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The Oxford Latin SyntaxVolume II: The Complex Sentence and Discourse$

Harm Pinkster

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780199230563

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199230563.001.0001

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(p.1138) Chapter 24 Discourse
The Oxford Latin Syntax

Harm Pinkster

Oxford University Press

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 24 deals with discourse, the way sentences form a coherent text. Coherence of a text is created by various means, apart from the internal semantic coherence. Forms of anaphora and various types of connectors create coherence between sentences. A distinction is made between conjunctive, adversative, and explanatory connectors, all syndetic connectors. However, asyndetic connection plays an important role as well. Some connectors are also used to connect paragraphs.

Keywords:   discourse, coherence, anaphora, sentence, syndeton, asyndeton, conjunctive, adversative, explanatory, connector, paragraph

24.1 Introduction

So far, this Syntax has mainly dealt with the internal structure of sentences and their parts (clauses, phrases, words, and morphosyntactic properties). This chapter, however, is devoted to DISCOURSE, that is to linguistic units which convey a complete communicative message (see § 2.13). As a rule, they contain more than one sentence.1 Such discourse units also have particular properties of their own which determine to some extent the content and structure of the sentences they contain.

The study of linguistic properties of units above the sentence level is fairly recent. A common term used for such suprasentential units, especially in German linguistic studies, was TEXT.2 The term ‘discourse’ is used in this Chapter to avoid ambiguity, because ‘text’ is also used in many other ways.

24.2 Sentence and discourse

In the Latin material at our disposal it is not as rare as one might think for single sentences, or even single words, to constitute a complete communicative message, but most instances are outside the standard texts that are normally used for grammatical analysis. Examples are (a)–(c). In (a), a dedicatory inscription found on a fragment of a pillar, the object of dedication and probably also its social and cultural significance will have been clear from its surroundings. In (b), a coin showing the heads of the Roman kings Numa Pompilius and Ancus Marcius and, on the reverse side, an arch with a statue of Victoria and a boat under the moon, with the name of Gaius (Marcius) Censorinus above it and Roma below,3 may have served to commemorate the victory of Marius and to suggest Censorinus’ royal descent. The Romans were used to this (p.1139) form of propaganda.4 In (c), an electoral graffito which must have been fairly familiar, the text cannot have been a problem for those who saw it.

  1. (a) A. · CERVIO · A. · F. · COSOL / DEDICAVIT

    (‘Aulus Cervius, consul, son of Aulus dedicated (this).’ (CIL I2.395 (Benevento, 3rd cent. BC))


    (‘Numa Pompilius Ancus Marcius / Gaius Censorinus Rome’ CIL I2.App. 268 (Rome, c.87 BC))


    (‘I ask you to elect Trebius and Gavius as aediles.’ CIL IV.118 (Pompeii, AD 71–5))

In these cases the reader uses non-linguistic cues, including his knowledge of the world, to arrive at a correct understanding of the message. In discourse units of two or more sentences the hearer or reader is still expected to use his knowledge of the world and of the situation, but the correct interpretation of a sentence and its relation with the surrounding context often depends on the information provided by the sentence or sentences that precede or follow.

In the earlier chapters of this Syntax several ways are discussed that assist the reader in correctly understanding the meaning of a sentence and how it coheres with its context. They will be discussed again in this chapter, but now from the perspective of discourse. An example of coherence of discourse is the very common rule of Latin that third person subjects are not expressed if they can be easily inferred from what precedes (see §§ 9.9–10). This phenomenon is one of the means to achieve continuity of participants over a stretch of text. This is illustrated by (d) and (e) (‘°’ indicates asyndeton—see below).

  1. (d) Odi ego aurum. ° Multa multis saepe suasit perperam.

    (‘I hate gold: it has often led many people to act badly on many issues.’ Pl. Capt. 328)

  2. (e) Vicini quo pacto niteant, id animum advertito. ° In bona regione bene nitere oportebit.

    (‘Notice how the neighbours look. In a good district, they ought to look well.’ Cato Agr. 1.2—tr. Dalby (adapted))

In (d), aurum, the focus and object of the first sentence, is the unexpressed topic and subject of the second. In (e), vicini, the topic and subject of the first sentence, is also the topic and subject of the accusative and infinitive clause bene nitere in the second. (Also, bene corresponds to quo pacto and nitere to niteant.)

Although the relation between the sentences in (d) and (e) should be perfectly clear for the reader, the semantic relation is not explicitly marked. There is no connecting device; in other words, the sentences are ‘asyndetic’. It is up to the reader to use his knowledge of the language and of the world to conceive of a relation between the (p.1140) sentences. In (d), it is plausible that the second sentence contains the explanation why the ‘I’ hates gold. That could have been made explicit by using the connector nam ‘for’.5 Connectors are another important device for creating coherence of discourse.

  1. (d’) Odi ego aurum. Nam multa multis saepe suasit perperam.

In (e), the relation between the two sentences is also explanatory, but more complicated: by examining the situation at the neighbours’ farm it is possible to infer something about the quality of the district: if they thrive bene, the district must be bona. That this is the point of the explanation (its focus) is clear from the position of in bona regione in the sentence.

The largest part of this chapter is devoted to the way sentences connect to form discourse units. However, the way these discourse units start and finish needs some attention as well. Furthermore, a discourse may consist of a number of units consisting of a number of sentences (‘episodes’ and ‘paragraphs’—see § 2.13) which are connected between each other in their own way. All this is the content of §§ 24.4ff. ‘discourse coherence’.

24.3 Text types (or: discourse modes)

The linguistic properties of a unit of discourse as a whole depend on a number of factors, the most important of which are mentioned in § 2.13. This section deals with one of the external factors mentioned there, viz. the ‘communicative purpose’ with which a speaker/writer presents his text.

The term introduced in § 2.13 for such units of discourse is ‘text type’. However, in this Syntax the term is used also in a wider sense for literary genre and other units (see the Index of grammatical terms). A more appropriate term for text type in the narrow sense would be ‘discourse type’ or ‘discourse mode’. Since the notion of ‘text type’ in the narrow sense of the term was introduced in the 1960s scholars have discussed how many and which different types can be distinguished. In addition to ‘narrative’, ‘argumentative’ (or: ‘persuasive’), and ‘didactic’ (or: ‘instructive’) texts, mentioned in § 2.13, it is common to distinguish ‘descriptive’ and ‘expository’ text types.6 As is said in § 24.1, the word ‘text’ is here used in a narrow sense: in an actual text, for example in Cicero’s oration pro Milone, several segments can be distinguished (and have been distinguished since Antiquity) which represent different text types (see (a) and (b) below). The choice of a particular text type manifests itself in the linguistic properties of the sentences that constitute that text and in the relations between them. Examples are the use of the tenses (see § 7.11), the order of constituents (see § 23.1 and § 23.5), and the use of particular lexical items (see § 2.13 on quoniam).

(p.1141) Text types are still an underdeveloped area of research, with the exception of the narrative text type (see below). Exx. (a)–(c) illustrate the narrative, argumentative, and expository type, respectively.7 Ex. (a) is a good instance of a narrative period: a series of events are presented in one complex syntactic structure from the perspective of the main character (Clodius). In the cum clause the speaker (Cicero) provides details concerning the circumstances and he finishes with his personal interpretation of the situation. This is a typical instance of ‘storytelling’ (see § 7.30 fin.).

  1. (a) P. Clodius,

    • cum statuisset omni scelere in praetura vexare rem publicam

    • videretque ita tracta esse comitia anno superiore

    • ut non multos mensis praeturam gerere posset,

    • qui non honoris gradum spectaret, ut ceteri,

    • sed et L. Paulum conlegam effugere vellet,

    • singulari virtute civem,

    • et annum integrum ad dilacerandam rem

    • publicam quaereret,

    • subito reliquit annum suum

    • seseque in proximum transtulit,

    • non—ut fit—religione aliqua,

    • sed ut haberet, quod ipse dicebat,

    • ad praeturam gerendam—

    • hoc est ad evertendam rem publicam—

    • plenum annum atque integrum.

      (‘Publius Clodius had determined to harass the state during his praetorship by every kind of lawless behaviour. He saw that the elections of the previous year had been so protracted that he would be able to hold his praetorship for no more than a few months. For that high office, which is what most men desire, he cared nothing; all he wanted was to avoid having Lucius Paulus, a citizen of exceptional merit, as his colleague, and to have an entire year in which to maul the state. He therefore suddenly abandoned his proper year, and transferred his name to the year following—not led thereto, as commonly happens, by any religious scruple, but in order that, according to his own account, he might enjoy for the exercise of his praetorship—that is to say, for the subversion of the state—a full and unbroken year.’ Cic. Mil. 24)

In the argumentative piece of text in (b) Cicero addresses the jury, indirectly with a rhetorical question (an est quisquam), and then directly (nisi vero existimatis and iudices). By using the interactional particle enim he ensures their cooperation and with non sine causa he underlines his argumentation. The entire text is organized to win the jury over to Cicero’s point of view.


  1. (b) An est quisquam qui hoc ignoret, cum de homine occiso quaeratur, aut negari solere omnino esse factum aut recte et iure factum esse defendi? Nisi vero existimatis dementem P. Africanum fuisse qui, cum a C. Carbone tribuno plebis seditiose in contione interrogaretur quid de Ti. Gracchi morte sentiret, responderit iure caesum videri. Neque enim posset aut Ahala ille Servilius aut P. Nasica aut L. Opimius aut C. Marius aut me consule senatus non nefarius haberi, si sceleratos civis interfici nefas esset. Itaque hoc, iudices, non sine causa etiam fictis fabulis doctissimi homines memoriae prodiderunt, eum qui patris ulciscendi causa matrem necavisset variatis hominum sententiis non solum divina sed etiam sapientissimae deae sententia liberatum.

    (‘Or is there anyone who is unaware that when inquiry is held into a murder, the act is either categorically denied, or that its commission is defended as right and justified?—unless indeed you hold that Publius Africanus was mad when, on being maliciously asked in a public meeting by Gaius Carbo, tribune of the plebs, what was his opinion concerning the death of Tiberius Gracchus, he replied that he thought he had been deservedly slain. Indeed, neither the great Servilius Ahala nor Publius Nasica nor Lucius Opimius nor Gaius Marius nor the Senate, in my consulship, could be held other than detestable, were the murder of criminal citizens in itself a detestable act. And so too, gentlemen, it is not without reason that even in their fictions accomplished poets have narrated how one, who, to avenge a father, had slain a mother, was, though the human vote was divided, acquitted by a sentence that proceeded not merely from a divine being, but from the wisest of the goddesses.’ Cic. Mil. 8–9)

In the expository piece of text (c) the speaker presents a philosophical thesis in an orderly way, indicating the logical steps and adding an explanation when necessary, without involving the addressee directly.

  1. (c) Quocirca primum mihi videtur, ut Posidonius facit, a deo, de quo satis dictum est, deinde a fato, deinde a natura, vis omnis divinandi ratioque repetenda. Fieri igitur omnia fato ratio cogit fateri. Fatum autem id appello quod Graeci εἱμαρμένην‎, id est ordinem seriemque causarum, cum causae causa nexa rem ex se gignat. Ea est ex omni aeternitate fluens veritas sempiterna. Quod cum ita sit, nihil est factum quod non futurum fuerit, eodemque modo nihil est futurum cuius non causas id ipsum efficientes natura contineat. Ex quo intellegitur ut fatum sit non id quod superstitiose, sed id quod physice dicitur, causa aeterna rerum, cur et ea quae praeterierunt facta sint et quae instant fiant et quae sequuntur futura sint. Ita fit ut et observatione notari possit quae res quamque causam plerumque consequatur, etiamsi non semper (nam id quidem affirmare difficile est), easdemque causas veri simile est rerum futurarum cerni ab eis qui aut per furorem eas aut in quiete videant.

    (‘Wherefore, it seems to me that we must do as Posidonius does and trace the vital principle of divination in its entirety to three sources: first, to God, whose connexion with the subject has been sufficiently discussed; secondly to Fate; and lastly, to Nature. (p.1143) Reason compels us to admit that all things happen by Fate. Now by Fate I mean the same that the Greeks call εἱμαρμένη‎, that is, an orderly succession of causes wherein cause is linked to cause and each cause of itself produces an effect. That is an immortal truth having its source in all eternity. Therefore nothing has happened which was not bound to happen, and, likewise, nothing is going to happen which will not find in nature every efficient cause of its happening. Consequently, we know that Fate is that which is called, not ignorantly, but scientifically, “the eternal cause of things, the wherefore of things past, of things present, and of things to come”. Hence it is that it may be known by observation what effect will in most instances follow any cause, even if it is not known in all; for it would be too much to say that it is known in every case. And it is probable that these causes of coming events are perceived by those who see them during frenzy or in sleep.’ Cic. Div. 1.125–6)

The text type that has received most scholarly attention is the narrative type (or: narrative mode). In Volume I of this Syntax some attention is given to it in the sections on the perfect (§ 7.30) and the (historic) present (§ 7.16). In the former, on the perfect, a distinction was made between ‘storytelling’ and ‘reporting’, in the latter the term ‘mimetic’ should have been used (instead of ‘diegetic’ in the text) to characterize the historic present as a narrative tense. Further distinctions have been proposed, a discussion of which would exceed the bounds of this section.8 The linguistic study of narrative texts is closely related to narratology as developed in literary studies.9

24.4 Discourse coherence

Various instruments are available to enhance the internal coherence of a unit of discourse and to demarcate it from adjacent units. A precondition is the internal semantic coherence of the subject matter, without which these instruments cannot have their full effect. (i) Essential is the way the participants in the discourse are referred to: have they been mentioned earlier in the text or are they newly introduced; are they expected to stay, or are they mentioned only briefly? Ellipsis of structurally obligatory constituents (zero-anaphora) and anaphoric expressions play an important role in marking continuity or discontinuity of participants. This is discussed in §§ 24.5–9. Comparable is the way events in the discourse or parts of the discourse are referred to anaphorically (§§ 24.10–12). Preparative (or: cataphoric) reference to participants and events is another way to guarantee continuity (§ 24.13). (ii) In addition to these forms of ‘participant tracking’, connectors and related expressions that explicitly indicate (p.1144) the relationship between the contents of adjacent sentences and between more extended units contribute to the coherence of discourse (§§ 24.14–48). (iii) Thirdly, there are various grammatical means, such as tense and voice, which may play a role in indicating discourse coherence (§ 24.49). (iv) Finally, the ordering of sentences and of larger units is an important factor in determining the coherence of the discourse as a whole (§ 24.50). It is important to realize that these means do not exclude each other. In (a), for example, the last sentence contains both the connector nam, which signals why Lesbonicus will give that piece of land as a dowry and not something else, and the anaphoric pronoun is (referring, like eum before, to ager).

  1. (a) … est ager sub urbe hic nobis. Eum dabo / dotem sorori. Nam is de divitiis meis / solus superfit praeter vitam relicuos.

    (‘ … we still have a plot of land here below the city; this I’ll give to my sister as a dowry: for this alone is the sole remainder of my wealth, apart from my life.’ Pl. Trin. 508–10)

The way these various devices are used to create coherence varies, depending on the type of text, the stylistic preferences of the authors, and diachronic developments.10

24.5 Anaphoric reference to participants

Absence of an overt subject or another obligatory constituent in a sentence is an important cohesive device in Latin. Other devices to guarantee the continuity of participants within a discourse are various forms of lexical continuity and various anaphoric(ally used) pronouns.

24.6 Lexical repetition and variation

Repetition of the same word or phrase in adjacent sentences is rare.11 Examples are (a) and (b). In both examples the hearer/reader must conclude that the second noun refers to the same horsemen and camp, respectively.12 Repetition is relatively common in legal and administrative texts for the sake of clarity, but in such texts sentences are usually quite complex, as in Cicero’s report to the Senate in (c), where he probably partly reproduces the Senate’s own document. Note that bare repetition is mixed with cases with an anaphoric pronoun.13

  1. (a) Hoc ubi Amphitruo erus conspicatus est, / ilico equites iubet dextera inducere. / Equites parent citi …

    (‘When my master Amphitruo saw this, he instantly gave orders to lead the cavalry to the charge on the right. The cavalry obeyed swiftly.’ Pl. Am. 242–4) (p.1145)

  2. (b) … ad castra pergunt. Locus erat castrorum editus …

    (‘ … they marched on the camp. The position of the camp was on high ground … ’ Caes. Gal. 3.18.8–19.1)

  3. (c) Cum enim vestra auctoritas intercessisset ut ego regem Ariobarzanem Eusebem et Philorhomaeum tuerer eiusque regis salutem et incolumitatem regnumque defenderem, regi regnoque praesidio essem, adiunxissetisque salutem eius regis populo senatuique magnae curae esse, quod nullo umquam de rege decretum esset a nostro ordine, existimavi me iudicium vestrum ad regem deferre debere eique praesidium meum et fidem et diligentiam polliceri, ut, quoniam salus ipsius, incolumitas regni mihi commendata esset a vobis, diceret si quid vellet.

    (‘I had your resolution charging me to take good care of King Ariobarzanes Eusebes Philorhomaeus, to defend his welfare, security, and throne, and to protect king and kingdom; to which you added that the welfare of this monarch was a matter of great concern to the People and Senate—something that had never before been decreed by our House with respect to any monarch. I therefore considered it incumbent upon me to convey your mandate to the king, and to promise him my faithful protection and care, adding that, since his personal welfare and the security of his realm had been commended to me by yourselves, I should be glad to learn his wishes, if any.’ Cic. Fam. 15.2.4)


    (sc. sulcos) Eos lapide consternito: si lapis non erit, perticis saligneis viridibus controversus conlatis consternito; si pertica non erit, sarmentis conligatis. (Cato Agr. 43.1); Itaque ex eo tempore res esse in vadimonium coepit. Cum vadimonia saepe dilata essent et cum aliquantum temporis in ea re esset consumptum neque quicquam profectum esset, venit ad vadimonium Naevius. (Cic. Quinct. 22); Si Fabius oriente canicula natus est, Fabius in mari non morietur. (Cic. Fat. 12); Igitur in stagno Agrippae fabricatus est ratem cui superpositum convivium navium aliarum tractu moveretur. Naves auro et ebore distinctae. (Tac. Ann. 15.37.2)

Variation of a word or phrase to refer to the same entity or event is another form of creating coherence between sentences.14 Examples are (d)–(f). In (d), the common noun hominem is used to continue the sequence of proper name and anaphoric pronoun.15 In (e), Cicero refers to Antonius, mentioned earlier in the speech, by an evaluative expression. In (f), oppidum is continued by the near-synonym urbi in combination with the anaphoric determiner ei.

  1. (d) Sed videone ego Pamphilippum cum fratre Epignomo? Atque is est. / Aggrediar hominem.

    (‘But am I seeing Pamphilippus with his brother Epignomus? Yes, it’s him. I’ll approach the man.’ Pl. St. 582–3) (p.1146)

  2. (e) (sc. Antonium) Taetram et pestiferam beluam ne inclusam et constrictam dimittatis, cavete.

    (‘Be sure you do not let this evil and destructive monster loose from the toils that confine him.’ Cic. Phil. 7.27)

  3. (f) Ubi nobilitas mea erit clara, / oppidum magnum communibo. Ei ego urbi Gripo indam nomen …

    (‘When my fame is well known, I’ll set up a big city. To this city I shall give the name of Gripus … ’ Pl. Rud. 933–4)


    Videt ad ipsum fornicem Fabianum in turba Verrem. Appellat hominem et ei voce maxima gratulatur. (Cic. Ver. 19); Inde eques citato equo nuntiat regi abire Albanos. Tullus in re trepida duodecim vovit Salios fanaque Pallori ac Pavori. (Liv. 1.27.7)

    Evaluative expressions: Redimet hortos, aedis, urbana quaedam quae possidet Antonius. Nam argentum, vestem, supellectilem, vinum amittet aequo animo, quae ille helluo dissipavit. (Cic. Phil. 13.11); (sc. reges) Statuerunt id (sc. candelabrum) secum in Syriam reportare ut … legatos mitterent qui cum ceteris rebus illud quoque eximium ac pulcherrimum donum in Capitolium adferrent. (Cic. Ver. 4.64); (sc. Epicurus) Deinde ibidem homo acutus … attulit rem commenticiam. (Cic. Fin. 1.19)

    (Near-)synonyms: Nam profecto aut metus aut iniuria te subegit, Silane, consulem designatum genus poenae novom decernere. De timore supervacuaneum est disserere … (Sal. Cat. 51.18); Siculorum civitatibus Syracusas aut Messanam aut Lilybaeum indicitur concilium. Praetor Romanus conventus agit … (Liv. 31.29.8–9)

A third form of continuation of a word or a phrase is through the use of ‘subtopics’ or ‘associative anaphora’, as discussed in § 22.4, with ex. (i). Another example is (g).16 From aciem it is easy to infer ‘the soldiers’. Probably related is the use of eo anno in (h), following the indication of the consuls of that year.

  1. (g) Consul ubi ad iniquum locum ventum est, sistit aciem. Miles aegre teneri, clamare et poscere ut perculsis instare liceat.

    (‘The consul ordered a halt when his army reached rising ground. The infantry could hardly be restrained, noisily demanding permission to press on after the fleeing enemy.’ Liv. 2.65.2)

  2. (h) Consules M. Valerius P. Postumius. Eo anno bene pugnatum cum Sabinis.

    (‘The consulship of Marcus Valerius and Publius Postumius. This year a successful war was waged against the Sabines.’ Liv. 2.16.1)

24.7 Lexical repetition in combination with anaphoric determiners

Repetition of a word in combination with an anaphoric(ally used) determiner is more common (see § 11.105), especially in formal and technical texts. The principal (p.1147) determiners involved are is, hic (uncommon), and qui. Examples are (a)17 and (c), with an anaphoric determiner, and (b), with a (connective) relative determiner.18 This form of repetition is also used in adjacent clauses in complex sentences (see the Supplement).

  1. (a) Ibi nunc meus pater / memorat legiones hostium ut fugaverit, / quo pacto sit donis donatus plurumis. / Ea dona quae illic Amphitruoni sunt data / apstulimus.

    (‘In there my father’s now telling how he put the enemy’s legions to flight and how he was presented with a great many gifts. We took away the gifts Amphitruo was given there.’ Pl. Am. 135–9)

  2. (b) Qui cupidius novissimum agmen insecuti alieno loco cum equitatu Helvetiorum proelium committunt, et pauci de nostris cadunt. Quo proelio sublati Helvetii … proelio nostros lacessere coeperunt.

    (‘The cavalry, following up the rearguard too eagerly, engaged in a combat on unfavourable ground with the cavalry of the Helvetii, and a few of ours fell. Elated by this engagement the Helvetii … began to provoke our men to a fight.’ Caes. Gal. 1.15.2)

  3. (c) Insequens annus Postumum Cominium et T. Larcium consules habuit. Eo anno Romae, cum per ludos ab Sabinorum iuventute per lasciviam scorta raperentur, concursu hominum rixa ac prope proelium fuit …

    (‘The year after had as its consuls Postumus Cominius and Titus Larcius. In this year, during the celebration of the games at Rome, the Sabine youths, in a spirit of wantonness, forcibly abducted certain harlots. Men gathered hastily and there was a brawl … ’ Liv. 2.18.1–2)


    lotium conservato eius qui brassicam essitarit. … Item pueros pusillos si laves eo lotio, numquam debiles fient. Et quibus oculi parum clari sunt, eo lotio inunguito. Plus videbunt. Si caput aut cervices dolent, eo lotio caldo lavito. Desinent dolere. Et si mulier eo lotio locos fovebit, numquam m(e)n(ses) seri fient. (Cato Agr. 157.10–11); VIAM FECEI AB REGIO AD CAPUAM ET / IN EA VIA PONTEIS OMNEIS MILIARIOS / TABELARIOSQUE POSEIVEI. (CIL I2.638.1–3 (Polla, 150–132 BC); Q. Marcius censor signum Concordiae fecerat idque in publico conlocarat. Hoc signum C. Cassius censor cum in curiam transtulisset … (Cic. Dom. 130); Nihil enim debetur ei nisi ex tertia pensione, quae est Kal. Sext. Ex qua pensione ipsa maior pars est ei soluta aliquanto ante diem. (Cic. Att. 16.2.1); Extremum oppidum Allobrogum est proximumque Helvetiorum finibus Genava. Ex eo oppido pons ad Helvetios pertinet. (Caes. Gal. 1.6.3); Galba … constituit … cum reliquis eius legionis cohortibus in vico Veragrorum qui appellatur Octodurus hiemare. Qui vicus positus in valle, non magna adiecta planitie, altissimis montibus undique continetur. (Caes. Gal. 3.1.4–5); (p.1148) … A · QUOQUOMQ(UE) PECUNIA CERTA · CREDITA … SEI · IS ·EAM · PECUNIAM · IN IURE · … DEBERE … SE · CONFESSUS / ERIT … TUM · DE · EO · A · QUO · EA · PECUNIA · PETEITA · ERIT · DEQUE · EO · QUOI · EAM / PECUNIAM D(AREI) · O(PORTEBIT) · … (CIL I2.592.II.1–10 (Lex de Gallia Cisalpina, Veleia, 42–1 BC)); Medius Hasdrubal inter patrem ac filium octo ferme annos imperium obtinuit … Isei … Barbarus eum quidam … obtruncat. … Cum hoc Hasdrubale … foedus renovaverat populus Romanus … (Liv. 21.2.3–7); Sed ego ideo prudentiam tuam elegi, ut formandis istius provinciae (NB: ‘the province where you are’) moribus ipse moderareris et ea constitueres quae ad perpetuam eius provinciae quietem essent profutura. (Tra. Plin. Ep. 10.117); Si totus ager itineri aut actui servit, dominus in eo agro nihil facere potest … (Javol. dig.

