Accusative of respect is the term used for a noun that qualifies an adjective or verb and defines the sphere in which the adjective or verb is to be applied. For a literal translation, with respect to is prefixed to the noun so used, but some change is needed for an idiomatic English translation.

Nondum etiam sensiis deperditus omnts. Propertius Elegies 1.3.11 Not even yet deprived of all my senses.

(lit., Not even yet lost with respect to all [my] senses.)

... non teretl strophio lactentes vinctapapillas.

Catullus Carmina 64.65 ... nor [were] her milk-white breasts bound with a smooth band.

(lit., [she was] not bound with respect to [her] milk-white breasts .,.)

Caeruleos ... implexae crinibus anguis Eumenides.

Vergil Georgics 4,482f. The Furies, with blue snakes intertwined in [their] hair.

(lit,, The Furies, intertwined with respect to blue snakes in [their] hair.)

When the accusative is used in this way with the passive of verbs meaning put on (induo), take off (exuo), and the like, the verb is to be translated as active,

Induitur chlamydem. Silius Italicus Punica 16.240

He put on a cloak.

Compare the genitive of respect (§G22) and ablative of respect (§G46).

q jg"] The adverbial accusative involves the use of a neuter singular pro-

_J noun or a neuter adjective (singular or plural) as an adverb. Nihil

(nothing) is so used as an emphatic negative and may be literally translated not at all or in no way.

Forma nihil magicis utitur auxilils. Tibullus Elegies 1.8.24

Beauty has no use for the aids of magic (lit., does not use magic aids at all).

... te spectat et audit dulce rldentem. Catullus Carmina 5i.3ff.

,.. [who] looks at you and hears you laughing sweetly. ... torva tuentem. Vergil Aeneid 6.467

... looking grimly (lit.,... lookinggrim [things]).

A cognate accusative is an accusative noun that is etymologically related to' the verb by which it is governed.

Nomen parentes nominarunt Claudiam. Verse Epitaphs b.3

[Her] parents gave her the name of Claudia (lit., named [her] the name Claudia).

Included here are accusatives used in exactly the same way but with nouns not etymologically related to the verb.

Mutat terra vices. Horace Odes 4.7,3

The earth undergoes [its] regular changes (lit., changes [its] successive changes), (vices = mutationes)


A noun in the genitive qualifies another word, which can be a noun, adjective, verb, or adverb. Most uses of the genitive are to be translated by of;

sometimes, the English genitive is a possible alternative (gladius militis (the sword of the soldier or the soldier's sword)). However, certain uses require a different translation.


A possessive genitive can be used to indicate simple possession.

Deformis harundo Cocytu Vergil Georgics 4.478f.

The ugly reed of the Cocytus (or Cocytus' ugly reed).

It can also be used of a person (for example, an author or sculptor) who has created something.

Accipefacundt Culicem ... Mardnis. *Martial Epigrammata 14.185.1 Receive the Culex of the eloquent Maro.

Sometimes the relationship between a noun and a qualifying genitive is one of association rather than actual possession.

Hora libelldrum decuma est... meorum. Martial Epigrammata 4.8.7 The tenth hour belongs to my little books (i.e., is the time for my little books).

Fama ducts. Lucan Bellum civile 1.144

A reputation as a leader.

The genitive of characteristic is used with a third-person singular form of sum to mean it is the part/duty/mark/habit/characteristic of someone [to do somethingJ. Context shows which of these nouns should be used in the translation.

Pauperis est numerâre pecus. *Ovid Métamorphosés 13.824

It is [characteristic] of a poor man to count [his] livestock. Nunc ea më exquïrere inïqulpatris est. Terence Andria i86f.

For me to inquire into these things now would be (lit., is) [the action] of a harsh father.

The genitive of quality/description is an attribute of the noun it qualifies, just as in English phrases such as a person of great talent. In Latin, this genitive must always be accompanied by an adjective.

Iniquae mentis asellus. Horace Sermônês 1.9,20 A donkey of sullen disposition,

Animôsï... Açcius oris. Ovid Amôrês 1.15.19 Accius of spirited mouth.

