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The Ablative Absolute Compare these sentences in terms of the time difference between the verbs : When the city had been captured, the soldiers departed.

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Presentation on theme: "The Ablative Absolute Compare these sentences in terms of the time difference between the verbs : When the city had been captured, the soldiers departed."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Ablative Absolute Compare these sentences in terms of the time difference between the verbs : When the city had been captured, the soldiers departed After the city had been captured, the soldiers departed With the city having been captured, the soldiers departed In each case the verb in the first part of the sentence expresses an action which has occurred before the action of the second verb

2 In English we use the pluperfect tense to express an action which occurs before another action in the past. Latin, however, has a very neat way of expressing this time difference which follows the construction of the third sentence: With the city having been captured, the soldiers departed urbe capta, milites discesserunt This type of structure is called the ablative absolute It is made up of a noun ‘urbe’ and a participle ‘capta’ in the ablative case and is very common in Latin Grammatically, it is completely separate from the rest of the sentence and this is why it is called ‘absolute’ from the Latin verb ‘absolvere’ or ‘untied’

3 In the example we have just looked at, the participle in the ablative absolute phrase is a perfect passive participle. Ablative absolute phrases can also be formed with a present participle: omnibus tacentibus, libertus nomina recitavit With everyone being quiet, the freedman read out the names Or, in more natural English: When everyone was quiet, the freedman read out the names n.b.: the present participle declines like a third declension adjective

4 Translation of the Ablative Absolute bello confecto, Agricola ad Italiam rediit With the war having been finished, Agricola returned to Italy or, in better English: When the war had been finished, Agicola returned to Italy After finishing the war, Agricola returned to Italy or

5 Translations (Latin > English) ponte deleto, nemo flumen transire poterat After the bridge had been destroyed, nobody could cross his verbis auditis, cives plauserunt When they heard these words, the citizens applauded nave refecta, mercator a Britannia discessit When the ship had been repaired, the merchant left Britain iuvenes, togis depositis, balneum intraverunt After taking off their clothes, the young men entered the baths latrones, omnibus dormientibus, tabernam incenderunt The thieves set fire to the inn when everybody was sleeping

6 Imperator, sacerdotibus adstantibus, preces divo Tito obtulit consule ingresso, omnes senatores surrexerunt clientes, denariis raptis, abierunt ut cibum emerent mercator, clamoribus auditis, e lecto perterritus surrexit

7 Imperator, sacerdotibus adstantibus, preces divo Tito obtulit The Emperor offered prayers to the god Titus when the priests were present consule ingresso, omnes senatores surrexerunt All the senators stood up when the consul entered clientes, denariis raptis, abierunt ut cibum emerent After grabbing the money, the clients went away to buy food mercator, clamoribus auditis, e lecto perterritus surrexit When he heard the shouts, the merchant got out of bed terrified

8 Translations (English > Latin) 1. The citizens returned home when the arch had been dedicated 2. After losing her money, the slave girl began to cry 3. The captives escaped while the guards were sleeping 4. The soothsayer announced the omens once the victims had been sacrificed 5. The enemy was in despair when their leader was killed 6. When the cat is away, the mice are accustomed to play 7. The clients went away unwillingly when the door had been shut 1. arcudedicatocivesdomumredierunt 2. pecuniaamissa ancilla lacrimarecoepit 3. custodibus dormientibuscaptivieffugerunt 4. victimissacrificatis haruspex ominanuntiavit 5. duceinterfectohostes desperabant 6. feleabsentemuresluderunt 7. ianua clausaclientesinvitidiscesserunt


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