24.8 Zero-anaphora: the absence of explicit subject and other obligatory constituents

The conditions under which third person subjects can be left unexpressed are dealt with in §§ 9.9–10. That this is a very common phenomenon can be seen in Table 23.4 on p. 1006: in almost half of the sentences in the corpus on which that Table is based there is no explicit subject.19 Examples are (a) and (b). In (a), a memorial inscription, the name of Appius Claudius and his titles are followed by five unconnected sentences (‘°’ marks asyndeton) without an explicit subject (marked ‘Ø’) in which his major feats are enumerated. Another sequence of short asyndetic sentences is shown in (b), a typical ‘war bulletin’.20


    (‘Appius Claudius Caecus, son of Gaius. Censor, Consul twice, Dictator, Interrex three times, Praetor twice, Aedilis curulis twice, Quaestor, Military tribune three times. He took several towns from the Samnites. He routed an army of Sabines and Tuscans. He prohibited making peace with King Pyrrhus. When he was Censor he constructed the Via Appia and an aqueduct to the City. He built the Temple of Bellona.’ CIL XI.1827 (Arezzo, c.2 BC–AD 14))

  2. (b) Eo legati ab Arvernis missi. ° Quae Ø (sc. Caesar) imperaret, se facturos Ø pollicentur. ° Ø Imperat magnum numerum obsidum. ° Legiones in hiberna Ø mittit. ° Captivorum circiter XX milia Haeduis Arvernisque Ø reddit. ° Titum Labienum duabus cum legionibus et equitatu in Sequanos proficisci Ø iubet. ° Huic Marcum Sempronium Rutilum Ø attribuit. ° Gaium Fabium (p.1149) legatum et Lucium Minucium Basilum cum legionibus duabus in Remis Ø conlocat, ne quam a finitimis Bellovacis calamitatem Ø accipiant.

    (‘The Arverni sent deputies to him there who promised to carry out his commands: he required of them a great number of hostages. He sent the legions into cantonments. He restored some twenty thousand prisoners to the Aedui and the Arverni. He ordered Titus Labienus with two legions and cavalry to march off into the country of the Sequani, attaching Marcus Sempronius Rutilus to him. Gaius Fabius, the lieutenant-general, and Lucius Minucius Basilus he stationed with two legions in the country of the Remi, in order that they might suffer no damage from the neighbouring Bellovaci.’ Caes. Gal. 7.90.1–5)

Ellipsis of objects and the frequency of that phenomenon is discussed in § 9.16. One of the examples is (c). The absent object may also refer to a sentence or a clause in the preceding context, as in (d).21 A more complex instance of ellipsis of an argument is (e), where the genitive attribute masculae (sc. columbae) helps the reader understand that a head noun of the entire noun phrase (sanguinem) is missing, and (f), where the secondary predicates afflictantem and persequentem allow matronam to be inferred from the preceding context.

  1. (c) Quid ais, pater? / ° Ecquid matrem amas? # Egone illam? ° Nunc Ø amo, quia non adest.

    (‘What do you say, father? Do you love mother at all? # I her? Now I love her because she’s not around.’ Pl. As. 899–900)

  2. (d) … rogavi ut, si quid posset, ex ea summa detraheret. ° Ø Promisit.

    (‘ … I asked him to obtain a deduction from that sum if he could. He promised.’ Cic. Att. 10.5.3)

  3. (e) Columbarum, palumbium, turturum, perdicum sanguis oculis cruore suffusis eximie prodest. ° In columbis masculae Ø efficaciorem putant …

    (‘The blood of pigeons, doves, turtle doves, or partridges, makes an excellent application for blood-shot eyes. Among pigeons, male birds are supposed to have the more efficacious blood … ’ Plin. Nat. 29.126)

  4. (f) (sc. matrona quaedam) … corpus custodire ac flere totis noctibus diebusque coepit. Sic Ø afflictantem se ac mortem inedia persequentem non parentes potuerunt abducere, non propinqui.

    (‘She proceeded to watch and weep night and day over the body. Neither her parents nor her relations could divert her from thus torturing herself, and courting death by starvation.’ Petr. 111.2–3)

The examples so far have shown that the absence of arguments that are required by the valency of the verbs involved functions as a cohesive device. Valency also applies to deverbal and other nouns (see §§ 11.70–5). An example is testis in (g): the province witnessed the action Cicero has referred to in the preceding sentence.22


  1. (g) Negare hoc, nisi forte negare omnia constituisti, nullo modo potes. Palam res gesta est maximo conventu Syracusis. Testis est tota provincia, propterea quod undique ad emendas decumas solent eo convenire.

    (‘Deny this you cannot possibly, unless you have made up your mind to deny everything. The thing was done openly at Syracuse before a large gathering. The whole province is a witness to the fact, since men come regularly from every part of it to Syracuse to attend the sales of tithe.’ Cic. Ver. 3.149)

For a demonstration of zero-anaphora, see also the discussion in § 22.4, exx. (v) and (w). Zero-anaphora is common when a topic constituent is continued (a ‘given topic’), but is not excluded when one or more other participants interfere, on condition that the intervening discourse constitutes some form of background information. An example is (h). The intervening sentence is marked as subsidiary information by enim.23

  1. (h) Equites missi nocte iter conficiunt, imprudentes atque inopinantes hostes aggrediuntur. Numidae enim quadam barbara consuetudine nullis ordinibus passim consederant. Ø (sc. equites) Hos oppressos somno et dispersos adorti magnum eorum numerum interficiunt.

    (‘The cavalry [Curio] sent finished their journey during the night; they attacked an enemy off guard and unsuspecting, for the Numidians in their barbarian fashion had camped here and there in complete disarray. By attacking while these were fast asleep and scattered, Curio’s cavalry killed a large number of them.’ Caes. Civ. 2.38.4–5)

24.9 Anaphoric(ally used) pronouns and adverbs

The pronouns used to refer to participants in the preceding discourse are the (connective) relative qui (see § 18.28), the anaphoric pronoun is (see § 11.137), and the demonstrative pronouns hic, ille, and (in a limited way) iste (see § 11.136). (For diachronic considerations, see § 11.141.) The adverbs involved include relative quo ‘to which place’, eo ‘to that place’, hinc ‘from here’, and ibi ‘there’. Examples of anaphorically used adverbs are (a) and (b).24

  1. (a) Eos iam bene cognitos et re probatos secum in Siciliam duxit. Quo posteaquam venerunt …

    (‘Having by now tested them well and learnt their worth, Verres took them with him to Sicily. When they got there … ’ Cic. Ver. 4.31)

  2. (b) Ager Herbitensis primo anno habuit aratores CCLII, tertio CXX. Hinc CXXXII patres familias extorres profugerunt.

    (‘The Herbita district had 252 farmers in his first year, 120 in his third: 132 of its householders left their homes and fled elsewhere.’ Cic. Ver. 3.120)

(p.1151) The pronouns normally agree in number and gender with the constituents to which they refer (see §§ 13.25–8; 13.33). This reduces the number of potential referents, certainly in comparison with zero-anaphora. The frequency with which these pronouns are used varies, depending on the type of text. Table 24.1 shows their frequency in two texts. The most striking difference is that between hic and ille, which is related to the fact that Caesar’s historical narrative has more topic continuity than Cicero’s letters.25

Table 24.1 Frequency of anaphorical(ly used) pronouns in Caesar Civ. and Cicero Att.

Caesar Civ.

Cicero Att.






























The four pronouns differ from each other in three respects: (i) the position of the pronoun in the sentence, (ii) the distance between the pronoun and the participant it is referring to, and (iii) the proportion of usage of the pronoun to refer to participants and to states of affairs and discourse.

(i) The relative pronoun qui naturally occurs in the initial position. The other three differ from each other in their position; this is also related to the type of text in which they are used. In Caesar’s narrative, is is less frequent in initial position, whereas this is the preferred position for hic. Ille is more frequent in initial position.26

(ii) The participants to which the pronouns qui, is, and hic refer are usually to be found in the immediately preceding sentence. With ille there are regularly more intervening sentences, and more intervening other participants. As is shown for zero-anaphora in § 24.8, the intervention of other participants is not an obstacle for the use of qui, if the text segment they belong to constitutes some form of background information, such as the indirect discourse in (c).27 This also holds to some extent for is and hic. By contrast, ille is the normal choice for remote referents as such.


  1. (c) Adventu Caesaris cognito decuriones Auximi ad Attium Varum frequentes conveniunt. Ø Docent sui iudici rem non esse. Neque se neque reliquos municipes pati posse C. Caesarem imperatorem bene de re publica meritum tantis rebus gestis oppido moenibusque prohiberi. Proinde habeat rationem posteritatis et periculi sui. Quorum oratione permotus Varus praesidium quod introduxerat ex oppido educit ac profugit.

    (‘Learning of Caesar’s approach the town councillors at Auximum met as a body with Attius Varus. They told him that the affair was not something for them to decide. “Neither we nor the rest of our townspeople can tolerate that Gaius Caesar, a commander who has such important public achievements to his credit, be barred from the town and its fortifications. Furthermore, you should consider the future and your danger.” Disturbed by their words Varus led out the garrison he had installed, and fled.’ Caes. Civ. 1.13.1–2)

(iii) Qui, is, hic, and ille can be used as pronoun and as determiner, each in different proportions. They also differ in the frequency with which they are used to refer to participants and to refer to states of affairs and segments of discourse (for short: segments of discourse). There are probably also differences related to text type. Table 24.2 shows that in Cicero’s letters ille (pronoun and determiner) is almost never used to refer to states of affairs and segments of discourse, which seems to be the task of pronominal hic.28 The connective relative pronoun mostly refers to a participant in the immediately preceding sentence. Is as a pronoun mostly refers to recently introduced participants; as a determiner it can refer to any preceding participant.

(p.1153) Table 24.2 Reference to participants (Part.) and segments of discourse (Disc.) in Cicero Att.








































As for the difference between hic and ille, in the Classical period their anaphoric behaviour reflects the differences between them in their deictic use (on which, see §§ 11.104; 135). Their anaphoric use is discussed in §§ 11.105; 136.29 For the difference between qui and is, see § 18.28.

24.10 Anaphoric reference to states of affairs and to segments of discourse

The examples presented so far have dealt with continuity of participants. The following sections, in turn, deal with reference to preceding states of affairs and segments of discourse of varying length and structure. The two main forms are nouns (with or without a determiner) and anaphoric(ally used) pronouns.

24.11 Nouns used to refer to preceding states of affairs or segments of discourse

The most common noun that is used to refer to a situation mentioned in the preceding context is res ‘situation’ (OLD s.v. § 17), as in (a).30

  1. (a) (sc. reges) Statuerunt id (sc. candelabrum) secum in Syriam reportare ut … legatos mitterent qui cum ceteris rebus illud quoque eximium ac pulcherrimum donum in Capitolium adferrent. Pervenit res ad istius (sc. Verris) auris nescio quo modo.

    (‘They resolved to take it back with them to Syria, with the purpose … of sending an embassy to convey to the Capitol this most choice and lovely offering, together with other objects. These facts somehow or other came to the knowledge of Verres.’ Cic. Ver. 4.64)

More often reference to a preceding state of affairs or segment of discourse is made by the combination of a noun with a general meaning and an anaphoric(ally used) determiner. A common expression in the Caesarian corpus and in Nepos is quo facto, with a connecting relative, as in (b); another very common one is shown in (c) and (d). In (c), ea res refers to the situation before Alcumena’s shouting (see the translation); in (d), to the situation described just before. For the frequency with which the individual determiners are used, see Table 24.2 on p. 1152.

  1. (b) Cuius vim multitudinis cum equites pauci Caesariani iam sustinere non possent, Caesar instructas legiones hostium copiis ostendit. Quo facto perterrito Labieno ac retardato suos equites recepit incolumes.

    (‘As the odds were now too great for the Caesarian horse to contain their powerful onslaught, Caesar displayed to the enemy forces his legions in battle formation. This action utterly daunted and checked Labienus, and Caesar thereupon withdrew his own cavalry without loss.’ B. Afr. 66.3–4)

  2. (c) Ardere censui aedis. Ita tum confulgebant. / Ibi me inclamat Alcumena. Iam ea res me horrore afficit. / Erilis praevortit metus. (p.1154)

    (‘The house was so bright at the time that I thought it was on fire. Then Alcumena called for me. The previous events were already filling me with terror, but the fear of my mistress prevailed.’ Pl. Am. 1067–9)

  3. (d) Quod ubi Caesar conspexit, Labienum ab suis copiis longius iam abscessisse, equitatus sui alam sinistram ad intercludendos hostes immisit. Erat in eo campo ubi ea res gerebatur, villa permagna turribus IIII exstructa.

    (‘But when Caesar saw that Labienus had now withdrawn some distance from his forces, he launched the left wing of his own cavalry, so as to cut the enemy off. Now in the area where this action was going on there was a very large farm building, constructed with four lofty towers.’ B. Afr. 39.5–40.1)

Another way of referring to preceding states of affairs or segments of discourse, namely with nouns with a more specific meaning with or without an anaphoric determiner, is shown in (e)–(g). In (e), hac oratione refers to Liscus’ words. In (f), ea desperatio refers to, and describes at the same time, the psychological effects of the preceding actions of the enemy. Note in (g) the almost literal repetition.

  1. (e) Quin etiam, quod necessariam rem coactus Caesari enuntiarit, intellegere sese (sc. Liscum) quanto id cum periculo fecerit, et ob eam causam, quamdiu potuerit, tacuisse. Caesar hac oratione Lisci Dumnorigem, Diviciaci fratrem, designari sentiebat.

    ((Liscus is speaking) ‘Nay more, he was well aware, that though compelled by necessity, he had disclosed the matter to Caesar, at how great a risk he had done it; and for that reason, he had been silent as long as he could. Caesar perceived that by this speech of Liscus, Dumnorix, the brother of Diviciacus, was indicated.’ Caes. Gal. 1.17.6–18.1—tr. McDevitte and Bohn)

  2. (f) … et Manlius consul revectus in castra ad omnes portas milite opposito hostibus viam clauserat. Ea desperatio Tuscis rabiem magis quam audaciam accendit.

    (‘ … and Manlius the consul had ridden back to the camp, and by posting men at all the gates had cut off the enemy’s egress. In desperation at this turn the Etruscans had been inflamed to the point rather of madness than of recklessness.’ Liv. 2.47.6)

  3. (g) Mansit in condicione atque pacto usque ad eum finem dum iudices reiecti sunt. Posteaquam reiectio iudicum facta est … renuntiata est tota condicio.

    (‘The terms of the contract held good as arranged, until judges were rejected. After the rejection of the judges had taken place … the contractor threw up his undertaking entirely.’ Cic. Ver. 16)


Chrysopolim Persae cepere urbem in Arabia, / plenam bonarum rerum atque antiquom oppidum. / Ea comportatur praeda, ut fiat auctio / publicitus. Ea res me domo expertem facit. (Pl. Per. 506–9); Bacchidem atque hunc suspicabar propter crimen, Chrysale, / mi male consuluisse. Ob eam rem omne aurum iratus reddidi / meo patri. (Pl. Bac. 683–5); (Orgetorix, Casticus, and Dumnorix agree on joining forces to (p.1155) seize power—Caes. Gal. 1.3.4–8) Ea res est Helvetiis per indicium enuntiata. (Caes. Gal. 1.4.1); Ibi diversis partibus duo duces Eupolemus et Nicodamus pugnantis hortabantur et prope certa fovebant spe iam Nicandrum ex composito adfore et terga hostium invasurum. Haec res aliquamdiu animos pugnantium sustinuit. (Liv. 38.6.5–6); Discedentem vero ex contione universi cohortantur magno sit animo neu dubitet proelium committere et suam fidem virtutemque experiri. Quo facto commutata omnium et voluntate et opinione consensu suorum constituit Curio … proelio rem committere. (Caes. Civ. 2.33.1–2); Quo facto cum haud immeritam laudem gratiamque apud omnes tulisset, dictatore P. Cornelio dicto ipse ab eo magister equitum creatus exemplo fuit collegas eumque intuentibus … (Liv. 4.57.6)

Ecce autem aedificat. Columnam mento suffigit suo. / Apage, non placet profecto mi illaec aedificatio. (Pl. Mil. 209–10); Iam pridem ecastor frigida non lavi magis lubenter / nec quom me melius, mea Scapha, rear esse deficatam. / # Eventus rebus omnibus, velut horno messis magna / fuit. # Quid ea messis attinet ad meam lavationem? (Pl. Mos. 157–60); (Mysis in an aside, reacting to Pamphilus’ monologue which ends in:) Ea quoniam nemini obtrudi potest, / itur ad me. # Oratio haec me miseram exanimavit metu. (Ter. An. 250–1); Hic tamen excipit Pompeium—simillime, ut mihi videtur, atque ut illa lege, qua peregrini Roma eiciuntur, Glaucippus excipitur. Non enim hac exceptione unus adficitur beneficio, sed unus privatur iniuria. (Cic. Agr. 1.13); Itaque me non extrema tribus suffragiorum, sed primi illi vestri concursus, neque singulae voces praeconum, sed una vox universi populi Romani consulem declaravit. Hoc ego tam insigne, tam singulare vestrum beneficium, Quirites, cum ad animi mei fructum atque laetitiam duco esse permagnum, tum ad curam sollicitudinemque multo maius. (Cic. Agr. 2.4–5); Maiores nostri non solum id quod <de> Campanis ceperant non imminuerunt verum etiam quod ei tenebant quibus adimi iure non poterat coemerunt. Qua de causa nec duo Gracchi qui de plebis Romanae commodis plurimum cogitaverunt, nec L. Sulla, qui omnia sine ulla religione quibus voluit est dilargitus, agrum Campanum attingere ausus est. (Cic. Agr. 2.81); Nemo erit praeter unum me … qui credat te invito provinciam tibi esse decretam. Hanc, quaeso, pro tua singulari sapientia reprime famam … (Cic. Phil. 11.23); Itemque Dumnorigi Haeduo … ut idem conaretur persuadet eique filiam suam in matrimonium dat. Perfacile factu esse illis probat conata perficere … (Caes. Gal. 1.3.5–6); Ex eo proelio circiter hominum milia CXXX superfuerunt eaque tota nocte continenter ierunt. (Caes. Gal. 1.26.5); … legatos ad eum mittunt. Cuius legationis Divico princeps fuit … (Caes. Gal. 1.13.2); Nec ut iniustus in pace rex, ita dux belli pravus fuit. Quin ea arte aequasset superiores reges … (Liv. 1.53.1)

The same determiners (is only rarely) are used in ablative absolute clauses that function as ‘Tail–Head linking constructions’, which refer to a preceding episode of a narrative.31 This is a very common phenomenon in Caesar and the Caesarian corpus. (p.1156) Examples are (g)–(j). The anaphoric determiner hic is more frequent than the relative determiner qui and the order with the participle in the middle, as in (h), more frequent with hic, which is often emphatic. In cases like (j), the participle is the focus of the ablative absolute clause. As to the content of such ablative absolute clauses, those with hic are mainly like (g), the summary of an action, which is then continued by actions of the same protagonist; those with qui are mainly like (i), some form of communication, with a different protagonist in what follows.32 (For more examples of ablative absolute clauses with a relative expression, see § 18.29.)

  1. (g) Hoc negotio confecto Labienus revertitur Agedincum …

    (‘Having finished this business, Labienus returned to Agedincum … ’ Caes. Gal. 7.62.10)

  2. (h) Hac confirmata opinione timoris idoneum quendam hominem et callidum delegit Gallum …

    (‘After having established this suspicion of his cowardice, he selected a certain suitable and crafty Gaul … ’ Caes. Gal. 3.18.1—tr. McDevitte and Bohn)

  3. (i) Quibus rebus cognitis Caesar cum undique bellum parari videret … maturius sibi de bello cogitandum putavit.

    (‘Caesar, on being informed of their acts, since he saw that war was being prepared on all sides, … thought that he ought to take measures for the war earlier [than usual].’ Caes. Gal. 6.2.3—tr. McDevitte and Bohn)

  4. (j) Qua perfecta munitione animadversum est ab speculatoribus Caesaris cohortes quasdam … in vetera castra duci.

    (‘After the fortification was complete, Caesar’s scouts noticed that some cohorts … were being taken back to an old camp.’ Caes. Civ. 3.66.1)


    Qui: Quibus rebus explicatis tum denique ad hoc horribile et formidolosum frumentarium crimen accedam. (Cic. Scaur. 22); Quibus rebus nuntiatis Afranius (cj. Kindscher; Afranio mss.) ab instituto opere discedit … (Caes. Civ. 1.75.1); Quibus rebus Varus ex perfugis cognitis occasionem nactus … naves onerarias … incendit … (B. Afr. 62.5)

    Is: Cognitis iis rebus quae sunt gestae in citeriore Hispania bellum parabat. (Caes. Civ. 2.18.6); Eo celeriter confecto negotio rursus in hiberna legiones reduxit. (Caes. Gal. 6.3.3)

    Hic: His rebus confectis in concilio pronuntiat arcessitum se ab Senonibus … (Caes. Gal. 5.56.4); His rebus confectis totum exercitum lustrat. (B. Alex. 56.5); Hoc proelio trans Rhenum nuntiato Suebi, qui ad ripas Rheni venerant, domum reverti coeperunt. (Caes. Gal. 1.54.1); Hac re cognita Caesar mittit conplures equitum turmas eodem. (Caes. Gal. 7.45.1)

(p.1157) In the historians hic, both as a pronoun and as a determiner, is very commonly used to close one episode before starting a new one.33 Examples are (k)–(m).

  1. (k) Haec apud Romanos consul. Hannibal rebus prius quam verbis adhortandos milites ratus …

    (‘So spoke the consul to the Romans. Hannibal thought it well to encourage his soldiers by an object lesson before haranguing them … ’ Liv. 21.42.1)

  2. (l) Hunc finem exitumque seditio militum coepta apud Sucronem habuit. Per idem tempus ad Baetim fluvium Hanno …

    (‘Such was the end and outcome of the mutiny of the soldiers which began at Sucro. About the same time along the Baetis River Hanno … ’ Liv. 28.29.12–30.1)

  3. (m) Hoc maxime modo in Italiam perventum est quinto mense a Carthagine Nova, ut quidam auctores sunt, quinto decimo die Alpibus superatis.

    (‘Such were the chief features of the march to Italy, which they accomplished five months after leaving New Carthage—as certain authorities state—having crossed the Alps in fifteen days.’ Liv. 21.38.1)

24.12 Anaphoric(ally used) pronouns and adverbs used to refer to preceding states of affairs or segments of discourse

The pronouns used to refer to states of affairs and segments of discourse are the same as those used to refer to participants (see § 24.9, also for the bibliography), but, as they refer to third-order entities (see § 11.136), only neuter forms are concerned. Examples are (a)–(d). In (a), id refers to the situation the speaker is talking about. Quod refers to the same situation and the speaker’s incompetence to see through it. Haec (plural; hoc much less), as in (b), is relatively common to refer to a preceding situation. Illud (singular) is used much less often to refer to what precedes than to announce what follows. In Plautus both singular istuc (istud) and plural istaec are common, referring to something in which the addressee is involved. In types of text other than Comedy they are rare.34 The Supplement shows that these pronouns were still in use in Late Latin, although sometimes mainly in stereotyped expressions.

  1. (a) Ad illum modum sublitum os esse mi hodie! / Neque id perspicere quivi. / Quod quom scibitur, per urbem irridebor.

    (‘Is it possible that I was fooled like that today? I couldn’t see through it. Once this is known, I’ll be a laughing-stock throughout the city.’ Pl. Capt. 783–5)

  2. (b) Quor haec, tu ubi rescivisti ilico, / celata me sunt? Quor non rescivi?

    (‘Why was this concealed from me as soon as you got to know of it? Why didn’t I find out?’ Pl. Ps. 490–1) (p.1158)

  3. (c) Et illud paveo et hoc formido, ita tota sum misera in metu.

