New Latin Grammar eBook

Charles Edwin Bennett
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 322 pages of information about New Latin Grammar.

    Romanos ab Hannibale victos esse constat, it is well established that
    the Romans were defeated by Hannibal


358. 1.  The English for does not always correspond to a Dative notion in Latin, but is often the equivalent of pro with the Ablative, viz. in the senses—­

  a) In defense of; as,—­

    pro patria mori, to die for one’s country.

  b) Instead of, in behalf of; as,—­

    unus pro omnibus dixit, one spoke for all;

    haec pro lege dicta sunt, these things were said for the law.

  c) In proportion to; as,—­

    pro multitudine hominum eorum fines erant angusti, for the population,
    their territory was small

2.  Similarly, English to when it indicates motion is rendered in Latin by ad.

    a.  Note, however, that the Latin may say either scribere ad aliquem, or
    scribere alicui, according as the idea of motion is or is not
    predominant.  So in several similar expressions.

3.  In the poets, verbs of mingling with, contending with, joining, clinging to, etc., sometimes take the Dative.  This construction is a Grecism.  Thus:—­

    se miscet viris, he mingles with the men;

    contendis Homero, you contend with Homer;

    dextrae dextram jungere, to clasp hand with hand.


359. 1.  The Possessive Genitive gives emphasis to the possessor, the Dative of Possessor emphasizes the fact of possession; as,—­

    hortus patris est, the garden is my father’s;

    mihi hortus est, I possess a garden.

2.  The Latin can say either stulti or stultum est dicere, it is foolish to say; but Adjectives of one ending permit only the Genitive; as,—­

    sapientis est haec secum reputare, it is the part of a wise man to
    consider this

* * * * *



360.  Prosody treats of metres and versification.

361.  Latin Verse.  Latin Poetry was essentially different in character from English.  In our own language, poetry is based upon accent, and poetical form consists essentially in a certain succession of accented and unaccented syllables.  Latin poetry, on the other hand, was based not upon accent, but upon quantity, so that with the Romans poetical form consisted in a certain succession of long and short syllables, i.e. of long and short intervals of time.

This fundamental difference in the character of English and Latin poetry is a natural result of the difference in character of the two languages.  English is a strongly accented language, in which quantity is relatively subordinate.  Latin, on the other hand, was a quantitative language, in which accent was relatively subordinate.

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New Latin Grammar from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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