct object in the sense of ‘possessing’ that object.

  • I have three sons: trēs fīliōs habeō.
  • She held the scepter: sceptrum habēbat.

Habeō with the perfect participle bears the same sense as ‘habēbat‘ above: possession extended over a period of time.

  • They are holding him in the prison: eum in carcere habent. (right now)
  • They are holding him in prison: eum captātum in carcere habent. (continuous status of incarceration)
  • They have him as a witness: eum teste habent. (at this moment).
  • They have him as a witness: eum testātum habent. (for now, but also for when they might need him)

Habeō with an infinitive completes a construction of purpose.

  • I have much to promise: multum habeō pollicērī.
  • You have work to do: labōrem habēs facere.
  • You must do the work: labōrem habēs facere. (cf. Spanish tener que)

The Essential AG: 460a, 497b

Datophilic Verb Phrases

Verbs Takings the Dative (p7/7)

Datophilic Phrases

Phrases with Corresponding Verbs

There are a variety of phrases that take the dative, corresponding in sense to more basic categories of verbs that take the dative

  • I am on hand to aid Caesar: iuvendī Caesaris praestō sum. (cf. adsum)
  • She will humor his request: precī eius mōrem geret. (cf. mōrigeror)
  • Let us all do favors for our loved ones: omnēs amantibus grāta faciāmus. (cf. grātificor)
  • The dog is only obedient to me: iste canis solum mihi dictō audiēns est. (cf. oboedīre)
  • I held confidence in her prophecy: suō effatī fidem habuī. (cf. cōnfidō)

Indepedent Phrases

Other phrases take the dative according to their own, particular sense

  • The Furies inflict their injuries upon the men: Eumenides eīs damna dant.  
  • This slave did me an injury: hīc servus mihi iniūriam fēcit!
  • They brought the slave to trial: servō diem dixērunt.
  • They set the day of the election: comitibus diem dixērunt.
  • They were told to thank the father: grātiās agere patrī iussī sunt.
  • I am thankful to Pompey: grātiam Pompeiō habeō.
  • I must repay Pompey the favor: grātiam Pompeiō mihi referendum est.
  • There is need of action: gerendō opus est.
  • Children too rarely honor their parents: liberī parentibus rarius honōrem habent.
  • He is given credit: acceptum eō ferre est.

The Poetic Dative

The poets put the dative in numerous places were strict Latin syntax suggests some other, more regular, case

  • Nor would I dare to tear the clinging crown from that highly lauded head: nēque egō illī detrahere ausīm / haerentem capitī cum multā laude corōnam (Horace, Satires, 1.10.48-9) [prō abl.]
  • Scorning Iarbas, and the leaders of other men, whom the rich soil of Africa nourishes in triumph–will you also fight a pleasing lover: dēspectus Iarbas / ductorēsque aliī, quōs Āfrica terra triumphīs / dīves alit: placitōne etiam pugnābis amorī? [prō cum + abl. or in + acc.]
  • She filled the wound with tears, and mixed mourning with blood: vulnerā supplēvit lacrimīs flētumque cruōrī / miscuit [Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.139-140] [prō abl.]

The Essential AG: 367 n2, 368.3a, 413a

Famous Phrase: prīus quam incipiās, consultō et, ubī consuluerīs factō opus est

[before you being, there is need of planning, and where you’ve consulted–of action!]

Sallust, Bellum Catilinae, 1.6

verbs_dative_7.pdf