    (‘I’m afraid of one thing and scared of the other: I’m completely in fear, poor me.’ Pl. Cist. 535)

  4. (d) Quid est negoti? / # Pestis te tenet. # Nam quor istuc / dicis? Equidem valeo …

    (‘What’s the matter? # You have the plague. # Why are you saying that? I’m perfectly well … ’ Pl. Am. 580–2)


    Quod: Quem praestantissimus civis, Aquila, Pollentia expulit et quidem crure fracto. Quod utinam illi ante accidisset, ne huc redire potuisset! (Cic. Phil. 11.14); Quod ubi Caesar resciit quorum per fines ierant, his uti conquirerent et reducerent, si sibi purgati esse vellent, imperavit. (Caes. Gal. 1.28.1); Quod cum dixisset, nos satis avidi optati sumus ire … (Pereg. 10.9); Saguntum ergo ferociter obsidebat. Quod ubi Romae auditum est, missi legati ad Hannibalem ut ab eius obsidione discederet. (August. Civ. 3.20); Quod cum facis, vel attende, et iam noli facere. (August. Serm. 16B.1)

    Quae ut aspexi, me continuo contuli protinam in pedes. (Pl. Bac. 374); Quae cum cogito, iam nunc timeo quidnam … dignum eloqui possim. (Cic. Div. Caec. 42); Quae cum ita sint, quoniam recta vita ducenda est qua perveniendum sit ad beatam, omnes affectus istos vita recta rectos habet, perversa perversos. (August. Civ. 14.9); Quae cum ita sint, hinc est quod Dominus Iesus in Spiritu Sancto daemones eicit. (August. Serm. 71.27)

    Id: Quis igitur nisi vos narravit mi illi ut fuerit proelium? / # An etiam id tu scis? # Quipp’ qui ex te audivi ut urbem maxumam / expugnavisses regemque Pterelam tute occideris. / # Egone istuc dixi? (Pl. Am. 744–7); Miram in eo pietatem, suavitatem humanitatemque perspexi. Quo maiorem spem habeo nihil fore aliter ac deceat. Id te igitur scire volui. (Cic. Att. 6.3.8); Neque fas esse existimant ea litteris mandare, cum in reliquis fere rebus, publicis privatisque rationibus, Graecis utantur litteris. Id mihi duabus de causis instituisse videntur … (Caes. Gal. 6.14.3–4); Ad hoc enim ducitur uxor. Nam id etiam tabulae indicant ubi scribitur: Liberorum procreandorum causa. (August. Serm. 9.18)

    Ea tibi omnia enarravi. Nisi te amarem plurumum, / non facerem. (Pl. Am. 525–6); Eaque populus Romanus non solum plausu sed etiam gemitu suo comprobavit. (Cic. Sest. 123); Denique quando ea paululum supprimenda iudicavit et aliquanto altius latuit, dubitavit de illo daemonum princeps … (August. Civ. 9.21); Ea legimus, credimus ut salvemur. (August. Serm. 9.4)

    Hoc: Postquam hoc mihi narravit, abeo ab illo. (Pl. Cur. 349); Ubi hoc quaestori Caecilio … nuntiatum est, vocari ad se Agonidem iubet. (Cic. Div. Caec. 56); Hoc autem, antequam perveniremus ad Montem Dei, iam referentibus fratribus cognoveram, et postquam ibi perveni, ita esse manifeste cognovi. (Pereg. 2.7); Testantur hoc martyrum loca et basilicae apostolorum, quae in illa vastatione urbis ad se confugientes suos alienosque receperunt. (August. Civ. 1.1); An forte hoc probare non potero … (August. Serm. 1.2)

    Utrum deliras, quaeso, an astans somnias, / qui equom me afferre iubes, loricam adducere, / multos hastatos, postid multos velites, / multos cum multis? Haec tu pervorsario / mihi fabulatu’s. # Dixin’ ego istaec, opsecro? / # Modo quidem hercle haec dixisti. (Pl. Cist. 291–6); Magium se ipsum interfecisse postea. Se a Marcello ad me (p.1159) missum esse qui haec nuntiaret et rogaret uti medicos ei mitterem. (Sulp. Ruf. Fam. 4.12.2); Statim ergo ut haec audivi, descendimus de animalibus … (Pereg. 14.1); Sed haec Iuno dicebat velut irata mulier, quid loqueretur ignorans. (August. Civ. 1.3); Qui haec dicit et non it nec applicat cor suum ut faciat mala remedia, utique vincit. (August. Serm. 4.36)

    Illud (illuc): Egone istuc dixi tibi? / # Mihi quidem hercle. # Ita me amabit Iuppiter, / uxor, ut ego illud numquam dixi. (Pl. Mer. 761–3); Ecquis est igitur … qui illud aut fieri noluerit aut factum improbarit? (Cic. Phil. 2.29); An quia illud factum est indignante Menelao, illud autem concedente Vulcano? (August. Civ. 3.3); Dicendo sibi illud homines moriuntur. (August. Serm. 5.2)

    Egomet mihi non credo, quom illaec autumare illum audio. (Pl. Am. 416); Sed quid ego illa commemoro? (Cic. Mil. 18); Praenuntiabat illa Hermes dolendo. Praenuntiabat haec propheta gaudendo. (August. Civ. 8.24); Quare dicta sint illa omnia, quaeramus. (August. Serm. 4.22)

    Istuc (istud ): Qui tibi nunc istuc in mentem est? (Pl. Am. 666); Nimirum tibi istud lex ipsa renuntiavit. (Cic. Clu. 143); Neque istuc pia fides nimium reformidat … (August. Civ. 1.12); Istud non dicitur … (August. Serm. 16A.11)

    Nimia mira memoras. Si istaec vera sunt, divinitus / non metuo quin meae uxori latae suppetiae sient. (Pl. Am. 1105–6); Sed quo die populo Romano tribuni plebi restituti sunt, omnia ista vobis, si forte nondum intellegitis, adempta atque erepta sunt. (Cic. Ver. 5.175); Verum ista oportunius alio loco diligenter copioseque tractanda sunt. (August. Civ. 1.3); Sed ne oneremus memoriam sanctitatis vestrae, ista commemorasse suffecerit. (August. Serm. 1.5)

The adverb ita is regularly used to refer to a preceding state of affairs, as in (e)–(g). In (e), the speaker uses ita to express that ‘my behaviour will be as you indicated’. In (g), ita signals a consequence, more or less like itaque. Sic is used in a comparable way, as in (h) and (i).

  1. (e) Sequere hac, Palinure, me ad fores, fi mi opsequens. / # Ita faciam.

    (‘Palinurus, follow me this way to the door, be obedient to me. # I will do so.’ Pl. Cur. 87–8)

  2. (f) … cum cognorit ab eis qui tenent quae sint in quaque re, multo oratorem melius quam ipsos illos quorum eae sunt artes esse dicturum. Ita si de re militari dicendum huic erit Sulpicio, quaeret a C. Mario adfini nostro et, cum acceperit, ita pronuntiabit ut ipsi C. Mario paene hic melius quam ipse illa scire videatur.

    (‘ … after learning the technicalities of each from those who know the same, the orator will speak about them far better than even the men who are masters of these arts. For example, should our friend Sulpicius here have to speak upon the art of war, he will inquire of our relative Gaius Marius, and when he has received his teachings, will deliver himself in such fashion as to seem even to Gaius Marius to be almost better informed on the subject than Gaius Marius himself.’ Cic. de Orat. 1.65–6)

  3. (g) Insectatur omnis domi per aedis / nec quemquam prope ad se sinit adire. / Ita omnes sub arcis, sub lectis latentes / metu mussitant. (p.1160)

    (‘She’s chasing everybody at home throughout the house and doesn’t let anyone come near her: everybody’s hiding under chests and couches and keeping quiet out of fear.’ Pl. Cas. 662–5)

  4. (h) Te velle uxorem aiebat tuo nato dare, / ideo aedificare hic velle aiebat in tuis. / # Hic aedificare volui? # Sic dixit mihi.

    (‘He said you wanted to give a wife to your son, and he said that was why you wanted to enlarge your own house here. # I wanted to enlarge my house? # So he told me.’ Pl. Mos. 1027–9)

  5. (i) Reos autem appello non eos modo qui arguuntur sed omnis quorum de re disceptatur. Sic enim olim loquebantur.

    (‘By “parties” I mean not only persons impeached, but all whose interests are being determined, for that was how people used the term in the old days.’ Cic. de Orat. 2.183)

Anaphorical adverbs with a more specific meaning than ita and sic include reason adverbs like eo, ideo ‘therefore’, quo ‘from which fact or circumstance’ (OLD), quare ‘wherefore’, quamobrem (also written as three words quam ob rem) ‘wherefore’, and unde ‘from which’ (rare), as in (j) and (k), and time adverbs like postea ‘thereafter’, inde ‘from then on’, as in (l).

  1. (j) Video ego te Amoris valde tactum toxico, / adulescens. Eo te magis volo monitum.

    (‘I can see that you’ve been hit hard by Love’s poisoned shaft, young man. That’s why I want to warn you all the more.’ Pl. Cist. 299–300)

  2. (k) Arbitrium vostrum, vostra existumatio / valebit. Quare omnis vos oratos volo, / ne plus iniquom possit quam aequom oratio.

    (‘Your judgement and your opinion will prevail. So I want to plead with all of you not to let the words of the unfair carry more weight than those of the fair.’ Ter. Hau. 25–7—tr. Brown)

  3. (l) Inde ex eo loco / video recipere se senem.

    (‘Then I saw the old bloke coming from the place.’ Pl. Aul. 709–10)

Appendix: A number of demonstrative adverbs are used to introduce some form of confirmation of or argument for a preceding statement, for example ita in (m). The determiner is can be used in a comparable way, as in (n), as well as the demonstrative adjectives talis, tantus, and tot. The term used for such statements is ‘epiphonema’.35

  1. (m) Di te deaeque omnes funditus perdant, senex. / Ita mea consilia undique oppugnas male.

    (‘May all the gods and goddesses kill you entirely, old man: you assault my plans from all sides.’ Pl. Mos. 684–5) (p.1161)

  2. (n) … sic / ut eum, si convenit, scio fe- / cisse. Eo est ingenio natus.

    (‘ … as I know he has done if he’s found him; that’s his nature.’ Pl. Bac. 1085–6)

Supplement (in alphabetical order by demonstrative word):

… non, ut ego, amori nec desidiae in otio / operam dedisse nec potestatem sibi / fuisse. Adeo arte cohibitum esse <se> a patre. (Pl. Mer. 62–4); Damna evenerunt maxuma misero mihi. Ita me mancupia miserum affecerunt male … (Pl. St. 209–10); … quorum quanta mens sit, difficile est existimare. Ita multa meminerunt. (Cic. Tusc. 1.59); Malum quod tibi di dabunt. Sic scelestu’s. (Pl. Ps. 1130); Invideo tibi. Tam multa cottidie quae mirer<is> istoc perferuntur. (Cael. Fam. 8.4.1); Ut Alexandrum regem videmus, qui cum interemisset Clitum familiarem suum, vix a se manus abstinuit. Tanta vis fuit paenitendi. (Cic. Tusc. 4.79); Ipsum id metuo ut credant. Tot concurrunt veri similia. (Ter. Ad. 627); … a Platone, qui, cum haec exprimenda verbis arbitraretur, novam quandam finxit in libris civitatem. Usque eo illa quae dicenda de iustitia putabat a vitae consuetudine et a civitatum moribus abhorrebant. (Cic. de Orat. 1.224)

24.13 Preparative (cataphoric) reference to following states of affairs and segments of discourse

Anaphoric and demonstrative determiners and pronouns can be used to announce constituents of clauses (their preparative or cataphoric function). See § 11.106 and § 11.139. They are also used to announce states of affairs and segments of discourse. The same holds for the adverbs ita and sic.36 Examples with preparative determiners are (a) and (b).37

  1. (a) Eo sum genere gnatus: magna me facinora decet efficere / quae post mihi clara et diu clueant.

    (‘Such is the stock from which I was born: I ought to do great deeds that bring me great and long renown afterward.’ Pl. Ps. 590–1)

  2. (b) Hac lege vinum pendens venire oportet: vinaceos inlutos et faecem relinquito.

    (‘These are the terms for the sale of grapes on the vine: The purchaser will leave unwashed lees and dregs.’ Cato Agr. 147)


Is: Hoc idem significat Graecus ille in eam sententiam versus: ‘Quod fore paratum est, id summum exsuperat Iovem.’ (Cic. Div. 2.25); … senatusque decrevit uti consules maioribus hostiis rem divinam facerent … cum precatione ea: ‘quod … ’ (Liv. 31.5.3)

Hic: Nam fere maxuma pars morem hunc homines habent: quod sibi volunt, / dum id impetrant, boni sunt. (Pl. Capt. 232–3); Insipiens, / semper tu huic verbo vitato aps tuo viro— # Quoi verbo? / # ‘I foras, mulier.’ (Pl. Cas. 209–12)

(p.1162) Ille: Illa vero eius cupiditas incredibilis est. Nam … (Cic. Ver. 4.58)

Iste: Postero die pastillus iste nocte super cibum dandus est et, si opus fuerit, per triduum continuum eodem tempore. Recipit autem haec: apii seminis pondo trientem … (Larg. 52)38

Examples with preparative pronouns are (c) and (d).

  1. (c) Quid tibi ex filio nam, opsecro, aegre est? # Scies: / id, perit cum tuo. [atque] Ambo aeque amicas habent.

    (‘What upsets you about your son, please? / # You shall know. It’s that he’s perished together with yours; both alike have girlfriends.’ Pl. Bac. 1114–15)

  2. (d) Sed mi hoc responde. # Roga. / # Quid erat nomen nostrae matri? # Teuximarchae.

    (‘But answer me this. # Ask. # What was our mother’s name? # Teuximarcha.’ Pl. Men. 1130–1)


Is: Cara omnia. / atque eo fuerunt cariora, aes non erat. (Pl. Aul. 375–6); Atque id etiam de Cicerone dicit: ‘Non miror’, inquit, ‘fuisse qui hos versus scriberet … ’ (Gel. 12.2.5)

Hic: … quom haec pater sibi diceret: / ‘tibi aras, tibi occas, tibi seris, tibi idem metis, / tibi denique iste pariet laetitiam labos.’ (Pl. Mer. 70–2); Licet iste dicat emisse se, sicuti solet dicere, credite hoc mihi, iudices. Nulla umquam civitas tota Asia et Graecia signum ullum, tabulam pictam <ullam>, ullum denique ornamentum urbis sua voluntate cuiquam vendidit. (Cic. Ver. 4.133)

Ille: Atque illud saepe fit: tempestas venit, / confringit tegulas imbricesque. (Pl. Mos. 108–9); Illud enim potest dici iudici ab aliquo non tam verecundo homine quam gratioso: ‘Iudica hoc factum esse aut numquam esse factum; crede huic testi … ’ (Cic. Caec. 72)

Iste: Sed adhuc istud, mea pupula, ministrare debebis. (Apul. Met. 6.16.3)

Examples of the adverbs ita and sic are (e) and (f).

  1. (e) Ita <ingeni> ingenium meum est: / Inimicos semper osa sum optuerier.

    (‘This is the nature of my nature: I’ve always hated looking at my enemies.’ Pl. Am. 899–900)

  2. (f) At ego sic agam: / Coniciam sortis in sitellam et sortiar / tibi et Chalino.

    (‘But I’ll act like this: I’ll put lots into an urn and draw them for you and Chalinus.’ Pl. Cas. 341–3)

24.14 Cohesive devices linking sentences

The preceding sections focused on participants and events within sentences and the ways to refer to participants and events in contiguous sentences. We now turn to the (p.1163) relations between entire sentences. Within a unit of discourse contiguous sentences can follow each other with or without a linking device that indicates the semantic relation between them: the connexion is either ‘syndetic’ or ‘asyndetic’. (The same terms are used for the way coordinated clauses, phrases, or words are connected—see § 19.1.) Examples of asyndetically and syndetically connected sentences are (a) and (b), respectively. The semantic relation between the two pairs of sentences is more or less the same: the second sentence explains the emotion mentioned in the first. The first example, repeated from § 24.2, has no specific sign of this relation (it is an instance of asyndeton causale or explicativum);39 the second has the connector nam.

  1. (a) Odi ego aurum. ° Multa multis saepe suasit perperam.

    (‘I hate gold: it has often led many people to act badly on many issues.’ Pl. Capt. 328)

  2. (b) Factum quod <ego> aegre tuli. / Nam mihi sobrina Ampsigura tua mater fuit.

    (‘Yes, which was hard for me. For your mother, Ampsigura, was my second cousin.’ Pl. Poen. 1067–8)

The frequency of asyndeton varies between authors and between texts. In texts written in a periodic style asyndeton is relatively rare. In archaic texts it is relatively frequent,40 but in the prose of Seneca, too, the frequency is extremely high. The grammars often describe the high frequency in archaic texts as a mark of colloquial usage and a relatively simple style, but there is no reliable evidence. Considering Seneca, the frequency of asyndeton apparently has to do with personal preference as well. Table 24.3 offers an illustration of the variations in frequency of the use of asyndeton and explicit sentence-connecting constituents in a number of passages of similar length from Cicero’s Letters to Atticus, Livy, and Seneca’s Letters.41 In Late Latin texts, for example in the Peregrinatio, asyndeton is much less common than in the texts represented in Table 24.3.42

Table 24.3 Asyndeton in three prose texts












Authors like Cicero and Caesar use asyndeton especially in dramatic peaks of their narratives, which shows that it was an important stylistic device.43 An example is (c).


  1. (c) Aderant unguenta, coronae. ° Incendebantur odores. ° Mensae conquisitissimis epulis exstruebantur. ° Fortunatus sibi Damocles videbatur.

    (‘There were perfumes, garlands; incense was burnt; the tables were loaded with the choicest banquet: Damocles thought himself a lucky man.’ Cic. Tusc. 5.62)

A number of words and clitics that can be used as connectors of sentences are also used as coordinators of clauses. As a consequence, it is not always clear whether we are dealing with syndetic and asyndetic clauses that belong to the same (compound) sentence or with separate syndetic and asyndetic sentences (see also § 14.1 (ii) and § 19.14). Editors vary in their decisions on punctuation. This is illustrated by (d) and (e), more or less the same text with different punctuations. In (d), Klotz’ Teubner edition has one adversative connector and two conjunctive coordinators. In (e), Damon’s edition has one adversative coordinator and two conjunctive connectors.44 In (c) above, editors use a comma, colon, or semicolon where I print a full stop (and a capital).

  1. (d) Est autem oppidum et loci natura et colle munitum. Sed celeriter cives Romani ligneis effectis turribus sese munierunt, et cum essent infirmi ad resistendum propter paucitatem hominum crebris confecti vulneribus, ad extremum auxilium descenderunt servosque omnes puberes liberaverunt et praesectis omnium mulierum crinibus tormenta effecerunt.

  2. (e) Est autem oppidum et loci natura et colle munitum, sed celeriter cives Romani, ligneis effectis turribus, his sese munierunt. Et cum essent infirmi ad resistendum propter paucitatem hominum, crebris confecti vulneribus ad extremum auxilium descenderunt servosque omnes puberes liberaverunt. Et praesectis omnium mulierum crinibus tormenta effecerunt.

    (‘The town is fortified both by the nature of its site and by a hill, but the Roman citizens hastily built wooden siege towers and used these as their fortifications. Being incapable—because of their small numbers—of standing firm in resistance, and overcome by numerous injuries, they came to the last resort, freeing all of the adult male slaves; they also cut off all the women’s hair, making catapult ropes.’ Caes. Civ. 3.9.2–3)

24.15 Syndetic connexion of sentences

The words (and clitics) that can be used to create coherence between sentences belong to various categories, which are not always easy to distinguish one from one another. One category has been dealt with in § 24.12, namely anaphoric adverbs like ideo ‘therefore’ referring to a preceding state of affairs or segment of discourse. Another category are words that can also be used as coordinators to connect clauses and constituents within clauses like et ‘and’ and sed ‘but’ (see the discussion of exx. (d) and (e) in § 24.14). More specific are connectors like nam ‘for’ and interactional particles like enim ‘you know’. Then there are all sorts of adverbs like enumerative porro ‘besides’ (p.1165) and contrastive tamen ‘yet’. A number of words can function as adverb and as connector or interactional particle (see § 24.46 on nunc). Furthermore there are devices that create the expectation for additional information, such as the particle quidem and the adverb sane, both often followed by some form of contrast.

The terminology used to refer to these words differs from language to language and between theoretical models, especially for the group of words called ‘connectors’ and ‘interactional particles’ in this Syntax. A common name for the words involved is ‘discourse particles’. Some of these words are also used to mark the relation between larger units of discourse (paragraphs, for example) and in this way contribute to the organization of the discourse.45

The difference between connectors and interactional particles (called ‘conversation management particles’ by Kroon 2011) is best demonstrated by comparing nam and enim, which are traditionally called ‘causal conjunctions’. Whereas nam ‘for’ indicates that the sentence in which it occurs contains some form of evidence for the correctness of the preceding sentence, enim ‘you know’ appeals to the cooperation of the addressee to recognize the correctness of what precedes: it is a ‘consensus’ particle.

Adverbs are also often used to connect sentences. They differ from connectors and interactional particles in several respects. The main difference is that adverbs are part of their clause and contribute their lexical meaning to its content, whereas the other two categories, although positioned in a particular sentence, do not add to its content. They serve to clarify the relationship between the successive sentences. Adverbs can have clitics attached to them, the other two cannot. Adverbs are mobile in their sentence, the other two have more or less fixed positions (see § 23.21). Connectors and interactional particles cannot or can only rarely be used in subordinate clauses that follow the main clause. Furthermore, connectors and interactional particles can co-occur with adverbs in the same sentence. For an illustration, see the discussion of tamen in § 24.22.

The sections in which these words are discussed below are based on semantic considerations. The following semantic relations are distinguished:

  1. (i) conjunctive relation: -que, ac/atque, et, nec/neque

  2. (ii) disjunctive relation: aut

  3. (iii) adversative relation: ast, at, atqui, autem, ceterum, sed, verum, contra, tamen, nihilominus, vero, etsi, tametsi, quamquam

  4. (iv) explanatory and justificatory relation: nam, namque, etenim, quippe, enim, nempe

  5. (v) consecutive relation: igitur, itaque, ergo

  6. (vi) sequential relation: e.g. deinde, tum.

The amount of detail about the individual words and clitics in the following sections varies considerably. This is related to the frequency of the items involved, their (p.1166) semantic and/or pragmatic complexity, the availability of up-to-date studies, including lemmata of the TLL, and personal interest of the author.

24.16 Conjunctive connexion of sentences

The CONJUNCTIVE (also called: ‘copulative’ or ‘additive’) CONNECTORS are the same as the conjunctive coordinators discussed in §§ 19.24ff.: ‌‑que, ac/atque, et, and nec/neque. These connectors can be used with all sentence types, but are not attested with interrogative sentences introduced by the question particle nonne and rarely with those with num.46 They are not compatible with other connectors introducing a sentence: *et nam, *et … igitur (for autem, see § 24.26).

24.17 The conjunctive connector -que

Sentence connexion by -que ‘and’ is rare. Examples are (a)–(c). The following sentence is simply added to the preceding one. See also § 19.25 for the use of ‌‑que as a coordinator and for further details.

  1. (a) Haec Andria, / si ista uxor sive amica’st, gravida e Pamphilo’st. / Audireque eorum’st operae pretium audaciam.

    (‘The Andrian woman, whether she’s a wife or a mistress, is pregnant by Pamphilus. And you should just listen to their impudence.’ Ter. An. 215–17)

  2. (b) (in a discussion about ‘sordid’ jobs) Opificesque omnes in sordida arte versantur; nec enim quicquam ingenuum habere potest officina. Minimeque artes eae probandae, quae ministrae sunt voluptatum …

    (‘And all mechanics are engaged in vulgar trades; for no workshop can have anything liberal about it. Least respectable of all are those trades which cater for sensual pleasures … ’ Cic. Off. 1.150)

  3. (c) Relinquebatur ut extremam rationem belli sequens quam plurimos colles occuparet et quam latissimas regiones praesidiis teneret Caesarisque copias quam maxime posset distineret. Idque accidit.

    (‘It remained to pursue the final military option: occupy as many hills as possible, hold as much territory as he could with garrisons, and extend Caesar’s forces as much as possible. And this is what occurred.’ Caes. Civ. 3.44.2)


    Quid cesso abire ad navem dum salvo licet? / Vosque omnis quaeso, si senex revenerit, / ne me indicetis qua platea hinc aufugerim. (Pl. Men. 878–80); EOSQUE · VIATORES · EOSQUE · PRAECONES · OMNES … (CIL I2.587.32 (Lex Cornelia, 81 BC)—NB: connector + coordinator); Lentulum autem sibi confirmasse ex fatis Sibyllinis haruspicumque responsis se esse tertium illum Cornelium ad quem regnum huius urbis (p.1167) atque imperium pervenire esset necesse: Cinnam ante se et Sullam fuisse. Eundemque dixisse fatalem hunc annum esse ad interitum huius urbis … (Cic. Catil. 3.9); Quaeque sunt vetera praecepta sapientium, qui iubent ‘tempori parere’ et ‘sequi deum’ et ‘se noscere’ et ‘nihil nimis,’ haec sine physicis quam vim habeant—et habent maximam—videre nemo potest. (Cic. Fin. 3.73); Quos ubi Afranius procul visos cum Petreio conspexit, nova re perterritus locis superioribus constitit. Aciemque instruit. (Caes. Civ. 1.65.1); Caesar exploratis regionibus albente caelo omnes copias castris educit. Magnoque circuitu nullo certo itinere exercitum ducit. (Caes. Civ. 1.68.1); Romaeque legatis eius, postquam errasse regem et Iugurthae scelere lapsum deprecati sunt, amicitiam et foedus petentibus hoc modo respondetur. (Sal. Jug. 104.4); Tantumque sua laude obstitit famae consulis Marcius ut, nisi foedus cum Latinis <in> columna aenea insculptum monumento esset ab Sp. Cassio uno, quia collega afuerat, ictum, Postumium Cominium bellum gessisse cum Volscis memoria cessisset. (Liv. 2.33.9); (sc. Tacfarinas) ruendo in tela captivitatem haud inulta morte effugit. Isque finis armis impositus. (Tac. Ann. 4.25.3); Redditur ordini Lurius Varus consularis, avaritiae criminibus olim perculsus. Et Pomponia Graecina insignis femina, <A.> Plautio, quem ovasse de Britannis rettuli, nupta ac superstitionis externae rea, mariti iudicio permissa. Isque prisco instituto propinquis coram de capite famaque coniugis cognovit et insontem nuntiavit. (Tac. Ann. 13.32.2)

24.18 The conjunctive connector ac/atque

Ac/atque ‘and’ is used more often as a connector of sentences than -que and et.47 Also, of the occurrences of ac/atque a higher proportion is used as connector than is the case with et. In Caesar’s de Bello Gallico, for example, of the c.600 instances of ac/atque some twenty-five are connectors; in Cicero’s de Officiis of c.180 instances, some sixty. Alongside instances where the sentence introduced by ac/atque simply adds extra information ac/atque often signals something that is unexpected, as in (a) and (b), or more important (‘and what is more’ OLD), as in (c) and (d). Sometimes the content of the ac/atque sentences is in contrast with what precedes, as in (e). Sentences with ac/atque relatively often contain particles or adverbs that make these relations explicit (see the Supplement). See also § 19.26 for the use of ac/atque as a coordinator and for further details.

