The More, The More

The two phrases quō..eō (hōc), tantō…quantō (hōc) can be broadly translated as ‘the more…the more.’ They are ablatives of degree of difference used to correlate to comparatives.

  • quō minus cpiditātis, eō plus auctōritātis, the less greed, the more authority
  • quantō erat gravior oppūgnātiō, tantō crēbriōrēs litterae mittēbantur, the severe the siege was, the more frequently letters were sent

The third variation is simply emphatic.

  • quantō plus crustulōs murī dabis, tantō hōc plus crustulīs eget: the mouse’s desire for cookies will increase in exact proportion to the number of cookies that you give him.

A&G note that this correlative construction later mutated to describe Cause instead of Degree of Difference.

  • eō mē minus paenitet, for that reason I regress less.

(Severe addicts should check out A&G’s note on this section 414an1, which details how the English ‘the…the’ is actually a direct descendent of these expressions, emerging from the instrumental case of a pronoun in Angle-Saxon, thȳ.)

The Essential AG: 414a, 414an

Advertisements

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

Expressions of Existence

In Latin, expression of existence and non-existence are handled by a Relative Clause of Characteristic (subjunctive!).

Expressions of Existence

  • sunt quī discessum animī ā corpore putent esse mortem: there are some (there exist some) who think that the departure of the soul from the body constitutes death
  • erant quī hōc cēnsērent, there were some of this opinion
  • quis est quī id nōn maximīs efferat laudibus: who is there that does not extol it with the highest praise?
  • sunt quī orbem arsum modō videre velint: some men just want to watch the world burn.

Expressions of Non-Existence

  • nihil videō quod timeam: I see nothing to fear.
  • nihil est quod adventum nostrum extimēscās: there is no reason to fear our arrival.
  • nēmō est qui SuīLocō tamen ūtātur: no one uses MySpace anymore.

A&G add that with these phrases the indicative is possible but less common, and point out that certain grammar books reference these phrases as ‘Relative Clauses with an Indefinite Antecedent.’

The Essential AG: 535a, 525an1, 535an2

Alternative and Archaic Quī and Quis

The relative and interrogative pronouns (quī, quae, quod) and (quis? quod?) are originally of the same root, so their older forms overlap in many places. The majority of this post will cover features of Latin you might only live to see once, or never.

  • The archaic genitive singular of this root is quōius, and the archaic dative singular, quoi.
  • The form quī is alternative of the ablative in all genders, though most often appears as an adverb (quī, how, in what way, inanway–using the same semantic field as the Greek ὅπῃ), or as quīcum, with whom? However, there are more general instances, even in classical Latin, for instance:

Which chest did the spears pierce: quī pectōre tela / transmittant (Lucan, Bellum Civile 7)

  • The archaic nominative plural, quēs, is only found in early Latin, though the archaic dative/ablative plural quīs is found in classical poetry.

The Essential AG: 150

Declension of Relative Pronouns

The relative pronoun is used within a complex sentence to refer to some antecedent in an earlier clause. In Latin, the relative pronoun is decline, and should fit syntactically with its own clause, rather than the case of its antecedent. For instance:

  • These are not the Droids you’re looking for: haec Droidēs nōn sunt quae quaesis.

The antecedent (nominative) does not align with the relative pronoun (accusative). Also, note how easily Latin shifts and embeds a relative clause:

  • These are not the Droids you’re looking for: quae quaesis haec Droidēs nōn sunt.
  • These are not the Droids you’re looking for: haec Droidēs quae quaesis nōn sunt.

These are both acceptable (albeit irregular/poetic) alternatives to the sentence above.

The relatives are declined as follows–

Picture 1

The Essential AG: 147

Expressions of Similarity

With Adjectives and Adverbs

The basic formula here is (adj/adv) + atque/ac


He has sense equal to his beauty: parem sapientiam habet atque formam.

He has sense equal to his beauty: pariter sapientiam habet atque formam.

She loves and hates in the same way: aequē amat ac odit.

(likewise with similiter)

With Ipse

Here, the formula is more subtle: use ipse, ipsa, ipsum with a relative clause or ac/atque.

I suspect you are disturbed by the same things which I am: tē suspicor eīsdem rēbus quibus mē ipsum commovērī.

I pray to the same gods as you: prēcor deīs atque te ipse.


The Essential AG: 384 n2

Relative Clauses as Alternatives to Nouns

In Latin, a relative clause can function as an alternative to (a) a participle, (b) an appositive or (c) a noun of agency.

This should be incredibly familiar: English relative clauses may perform all the same roles.

As participles:

  • lēgēs nunc stantēs : lēgēs quī nunc stant (the existing laws)
  • uxor librum dans : uxor quae librum dat (the wife giving the book)

As appositives:

  • iūsta glōria, frūctus virtūtis, ērepta est : iūsta glōria quae est frūctus virtūtus, ērepta est.
  • (true glory, the fruit of virtue, has been snatched away)
  • Iuppiter caelestī potestātis solium : Iuppiter, quī est caelestī potestātis solium
  • (Jupiter, the seat of heavenly power)

As nouns of agency:

  • Caesar victor Galliae : Caesar quī Galliam vincit (Caesar, conqueror of Gaul)
  • Seneca omnilector : Seneca quī omnēs legit (Secena, reader of everything)

Essential AG: 308c.