The genitive of quality/description coincides with a use of the ablative (see §G44).Hie distinction usually observed in prose (the genitive for an inherent characteristic, the ablative for an external one) is ignored in verse.

g 20

The genitive of value is used when a person or thing is assessed or valued.

Rumores ... senum severiorum omnes unius aestimemus assis.

Catullus Carmina 5.2f, Let us value all the gossip of too narrow-minded old men at a single as.

(as assis n. a coin of small value) Pliiris hoc ... mihi eris, Horace Sermones 1.9.7f.

I'll value you all the more because of that (lit., because of that you will be of greater value to me).

g 21

'g22~1 ^ range adjectives or their equivalents can be followed by a

V_J genitive of respect, that is, a noun in the genitive that defines the sphere in which an adjective is to be applied in a particular context. This genitive can be roughly translated with respect to.

O sceptri venerande Syphax. Silius Italicus Piinica 16.248

O Syphax of venerable scepter.

(lit., O Syphax to be venerated with respect to [your] scepter.) O te, Bolane, cerebri fellcem! Horace Sermones 1.9.nf.

O Bolanus, [how] fortunate [you are] in [your] bad temper!

This use is common in poetry from the time of Vergil and Horace, but does not occur in prose until the Silver Age. Compare the accusative of respect (§gi5) and ablative of respect (§g46).

(g 23^ ^ noun used as an objective genitive stands in the same relation to v_) the noun or adjective that it qualifies as an object does to a finite verb. Ëmathiôn, aequt cultor timidusque deôrum (Emathion, lover of what is right and [a man] fearful of the gods (*Ovid Metamorphoses $.100)) could also be translated Err}athion, who loved what is right and feared the gods, because aequï and deôrum are objective genitives after cultor and timidus, respectively. The objective genitive is often translated by for or some other preposition.

Manilius Astronomica 4.2 We torture ourselves with (or are tortured by) a blind desire for possessions. ... dësïderiô ... tam cart capitis. Horace Odes i,24.if,

... to longing for so dear a head (i.e., a person).

The subjective genitive, where a noun in the genitive stands in the same relation to the noun that it qualifies as a subject does to a verb, occurs less frequently.

G24 partitive genitive occurs in phrases where a noun in the genitive

V_J expresses a whole and the noun or noun substitute that it qualifies expresses a part. The noun substitute may be a pronoun, adjective, or adverb.

Fortissima Tyndaridarum, *Horace Sermdnes 1.1.100

The bravest of the daughters ofTyndareus.

When the word qualified is a pronoun or adjective, a particular emphasis or nuance is sometimes implied.

... cum tantum sciat esse basidrum. Catullus Carmina 5.13

... when he knows there are so many kisses (lit., so much of kisses— Catullus wants to emphasize the tremendous number of kisses involved).

Sometimes a partitive expression is little more than the equivalent of a noun with an adjective in agreement.

Plus habet hie vitae, plus habet ille viae.

Claudian Shorter poems 20.22 This one has more life, that one more traveling (lit., journey).

The genitive of definition specifies more precisely what is meant by

^__the noun it governs, and stands in the same relation to it as a noun in apposition (§G52). It is sometimes translated by of, sometimes simply by using apposition.

Virtutes continentiae, gravitatis, iustitiae. *Cicero pro Murena 23 The virtues [of] self-restraint, seriousness, justice.

Acre malum semper stillantis ocelli. Juvenal Satires 6.109

The severe complaint of a constantly weeping eye.

A few adjectives and intransitive verbs take the genitive; this use is indicated in the Glossary.

Vicinae nescius urbis. Claudian Shorter poems 20.9

Unacquainted with the neighboring city.


The dative indicates the person involved in an action or state (for instance, the recipient or person advantaged or disadvantaged) or, in the case of things, a purpose or final result. A noun in the dative can be governed by a verb, an adjective or, very occasionally, a noun or adverb. The dative is usually translated by to or for.

G 27

Transitive verbs of saying, giving, promising, showing, etc. can be followed by a direct object (accusative) and an indirect object (dative). The English idiom is similar, although the preposition to can often be omitted (he gave a book to me = he gave me a book).