  1. (a) … abimus omnes cubitum. Condormivimus. / Lucernam forte oblitus fueram exstinguere. / Atque ille exclamat derepente maxumum.

    (‘ … we all went to bed. We fell asleep. I’d accidentally forgotten to put out the lamp. And suddenly he lets out an enormous shout.’ Pl. Mos. 486–8)

  2. (b) Profectum longius reperiunt omnemque exercitum discessisse cognoscunt. Atque unus ex captivis ‘Quid vos’, inquit …

    (‘They find that he has gone on some distance, they learn that all his army is departed. And then one of their prisoners said: “Why do you … ” ’ Caes. Gal. 6.35.7) (p.1168)

  3. (c) Flagitium hominis, qui dixit mihi / suam uxorem hanc arcessituram [esse]. Ea se eam negat morarier. / Atque edepol mirum ni subolet iam hoc huic vicinae meae.

    (‘What a disgraceful creature he is! He told me his wife would send for her. But she says she doesn’t need her. And indeed it would be odd if this neighbour of mine hasn’t got wind of this already.’ Pl. Cas. 552–4)

  4. (d) Putatisne vos illis rebus frui posse, nisi eos qui vobis fructui sunt conservaritis, non solum, ut ante dixi, calamitate, sed etiam calamitatis formidine liberatos? Ac ne illud quidem vobis neglegendum est …

    (‘Do you imagine that you can enjoy these advantages unless you preserve those from whom you derive them and keep them free not only, as I said before, from disaster but from fear of disaster? There is still another point … ’ Cic. Man. 16–17)

  5. (e) Atque ego istuc, Anthrax, aliovorsum dixeram, / non istuc quod tu insimulas.

    (‘Now now, Anthrax! I said this in a different sense, not the one you allege.’ Pl. Aul. 287–8)

    Supplement (in alphabetical order by additional particles and adverbs):

    Fieri non potest ut … eum tu in tua provincia non cognoris. Atque adeo, ne hoc aut longius aut obscurius esse possit, procedite in medium atque explicate descriptionem imaginemque tabularum … (Cic. Ver. 2.190); At scelesta vide’n ut ne id quidem, me dignum esse existumat / quem adeat, quem colloquatur, quoique irato supplicet? / Atque eccam illecebra exit tandem. (Pl. As. 149–51); Is enim est dicendi opifex. Atque equidem aliquantum iam etiam noctis adsumo. (Cic. Fam. 7.25.2); I, bene ambula. / # Atque audi’n etiam? # Ecce. (Pl. As. 108–9); Atque ego quidem hercle ut verum tibi dicam, pater, / ea res me male habet. (Pl. As. 843–4); Ac tamen, ut posset dicere se emisse, Archagatho imperat ut illis aliquid quorum argentum fuerat nummulorum dicis causa daret. (Cic. Ver. 4.53); Atque utinam non daretis quis sit peior. (August. Serm. 9.21)

24.19 The conjunctive connector et

Et ‘and’ is rarely used as a conjunctive connector.48 In Caesar’s de Bello Gallico, for example, of the almost 900 instances of et only two are connectors; in Cicero’s de Officiis of also almost 900 instances, some thirty-five. A sentence introduced by et generally simply adds a new piece of information, more or less as deinde ‘and then’ and praeterea ‘and furthermore’ do (so the TLL).49 Usually a large number of contextually determined senses are distinguished which depend on the precise relation between the et sentence and what precedes (see also § 19.41).50 Most instances of connecting et are found in continuous discourse, as in (a) and (b), but in spoken dialogue the et sentence regularly follows a change of speaker, as in (c) and (d). Comparable is (p.1169) the use of et in (e). Cases like (d) can sometimes also be regarded as discontinuous coordination. See also § 19.27 for the use of et as a coordinator and for further details.

  1. (a) … certum est hominem eludere. / Et enim vero quoniam formam cepi huius in med et statum, / decet et facta moresque huius habere me similis item.

    (‘ … I’ll definitely make a fool of him. And since I took on his looks and dress, I also ought to have similar ways and habits.’ Pl. Am. 265–7)

  2. (b) Tu tamen permanes constantissimus defensor Antoni. Et quidem, quo melior senator videatur, negat se illi amicum esse debere.

    (‘And yet you still remain Antonius’ most resolute defender. And what is more, to make himself appear a more conscientious senator, he says he has no call to be Antonius’ friend.’ Cic. Phil. 8.17–18)

  3. (c) Dedi equidem quod mecum egisti. # Et tibi ego misi mulierem.

    (‘I gave you what you arranged with me. # And I sent you the girl.’ Pl. As. 171)

  4. (d) Repperit patrem Palaestra suom atque matrem? # Repperit. / # Et popularis est? # Opino. # Et nuptura est mi? # Suspicor.

    (‘Has Palaestra found her father and mother? # She has. # And is she my compatriot? # I think so. # And is she going to marry me? # I suspect so.’ Pl. Rud. 1267–8)

  5. (e) Tum Scipio: ‘Atqui nactus es, sed mehercule otiosiorem opera quam animo.’ Et ille (sc. Tubero): ‘At vero animum quoque relaxes oportet.’

    (Then Scipio said: “Yes, you have found me at leisure, but less so in mind than in occupation.” And he: “Yet it is your duty to relax your mind also.” ’ Cic. Rep. 1.14)


    Istac lege filiam tuam sponde’n mi uxorem dari? / # Spondeo. # Et ego spondeo idem hoc. (Pl. Trin. 1162–3); Ipsu’ mihi Davo’, qui intumu’st <eo>rum consiliis, dixit. / Et is mihi persuadet nuptias quantum queam ut maturem. (Ter. An. 576–7); Inpune optare istuc licet. / Ill’ revivescet iam numquam. Et tamen utrum malis scio. (Ter. Hec. 464–5); (sc. Gallia) Omnis aequo animo belli patitur iniurias, dum modo repellat periculum servitutis. Et ut omittam reliquas partis Galliae—nam sunt omnes pares—Patavini alios excluserunt, alios eiecerunt … (Cic. Phil. 12.10); A malo autem vitioque causae ita recedam … ut totum bono illo ornando et augendo dissimulatum obruatur. Et, si causa est in argumentis, firmissima quaeque maxime tueor … (Cic. de Orat. 2.292); Persequi Caesar Pompeium? Quid? Ut interficiat? O me miserum! Et non omnes nostra corpora opponimus? (Cic. Att. 7.23.1); Verum haec (sc. Roma) tantum alias inter caput extulit urbes / quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi. / # Et quae tanta fuit Romam tibi causa videndi? (Verg. Ecl. 1.24–6); … ad Cn. Manlium, consulem … legationes undique ex omnibus civitatibus … conveniebant. Et ut clarior nobiliorque victoria Romanis de rege Antiocho fuit quam de Gallis, ita laetior sociis erat de Gallis quam de Antiocho. (Liv. 38.37.1–2); Passim silentia et gemitus, nihil compositum in ostentationem. Et quamquam neque insignibus lugentium abstinerent, altius animis maerebant. (Tac. Ann. 2.82.3); Et exivi ad eum et aperui ei. (Passio Perp. 10.2); Et dicitis: ‘Christiani sumus’. (August. Serm. 9.21)

(p.1170) 24.20 The conjunctive connector nec/neque

Nec/neque ‘and not’ is used as a negative connector from Early Latin onwards.51 Examples are (a)–(c). See also § 19.28 for its use as a coordinator and for further details and references.

  1. (a) Numquam amatoris meretricem oportet causam noscere, / quin, ubi nil det, pro infrequente eum mittat militia domum. / Neque umquam erit probus quisquam amator nisi qui rei inimicu’st suae.

    (‘A prostitute ought never to take notice of a lover’s circumstances; rather, when he doesn’t give anything, she should send him back home as a deserter from military service. And no one will ever be a decent lover unless he’s an enemy of his own possessions.’ Pl. Truc. 229–31)

  2. (b) Nam certum est sine dote hau dare. # Quin tu i modo. / # Neque enim illi damno umquam esse patiar— # Abi modo. / # —meam neglegentiam.

    (‘For I’m resolved not to give her in marriage without a dowry. # Just go. # Yes, and I won’t ever let my carelessness— # Just go away! # —harm her.’ Pl. Trin. 585–7)

  3. (c) Recta enim a porta domum meam venisse <scito>. Neque hoc admiror quod non suam potius sed illud, quod non ad suam.

    (‘For he came straight from the city gate, let me tell you, to my house, and I’m not surprised that he didn’t rather go to his own, but I should have expected him to go to his sweetheart.’ Cic. Fam. 9.19.1)


    Quanta me cura et sollicitudine adficit / gnatus, qui me et se hisce inpedivit nuptiis! / Neque mi in conspectum prodit … (Ter. Ph. 441–3); C. Marcelle, te appello. Siciliae provinciae, cum esses pro consule, praefuisti. Num quae in tuo imperio pecuniae cellae nomine coactae sunt? Neque ego hoc in tua laude pono … (Cic. Ver. 3.212); Nec vero Theophrasti inconstantia ferenda est. Modo enim menti divinum tribuit principatum modo caelo, tum autem signis sideribusque caelestibus. Nec audiendus eius auditor Strato is qui physicus appellatur … (Cic. N.D. 1.35); Romani vero quid petunt aliud aut quid volunt nisi … aeternam iniungere servitutem? Neque enim umquam alia condicione bella gesserunt. (Caes. Gal. 7.77.15); Parce, puer, stimulis et fortius utere loris, / sponte sua properant, labor est inhibere volentes. / Nec tibi derectos placeat via quinque per arcus. (Ov. Met. 2.127–9); L. Valerium Potitum proditum memoriae est post relationem Ap. Claudi, priusquam ordine sententiae rogarentur, postulando ut de re publica liceret dicere, prohibentibus minaciter decemviris proditurum se ad plebem denuntiantem, tumultum excivisse. Nec minus ferociter M. Horatium Barbatum isse in certamen, decem Tarquinios appellantem admonentemque Valeriis et Horatiis ducibus pulsos reges. Nec nominis homines tum pertaesum esse … (Liv. 3.39.2–4); … adeo … exarserat ut more regio pubem ingenuam stupris pollueret. Nec formam tantum et decora corpora, sed in his modestam pueritiam, in aliis imagines maiorum incitamentum cupidinis habebat. (Tac. Ann. 6.1.1–2); Non (p.1171) trepidavit offerre, quando exigebatur. Nec fuit religio credentis contraria devotioni obtemperantis. (August. Serm. 2.1)

24.21 Disjunctive connexion of sentences

Of the disjunctive (also called: ‘alternative’) coordinators aut, vel, -ve, and sive (see § 19.43) only aut ‘or’ is also used as a connector. It is regularly used to connect interrogative sentences, as in (a) and (b).52 An imperative sentence is shown in (c), where aut ‘expresses the consequences of non-compliance or error’.53

  1. (a) Non ecastor falsa memoro. # Nam, opsecro, unde haec gentium? / Aut quis deus obiecit hanc ante ostium nostrum, quasi / dedita opera, in tempore ipso?

    (‘Honestly, I’m not telling lies. # Where on earth does it come from, please? Or what god threw it in front of our door, as if on purpose, right in the nick of time?’ Pl. Cist. 668–70)

  2. (b) Num igitur tot clarissimorum ducum regumque naufragium sustulit artem gubernandi? Aut num imperatorum scientia nihil est, quia summus imperator nuper fugit amisso exercitu? Aut num propterea nulla est rei publicae gerendae ratio atque prudentia quia … ?

    (‘Then, did the fact that so many illustrious captains and kings suffered shipwreck deprive navigation of its right to be called an art? And is military science of no effect because a general of the highest renown recently lost his army and took to flight? Again, is statecraft devoid of method or skill because … ?’ Cic. Div. 1.24)

  3. (c) Duos solos video auctoritate censorum adfinis ei turpitudini iudicari. Aut illud adferant, aliquid eos quod de his duobus habuerint compertum de ceteris <non> comperisse.

    (‘I observe that two jurors only were held by the official pronouncement of the censors to be implicated in that scandal. Or else let them allege that they had discovered against those two something which they had not discovered against the others.’ Cic. Clu. 127)54


    Interrogative sentences: Quid istuc est? Aut ubi istuc est terrarum loci? (Pl. As. 32); Quid iam? Aut quid negoti est? Fac sciam. (Pl. Mil. 277) Metuo te atque istos expiare ut possies. / # Quam ob rem? Aut quam subito rem mihi apportas novam? (Pl. Mos. 465–6); De quo quis umquam arator questus est? Aut quis non ad hoc tempus innocentissimam omnium diligentissimamque praeturam illius hominis existimat? (Cic. Ver. 3.216); Persuaderi igitur cuiquam potest ea quae significari dicuntur extis cognita esse ab haruspicibus observatione diuturna? Quam diuturna ista fuit? Aut quam longinquo tempore observari potuit? Aut quo modo est conlatum inter ipsos, quae pars inimica, quae pars familiaris esset … ? (Cic. Div. 2.28)

    (p.1172) Other: Multum providisse suos maiores qui caverint ne cui patricio plebeii magistratus paterent. Aut patricios habendos fuisse tribunos plebi. (Liv. 4.25.11); … transgressique extemplo castra oppugnabimus, quae hodie cepissemus, ni fugissent. Aut si acie decernere volent, eundem pugnae pedestris eventum expectate qui equitum in certamine fuit. (Liv. 42.61.7–8); Neque enim, ut dixere aliqui, mundus hoc polo excelsiore se attollit—aut undique cernerentur haec sidera—verum … (Plin. Nat. 2.179)

Vel is used to introduce imperative sentences, as in (d), but it does not signal an alternative (see the translation).

  1. (d) Equidem ioco illa dixeram dudum tibi, ridiculi causa. Vel hunc rogato Sosiam.

    (‘I said those things as a joke to you a while ago, for fun. Ask Sosia here if you like.’ Pl. Am. 916–17)

24.22 Adversative connexion of sentences

In addition to the connectors sed, verum, and ceterum ‘but’, which are also used as adversative coordinators (see § 19.61), an adversative relation between sentences (and discourse units) can be expressed by the connectors at, atqui, autem, and to some extent ast, and by the adverbs contra, nihilominus, tamen, and vero.55 The difference between connectors and adverbs that express an adversative relation appears among other things from the fact that the connectors and adverbs can co-occur,56 as in (a) and (b), and from the limited mobility of the connectors (at/near the beginning of the sentence) in comparison with the adverbs. This is illustrated for tamen in (c)–(e). In (c), tamen has the final position, in (e), the very first, at the beginning of a letter.57 Tamen can have a clitic attached to it, as ‌‑ne in (f). Further details on tamen can be found in § 24.31.

  1. (a) Abiit intro iratus. Quid ego nunc agam? … Sed tamen ibo et persequar. Amans ne quid faciat cauto opu’st.

    (‘He went inside in a rage. What should I do now? … But still I’ll go and follow him; I need to be careful that our lover doesn’t do anything stupid.’ Pl. Cist. 528–31)

  2. (b) Quae hoc tempore sileret omnia atque ea, si oblivione non posset, tamen taciturnitate sua tecta esse pateretur. Sed vero sic agitur ut prorsus reticere nullo modo possit.

    (‘Not one of these would he now be mentioning—rather would he allow them to be covered by the veil of silence if not of oblivion: but the issues are indeed such that silence is an absolute impossibility.’ Cic. Clu. 18) (p.1173)

  3. (c) Abiero. / Flagitio cum maiore post reddes tamen.

    (‘I’m off. You’ll return it later nevertheless, under greater and louder demands.’ Pl. Epid. 516–17)

  4. (d) Scio te id nolle fieri. Efficiam tamen ego id, si di adiuvant.

    (‘I know you don’t want it done; but I’ll carry it through nevertheless if the gods help me.’ Pl. Capt. 587)

  5. (e) Tamen a malitia non discedis? Tenu<i>culo apparatu significas Balbum fuisse contentum.

    (‘Still up to your tricks? You intimate that Balbus was satisfied with a modest little spread.’ Cic. Fam. 9.19.1)

  6. (f) Quid? Si testium studium cum accusatore sociatum est, tamenne isti testes habebuntur?

    (‘Again, if the witnesses have associated with the prosecutor, will they still be considered witnesses?’ Cic. Flac. 21)

    Appendix: The connector quod is regularly used to connect a sentence which starts with a subordinate clause, especially si, with the preceding sentence or discourse, as in (g) and (h) (quodsi is often printed as one word). Instances are found from Early Latin onwards, but the phenomenon is particularly common in Cicero. Connexion of sentences by quod when there is no introductory subordinate clause are rare and mainly poetic. An example is (i). Often the semantic relation between the adjacent sentences is adversative.58

  7. (g) Quod si exquiratur usque ab stirpe auctoritas, / und’ quicque auditum dicant …

    (‘But if the authority for the claim were examined down to its very roots, from where they say they’ve heard everything … ’ Pl. Trin. 217–18)

  8. (h) (sc. tyranni) Coluntur tamen simulatione dumtaxat ad tempus. Quodsi forte, ut fit plerumque, ceciderunt, tum intellegitur quam fuerint inopes amicorum.

    (‘Yet they are courted under a pretence of affection, but only for a season. For when by chance they have fallen from power, as they generally do, then it is known how poor they were in friends.’ Cic. Amic. 53)

  9. (i) Quod ego per hanc te dexteram [oro] et genium tuom, / per tuam fidem perque huiu’ solitudinem / te obtestor ne …

    (‘So I beg you by this right hand of yours and by the god who watches over you, by your honour and her defencelessness, not to … ’ Ter. An. 289–91—tr. Brown)


    Quod ni f<ui>ssem incogitans, ita eum exspectarem ut par fuit. (Ter. Ph. 155);

    Quod si non tuis nefariis in hunc ordinem contumeliis in perpetuum tibi curiam praeclusisses, quid tandem erat actum … (Cic. Pis. 40); Quod nisi mihi hoc venisset (p.1174) in mentem, scribere ista nescio quae, quo verterem me non haberem. (Cic. Att. 13.10.1)

    Quod cum esset animadversum coniunctam esse flumini, prorutis munitionibus defendente nullo transcenderunt. (Caes. Civ. 3.68.3); Quod etsi ingeniis magnis praediti quidam dicendi copiam sine ratione consequuntur, ars tamen est dux certior quam natura. (Cic. Fin. 4.10); Quod ne id facere posses, idcirco heri non necessario loco contra sensus tam multa dixeram. (Cic. Luc. 79); Quod ubi sensi me in possessionem iudici ac defensionis meae constitisse … tum admiscere huic generi orationis vehementi atque atroci genus illud alterum … coepi. (Cic. de Orat. 2.200)

    NB: with a relative pronoun: Quod qui ab illo abducit exercitum et respectum pulcherrimum et praesidium firmissimum adimit rei publicae. (Cic. Phil. 10.9—NB: various emendations proposed)59

    Quod ut o potius formidine falsa / ludar, et in melius tua, qui potes, orsa reflectas! (Verg. A. 10.631–2); Quod utinam ne Phormioni id suadere in mentem incidisset … (Ter. Ph. 157); Quod utinam aut Appius Claudius <in hac parte fuisset aut> in ista parte C. Curio, cuius amicitia me paulatim in hanc per<di>tam causam imposuit! (Cael. Fam. 8.17.1)

    The use of quod as a connector is historically related to its use as connective relative (see § 18.28). That it functions as a connector appears from the fact that it cannot co-occur with regular connectors like nam and igitur.

24.23 The adversative connector ast

Ast ‘but’ is used in various ways.60 One is coordinating a second clause to a preceding conditional clause, as in the text from the Twelve Tables in (a). In Cicero’s time this usage probably was ill understood. In some of his legal formulations it is more or less equivalent to si, as in (b). For other usages, see also the Supplement. Plautus uses it as an adversative coordinator, as in (c). The Augustan poets use it as a heavy-syllable alternative of at before vowels (with few exceptions), as in (d). Prose writers follow this example later on. In this usage it is in first position of the sentence (with a few poetic exceptions).

  1. (a) Cui auro dentes iuncti esunt, ast im cum illo sepeliet uretve, se fraude esto.

    (‘But him whose teeth shall have been fastened with gold, if a person shall bury or burn him along with that gold, it shall be with impunity.’ Cic. Leg. 2.60=Lex XII 10.8—ed. Powell)

  2. (b) Ast quando duellum gravius discordiaeve civium escunt, oenus ne amplius sex menses, si senatus creverit, idem iuris quod duo consules teneto …

    (‘If ever a serious war or civil dissensions arise, one man shall hold, for no longer than six months, the power which ordinarily belongs to the two consuls, if the Senate shall so decree.’ Cic. Leg. 3.9) (p.1175)

  3. (c) Atque oppido hercle bene velle illi visus sum, / ast non habere quoi commendarem capram.

    (‘And I seemed very well disposed to the monkey, but not to have anyone who I could entrust the goat to.’ Pl. Mer. 245–6)

  4. (d) Mars perdere gentem / immanem Lapithum valuit … / Ast ego, magna Iovis coniunx, … / vincor ab Aenea.

    (‘Mars could destroy the Lapiths’ giant race … But I, Jove’s mighty consort, … I am worsted by Aeneas!’ Verg. A. 7.304–10)


    Divos et eos qui caelestes semper habiti sunt colunto et ollos quos endo caelo merita locaverunt, Herculem, Liberum, Aesculapium, Castorem, Pollucem, Quirinum, ast olla propter quae datur homini ascensus in caelum, Mentem, Virtutem, Pietatem, Fidem. (Cic. Leg. 2.19); Dicitur Appius … ita precatus esse: ‘Bellona, si hodie nobis victoriam duis, ast ego tibi templum voveo.’ (Liv. 10.19.17–18)

24.24 The adversative connector at

The typical use of at ‘but’ is to mark a strong objection in a dialogical context, in a dialogue, either spoken, as in (a), or related in writing, as in (b). However, at is also used to mark a sharp contrast in general, as in (c).61 It usually occupies the first position of the sentence. In Tacitus it is also used as a merely transitional device (an example in the Supplement). In the spoken language it gradually disappeared from the Augustan period onwards. It is infrequent in Augustine’ Sermones, where it is only used in a few combinations. It left no trace in the Romance languages.62 For its use as a coordinator, see § 19.61. For its use to connect discourse units, see § 24.48. For its use in main clauses with a si subordinate clause, see § 16.57.

  1. (a) Ausculta mihi modo ac suspende te. / # Siquidem tu es mecum futurus pro uva passa pensilis. / # At ego amo hanc. # At ego esse et bibere.

    (‘Just obey me and hang yourself. # Yes, if you hang beside me like a bunch of raisins. # But I love this girl. # But I love eating and drinking.’ Pl. Poen. 312–14)

  2. (b) Quo ut venimus, humanissime Quintus ‘Pomponia’, inquit, ‘tu invita mulieres, ego vero ascivero pueros.’ … At illa audientibus nobis ‘ego ipsa sum’, inquit, ‘hic hospita’.

    (‘When we arrived there Quintus said in the kindest way ‘Pomponia, will you ask the women in, and I’ll get the boys?’ … Pomponia, however, answered in our hearing ‘I am a guest myself here.’ Cic. Att. 5.1.3)

  3. (c) Brevis a natura vita nobis data est. At memoria bene redditae vitae sempiterna.

    (‘Brief is the life granted us by nature, but the memory of a life nobly sacrificed is eternal.’ Cic. Phil. 14.32)


    Supplement: Est quidam homo qui illam ait se scire ubi sit. / # At pol ille a quadam muliere, si eam monstret, gratiam ineat. / # At sibi ille quidam volt dari mercedem. # At pol illa quaedam / quae illam cistellam perdidit quoidam negat esse quod det. / # At enim ille quidam o<peram bonam magis> expetit quam argentum. / # At pol illi quoidam mulieri nulla opera gratuita est. (Pl. Cist. 735–40); Domus tibi deerat? At habebas. Pecunia superabat? At egebas. (Cic. Scaur. 45); Sit fur, sit sacrilegus, sit flagitiorum omnium vitiorumque princeps. At est bonus imperator, at felix et ad dubia rei publicae tempora reservandus. (Cic. Ver. 5.4); Quid hoc levius? At quantus orator! (Cic. Tusc. 5.103); Ipsi ex silvis rari propugnabant nostrosque intra munitiones ingredi prohibebant. At milites legionis septimae testudine facta et aggere ad munitiones adiecto locum ceperunt … (Caes. Gal. 5.9.6–7); Confestim et quos binos oneraria in iumenta imposuerant secuti, et consul cum toto agmine. At Histrorum pauci, qui modice vino usi erant, memores fuerant fugae, aliis somno mors continuata est. (Liv. 41.4.3–4); Clodius Quirinalis … veneno damnationem anteiit. Caninius Rebilus … cruciatus aegrae senectae misso per venas sanguine effugit … At L. Volusius egregia fama concessit … (Tac. Ann. 13.30.1–2); Ille autem timuit et ait: … At illa: Vade, inquit, fili, audi me. (August. Serm. 4.13)

At co-occurs with enim in its ‘affirmative’ sense ‘in fact’, ‘in truth’ (see § 24.40 and § 24.28 on sed enim) from Early Latin onwards, although it is absent from certain authors, e.g. Caesar and Virgil. Examples are (d) and (e). Cicero especially uses at in combination with the adverb vero ‘in truth’ (see § 24.33).

  1. (d) Quid est, / fratris mei gnate, gnate quid vis? Expedi. / # At enim hoc volo agas. # At enim ago istuc.

    (‘What is it, nephew, nephew mine, what do you want? Tell me. # Well, I want you to pay attention. # Well, I am paying attention.’ Pl. Poen. 1196–7)

  2. (e) … nostri consulatus beneficio se incolumis fortunas habere arbitrantur. At enim inter hos ipsos exsistunt graves controversiae …

    (‘ … they think they owe the safety of their money to my Consulship. Ah, but they get into serious disputes among themselves … ’ Cic. Q. fr. 1.1.7)

24.25 The adversative connector atqui

Like at, atqui ‘but’, ‘and yet’ (< at + the indefinite adverb quī) is most common in a dialogical context to express opposition to what precedes. It is rare in Plautus, but becomes more common from Terence onwards. It is absent from many authors, especially those writing in a less elevated style, like Vitruvius, and there are no instances in Augustine’s Sermones. There is a parallel form atquin, which is common in the jurists and in Christian authors like Tertullian.63 Examples are (a)–(c).

  1. (a) Numquam auferes hinc aurum. # Atqui iam dabis. / # Dabo? # Atque orabis me quidem ultro ut auferam … (p.1177)

    (‘You’ll never take the gold away from here. # And yet you will give it to me in a moment. # I will give it to you? # And you’ll beg me of your own accord to take it away … ’ Pl. Bac. 824–5)

  2. (b) Quid vero? Modum statuarum haberi nullum placet? Atqui habeatur necesse est.

    (‘What then? Is there to be no limit to statues? But there must be.’ Cic. Ver. 2.144—tr. Yonge)

  3. (c) Et licet comprimantur exclamationes, ora claudantur, nihil negat, qui hoc fatetur. Atquin summorum facinorum ipsa inmanitas innocentia est.

    (‘And even if he stifles his exclamations and keeps his mouth firmly shut, a man who admits this, denies nothing. Still, the very outrageousness of the most horrendous deeds is what proves the innocence of the perpetrators.’ [Quint.] Decl. 19.5.5—tr. Breij)


    Non sum apud me. # Atqui opus est nunc quom maxume ut sis, Antipho. (Ter. Ph. 204); … in ea urbe in qua, ut ait Antonius, auditus eloquens nemo erat. Atqui si Antonio Crassus eloquens visus non est aut sibi ipse, nunquam Cotta visus esset, nunquam Sulpicius, nunquam Hortensius. (Cic. Orat. 105–6); ‘Aliam vero vim voluptatis esse, aliam nihil dolendi, nisi valde pertinax fueris, concedas necesse est’. ‘Atqui reperies’, inquit, ‘in hoc quidem pertinacem.’ (Cic. Fin. 2.9); Quodsi virtutes sunt pares inter se, paria esse etiam vitia necesse est. Atqui pares esse virtutes, nec bono viro meliorem nec temperante temperantiorem nec forti fortiorem nec sapienti sapientiorem posse fieri facillime potest perspici. (Cic. Parad. 21); Sideris proprium est scribere orbem. Atqui hoc an cometae alii fecerint? Nescio. Duo nostra aetate fecerunt. (Sen. Nat. 7.23); Substantia mihi opus erat. Atquin omnia vendenda sunt et egentibus dividenda. (Tert. Idol. 12.2)

    Cf: At pol qui certa res / hanc est obiurgare, quae me hodie advenientem domum / noluerit salutare. (Pl. Am. 705–7)

24.26 The adversative connector autem

The connector autem ‘on the other hand’ is not ‘adversative’ in the sense of at and sed; it is rather ‘contrastive’ or ‘discretive’; that is, it ‘marks off a piece of information from some other piece of information in the verbal or non-verbal context’.64 The preceding sentence often contains the emphasizing particle quidem.65 This difference in meaning explains the few co-occurrences of sed (indicating a shift of attention) and autem in the same clause, as in (a).66 Autem can also co-occur with sequential adverbs, as in (b), with tum.67

  1. (a) Sed quid haec hic autem tam diu ante aedis stetit?

    (‘But why did she (sc. Astaphium, who just entered the house) stand here in front of the house for so long?’ Pl. Truc. 335) (p.1178)

  2. (b) Quia enim loquitur laute et minime sordide. / # Quicquid istaec de te loquitur, nihil attrectat sordidi. / # Tum autem illa ipsa est nimium lepida nimisque nitida femina.

    (‘Because she speaks in a neat and by no means unpolished way. # She doesn’t touch any unpolished topic, whatever she speaks about you. # But then her mistress is a terribly charming and terribly neat woman.’ Pl. Mil. 1001–3)

Autem is used both to indicate that the content of a sentence B is distinct from and in some form of contrast with that of a preceding sentence A and to indicate the opposition between a part B of a sentence and a preceding parallel part A. Examples of the second type of ‘local’ contrast are (c) and (d). In (c), autem is situated in the second conjoin of two correlative clauses; in (d), in the second of three asyndetic appositions. Note vero in the third.68

  1. (c) Facile istuc quidem est, si et illa volt et ille autem cupit.

    (‘That’s easy, if she wants it and he desires it.’ Pl. Mil. 1149)

  2. (d) Est enim finitimus oratori poeta, numeris astrictior paulo, verborum autem licentia liberior, multis vero ornandi generibus socius ac paene par.

    (‘The truth is that the poet is a very near kinsman of the orator, rather more heavily fettered as regards rhythm, but with ampler freedom in his choice of words, while in the use of many sorts of ornament he is really his ally and almost his counterpart.’ Cic. de Orat. 1.70)


    Agite, abite tu domum et tu autem domum. (Pl. Truc. 838); Neque enim tu is es qui quid sis nescias et qui non eos magis qui te non admirentur invidos quam eos qui laudent adsentatores arbitrere; neque autem ego sum ita demens ut me sempiternae gloriae per eum commendari velim … (Cic. Fam. 5.12.6)

    Ait se obligasse crus fractum Aesculapio, / Apollini autem bracchium. (Pl. Men. 885–6); … quo … te nomine appellemus? Improbum? … perfidiosum? (sc. nomina) Volgaria et obsoleta sunt; res autem nova atque inaudita. (Cic. Quinct. 56); Atque hoc ipsi utile fuisse facere, inutile autem non facere … (Cic. Inv. 2.90); … illa quae temptata iam et coepta sunt ab isto, a me autem pervestigata et cognita, moneo ut exstinguas et longius progredi ne sinas. (Cic. Ver. 5.174); Quis autem dubitet quin belli duces ex hac una civitate praestantissimos paene innumerabilis, in dicendo autem excellentis vix paucos proferre possimus? (Cic. de Orat. 1.7); ‘Ista’, inquit, ‘quae dixisti, valere, locupletem esse, non dolere, bona non dico, sed dicam Graece προηγμένα‎, Latine autem producta—sed praeposita aut praecipua malo … ’ (Cic. Fin. 4.72); Si enim interiora prospectus habuerint elegantes, aditus autem humiles et inhonestos, non erunt cum decore. (Vitr. 1.2.6)

    Examples of the first type—true connectors—are (e)–(g). Here autem signals the transition to a new piece of information. In (e) and (g) there is a shift of topic, with puerum and equitatus in first position in the sentence. In (f), autem signals that of the two objects of desire in the preceding sentence only gloria is elaborated at this point. For (p.1179) the initial position of est, see § 23.45. A more complex example, with a change of speakers, is (h). Here, the young man Agorastocles wants to take the pimp Lycus to court. Then Hanno, unknown to Lycus, also summons him to court, much to Lycus’ surprise, who therefore asks what Hanno (tibi, in contrast with Agorastocles) has got against him. Sometimes there is no immediately preceding explicit contrastive counterpart, as in (i). Here, Mercury interrupts a conversation between Jupiter and Alcumena, although some fifteen lines before Jupiter has warned him. This explains the use of autem in Jupiter’s reaction. The implicit counterpart is tu.69

    1. (e) Quin taces? / # Dicam. Puerum autem ne (sc. pater) resciscat mi esse ex illa (sc. Glycerio) cautio’st. / Nam pollicitus sum suscepturum.

      (‘Do shut up. # I’ll tell him. But we must make sure he doesn’t find out I’ve a child by her. I’ve promised to raise it.’ Ter. An. 399–401)

    2. (f) Credo enim vos … caritatem civium et gloriam concupivisse. Est autem gloria laus recte factorum magnorumque in rem publicam fama meritorum …

      (‘For I suppose that you have set your sights on glory and a place in the hearts of your countrymen. Glory, moreover, consists in the credit for honourable deeds and the reputation for great services benefitting the Republic … ’ Cic. Phil. 1.29)

    3. (g) Submotis sub murum cohortibus … facilis est nostris receptus datus. Equitatus autem noster ab utroque latere … summum <in> iugum virtute conititur …

      (‘With the cohorts shifted to a position in front of the wall … an easy retreat was available to our men. Moreover, our cavalry valiantly struggled to the top of the ridge … ’ Caes. Civ. 1.46.2–3)

    4. (h) Leno, eamus in ius. # Opsecro te, Agorastocles, / suspendere ut me liceat. # (Hanno intervenes) In ius te voco. / # (Lycus) Quid tibi mecum autem?

      (‘Pimp, let’s go to court. # I beg you, Agorastocles, to let me hang myself. # I’m summoning you to court. # But what do I have to do with you?’ Pl. Poen. 1342–4)

    5. (i) (Iup.) Nunc tibi hanc pateram … / Alcumena, tibi condono. # (Alc.) Facis ut alias res soles. / Ecastor condignum donum, quale est qui donum dedit. / # (Mer.) Immo sic: condignum donum, quale est quoi dono datum est. / # (Iup.) Pergi’n autem? Nonne ego possum, furcifer, te perdere?

      (‘Now I’ll give you this bowl as a present, Alcumena. # That’s so like you. Honestly, a worthy gift, matching the one who gave it. # No: a worthy gift, matching the one it has been given to. # Are you continuing? Can’t I get rid of you, you good-for-nothing?’ Pl. Am. 534–9)


      Siquid est quod doleat, dolet. Si autem non est … tamen hoc hic dolet. (Pl. Cist. 67); Atque ille primo quidem negavit. Post autem aliquanto … surrexit, quaesivit a Gallis … (Cic. Catil. 3.11); Cetera autem etsi nec bona nec mala essent tamen alia secundum naturam dicebat alia naturae esse contraria. His ipsis alia interiecta et (p.1180) media numerabat. Quae autem secundum naturam essent ea sumenda et quadam aestimatione dignanda docebat, contraque contraria. Neutra autem in mediis relinquebat, in quibus ponebat nihil omnino esse momenti. Sed … (Cic. Ac. 1.36); Hactenus mihi videor de amicitia quid sentirem potuisse dicere; si quae praeterea sunt (credo autem esse multa), ab eis, si videbitur, qui ista disputant, quaeritote. (Cic. Amic. 24); … oppidum oppugnare instituit. Est autem oppidum et loci natura et colle munitum, sed celeriter cives Romani ligneis effectis turribus sese munierunt … (Caes. Civ. 3.9.3); Significatur proposita res de qua dicitur. Hanc autem significat demonstratio rationibus doctrinarum explicata. (Vitr. 1.1.3); … subito fores admiserunt intrantem. Mulier autem erat operto capite … (Petr. 16.2–3); Alioqui non peius duxerim tardi esse ingeni quam mali. Probus autem ab illo segni et iacente plurimum aberit. (Quint. Inst. 1.3.2)

      In interrogative sentences: Ego non tangam meam? # Tuam autem, furcifer? (Ter. Eu. 798); Hanc te aequom’st ducere, et te operam ut fiat dare. / # Me ducere autem? # Te. # Me? (Ter. Ad. 933–4); Numquis testis Postumum appellavit? Testis autem? Num accusator? (Cic. Rab. Post. 10); ‘Castrorum autem mutatio quid habet nisi turpem fugam … ’ (Caes. Civ. 2.31.4); ‘Umquam tu hoc eventurum credidisses?’ Quare autem non? (Sen. Dial. 9.11.9); Hunc … cum vidisset, Petrus dixit Iesu: ‘Hic autem quid?’ (Vulg. Joh. 21.21)

    Autem is particularly common in argumentative and didactic texts and passages, for instance in Cicero’s philosophical and rhetorical works, in Vitruvius, Columella, Quintilian, Tacitus’ Dialogus, and the jurists. In such texts it is often used to proceed to a new subject, as in (j) and (k). In narrative and didactic texts it can be used to mark the shift to a new topic, as in (l). The co-occurrence with ille, as in this example, is common.70 It remained in use throughout Antiquity and is, for example, frequent in Augustine’s works, both in his more classical de Civitate Dei and in his less elevated Sermones. It is also relatively frequent in the Peregrinatio, as in (m). In this and other Late Latin texts autem does not have its Classical adversative meaning and seems to serve mainly as a sentence boundary.71 Autem is normally in second position in its sentence and causes hyperbaton (see § 23.21). It left no trace in the Romance languages.

    1. (j) Quare hanc oratoriam facultatem in eo genere ponemus, ut eam civilis scientiae partem esse dicamus. Officium autem eius facultatis videtur esse dicere adposite ad persuasionem, finis persuadere dictione.

      (‘Therefore we will classify oratorical ability as a part of political science. The function of eloquence seems to be to speak in a manner suited to persuade an audience, the end is to persuade by speech.’ Cic. Inv. 1.6) (p.1181)

    2. (k) Architectura autem constat ex ordinatione, quae Graece taxis dicitur, et ex dispositione, hanc autem Graeci diathesin vocitant … Ordinatio est modica membrorum operis commoditas separatim universeque proportionis ad symmetriam comparatio. Haec conponitur ex quantitate, quae Graece posotes dicitur. Quantitas autem est modulorum ex ipsius operis sumptio e singulisque membrorum partibus universi operis conveniens effectus. Dispositio autem est rerum apta conlocatio …

      (‘Now architecture consists of Order, which in Greek is called taxis, and of Arrangement, which the Greeks name diathesis …

      Order is the balanced adjustment of the details of the work separately, and, as to the whole, the arrangement of the proportion with a view to a symmetrical result. This is made up of Dimension, which in Greek is called posotes. Now Dimension is the taking of modules from the parts of the work; and the suitable effect of the whole work arising from the several subdivisions of the parts.

      Arrangement, however, is the fit assemblage of details … ’ Vitr. 1.2.1–2—NB: the textual make-up of the Loeb translation is maintained.)

    3. (l) At pater Anchises … ‘Quam metui ne quid Libyae tibi regna nocerent!’ / Ille autem: ‘Tua me, genitor, tua tristis imago / saepius occurrens haec limina tendere adegit … ’

      (‘But father Anchises … “How I feared the realm of Libya might harm you!” But he answered: “Your shade, father, your sad shade, meeting me repeatedly, drove me to seek these portals.” ’ Verg. A. 6.679–96)

    4. (m) Aputactitae omnes vadent, de plebe autem qui quomodo possunt vadent, clerici autem cotidie vicibus vadent de pullo primo. Episcopus autem albescente vadet semper, ut missa fiat matutina …

      (‘At cock-crow all the apotactites come, and any of the people who can be there, and clergy everyday by turns. When it begins to get light, the bishop always comes to give the morning dismissal … ’ Pereg. 44.3—tr. Wilkinson—adapted)

24.27 The adversative connector ceterum

Ceterum ‘for the rest’ is used as a connector to mark the transition to a sentence with new information, either a substitution or a correction. This usage is firmly attested from Sallust onwards. It is very common in prose thereafter, including Tertullian, but it is almost absent from Augustine72 and entirely absent from the Peregrinatio. Examples are (a)–(c). It is used with the same function to mark the transition to a new discourse unit, or the return to the main line of thought after a digression (see below). It occupies the first position of the sentence and cannot be combined with other connectors in the same clause. It lacks the characteristic properties of adverbs (see § 24.22), although it is called an adverb in dictionaries.73


  1. (a) Illis merito adcidet quicquid evenerit. Ceterum vos, patres conscripti, quid in alios statuatis considerate.

    (‘Whatever befalls those prisoners will be deserved; but see that you consider, Members of the Senate, how your decision will affect other criminals.’ Sal. Cat. 51.26)

  2. (b) … Romamque is metus manaret, adeo ut … duo iusti scriberentur exercitus. Ceterum Hernicum bellum nequaquam pro praesenti terrore ac vetusta gentis gloria fuit.

    (‘Fears for their safety even extended to Rome, where … two full armies were enlisted. But the war with the Hernici by no means answered to the present panic or to the nation’s old renown.’ Liv. 9.43.4–5)

  3. (c) Quae ne praeterisse viderer, satis habui attingere. Ceterum his nec status satis ostendi nec omnis contineri locos credo …

    (‘I touch on these points briefly, so as not to be thought to have left them out. But I do not myself think either that Issues are sufficiently defined by these headings, or that all possible Topics are covered by them.’ Quint. Inst. 3.6.28)


    Ceterum postquam Neapolim a praefecto Romano teneri accepit—M. Iunius Silanus erat, ab ipsis Neapolitanis accitus—Neapoli quoque, sicut Nola, omissa petit Nuceriam. (Liv. 23.15.2); Rhinocerotes quoque, rarum alibi animal, in isdem montibus erant. Ceterum hoc nomen beluis inditum a Graecis sermonis eius ignaris … (Curt. 915); Ceterum si omisso optimo illo et perfectissimo genere eloquentiae eligenda sit forma dicendi, malim hercule C. Gracchi impetum … (Tac. Dial. 26.1); Ceterum quis tam obtunso ingenio’st quin intellegat: … (Gel. 13.25.21); Ceterum instrumento fundi mancipia quoque colendi agri causa inducta contineri non ambigitur. (Paul. dig. 33.7.19.pr.); Nam neque sibi illi sumere potuissent divinitatem, quam non habebant, nec alius praestare eam non habentibus, nisi qui proprie possidebat. Ceterum si nemo est, qui deos faceret, frustra praesumitis deos factos, auferendo factorem. (Tert. Apol. 11.2–3)

Examples of the use of ceterum to mark the transition (or the return) to a new stage in the narrative or the argumentation are (d)–(f).74 In the modern editions the sentences starting with ceterum are indented to mark the start of a new section. Note that the translators deal with it differently.

  1. (d) Sic forte correcta Mari temeritas gloriam ex culpa invenit. Ceterum dum ea res geritur, L. Sulla quaestor cum magno equitatu in castra venit …

    (‘Thus Marius’ rashness was made good by pure chance and found glory out of blame. While this campaign was in progress, the quaestor Lucius Sulla arrived in camp with a large force of horsemen … ’ Sal. Jug. 94.7–95.1)

  2. (e) … ut liqueat … quo tralationum genere, quibus figuris … id quod intendimus efficere possimus. Ceterum dicturus quibus ornetur oratio prius ea quae sunt huic laudi contraria attingam. (p.1183)

    (‘ … it should be clear … what type of metaphor, what Figures … are needed to effect our purpose. But before I discuss Ornament of speech, I must say something about the characteristics which are contrary to this excellence.’ Quint. Inst. 8.3.40–1)

  3. (f) Ceterum Augustus subsidia dominationi Claudium Marcellum … pontificatu et curuli aedilitate … extulit …

    (‘Meanwhile, to consolidate his power, Augustus raised Claudius Marcellus … to the pontificate and curule aedileship … ’ Tac. Ann. 1.3.1)75

    Appendix: From Plautus onwards ceterum is used as some sort of respect adjunct (see §§ 10.90–5) in the sense of ‘for the rest’, as in (g). See also a unique instance from Cicero in (h).76 Note that here ceterum is not in the first position of the sentence. Pliny the Elder uses the ablative cetero more or less in the same way, as in (i). See also de cetero in (j), as well as de reliquo in (k).

  4. (g) Filium istinc tuom te meliu’st repetere. / Ceterum uxorem quam primum potest abduce ex aedibus.

    (‘You’d better demand your son back from there. As for the rest, take your wife out of my house as quickly as possible.’ Pl. Truc. 846–7)

  5. (h) Ego me in Cumano et Pompeiano, praeter quam quod sine te, ceterum satis commode oblectabam …

    (‘Except that I lack your company I am in other respects having a pleasant time at Cumae and Pompeii … ’ Cic. Q. fr. 2.13.1)

  6. (i) Namque eum (sc. aggerem) muris aequavit qua maxime patebat aditu plano. Cetero (cetera v.l.) munita erat (sc. Roma) praecelsis muris aut abruptis montibus …

    (‘For he made it as high as the walls where the approach was flat and the city lay most open to attack. In other directions it had the protection of lofty walls or of precipitous hills … ’ Plin. Nat. 3.67)

  7. (j) De cetero vellem equidem aut ipse doctrinis fuisset instructior …

    (‘For the rest, I could desire that he himself had been better equipped with learning … ’ Cic. Fin. 1.26)


    (‘For the rest, I ask from my fellow slaves that you defend me while absent. For the rest, at home everything is OK.’ CEL 3.4–8 (1st cent. BC (second half)))

    Ceterum is also used in an inferential sense: ‘otherwise’, ‘else’, first attested in Terence, ex. (l), and then from Pliny the Younger onwards.77


  9. (l) Bene dixti, ac mihi istuc non in mentem venerat. / # Ridiculum. Non enim cogitaras. Ceterum / idem hoc tute meliu’ quanto invenisses, Thraso!

    (‘You’re quite right. That hadn’t occurred to me. # Ridiculous! You just hadn’t thought about it. Otherwise you’d have come up with the same idea yourself far more easily, Thraso!’ Ter. Eu. 451–3)

24.28 The adversative connector sed

Sed ‘but’ functions as a connector from Early Latin onwards. The proportion with which it is used as a connector or as a coordinator depends on the type of text and the individual choice of authors. The percentages of its use as connector in a number of texts are shown in Table 24.4.78

(p.1187) Table 24.4 Use of sed as a connector in a number of texts (percentage of all occurrences of sed)


Sed marks various types of contrast relations. A common usage is that of interrupting a line of thought, as in (a). It can also be used to turn to a new issue, as in (b) or—on the stage—to draw the attention to someone entering the scene, as in (c). It is common after a digression, as in (d).79 If the preceding context is negative the adversative aspect of sed can be more pronounced, especially when the contrast is reinforced by tamen, as in (e).

  1. (a) Ita ut dicis. Nam si faxis, te in caveam dabo. / Sed satis verborum est. Cura quae iussi atque abi.

    (‘Just as you say: if you do so, I’ll give you a cage to be in. But enough small talk. Do take care of what I ordered and go away.’ Pl. Capt. 124–5)

  2. (b) Nam contra Epicurum satis superque dictum est. Sed aveo audire tu ipse Cotta quid sentias.

    (‘As for refuting Epicurus, that has been accomplished and more than accomplished already. But I am eager to hear what you think yourself, Cotta.’ Cic. N.D. 2.2)

  3. (c) Moderare animo, ne sis cupidus. Sed eccam ipsam, egreditur foras.

    (‘Control your heart, don’t be too eager. But look, she’s coming out herself.’ Pl. Mil. 1215)

  4. (d) Sed iam ad id unde digressi sumus revertamur. Hortensius igitur …

    (‘But now let me come back to the point from which we digressed. So then, Hortensius … ’ Cic. Brut. 300–1) (p.1185)

  5. (e) Non enim tam praeclarum est scire Latine quam turpe nescire, neque tam id mihi oratoris boni quam civis Romani proprium videtur. Sed tamen Antonius in verbis … eligendis … nihil non ad rationem et tamquam ad artem dirigebat.