Da ml (= mihi) basia mille, Catullus Carmina 5.7

Give me a thousand kisses.

Other verbs, mainly compounds, that are also followed by a direct object in the accusative and an indirect object in the dative require some change for an idiomatic translation.

Rus mihi tu obiectasi Plautus Mostellaria 16

Do you throw the country in my face?

(obiecto -are lit., throw [something] (acc.) at [someone] (dat.))

The dative is used with certain adjectives, for example, aptus (suitable), fxdelis (faithful), and similis (similar).

... aptaeprofugo vestis. Ovid Tristia 1.3.10

... of clothing suitable for an exile.

The dative without a preposition is used for the agent with gerundives expressing necessity (see §g8o).

G 29

Tibi sunt... gerendae aerumnae. Ennius Annales 1 fr. xxix.nf.

You must endure troubles, (lit.. Troubles must be endured by you.)

The dative of agent is sometimes used in other situations.

... amata nobis quantum amabitur nulla. Catullus Carmina 8.5

... loved by me as much as no [woman] will he loved. ... audltam ... arboribus fidem, Horace Odes 1.24.14

_ The dative is used with sum and sometimes with other verbs to in-

^Jdic dicate the owner or possessor.

Nec trucihusfiuviïs Idem sonus. Statius Silvae 5.4.5

And raging rivers do not have the same sound, (lit., Nor is there the same sound for raging rivers, (est is understood) Fuerant tibi quattuor ... dentés. Martial Epigrammata 1.19.1

You had four teeth.

The dative of advantage/disadvantage is used for a person who is affected by the action expressed by a verb, whether advantageously or the opposite. This can sometimes be translated by for, but often the translation must be adapted to the context.

Fulsere quondam candid! tibi söles. Catullus Carmina 8.3

Bright suns once shone for you. (dative of advantage) Füneris ... tibi causa fuii Vergil Aeneid 6.458

Was I the cause of your death? (lit., Was I the cause of death for you?) (dative of disadvantage)

Tarn bellum mihi passerem abstulistis. Catullus Carmina 3.15

You have taken so beautiful a sparrow from me (lit., to my disadvantage).

The dative of reference is used for a person who is interested or involved in the action or state expressed by a verb.

Non mihi servorum, comitis non cura legend! ... fuit.

Ovid Tristia l.^.gf. I was not concerned with choosing slaves [or] a companion.

(lit., There was not concern for me in choosing...) Multis ille bonis flebilis occidit. Horace Odes 1.24.9

His death was (lit., He died) worthy of tears for many good people.

Sometimes this dative has the meaning in the eyes of or in the judgment of.

Cui videberis bellai Catullus Carmina 8.16

To whom will you seem beautiful?

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between a dative of possessor (§g 30), a dative of advantage/disadvantage (§g3i), and a dative of reference (§g32),

The dative of purpose or final result expresses the purpose for which something exists or is done, or the result of an action. This can be concrete or abstract.

Nec mens fuerat satis aptaparando. Ovid Tristia 1.3.7

Nor had [my frame of] mind been sufficiently favorable for preparing. (parando is a gerund)

Materiam struimus magnae per vota ruinae.

Manilius Astronomica 4.9 We put together material for a great downfall through [our] desires, (a great downfall is the result of our activity)

Hie predicative dative predicates, or asserts, something about the subject (hence the term; see §g6). It is generally accompanied by another dative (of reference or advantage/disadvantage). Instead of this was an honor for him, Latin prefers hoc e! honor! fixit, lit., this was for an honor for him, where honor! is a predicative dative and el is a dative of advantage.

Tibi est odio mea fistula. Vergil Eclogues 8.33

You dislike my pipe, (lit., My pipe is for hatred for you.) (odio is a predicative dative, tibi is a dative of reference)

Exitid est avidum mare nautls, *Horace Odes 1.28.18

The greedy sea is death to sailors (lit., is for death for sailors).

(exitio is a predicative dative, nautls is a dative of disadvantage)

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