    (‘It isn’t so admirable a thing to know good Latin as it is disgraceful not to know it, and it is not, I think, so much the mark of a good orator as it is of a true Roman. But to return: In the matter of choosing words … Antonius controlled everything by purpose and by something like deliberate art.’ Cic. Brut. 140)


    Ego abeo, tu iam, scio, patiere. Sed quis hic est? Is est, / ille est ipsus. (Pl. As. 378–9); Sed quid venis? Quid quaeritas? (Pl. As. 392); Ibi amare occepi forma eximia mulierem. / Sed ea[m] ut sim implicitus dicam, si operae est auribus … (Pl. Mer. 13–14); … negoti quantum in muliere una est. / Sed vero duae, sat scio, maxumo uni / populo quoilubet plus satis dare potis sunt … (Pl. Poen. 225–7); Deamo te, Syre. / # Sed pater egreditur. (Ter. Hau. 825–6); Sed quaestiones urgent Milonem quae sunt habitae nunc in atrio Libertatis. (Cic. Mil. 59); … philosophi, qui, ut opinor (sed tu haec, Catule, melius) nulla dant praecepta dicendi … (Cic. de Orat. 2.151); Sed hoc posterius. Nunc iuris principia videamus. (Cic. Leg. 1.18); Quin etiam, si quis est paulo ad voluptates propensior, modo ne sit ex pecudum genere (sunt enim quidam homines non re sed nomine), sed si quis est paulo erectior, quamvis voluptate capiatur, occultat et dissimulat appetitum voluptatis propter verecundiam. (Cic. Off. 1.105); Venit ab eo Furnius. Ut quidem scias quos sequamur, Q. Titini filium cum Caesare esse nuntiat—sed illum (sc. Caesarem) maiores mihi gratias agere quam vellem. (Cic. Att. 9.6.6—NB: Cicero returns to what he wanted to tell); Sed haec hactenus. Reliqua coram. (Cic. Att. 16.7.6); Postea Piso in citeriorem Hispaniam quaestor pro praetore missus est adnitente Crasso, quod eum infestum inimicum Cn. Pompeio cognoverat. Neque tamen senatus provinciam invitus dederat, quippe foedum hominem a re publica procul esse volebat, simul quia boni complures praesidium in eo putabant et iam tum potentia Pompei formidulosa erat. Sed is Piso in provincia ab equitibus Hispanis quos in exercitu ductabat iter faciens occisus est. (Sal. Cat. 19.1–3—NB: Sallust returns to the main storyline; note is); Fuere ea tempestate qui dicerent … Nobis ea res pro magnitudine parum conperta est. Sed in ea coniuratione fuit Q. Curius … (Sal. Cat. 22.1–23.1—NB: as in preceding example); At enim apparet quidem pollui omnia nec ullis piaculis expiari posse. Sed res ipsa cogit vastam incendiis ruinisque relinquere urbem … (Liv. 5.53.1); Quo argumento amplior errantium stellarum quam lunae magnitudo colligitur, quando illae et a septenis interdum partibus emergant. Sed altitudo cogit minores videri … (Plin. Nat. 2.58); Sed ne faciam, quod reprehendo, omnia ista … relinquam. (Sen. Ben. 1.4.1); ‘Magnam’, inquit Secundus, ‘et dignam tractatu quaestionem movisti. Sed quis eam iustius explicabit quam tu … ’ (Tac. Dial. 16.1); Licet iam hinc recognoscere. … Qui de pluribus suscipit aliquem eum quem non suscipit despexit. ‘Sed tot ac tanti ab omnibus coli non possunt.’ (Tert. Nat. 1.10.11–12); Sed alias, si Deus voluerit, hoc videbimus. (August. Civ. 2.21.4)

Sed is sometimes used in narrative texts or passages to mark ‘the next stage’.80 Examples are (f) and (g). In (f), following modern editions, sed starts a new section about one (p.1186) of the women who belongs to the group introduced before. Here, the contrastive counterpart is less obvious. Kühner and Stegmann suggest that it is equivalent to atque.81 For its use to connect discourse units, see also § 24.48. In (g), sed ‘introduces the distinguishing element between communities whose cases have hitherto been described in identical terms’.82

  1. (f) Per eas (sc. mulieres) se Catilina credebat posse servitia urbana sollicitare, urbem incendere, viros earum vel adiungere sibi vel interficere.

    • Sed in iis erat Sempronia, quae multa saepe virilis audaciae facinora conmiserat.

      (‘Through them Catiline believed he could incite the city slaves to an uprising, set fire to Rome, and as for their husbands, either attach them to his cause or kill them.

      Now among those women was Sempronia, who had often perpetrated many deeds of masculine daring.’ Sal. Cat. 24.4–25.1)

  2. (g) Aphrodisienses posthac et Stratonicenses … recens divi Augusti decretum adtulere, laudati quod Parthorum inruptionem … pertulissent. Sed Aphrodisiensium civitas Veneris, Stratonicensium Iovis et Triviae religionem tuebantur.

    (‘After this the Aphrodisians and Stratonicensians adduced … a recent decree of Divus Augustus wherein they were praised because they had endured the irruption of the Parthians. (The only difference was that the Aphrodisians’ community guarded the religious cult of Venus, the Stratonicensians’ that of Jupiter and Trivia.)’ Tac. Ann. 3.62.2—tr. Woodman)


    … sed omnino cuncta plebes novarum rerum studio Catilinae incepta probabat. … Sed urbana plebes, ea vero praeceps erat de multis causis. (Sal. Cat. 37.1–4); Ab hoc posteri apud Atticos dicti Medontidae. Sed hic insequentesque archontes usque ad Charopem, dum viverent, eum honorem usurpabant. (Vell. 1.2.2)

For sed + autem, see § 24.26. The combination sed enim is attested with certainty only twice before Virgil,83 who used it as a metrically convenient combination, as in (h), and who was then followed by other poets, Apuleius, the archaists, and other prose writers. Enim is here usually taken in its ‘affirmative’ sense ‘in fact’, ‘in truth’ (see § 24.40 and § 24.24 on at enim).84 Sed often co-occurs with tamen and vero. See § 24.31.

  1. (h) Progeniem sed enim Troiano a sanguine duci / audierat Tyrias olim quae verteret arces.

    (‘Yet in truth she had heard that a race was springing from Trojan blood, to overthrow some day the Tyrian towers.’ Verg. A. 1.19–20—NB: note the position)

24.29 The adversative connector verum

Verum ‘but’, ‘yet’ functions as a connector from Early Latin onwards, more or less in the same way as sed, though it is less frequent. It is more often used as a connector than as a coordinator (for which, see § 19.63). It marks the transition to a new piece of information, often interrupting a line of thought, as in (a) and (b). It is also used after a digression or a parenthesis, as in (c), and in reactions to the words of another person, as in (d). Depending on the context the adversative aspect of verum can be more pronounced, especially when the contrast is reinforced by a word like tamen, as in (e).

  1. (a) Quando autem homo tanta luxuria atque desidia nisi Februario mense aspirabit in curiam? Verum veniat sane.

    (‘And when, unless it be in February, will such an indolent profligate come near the House? But let him attend, by all means.’ Cic. Ver. 2.76)

  2. (b) Verum haec quidem hactenus. Cetera, quotienscumque voletis, et hoc loco et aliis parata vobis erunt.

    (‘But so much at any rate so far. All else, as often as you will, whether in this spot or in others, will be in readiness for you.’ Cic. Tusc. 3.84)

  3. (c) Verum ut Lilybaeum, unde digressa est oratio, revertamur, Diocles est …

    (‘But that my discourse may return to Lilybaeum, from which I have made this digression, there is a man named Diocles … ’ Cic. Ver. 4.35)

  4. (d) Qui, malum, intellegere quisquam potis est? Ita nugas blatis. / # Verum actutum nosces, quom illum nosces servom Sosiam.

    (‘How on earth can anyone understand? You’re waffling such nonsense. # But you’ll get to know it in a moment when you get to know that slave Sosia.’ Pl. Am. 626–7)

  5. (e) Nam quom pugnabant maxume, ego tum fugiebam maxume. / Verum quasi affuerim tamen simulabo atque audita eloquar.

    (‘For when they were fighting most intensely, I was running away most intensely. Anyway, I’ll pretend that I was there and I’ll tell what I’ve heard.’ Pl. Am. 199–200)


    Eorum Amphitruonis alter est, alter Iovis. / Verum minori puero maior est pater, / minor maiori. (Pl. Am. 483–5); Timor praepedit verba. Verum, opsecro te, / dic me uxorem orare ut exoret illam / gladium ut ponat … (Pl. Cas. 704–6); At pol ego amatores audieram mulierum esse eos (sc. eunuchos) maxumos, / sed nil potesse. Verum miserae (sc. mihi) non in mentem venerat. (Ter. Eu. 665–6); Qui potuerunt ista ipsa lege quae de proscriptione est, sive Valeria est sive Cornelia—non enim novi nec scio—verum ista ipsa lege bona Sex. Rosci venire qui potuerunt? (Cic. S. Rosc. 125); Verum ut ad illud sacrarium redeam, signum erat hoc quod dico Cupidinis e marmore … (Cic. Ver. 4.5); Verum, si placet … reliqua aliquanto odiosiora pergamus. (Cic. de Orat. 3.51); Eorum ego vitam mortemque iuxta aestumo, quoniam de utraque siletur. Verum enim vero is demum mihi vivere atque frui anima videtur qui … (Sal. Cat. 2.8–9); Verum in montium miraculis ardet Aetna noctibus semper … (Plin. Nat. (p.1188) 2.236); Verum has atque alias sontium poenas in tempore trademus. (Tac. Ann. 4.71.1); Verum, ut dixi, antiquorum magnitudines corporum inventa plerumque ossa, quoniam diuturna sunt, etiam multo posterioribus saeculis produnt. (August. Civ. 15.9)

Co-occurrence of verum with the particles autem and enim is rare. Autem is attested once at Plautus Cas. 555 and occasionally in other authors (seven times in Augustine’s Confessions). Verum enim is rare, but there are a few instances in Plautus and Terence, one of which is (f). Co-occurrence with tamen and vero is common; with enimvero it is rare, but attested not only in Plautus and Terence but also Cicero, Livy, and others.85 See (g).

  1. (f) Verum enim meretrix fortunati est oppidi similluma. / Non potest suam rem optinere sola sine multis viris.

    (‘But a prostitute closely resembles a flourishing town: she cannot be successful alone, without many men.’ Pl. Cist. 80–1)

  2. (g) Vidi ego multa saepe picta, quae Accherunti fierent / cruciamenta. Verum enim vero nulla adaeque est Accheruns / atque ubi ego fui, in lapicidinis.

    (‘I’ve often seen many pictures of the tortures taking place in the Underworld, but truly there’s no Underworld that can match the place where I was, in the quarries.’ Pl. Capt. 998–1000)

24.30 The adverb contra

The adverb contra is sometimes used to indicate the contrast between two consecutive sentences in the sense of ‘on the other hand’, as in (a); this is referred to as its ‘connective’ use.86 It is also used in sentences with an adversative connector, as in (b).

  1. (a) … sicut Fortunatorum memorant insulas, / quo cuncti qui aetatem egerint caste suam / conveniant. Contra istoc detrudi maleficos / aequom videtur …

    (‘ … just as they speak of the Isles of the Blessed, where all those come together who have lived their lives morally; by contrast, it seems fair that wrongdoers are thrust off onto that land … ’ Pl. Trin. 549–52)

  2. (b) At nos metiendi ratiocinandique utilitate huius artis terminavimus modum. At contra oratorem celeriter complexi sumus …

    (‘But we Romans have restricted this art to the practical purposes of measuring and reckoning. But on the other hand we speedily welcomed the orator … ’ Cic. Tusc. 1.5)

24.31 The adverb tamen

One of the functions of the adverb tamen ‘still’ is to signal that the content of the sentence in which it occurs is in contrast with what might have been expected on the (p.1189) basis of the preceding sentence or discourse unit.87 It differs in this respect from the concessive subordinators which signal a commonly accepted incompatibility.88 The sentence preceding the tamen sentence often contains the emphasizer quidem, which indicates that the content of the first sentence is asserted. In this function tamen is usually placed in first or second position, just as connectors. However, it is not a connector itself: it can co-occur with conjunctive and adversative connectors (see § 19.62) and is then often juxtaposed to them. An example of tamen alone is (a). In (b) and (c), it is juxtaposed to an adversative connector. In (d), a new paragraph describes the outcome of a discussion in the Senate reported in the preceding paragraph.

  1. (a) Nil moror nec scire volo. / # Tamen ades.

    (‘I don’t care and I don’t want to know. # Still, stay.’ Pl. Bac. 989a–90)

  2. (b) Molestus ne sis. Haec sunt sicut praedico. / # At tamen inspicere volt.

    (‘Don’t be a nuisance. It’s the way I tell you. # But he still wants to inspect it.’ Pl. Mos. 772–3)

  3. (c) … neque opes nostrae tam sunt validae quam tuae. Verum tamen / hau metuo ne ius iurandum nostrum quisquam culpitet.

    (‘ … and our influence isn’t as great as yours; but still, I’m not afraid that anyone will ever find fault with our oath.’ Pl. Cist. 494–5)

  4. (d) (Senatus consulitur … Fautores legatorum … At contra pauci … ) Vicit tamen in senatu pars illa quae vero pretium aut gratiam anteferebat.

    (‘(The matter was laid before the Senate … The partisans of the envoys … But a few, on the other hand … ) In spite of all, there prevailed that faction of the senate which rated money and influence higher than integrity.’ Sal. Jug. 15.2–16.1)

24.32 The adverb nihilominus

The adverb nihilominus (also as two words) ‘nonetheless’ shares with tamen the properties described above. It is much less frequent and not synonymous with tamen, as appears from instances in which the two are used in the same clause, as in (a).89 In (b), nihilominus co-occurs with an adversative connector.

  1. (a) Non postulo iam. Loquere. Nihilo minus ego hoc faciam tamen.

    (‘I don’t expect it any more. Have your say. But I’ll carry out my plan none the less.’ Ter. Hau. 1012) (p.1190)

  2. (b) Sed nihilominus quaedam sunt quae etiam sapientes in alio quam in se diligentius vident.

    (‘But nevertheless, there are certain matters where even wise men see the facts more clearly in the case of others than in their own.’ Sen. Ep. 109.16)

24.33 The adverb/connector vero

From Early Latin onwards, vero functions as an adverb indicating the truth or factuality of the content of the sentence. In comedy it is very common in questions, responses, and orders, thus underlining the personal involvement of the speaker (‘indeed’, ‘really’). It is often combined with hercle and immo (and both), as in (a). Instances of vero in a monological context are attested from Terence onwards, as in (b). Between the two asyndetic sentences in (b) there is a shift of topic from illa to miles; the adversative relation between the two sentences is strengthened by vero. An earlier example, with a syndetic adversative relation marked by the connector sed, is (c). Instances like (b) are traditionally taken as the first signs of vero’s later use as an adversative connector, but the existence of instances like (c) supports the idea that the apparent connective use of vero is in reality a matter of context.90 In (d), there is a shift from eos omnes quos to M. Cethegum resembling the shift in (b), with vero drawing attention to the extraordinary qualities of Cethegus. Instances like this abound in Cicero. Vero is almost always in second position and causes hyperbaton, just like the connector autem. However, in authors of didactic texts like Celsus and Pliny the Elder there are numerous instances where vero only seems to mark the adversative relation between adjacent sentences. It seems, then, that alongside the adverbial we must recognize a connective use of vero.91

  1. (a) Benigne edepol facis. / # Immo tu quidem hercle vero.

    (‘That’s kind of you. # No, kind of you, really.’ Pl. Rud. 1368–9)

  2. (b) Ibi illa cum illo sermonem ilico. / Miles vero sibi putare adductum ante oculos aemulum.

    (‘Then she (sc. Thais) struck up a conversation with him at once. But the soldier thought that a rival had been brought in under his very nose.’ Ter. Eu. 622–3)

  3. (c) Apage, sis, negoti quantum in muliere una est. / Sed vero duae, sat scio, maxumo uni / populo quoilubet plus satis dare potis sunt.

    (‘Away with the amount of trouble that’s in a single woman! But two, I know that well enough, can keep busy as big a community as you please.’ Pl. Poen. 225–7)

  4. (d) Atque eos omnis quos commemoravi his studiis flagrantis senes vidimus. Marcum vero Cethegum … quanto studio exerceri in dicendo videbamus etiam senem! (p.1191)

    (‘And yet I have seen all these men whom I have mentioned, ardent in their several callings after they had grown old. Then too, there was Marcus Cethegus … What enthusiasm I saw him also display in his public speeches, although he was an old man!’ Cic. Sen. 50)


    In dialogical texts: Equidem hercle opus hoc facto existumo, / ut illo intro eam. # Itane vero, vervex? Intro eas? (Pl. Mer. 566–7); Estne hic meus servos? # Sum hercle vero, Agorastocles. (Pl. Poen. 797); Ne attigas. # Ostende vero. # Nolo. (Pl. Epid. 723); Ora me. # Obsecro te vero, Phaedria. (Ter. Eu. 715); Tum Brutus: ‘De isto postea. Sed tu’, inquit me intuens, ‘orationes nobis veteres explicabis?’ ‘Vero,’ inquam, ‘Brute. Sed in Cumano aut in Tusculano aliquando … ’ (Cic. Brut. 300); Fuisti saepe, credo, cum Athenis esses, in scholis philosophorum. # Vero, ac libenter quidem. (Cic. Tusc. 2.26); Ego vero Quinto epistulam ad sororem misi. (Cic. Att. 13.41.1)

    In monological texts: Nam hercle factum’st abs te turpiter. / Etsi tibi causa’st de hac re: mater te inpulit. / Huic vero nulla’st. (Ter. Hec. 624–6); Illud vero sine ulla dubitatione maxime nostrum fundavit imperium … quod princeps ille creator huius urbis, Romulus, … docuit … (Cic. Balb. 31); (Starting a new paragraph) In sartis tectis vero quem ad modum se gesserit quid ego dicam? (Cic. Ver. 1.128); (sc. Marcellus) Nihil in aedibus, nihil in hortis posuit, nihil in suburbano. … Syracusis autem permulta atque egregia reliquit. Deum vero nullum violavit, nullum attigit. (Cic. Ver. 4.121); Sed confecto proelio tum vero cerneres quanta audacia quantaque animi vis fuisset in exercitu Catilinae. (Sal. Cat. 61.1); Huic spei tuae obstat aetas mea, obstat gentium ius, obstat vetustus Macedoniae mos, obstat vero etiam patris iudicium. (Liv. 40.9.8); Utilius his frequens balineum est, sed ieiunis, <etiam> usque sudorem. Cibis vero opus est copiosis … (Cels. 3.22.7); Sanat et vulvarum exulcerationes eiusdem animalis sebum inveteratum et in vellere adpositum duritias vulvarum emollit. Per se vero recens vel inveteratum ex aqua inlitum psilotri vim optinet. (Plin. Nat. 28.250); Cum tamen aliquatenus se confirmavit et velut iuvenile robur accepit, neglegentiam sustinet. Novella vero dum adolescit, nisi omnia iusta perceperit, ad ultimam redigitur maciem … (Col. 4.3.4–5); Delector iucundum tibi fuisse Tironis mei adventum. Quod vero scribis oblata occasione proconsulis plurimos manumissos unice laetor. (Plin. Ep. 7.32.1); Sed in ipso populo Christiano illi primatum tenent qui pertinent ad Iacob. Qui vero carnaliter vivunt … adhuc ad vetus testamentum pertinent, nondum ad novum. (August. Serm. 4.12)

24.34 The use of etsi, tametsi, and quamquam as connectors

Apart from being used as concessive subordinators (see § 16.76) etsi, tametsi, and quamquam are also used to introduce sentences which contain some form of correction of the preceding sentence or text, thus functioning as a contrastive connector. However, it sometimes is difficult to decide whether a unit starting with etsi must be regarded as an independent sentence that is in contrast with the preceding context or a concessive subordinate clause functioning as a disjunct. Editors vary in their punctuation. The use of corrective particles is especially frequent in argumentative texts, notably in Cicero. These particles can also be in an accusative and infinitive clause.92

(p.1192) The earliest instance of connective use of etsi is (a).93 Here, the etsi sentence functions as a correction of the preceding sentence. The presence of the adversative connector verum in the following sentence makes it impossible to understand the etsi unit as a subordinate clause. In (b), connective etsi introduces a complex sentence consisting of a concessive subordinate clause with quamvis and a main clause with at.

  1. (a) Sed quid istuc est? Etsi iam ego ipsus quid sit prope scire puto me. / Verum audire etiam ex te studeo.

    (‘But what is it? Well, I think I myself am already close to knowing what it is. But I’m keen to hear it from you.’ Pl. Bac. 1160–1)

  2. (b) Etsi, quamvis non fueris suasor et impulsor profectionis meae, at probator certe fuisti …

    (‘All the same, if you did not recommend or instigate my trip, you certainly did approve of it … ’ Cic. Att. 16.7.2)


    Ambo accusandi. Etsi illud inceptum tamen animi’st pudenti’ signum et non instrenui. (Ter. Hau. 119–20—NB: co-occurrence of etsi and tamen); Non tractabo ut consulem. Ne ille quidem me ut consularem. Etsi ille nullo modo consul … (Cic. Phil. 2.10); Quid ergo potissimum scribam? Quod velle te puto, cito me ad te esse venturum. Etsi vide, quaeso, satisne rectum sit nos hoc tanto incendio civitatis in istis locis esse. (Cic. Fam. 9.3.1); … quo maxime apparuit … Seianum quaerenti occasiones sumministrasse. Etsi commentario quem de vita sua summatim breviterque composuit ausus est scribere … (Suet. Tib. 61.1)

Tametsi can be used in the same way, as in (c) and (d).

  1. (c) … scelus quoque latere inter illa tot flagitia putatote. Tametsi hoc quidem minime latet quod ita promptum et propositum est ut …

    (‘ … you may feel sure that crime also lies concealed among all these shameful acts. And yet about this crime there is no concealment; it is so manifest and exposed to view, that … ’ Cic. S. Rosc. 118)

  2. (d) Tu quicquid indagaris de re publica … facito ut sciam. Tametsi nimis sum curiosus. Statui enim nihil iam de re publica cogitare.

    (‘On your side let me know anything you ferret out about public affairs—though after all I’m being too curious, having determined to think no more about politics.’ Cic. Att. 2.4.4)


    … non eos ad me venturos arbitrabare? Tametsi id quidem fecerunt ridicule. Quas enim litteras adferebant … (Cic. Fam. 3.7.3)

(p.1193) The most common contrastive connector is quamquam, as in (e) and (f).94 Ex. (g) shows the use of quamquam in an accusative and infinitive clause.

  1. (e) … pater curavit … clandestina ut celetur consuetio. / Quamquam, ut iam dudum dixi, resciscet tamen / Amphitruo rem omnem.

    (‘ … my father’s taken care that … the secret affair would be concealed. Still, as I’ve said already, Amphitruo will find out the whole thing all the same.’ Pl. Am. 487–92)

  2. (f) … cur nostri a nostris non legantur? Quamquam, si plane sic verterem Platonem aut Aristotelem ut verterunt nostri poëtae fabulas, male, credo, mererer de meis civibus …

    (‘ … why should not Romans be read by Romans? Yet even supposing I gave a direct translation of Plato or Aristotle, exactly as our poets have done with the plays, would it not, pray, be a patriotic service to my fellow-countrymen?’ Cic. Fin. 1.6–7)

  3. (g) Quamquam nullam nobilitatem, nullos honores, nulla merita cuiquam ad dominationem pandere viam.

    (‘To be sure, no nobility, no honours, no merits, opened wide the road to tyranny for any man.’ Liv. 4.15.5)


    … tu de thesauro sumes. # Satis scite et probe! / Quamquam hoc me aetatis sycophantari pudet. (Pl. Trin. 786–7); Hic, quod cum ceteris animo sentiebat, id magis quam ceteri et vultu promptum habuit et lingua. Quamquam, iudices—agnosco enim ex me—permulta in Plancium quae ab eo numquam dicta sunt conferuntur. (Cic. Planc. 34–5); … addite Aproni Veneriorumque servorum in agro decumano regna ac rapinas. Quamquam haec omitto, de cella loquor. (Cic. Ver. 3.200); Quam ob rem hoc vos doceo, Sulpici, … ut in dicendo irasci, ut dolere, ut flere possitis. Quamquam te quidem quid hoc doceam … (Cic. de Orat. 2.196–7); Quamquam, etsi priore foedere staretur, satis cautum erat Saguntinis sociis utrorumque exceptis. (Liv. 21.19.4); Quamquam quod ob meritum nostrum suscensuistis, patres conscripti, nobis aut suscensetis? (Liv. 25.6.4); Quamquam ne impudicitiam quidem nunc abesse … (Tac. Ann. 12.65.2—NB: accusative and infinitive)

    Appendix: Quamvis is only rarely used in a similar way, in poetry from Prop. 2.7.3 onwards; in prose from Cels. 1.pr.54 and Petr. 79.5 onwards.

24.35 Explanatory and justificatory connexion of sentences

The particles which mark an explanatory, evidential, or justificatory relation between sentences or larger units of discourse are the connectors nam, namque, etenim, and quippe and the interactional particles enim and nempe. Traditionally, they are called ‘causal conjunctions’. Of these particles nam and enim are very common in all periods (p.1194) of Latin. Table 24.5 contains figures for the frequency of use.95 It shows that nempe is slightly more frequent in poetry than in prose; namque is relatively more frequent in poetry than nam; and quippe is not very common in poetry. There are also considerable differences between authors and texts. Table 24.6 gives a glimpse of this.96 It is interesting to see the different proportions of nam and enim in Plautus and Cicero. With forty-five instances of quippe, Lucretius has one-quarter of all the instances in poetry until Apuleius.

Table 24.5 Frequency of explanatory and justificatory connectors and particles
























Table 24.6 Frequency of explanatory and justificatory connectors and particles in four authors



































a Not counting enim vero (thirty-one instances).

24.36 The connector nam

A sentence or a larger discourse unit with the connector nam ‘for’ provides or requests subsidiary information with respect to a preceding sentence or discourse unit, functioning as it were as an answer to a question or an expectation raised by the preceding text.97 The information provided involves an explanation, evidence, or justification of the preceding text, which may concern either (i) the content of the preceding sentence or discourse unit, as in (a)–(d), or (ii) the reason for uttering the preceding text or choosing a particular wording (a disjunct-like usage), as in (e). Much less common is (iii) the use of nam to mark the transition to a new issue, as in (g).98 The nam sentence (p.1195) explains: in (a), why there is a need to settle peace; in (b), the implications of Sosia trying to get access to Alcumena; in (c), the reason why Amphitruo is commanding the legions; in (d), Jupiter’s motive for bringing help to Alcumena. In (e), the nam sentence contains the justification for the preceding order. In (f), the nam sentence justifies the use of the expression magno usui. In (g), Sosia passes from Amphitruo’s role to that of Jupiter but first justifies why it is superfluous to add information about Jupiter. For nam in a question, see (h) (see also § 6.21).99

  1. (a) Pacem componi volo / meo patri cum matre. Nam nunc est irata … / propter istanc.

    (‘I want peace to be settled between my father and my mother. For now she’s angry because of that girl.’ Pl. Mer. 953–5)

  2. (b) Hanc nostram (sc. eram) adire non sinam. / Nam si me irritassis, hodie lumbifragium hinc auferes.

    (‘I won’t let you go to ours here. For if you provoke me, you’ll carry away broken hips from here today.’ Pl. Am. 453–4)

  3. (c) Is nunc Amphitruo praefectu’st legionibus. / Nam cum Telobois bellum est Thebano poplo.

    (‘This Amphitruo is now in command of the legions because the Theban people is at war with the Teloboians.’ Pl. Am. 100–1)

  4. (d) Simul Alcumenae … veni ut auxilium feram. / Nam mea sit culpa, quod egomet contraxerim, / si id Alcumenae in innocentiam expetat.

    (‘At the same time I’ve come to bring help to Alcumena … For I’d deserve blame if what I myself have stirred up should fall on innocent Alcumena.’ Pl. Am. 869–72)

  5. (e) Sequere hac igitur me. Nam mi istuc primum exquisito est opus.

    (‘Then follow me this way: I need to get to the bottom of this first.’ Pl. Am. 628)

  6. (f) Quae res magno usui nostris fuit. Nam … barbari constiterunt ac paulum modo pedem rettulerunt.

    (‘This movement proved of great service to our troops; for the natives … came to a halt, and retired, but only for a little space.’ Caes. Gal. 4.25.2)

  7. (g) (sc. Amphitruo) … gravidam Alcumenam fecit uxorem suam. / Nam ego vos novisse credo iam ut sit pater meus (sc. Iuppiter) … / Is amare occepit Alcumenam clam virum …

    (‘ … he made his wife Alcumena pregnant. Well, I believe you already know what my father’s like … He fell in love with Alcumena behind her husband’s back … ’ Pl. Am. 103–7)

  8. (h) Pestis te tenet. # Nam quor istuc / dicis? Equidem valeo et salvos / sum recte, Amphitruo.

    (‘You have the plague. # Why are you saying that? I’m perfectly well and healthy, Amphitruo.’ Pl. Am. 581–3)


    Supplement (in accordance with the distinctions made above):

    (i): … repente est exorta mulieris importunae nefaria libido … Nam Sassia, mater huius Habiti, … (Cic. Clu. 12); Itaque discedunt omnes. Nam ceteri quoque impetrant ne retineantur. (Cic. Ver. 2.71); … vivo Catone minores natu multi uno tempore oratores floruerunt. Nam et A. Albinus, is qui Graece scripsit historiam, qui consul cum L. Lucullo fuit, et litteratus et disertus fuit. (Cic. Brut. 80); Dicebat etiam L. Scipio non imperite Gnaeusque Pompeius Sex. f. aliquem numerum obtinebat. Nam Sex. frater eius praestantissimum ingenium contulerat ad summam iuris civilis … scientiam. (Cic. Brut. 175—NB: an instance of the rhetorical figure occupatio); … eram in scribendo conturbatior. Nam puer festivus, anagnostes noster Sositheus, decesserat … (Cic. Att. 1.12.4); Sic ille annus duo firmamenta rei publicae per me unum constituta evertit. Nam et senatus auctoritatem abiecit et ordinum concordiam disiunxit. (Cic. Att. 1.18.3); Fenestrarum angustias quod reprehendis, scito te Κύρου παιδείαν‎ reprehendere. Nam cum ego idem istuc dicerem, Cyrus aiebat … (Cic. Att. 2.3.2); Neque vero Pompeiani huic rei defuerunt. Nam et tela missa exceperunt et impetum legionum tulerunt … (Caes. Civ. 3.93.2); Caesar loquendi finem fecit seque ad suos recepit suisque imperavit ne quod omnino telum in hostes reicerent. Nam etsi sine ullo periculo legionis delectae cum equitatu proelium fore videbat, tamen committendum non putabat ut … (Caes. Gal. 1.46.2–3); Ibi Latine—nam apud Numantiam loqui didicerat—exclamat nostros frustra pugnare … (Sal. Jug. 101.6)

    (ii): Quo quidem etiam magis sum non dicam miser—nam hoc quidem abhorret a virtute verbum—sed certe exercitus … (Cic. Planc. 78); (sc. Coriolanus) … se ad hostes contulit conatumque iracundiae suae morte sedavit. Nam etsi aliter apud te est, Attice, de Coriolano, concede tamen ut huic generi mortis potius adsentiar. (Cic. Brut. 42); Tenesne igitur moderatorem illum rei publicae quo referre velimus omnia? Nam sic quinto, ut opinor, in libro loquitur Scipio: ‘ut enim gubernatori cursus secundus, medico salus, imperatori victoria, sic huic moderatori rei publicae beata civium vita proposita est, ut opibus firma, copiis locuples, gloria ampla, virtute honesta sit.’ (Cic. Att. 8.11.1); Qui status rerum fuerit tum cum has litteras dedi scire poteris ex C. Tidio Strabone, viro bono et optime de re publica sentiente. Nam quid dicam ‘cupidissimo tui’, qui domo et fortunis relictis ad te potissimum profectus sit? (Cic. Fam. 12.6.1—NB: an instance of the rhetorical figure of praeteritio); ‘Iuppiter—hospitibus nam te dare iura loquuntur /—hunc laetum Tyriisque diem Troiaque profectis / esse velis … ’ (Verg. A. 1.731–3); Aristoteles putat causam tribus modis dici. … Tertia est forma quae unicuique operi inponitur tamquam statuae. Nam hanc Aristoteles ‘idos’ vocat. (Sen. Ep. 65.4)

    (iii): (discussing historians) Nam Lysiam primo profiteri solitum artem esse dicendi. (Cic. Brut. 48); Ita suspensa de legibus res ad novos tribunos militum dilata. Nam plebis tribunos eosdem, duos utique quia legum latores erant, plebes reficiebat. (Liv. 6.38.1); (discussing properties of elephants) Nam, quod ad docilitatem attinet, regem adorant, genua submittunt, coronas porrigunt. (Plin. Nat. 8.3)

Within the class of explanatory and justificatory particles, nam comes second in terms of frequency, after enim, but there are significant differences between authors (see Table 24.6 on p. 1194) and types of text: in three different text types of Cicero the (p.1197) proportion of nam and enim is 20/80 in the philosophical dialogue de Finibus, 25/75 in the letters to Atticus, 35/65 in the Verrine orations.100 These differences in frequency are related to the semantic and pragmatic differences between the two words. For discussion, see § 24.40. Nam is almost always in sentence-initial position; in poetry, however, it is sometimes in a later position. See § 23.21. If the sentence starts with a subordinate clause, nam precedes, as in (b) above.

Nam co-occurs with swear words like hercle, as in (i), and with invocations of a god or gods. In such contexts, nam is sometimes described as ‘affirmative’. In reality, nam has here the same function as described above. Enim is not combined with such words.101

  1. (i) Tu intus cura quod opus est. / Sume, posce, prome quidvis. Te facio cellarium. / # Nam hercle, nisi mantiscinatus probe ero, fusti pectito. / # Aeternum tibi dapinabo victum, si vera autumas.

    (‘You take care inside of what’s needed. Take, demand, help yourself to anything you like. I hereby make you my butler. # Yes, if I don’t tuck in properly, you can comb me down with a club. # I’ll serve you meals for good if you’re telling the truth.’ Pl. Capt. 894–7)

24.37 The connector namque

The connector namque ‘certainly’, ‘for’ is used with the same functions as nam. Of the three uses of nam described in § 24.36, marking the transition to a new issue is rare, starting from Pliny the Elder onwards, as in (d). The most common use, to mark subsidiary information for the content of the preceding text, is shown in (a) and (b). An instance of a justification of a request is (c).

  1. (a) Laboriosi nil tibi quicquam operis imperabo. / # Namque edepol equidem, mi senex, non didici baiolare …

    (‘I won’t tell you to do any hard work. # Yes, my dear old man, I don’t know how to carry a load … ’ Pl. Mer. 507–8)

  2. (b) Nunc de ceteris sideribus … dicam. Namque Septentrio, quem Graeci nominant Arctum sive Helicen, habet post se conlocatum Custodem.

    (‘I will next speak of the other constellations … Now the Wagon, which the Greeks call the Bear or Helice, has the Keeper of the Bear placed behind it.’ Vitr. 9.3.3–4.1)

  3. (c) Gnatique patrisque, / alma (sc. Sibylla), precor, miserere—Potes namque omnia nec te / nequiquam lucis Hecate praefecit Avernis / —si …

    (‘Pity both son and sire, I beseech you, gracious one, if … ; for you are all-powerful, and not in vain did Hecate make you mistress in the groves of Avernus.’ Verg. A. 6.116–18) (p.1198)

  4. (d) Eadem nascentium causa terrarum est … Nascuntur et alio modo terrae … Namque et hoc modo insulas rerum natura fecit …

    (‘The cause of the birth of new lands is the same … New lands are also formed in another way … For another way also in which nature has made islands is … ’ Plin. Nat. 2.201–4)

There are differences of distribution between namque and nam. The former is more frequent in poetry (see Table 24.5 on p. 1194) and is preferred before words beginning with a vowel or h, and in some authors (Cicero, Caesar, and Quintilian, for example) avoided before words beginning with a consonant. In Plautus, namque is preferred after a change of speaker, and it is regularly used in combination with a swear word, as in (e). Unlike nam, namque is found in second or later position not only in poetry but also in prose (rarely later than second) from Livy onwards. In Livy 40 per cent of the instances of namque are non-initial, as in (f), where it causes hyperbaton.102

  1. (e) Ecquid amare videor? # Damnum, quod Mercurius minime amat. / # Namque edepol lucrum <ullum> amare nullum amatorem addecet.

    (‘Do I seem to be in love at all? # Yes, with loss, which Mercury doesn’t love at all. # Indeed, no lover ought to love any gain.’ Pl. Poen. 327–8)

  2. (f) … decreverunt ut consules magistratus denosque principes Nepete, Sutrio … Interamna—hae namque coloniae in ea causa erant—Romam excirent.

    (‘ … they decreed that the consuls should summon to Rome the magistrates and ten leading citizens in each case from Nepete, Sutrium … Interamna, for these were the colonies concerned.’ Liv. 29.15.5)

24.38 The connector etenim

The connector etenim ‘for’, ‘and indeed’ marks the sentence in which it occurs as an explanation or an elaboration of the preceding sentence or text, as in (a) and (b). In (c), an address to the judges, the explanatory relation between the two sentences is more complex. Rare instances in which etenim only seems to mark the transition to a new issue are cited in the literature, not all of them convincing.103 An example is (d). As the Loeb translation ‘for’ shows, etenim has here its normal explanatory function, which becomes clear if one takes a larger piece of text into account, and not just the sentence in which it stands. Etenim is attested from Plautus onwards (once, see below), becomes particularly common in Cicero, but is uncommon in or entirely absent from most prose authors until Late Latin. Lucretius uses it relatively frequently (with quippe, see § 24.39), but it is rare in other poets. For its overall frequency, see Table 24.5 on p. 1194.104 In prose, etenim usually occupies the first position of the sentence, but see the Supplement. From Lucretius onwards poets have it also in second, and Horace even in third position.


  1. (a) Verum profecto hoc petere me precario / a vobis iussit leniter dictis bonis. / Etenim ille quoius huc iussu venio, Iuppiter / non minus quam vostrum quivis formidat malum.

    (‘Still, he’s told me to ask you for this by way of entreaty, mildly, with kind words. Well, that Jupiter on whose command I’m coming here is no less afraid of a thrashing than any of you.’ Pl. Am. 24–7)

  2. (b) Certum est … omnia … audacter libereque dicere. Nulla res tanta exsistet, iudices, ut possit vim mihi maiorem adhibere metus quam fides. Etenim quis tam dissoluto animo est qui haec cum videat tacere ac neglegere possit?

    (‘I have deliberately made up my mind … to say all boldly, and freely; no consideration shall arise of such importance, gentlemen, as to make it possible for fear to exert greater influence over me than honour. For is there a man so indifferent as to keep silence and take no notice at the sight of such atrocities?’ Cic. S. Rosc. 31–2)

  3. (c) … ut etiam (sc. gratia) obesse deberet tu tua sapientia curasti. Etenim rem totam, iudices, breviter cognoscite.

    (‘ … and your intelligence has taken effective steps to make it actually tell against you. Let me in a few words, gentlemen, put the whole story before you.’ Cic. Ver. 2.169)

  4. (d) Gentes ei (sc. Indiae) urbesque innumerae, si quis omnes persequi velit. Etenim patefacta est non modo Alexandri Magni armis …

    (‘Its races and cities are beyond counting, if one wished to enumerate all of them. For it has been brought to knowledge not only by the armed forces of Alexander the Great … ’ Plin. Nat. 6.58)


    Facile equidem facere possum si iubes. / Etenim quo pacto id fieri soleat calleo. (Ter. Hau. 547–8); Multum etenim refert, duobus simul alternis annis legetur … an singulis alternis annis. (Papin. dig.; … (sc. oportet) ex edicto te bona P. Quincti non possedisse concedas. Etenim si ex edicto possedisti, quaero cur bona non venierint … (Cic. Quinct. 73); Signa nostra … velim imponas … Etenim ibi sedens haec ad te scribebam, ut me locus ipse admoneret. (Cic. Att. 1.10.3); Tutus bos etenim rura perambulat … (Hor. Carm. 4.5.17); Cetera exempla fortunae variantis innumera sunt. Etenim quae facit magna gaudia nisi ex malis aut quae mala inmensa nisi ex ingentibus gaudiis? (Plin. Nat. 7.134); Inlustrium domuum adversa (etenim haud multum distanti tempore Calpurnii Pisonem, Aemilii Lepidam amiserant) solacio adfecit D. Silanus Iuniae familiae redditus. (Tac. Ann. 3.24.1); Tunc etenim meretur, cum cognoscitur an mereatur. (Tert. Apol. 1.4); Et magis propitius est Deus, quando superflua et nugatoria petentem non exaudit ut det, sed exaudit ut sanet non dando. Etenim quare ista quaerant homines quis non videt? (August. Serm. 32.19)

24.39 The connector quippe

The connector quippe ‘for’, ‘of course’ is used to connect sentences and larger units of discourse and in many respects resembles nam. However, it is not used as a justification of the content or wording of a preceding text and it does not mark the transition (p.1200) to a new issue (uses (ii) and (iii) in § 24.36).105 Examples of its regular use as a sentence connector are (a) and (b).

  1. (a) Nos tu ne curassis. Scimus rem omnem. Quippe omnes simul didicimus tecum una, ut respondere possimus tibi.

    (‘Don’t bother about us: we know the entire business, since we all learned it together with you, so that we could answer you.’ Pl. Poen. 553–4)

  2. (b) Sin ille tibi ludus fuit, quid te impurius, qui religiones omnes pollueris aut ementiundo aut stuprando? ‘Iam fateor’, inquit, ‘me in Gabinio nefarium fuisse.’ Quippe vides poenam illam a te in alium institutam in te ipsum esse conversam.

    (‘But if it was a mere farce, what can be more loathsome than your defilement of all sanctities either by falsehood or by immorality? “I am ready to confess now”, he says, “that in the case of Gabinius I acted impiously.” Yes, for you realize that the penalty you enacted against another has recoiled upon your own head.’ Cic. Dom. 125–6)


    Qui tibi lubet mihi male loqui? / # Quipp’ tu mi aliquid aliquo modo alicunde ab aliquibus blatis / quod nusquam est … (Pl. Epid. 333–5); Nam expedit bonas esse vobis. Nos, quibu’cum est res, non sinunt. / Quippe forma inpulsi nostra nos amatores colunt. (Ter. Hau. 388–9); … praeclara opera cesset. Quippe ius Laodiceae me dicere, cum Romae A. Plotius dicat! (Cic. Att. 5.15.1); Nam me quidem ex animi mei sententia nulla oratio laedere potest. Quippe vera necesse est bene praedicent, falsa vita moresque mei superant. (Sal. Jug. 85.27); Nomine enim tantum minus invidiosum, re ipsa prope atrocius quam regium esse. Quippe duos pro uno dominos acceptos immoderata, infinita potestate … (Liv. 3.9.3); Factum eius a diis comprobatum spatio vitae et felicitate imperii apparuit. Quippe vixit annis XC, regnavit LXX. (Vell. 1.1.3); … nec quicquam miserius homine aut superbius. Ceteris quippe animantium sola victus cura est … (Plin. Nat. 2.25); Non enim quia dicimus Deum et in caelo esse et in terra (ipse quippe ait per prophetam: Caelum et terram ego impleo), aliam partem dicturi sumus eum in caelo habere et in terra aliam. (August. Civ. 22.29.3)

There are a few attestations of the collocation of quippe and enim in the same sentence in Cicero and Lucretius, although in the former many editors punctuate quippe as a one-word sentence, as in (c). Lucretius has the combination quippe etenim twenty times and, much later, Apuleius once. The combination of quippe with the adverb qui ‘in some way’ functions more or less as quippe alone. It is found in Plautus and Terence and then in Gellius and Apuleius.106

  1. (c) Leve nomen habet utraque res! Quippe; leve enim est totum hoc risum movere. (p.1201)

    (‘Each of these has a trivial name—of course, for this whole business of provoking laughter is a trivial matter.’ Cic. de Orat. 2.218—tr. May and Wisse (adapted))

  2. (d) Quare, corpus ubi interiit, periisse necesse’st / confiteare animam distractam in corpore toto. / Quippe etenim mortale aeterno iungere et una / consentire putare et fungi mutua posse / desipere’st.

    (‘Therefore, when the body has perished, you must confess that the spirit has passed away, torn to pieces throughout the body. In fact, to yoke mortal with immortal, and to think that they can be partners in feeling and act upon each other, is folly.’ Lucr. 3.798–802)

  3. (e) Quis igitur nisi vos narravit mi illi ut fuerit proelium? / # An etiam id tu scis? # Quippqui ex te audivi …

    (‘Well, then who told me how the battle went there, if not you? # You know about it? # Of course! I heard from you … ’ Pl. Am. 744–5)

Quippe in all its uses most often occupies the first position of the sentence or clause and this is the regular position in Cicero and Sallust, but, unlike nam, it is not restricted to that position in poetry nor in prose authors (Livy, Pliny the Elder, and Apuleius); non-initial placement increases over time. Quippe is relatively rare in poetry, with the exception of Lucretius.107


Non puto, inquam, existimare te ambitione me labi, quippe de mortuis. (Cic. Brut. 244—elliptic reason adjunct?); Sol Democrito magnus videtur, quippe homini erudito in geometriaque perfecto, huic pedalis fortasse; tantum enim esse censet, quantus videtur, vel paulo aut maiorem aut minorem. (Cic. Fin. 1.20—apposition); ‘Quia animadverti nuper, cum essemus in Formiano, te familiae valde interdicere ut uni dicto audiens esset.’ # ‘Quippe vilico.’ (Cic. Rep. 1.61—apposition?)

Appendix: Apart from being used as a sentence connector, quippe is also used in combination with relative clauses (see § 18.24), cum (see § 16.29) and other finite subordinate clauses, secondary predicates (see § 21.18), as well as various other constituents (see the Supplement). This concerns about 18 per cent of all instances of quippe, with much variation between individual authors: 82 per cent in Cicero, 46 per cent in Livy, almost negligible in Tacitus.108

24.40 The interactional particle enim

The most typical use of the particle enim is in sentences and larger units of discourse which serve as an explanation, evidence, or justification for the preceding text, which is what the connector nam signals explicitly. However, enim is not a connector but an interactional particle (see § 24.15); it makes ‘an appeal to the involvement, cooperation and empathy of the addressee in the communicative event’, more or less comparable to y’know or the tag question isn’t it? in English, and to ja in German.109 (p.1202) The non-connective character of enim is apparent from the fact that it can co-occur with real connectors like et, infrequently, as in (a), at (see § 24.24), and sed (rarely, see § 24.28). The non-causal character of enim explains why it can be used in subordinate clauses of reason which follow a main clause, as in (b). In none of these situations would nam be possible. Enim is often used in sentences that contain a truth value disjunct like certe (see § 10.100), as in (c). Nam is not often combined with such words. Co-occurrence of nam and enim in the same sentence is not attested, which may be due to their semantic affinity.110

  1. (a) Sed de Graecis hactenus. Et enim haec ipsa forsitan fuerint non necessaria.

    (‘So much then for the Greeks, and even this perchance was superfluous.’ Cic. Brut. 52)111

  2. (b) … domi daturus nemo est prandium advenientibus. / # Qui tibi nunc istuc in mentem est? # Quia enim sero advenimus.

    (‘ … at home no one’s going to give us a lunch on our arrival. # How did that idea occur to you now? # Well, because we’ve come too late.’ Pl. Am. 665–6)

  3. (c) Oh, melle dulci dulcior [mihi] tu es. # Certe enim tu vita es mi. / Complectere.

    (‘Oh, you’re sweeter than sweet honey. # Certainly you are sweeter than my life to me. Embrace me.’ Pl. As. 614–15)

In Plautus and Terence, enim is often used in a reaction, as in (d); similarly, in a reported dialogue like (e). In narrative texts, enim is more common in direct speech than nam.112 The context in which enim is used often contains shared information, as in (f), a monological narrative, with ut supra demonstratum est.

  1. (d) Quid tute tecum? # Nihil enim.

    (‘What are you saying to yourself? # Nothing, of course.’ Pl. Mos. 551)

  2. (e) Bene Pericles, cum … casu formosus puer praeteriret dixissetque Sophocles: ‘O puerum pulchrum, Pericle!’ ‘At enim praetorem, Sophocle, decet non solum manus, sed etiam oculos abstinentes habere.’

    (‘Pertinent was Pericles’ reply when … a handsome boy chanced to pass and Sophocles said: “Look, Pericles; what a pretty boy!” “Hush, Sophocles, a general should keep not only his hands but his eyes under control.” ’ Cic. Off. 1.144)

  3. (f) Quae res magnas difficultates exercitui Caesaris attulit. Castra enim, ut supra demonstratum est, cum essent inter flumina duo, Sicorim et Cingam—spatio milium XXX neutrum horum transiri poterat … (p.1203)

    (‘These developments caused serious difficulties to Caesar’s army, for with his camp, as was indicated above, being between two rivers, the Sicoris and the Cinca—neither of these could be crossed for a stretch of thirty miles … ’ Caes. Civ. 1.48.3)

The majority of the sentences in which enim is used are declarative. However, enim can also be used in imperative sentences with a low degree of bindingness, such as pieces of advice and proposals. Enim in a proposal is shown in (g). It can also be used with metadirectives (see § 6.29, (ii)), as in (h). It is rare in interrogative sentences, except in those with an assertive illocutionary force (rhetorical and ironic questions), as in (i).113

  1. (g) Etenim quis erit tandem modus iste? Quaeramus enim modum aegritudinis, in qua operae plurimum ponitur.

    (‘For what, I ask, will the suggested “limit” be? Let us inquire for instance into the limit of distress to which they devote most attention.’ Cic. Tusc. 4.40)

  2. (h) Facite enim ut non solum mores et adrogantiam eius, sed etiam voltum atque amictum atque etiam illam usque ad talos demissam purpuram recordemini.

    (‘For do but recall his manners and his arrogance, yes, and even his expression and his clothes, and that purple robe he wore right down to his heels.’ Cic. Clu. 111)

  3. (i) ‘Tu me’, inquis, ‘mones? Iam enim te ipse monuisti, iam correxisti? Ideo aliorum emendationi vacas?’ Non sum tam inprobus ut curationes aeger obeam …

    (‘ “What,” say you, “are you giving me advice? Indeed, have you already advised yourself, already corrected your own faults? Is this the reason why you have leisure to reform other men?” No, I am not so shameless as to undertake to cure my fellow-men when I am ill myself … ’ Sen. Ep. 27.1)


    Accipe argentum hoc, danista. Hic sunt quadraginta minae. / Siquid erit dubium, immutabo. # Bene fecisti, bene vale. / # Nunc enim tu mea es. # Soror quidem edepol, ut tu aeque scias. (Pl. Epid. 646–8); Sicine ego te orare iussi? # Quo modo ergo orem? # Rogas? / Sic enim diceres, sceleste: … (Pl. Poen. 386–7); Ad hoc exemplum est— # An Chares? An Charmides? # Enim Charmides. / Em istic erit. (Pl. Trin. 922–3); Nam tum cum ex urbe Catilinam eiciebam—non enim iam vereor huius verbi invidiam, cum illa magis sit timenda, quod vivus exierit—, sed tum cum illum exterminari volebam … (Cic. Catil. 3.3); Non enim pudendo, sed non faciendo id quod non decet impudentiae nomen effugere debemus. (Cic. de Orat. 1.120); Cave enim putes Attici nostri Amalthio platanisque illis quicquam esse praeclarius. (Cic. Leg. 2.7); Quando enim me in hunc locum deduxit oratio, docebo meliora me didicisse … (Cic. N.D. 3.43); Accidit etiam repentinum incommodum biduo quo haec gesta sunt. Tanta enim tempestas cooritur ut numquam illis locis maiores aquas fuisse constaret. (Caes. Civ. 1.48.1); Navita sed tristis nunc hos nunc accipit illos, / ast alios longe summotos arcet harena. / Aeneas miratus enim motusque tumultu / ‘dic’, ait, ‘o virgo, quid (p.1204) vult concursus ad amnem?’ (Verg. A. 6.315–18); … A. Claudius … dicitur dixisse vetus se ac familiare consilium domo adferre. Proavum enim suum Ap. Claudium ostendisse patribus viam … (Liv. 4.48.6); 215 transiri quae vetaret lex nulla lata est. Dicat fortassis aliquis: non enim invehebantur. (Plin. Nat. 36.4–5); Artifices scaenici … hoc indicio imitantur verecundiam. Deiciunt enim vultum, verba summittunt, figunt in terram oculos et deprimunt. (Sen. Ep. 11.7); Postquam negavit, iussit illum Caesar decollari: quia enim, si scitum esset, aurum pro luto haberemus. (Petr. 51.6 (Trimalchio speaking))

Apart from the use illustrated above, which is usually called the ‘causal’ use of enim, two others are generally distinguished, viz. the ‘affirmative’ and the ‘adversative’ use. The former is often regarded as the original use, with reference primarily to Plautus and Terence, and is taken to mean ‘to be sure’, ‘of course’ (OLD), as in (j) and (k). Note that in (j) enim occupies the first position. The instances of enim in first position (c. fifteen in Plautus and Terence) are all ‘affirmative’, which is a reason for some scholars to regard them as adverbs.114 However, such instances often concern reactions that challenge the words of the preceding speaker (see also the examples (d) and (e) above) and can be interpreted along the lines set out above: enim is there to induce the other side to accept the speaker’s view or to remind him of what he knew or might have known already.115

  1. (j) Ergo <ero> quoque (sc. molesta), nisi scio / quo agas te. # Ad vos. # Et pol ego ad vos. # Quid eo? # Quid id ad te attinet? / # Enim non ibis nunc, vicissim nisi scio.

    (‘And I’ll continue to be a nuisance unless you tell me where you’re going. # To your place. # And I to your place. # Why there? # Why is this any of your business? # You won’t go now, unless I know in turn.’ Pl. Per. 234–6)

  2. (k) Cedo nunc porro: Phormio / dotem si accipiet, uxor ducenda’st domum. / Quid fiet? # Non enim ducet.

    (‘And tell me the next step. If Phormio accepts the dowry, he has to marry her: what happens then? # But he won’t marry her.’ Ter. Ph. 692–4)


    Quotiens monstravi tibi viro ut morem geras, / quid ille faciat ne id opserves, quo eat, quid rerum gerat. / # At enim ille hinc amat meretricem ex proxumo. (Pl. Men. 788–90); Metuo maxume— / # Quid metuis? # Enim ne <nos> nosmet perdiderimus uspiam. (Pl. Mil. 428–9); Enim istic captio est. / Fac ego ne metuam <mihi atque> ut tu meam timeas vicem. (Pl. Mos. 1144–5)

    Appendix: Another ‘affirmative’ use is assumed in (l) and a few more instances.116 Here enim is commonly supposed to emphasize tibi, as in the Loeb translation, but it (p.1205) is actually an appeal by the poet to Juno to realize that Aeneas made the sacrifice to her in spite of her animosity.

  3. (l) … viridique in litore conspicitur sus. / Quam pius Aeneas tibi enim, tibi, maxima Iuno, / mactat sacra ferens …

    (‘ … there lay outstretched on the green bank before their eyes a sow; good Aeneas offers her in sacrifice to you, indeed to you, most mighty Juno … ’ Verg. A. 8.83–5)


    Atque hic Aenean magna ter voce vocavit. / Aeneas agnovit enim laetusque precatur: … (Verg. A. 10.873–4)

Instances of enim which are regarded as adversative and said to resemble the use of autem are (m) and (n).117 The sentence with enim in (m), translated with ‘indeed’, is in contrast with the preceding sentence, but the contrast is independent of enim, which means something like ‘as you can imagine’. In (n), there is no need to assume an adversative relation: the speaker appeals for understanding on the part of the addressee.118

  1. (m) (sc. haedus) … coepit irridere me. / Ego enim lugere atque abductam illam (sc. capram) aegre pati.

    (‘ … he started to laugh at me. I was sad indeed and upset that she’d been taken away from me.’ Pl. Mer. 250–1)

  2. (n) Adsequere, retine dum ego huc servos evoco. # Enim nequeo solus. Accurre.

    (‘After him! Hold him while I call out your slaves. # I can’t by myself. Hurry up!’ Ter. Ph. 982–3)


    … propterea multis argumentis deos esse docere voluisti. Mihi enim unum sat erat, ita nobis maioris nostros tradidisse. Sed tu auctoritates contemnis, ratione pugnas. (Cic. N.D. 3.9); Respondebo tibi ὕστερον πρότερον‎, Ὁμηρικῶς‎. Ego enim, quam diu senatus auctoritas mihi defendenda fuit, sic acriter et vehementer proeliatus sum ut … (Cic. Att. 1.16.1);119 Nam mutae bestiae laboriosissimae boves et oves: boves … oves … Apes enim ego divinas bestias puto, quae mel vomunt, etiam si dicuntur illud a Iove afferre. (Petr. 56.4–6 (Trimalchio speaking))

In (o), the end of a discussion of marine trees, enim is said to indicate the transition to a new issue.120 However, it is not clear why a transition would be appropriate at this point in a whole series of trees. Probably Pliny expected his readers to know that sea-vines grow everywhere (‘passim’).

  • (o) Ea et aliae traduntur praegrandes circa Scione<n>. Vitis enim passim nascitur, sed ficus sine foliis, rubro cortice. Fit et palma fruticum generis. (p.1206)

    (‘Also other very large marine trees are reported in the neighbourhood of Sicyon—for the sea-vine grows everywhere, but there is a sea-fig, which has no leaves and a red bark, and also the class of marine shrubs includes a sea-palm.’ Plin. Nat. 13.138)


    (discussing the astaphis agria ‘wild raisin’) … nucleum … Flos tritus in vino contra serpentes bibitur. Semen enim abdicaverim propter nimiam vim ardoris. (Plin. Nat. 23.18)

In medical texts enim is used in sentences in which the effect of a treatment mentioned in the preceding context is described, as in (p).121 Apparently here too, Celsus makes an appeal to shared knowledge of the readers or to their empathy.

  1. (p) Si vetustior morbus est, (sc. oportet) ex inferioribus partibus tepidum infundere … tisanae cremorem vel … vitellos cum aqua in qua rosae floris folia cocta sint. Levant enim dolorem haec et mitiora ulcera efficiunt …

    (‘If the distemper is of longer standing, there should be injected into the rectum either a tepid cream of pearl barley, or … yolk of eggs in a decoction of rose-leaves: for such remedies relieve pain and mitigate ulceration … ’ Cels. 4.22.3)


    (sc. emplastrum) Ad carbunculos et cancer imponendum est. Purgat enim nec patitur latius serpere. (Larg. 206)

In Late Latin enim is used more or less like autem, as some form of sentence boundary. See § 24.26 fin.

24.41 The interactional particle nempe

When using the particle nempe the speaker appeals to the addressee to commit himself to the content of the message. It resembles to some extent enim, which tries to establish consensus between the speaker and the addressee, but unlike enim, nempe involves only the addressee. In other words, it shifts the responsibility for the content of the message to the addressee: ‘you mean … ?’, ‘of course’.122 It is used most often in dialogues and in situations in which there is an addressee who is present in person or only in thought, so, for example, in Cicero’s orations and in speeches in the historians.123 Examples are (a)–(c). In (a), the speaker wants the addressee’s confirmation of the correctness of his description. In (b), the speaker reacts to a fictive objection and invites the addressee to confirm his identification of the grandfather. In (c) the speaker answers a question by himself suggesting that this is what the priests would say. Nempe most often occupies the first position, both in prose and in poetry, but see (b).124


  1. (a) Sed istum quem quaeris Periphanem Plothenium / ego sum, si quid vis. # Nemp’ quem in adulescentia / memorant apud reges armis, arte duellica / divitias magnas indeptum? # Immo si audias / meas pugnas, fugias manibus demissis domum.

    (‘But the man you’re looking for, Periphanes of Plothea, it’s me, if you want anything. # You mean the one who people say acquired great wealth in his youth in the service of kings for his arms and art of war? # Yes, if you heard about my battles, you’d flee home with your hands stretched out.’ Pl. Epid. 448–52)

  2. (b) ‘At avus nobilis.’ Tuditanus nempe ille qui cum palla et cothurnis nummos populo de rostris spargere solebat.

    (‘ “But her grandfather was a nobleman.” Of course, that Tuditanus who used to throw coins from the Rostra among the crowd, dressed in an actor’s robe and buskins.’ Cic. Phil. 3.16)

  3. (c) Quod est, pontifices, ius adoptionis? Nempe ut is adoptet qui neque procreare iam liberos possit et, cum potuerit, sit expertus.

    (‘What, gentlemen, is the law relating to adoption? Clearly that the adoption of children should be permissible to those who are no longer capable of begetting children, and who, when they were in their prime, put their capacity for parenthood to the test.’ Cic. Dom. 34)


    Audi’n tu? Apud Archibulum ego ero argentarium. / # Nempe in foro? # Ibi, si quid opus fuerit. (Pl. As. 116–17); Nostin’ hanc quam amat frater? # Novi. Nempe, opinor, Thaidem. (Ter. Eu. 563); Si dat tantam pecuniam Flacco, nempe idcirco dat ut rata sit emptio. (Cic. Flac. 91); Nempe negas ad beate vivendum satis posse virtutem? (Cic. Tusc. 5.12); Tibi nempe, / ne foret aequalis inter conviva, magis quem / diligeret mulier sua quam te. (Hor. Epod. 12.9.22–4); Ut concedam tibi, nempe hoc facis nullo pretio inductus, nulla spe. (Sen. Ben. 4.19.4); Externi te nempe patres alienaque tangunt / pignora? (Stat. Theb. 10.709–10); An forte non exiit ad te vocandum paterfamilias? Si non exiit, quid est quod loquimur? Nempe nos servi de familia ipsius sumus, conducere operarios missi sumus. (August. Serm. 87.9)

    Nempe rarely co-occurs with other particles, mainly with the connectors sed (in the two Senecas and Augustine) and igitur (see the Supplement). It also co-occurs with the adverb tamen. More noteworthy is its co-occurrence with the interactional particles enim, rare, from Quintilian onwards, as in (d), and ergo, also rare, as in (e).125 Note that in both cases the translators only translate nempe. In (d), Nempe enim is at the start of a new section in which Quintilian summarizes the preceding books.

  4. (d) Nempe enim plurimum in hoc laboris exhausimus, ut ostenderemus rhetoricen bene dicendi scientiam et utilem et artem et virtutem esse. (p.1208)

    (‘My main effort to be sure has been expended in showing: That Rhetoric is the science of speaking well, is useful, and is an art and a virtue.’ Quint. Inst. 8.pr.6)

  5. (e) Em, / istoc dicto <tu> dedisti hodie in cruciatum Chrysalum. / Nam ubi me aspiciet, ad carnuficem rapiet continuo senex. / # Ego patrem exoravi. # Nempe ergo hoc ut faceret quod loquor? / # Immo tibi ne noceat neu quid ob eam rem suscenseat.

    (‘There you go, with that word you handed Chrysalus over to crucifixion today: as soon as he sees me, the old man will drag me to the executioner. # I persuaded my father. # You mean, to do what I’m talking about? # No, not to harm you and not to be angry with you for this.’ Pl. Bac. 686–90)


    Nempe igitur hinc tum, Pomponi, ductus est sermo, quod erat a me mentio facta causam Deiotari … a Bruto me audisse defensam. (Cic. Brut. 21); Hic qui te expulit, non ipse per annos decem continuos patria caruit? Propagandi sine dubio imperii causa. Sed nempe caruit. (Sen. Dial. 12.9.7); Sed tamen esto iam posse haec aeterna manere. / Nempe tamen debent aut sensum partis habere … (Lucr. 2.907–8)

    NB: with sed coordinator: Et cum dixisset se praemia in patrem contulisse, dixit: Vici te, pater, sed nempe vici tibi. (Sen. Con. 10.2.14)

24.42 Consecutive connexion of sentences

Sentences and larger units of discourse which stand in a relation of consequence, result, or inference with respect to the preceding sentence or larger unit often contain one of the particles ergo, igitur, and itaque. Of these, ergo is an interactional particle, whereas igitur and itaque are connectors (details in the following sections). In addition there are various adverbs, such as ideo, inde, and propterea ‘therefore’. That we are dealing with words that belong to three different lexical categories is apparent from the (rare) cases of co-occurrence, which are usually called ‘pleonastic’.126 Examples are (a)–(c).

  1. (a) Quo pacto ergo igitur clam dos depromi potest?

    (‘Then how can the dowry be taken out in secret?’ Pl. Trin. 756)

  2. (b) Tam etsi bona’st natura, reddunt curatura iunceam. / Itaque ergo amantur.

    (‘However well endowed she is by nature, by their treatment they (such girls’ mothers) make her as thin as a reed. Therefore they (these girls) then find lovers.’ Ter. Eu. 316–17)

  3. (c) Itaque propterea institutum diversa de causa ut ex caprino genere ad alii dei aram hostia adduceretur, ad alii non sacrificaretur … (p.1209)

    (‘Accordingly there arose a custom, from opposite reasons, that a victim from the goat family might be led to the altar of one god, but might not be sacrificed on the altar of another.’ Var. R. 1.2.19)

The distribution of the three particles varies considerably, as can be seen in Table 24.7. Most noteworthy is the almost complete absence of igitur (one instance) and ergo (three instances) from Caesar (all four only in speeches), the low frequency of itaque in Plautus, in contrast with the high frequency in Caesar and Livy, and the high frequency of igitur in Cicero’s philosophical prose and in Sallust, but its almost complete absence from Seneca’s Letters.127 Late Latin texts show a decrease in igitur and an increase in ergo, albeit less pronounced in Augustine’s ‘Classical’ de Civitate Dei.128

Table 24.7 Frequency of consecutive particles


Cicero orationsa

Cicero philos.a




Seneca Ep.

August. Civ.

August. Serm.


































Total number of instances











a Orations: Cic. Agr., Catil., Phil., Ver. Philosophical works: Cic. Div., N.D., Off., Tusc.

b See note 126.

24.43 The connector igitur

The most common use of the particle igitur ‘then’, ‘therefore’ is as a cohesive device linking a sentence or a larger unit to a preceding text unit which has a preparatory function, while the unit in which it occurs constitutes a natural advance in the discourse.129 Examples are (a)–(f). In (a), the soldier hears that the girl is visiting the temple of Minerva and decides to go to the (adjacent) forum to find her. More or less the same holds for (b), an imperative sentence, and for (c), an interrogative sentence. In (d), sunt ligna is the logical inference from what precedes. In (e), igitur marks the transition to a new paragraph, which, however, follows from the preceding exposition and is also announced by Nunc ad reliqua progrediar … In (f), the speaker (Marcus) starts his contribution to the discourse, ‘seeing that the others are ready’.130 As the examples show, igitur is common in both dialogical and—more so—in monological texts, especially those of an argumentative, didactic, or narrative type.


  1. (a) Illa autem in arcem abiit aedem visere / Minervae. Nunc aperta est. I, vise estne ibi. / # Abeo ad forum igitur.

    (‘She has gone to the acropolis to visit the temple of Minerva. It’s open now. Go and see if she isn’t there. # I’ll go to the market then.’ Pl. Bac. 900–2)

  2. (b) Concedo esse deos. Doce me igitur unde sint, ubi sint, quales sint corpore animo vita.

    (‘I grant the existence of the gods: do you then teach me their origin, their dwelling-place, their bodily and spiritual nature, their mode of life.’ Cic. N.D. 1.65)

  3. (c) Amphitruo, speravi ego istam tibi parituram filium. / Verum non est puero gravida. # Quid igitur? # Insania.

    (‘Amphitruo, I hoped that woman would bear you a son; but she’s not pregnant with a son. # Then what is she pregnant with? # With madness.’ Pl. Am. 718–19)

  4. (d) Ligna hic apud nos nulla sunt. # Sunt asseres? / # Sunt pol. # Sunt igitur ligna, ne quaeras foris.

    (‘There’s no firewood here at our place. # Are there rafters? # Yes, of course there are. # Then there is firewood, no need to look for it outside.’ Pl. Aul. 357–8)

  5. (e) Nunc ad reliqua progrediar meque ad meum munus pensumque revocabo. Nam … Ornatissimae sunt igitur orationes eae quae latissime vagantur …

    (‘I will now go on to the remaining subjects and will recall myself to the particular task assigned to me. For … Well then, the most ornate speeches are those which take the widest range … ’ Cic. de Orat. 3.119–20)

  6. (f) Tu, ut videtur. Nos ad audiendum parati sumus. # Mors igitur ipsa, quae videtur notissima res esse, quid sit primum est videndum.

    (‘Take the course you think best: for our part we are ready to hear. # We must first then consider what death, which seems to be a thing well known to everyone, is in itself.’ Cic. Tusc. 1.17–18)


    Verum actutum nosces, quom illum nosces servom Sosiam. / # Sequere hac igitur me. Nam mi istuc primum exquisito est opus. (Pl. Am. 627–8); Quonam igitur haec modo gesta sunt? Repetam paulo altius, iudices … (Cic. Clu. 65); Num quis igitur est tam demens qui hoc P. Clodio vivo contingere potuisse arbitretur? (Cic. Mil. 78); Nihilne igitur prodest oratori iuris civilis scientia? (Cic. de Orat. 1.250); Ita fit illa conclusio non solum vera, sed ita perspicua, ut dialectici ne rationem quidem reddi putent oportere. Si illud, hoc. Non autem hoc. Igitur ne illud quidem. (Cic. Fin. 4.55); Principio enim terra sita in media parte mundi circumfusa undique est hac animali spirabilique natura cui nomen est aer … sed ad maiora redeamus. Ex aethere igitur innumerabiles flammae siderum existunt … (Cic. N.D. 2.91–2); Eamque disputationem tris in partes nostri fere dividunt. Quarum prima pars … Secunda est autem quae … Tertius est locus qui ducitur ex admiratione rerum caelestium atque terrestrium. Primum igitur aut negandum est esse deos … (Cic. N.D. 2.75–6); (in a discussion of whether obscene language exists) Belle ‘tectoriola’. Dic ergo etiam ‘pavimenta’ (p.1211) isto modo. Non potes.131 Vide’n igitur nihil esse nisi ineptias, turpitudinem nec in verbo esse nec in re, itaque nusquam esse? Igitur in verbis honestis obscena ponimus. (Cic. Fam. 9.22.3–4); Corporibus caecis igitur natura gerit res. (Lucr. 1.328); (sc. Catilina) … constituit bellum facere et extrema omnia experiri, quoniam quae occulte temptaverat aspera foedaque evenerant. Igitur C. Manlium Faesulas … dimisit … (Sal. Cat. 26.5–27.1); Metellus infecto negotio, postquam nox aderat, in castra cum exercitu revortitur. Igitur postero die … equitatum omnem … pro castris agitare iubet … (Sal. Jug. 58.7–59.1); Licinius contra suspectam et invisam semper eam pecuniam fore aiebat causasque criminum ad plebem … praebituram. Satius igitur esse reconciliari eo dono plebis animos … (Liv. 5.20.8); Igitur ut ad propositum meum redeam, rationalem quidem puto medicinam esse debere … (Cels. 1.pr.74); Igitur, ut diximus, iugerum habet quadratorum pedum XXVIII¯ DCCC, qui pedes efficiunt scripula CCLXXXVIII. (Col. 5.1.8); (after a paragraph on the geographical position of Lycia) In Lycia igitur a promunturio eius oppidum Simena, mons Chimaera … (Plin. Nat. 5.100); Quonam igitur modo utilissime colentur agri? (Plin. Nat. 18.39); Miserat duas praetorias cohortis Caesar, addito ut magistratus Calabriae Apulique et Campani suprema erga memoriam filii sui munera fungerentur. Igitur tribunorum centurionumque umeris cineres portabantur. (Tac. Ann. 3.2.1–2); Quisquis igitur es amator longae vitae, esto potius bonae vitae. (August. Serm. 16.2)

In its function as connector igitur most often occupies the second position of the sentence, but there is individual variation among authors: in Sallust, for example, igitur occupies the first position except in interrogative sentences, in which second position is in general the rule, as it is in imperative sentences.132 Third and later positions are rare and occur mainly in poetry.

Igitur is also used in a main clause following a temporal or conditional subordinate clause, as in (g). Here it is commonly taken as a temporal adverb ‘then’, which is also assumed in instances like (h). For a temporal interpretation of igitur, however, the combination with tum, as in (i), is problematic. This ‘temporal’ use is restricted to Early Latin.133 There are a few attestations of igitur in a following main clause, where it seems to have its usual consecutive meaning, as in (j).134

  1. (g) Mox magis quom otium <et> mihi et tibi erit, / igitur tecum loquar. Nunc vale.

    (‘Soon when both you and I have more time I’ll speak to you. Goodbye for now.’ Pl. Cas. 215–16)

  2. (h) Quin ego illi me invenisse dico hanc praedam atque eloquor? / Igitur orabo ut manu me emittat.

    (‘Why don’t I say to him and tell him that I’ve found this booty? Then I’ll ask him to set me free.’ Pl. Aul. 817–18) (p.1212)

  3. (i) Unum ubi emeritum est stipendium, / igitur tum specimen cernitur quo eveniat aedificatio.

    (‘When one campaign has been served, then one can see an example of how the building is to turn out.’ Pl. Mos. 131–2)

  4. (j) Si neque inimicitiae fuerunt nec metus ullus nec spes [ex morte illius] alicuius commodi neque ad amicum huius aliquem mors illius pertinebat, relinquitur igitur (del. Kayser) ut ab hoc non sit occisus.

    (‘If there was no enmity, and no fear, and no hope of any advantages from his death and his death was of no interest to any friend of the defendant, it therefore follows that the defendant did not kill him.’ Cic. Inv. 1.45)

24.44 The connector itaque

The connector itaque ‘and so’ signals that the content of the sentence in which it occurs is the natural result of the content of the preceding sentence. It does not present the content of the sentence as the outcome of personal reflection like igitur, but as an objective fact.135 Examples are (a)–(c). In (a) and (b), the sentences with itaque are clearly presented as the result of what precedes (in (b) ironically). In (c), the sentence with itaque follows after a digression.

  1. (a) Praesagibat mi animus frustra me ire, quom exibam domo. / Itaque abibam invitus.

    (‘I had a feeling I was going in vain when I left the house. That’s why I went unwillingly.’ Pl. Aul. 178–9)

  2. (b) … quasi Appius ille Caecus viam muniverit, non qua populus uteretur, sed ubi impune sui posteri latrocinarentur! Itaque in eadem ista Appia cum ornatissimum equitem Romanum P. Clodius M. Papirium occidisset, non fuit illud facinus puniendum.

    (‘ … asking us to believe that Appius the Blind constructed a road, not for the use of the people, but as a place wherein his descendants might with impunity play the highwayman. This, I suppose, was why, when Publius Clodius on the self-same Appian Way murdered the accomplished Roman knight Marcus Papirius, the crime was not such as to demand punishment.’ Cic. Mil. 17–18)

  3. (c) … in eum sermonem illum (sc. Scaevolam) incidere qui tum fere multis erat in ore. Meministi enim … Itaque tum Scaevola, cum in eam ipsam mentionem incidisset, exposuit nobis sermonem Laeli de amicitia habitum ab illo secum …

    (‘ … he happened to fall upon a topic which, just about that time, was in many people’s mouths. You remember, don’t you, … And so, Scaevola, having chanced to mention this very fact, thereupon proceeded to repeat to us a discussion on friendship, which Laelius had had with him … ’ (Cic. Amic. 2–3)

(p.1213) Itaque is attested from Plautus onwards (but see the note below). It is rare in poetry and also in dialogical texts and in interrogative and imperative sentences (see the Supplement). In Late Latin it is sometimes used more or less in the sense of enim.136 In prose it regularly occupies the first position. However, later positions become more common from the Rhetorica ad Herennium (once) and Livy onwards in prose and from Lucretius onwards in poetry.


Sed siquid tibi narrare occepi, continuo dari / tibi verba censes. # Falso! # Itaque hercle nil iam muttire audeo. (Ter. An. 504–5); Constitutiones itaque, ut ante diximus, tres sunt. (Rhet. Her. 1.18); Itaque num tibi videor in causa Ligari esse occupatus, num de eius facto dicere? (Cic. Lig. 29); Tu rem publicam reprehendis, quae domesticos hostis, ne ab eis ipsa necaretur, necavit? Itaque attende, Torquate, quam ego defugiam auctoritatem consulatus mei! (Cic. Sul. 32–3); Tempus vero colloquio non dare neque accessurum polliceri magnam pacis desperationem adferebat. Itaque ab Arimino M. Antonium cum cohortibus V Arretium mittit. (Caes. Civ. 1.11.3–4); Nec superare queunt motus itaque exitiales / perpetuo … (Lucr. 2.569–70); Maior itaque ex civibus amissis dolor quam laetitia fusis hostibus fuit … (Liv. 4.17.8); Pro ingenti itaque victoria id fuit plebi … (Liv. 4.54.6); Ingredi est iis (sc. echinis) in orbem volvi. Itaque detritis saepe aculeis inveniuntur. (Plin. Nat. 9.100); Itaque hercule eius modi libri extant ut ipsi quoque qui egerunt non aliis magis orationibus censeantur. (Tac. Dial. 39.5); Itaque, fratres, sicut dicere coeperam, non est unde reprehendamus Deum. (August. Serm. 22.6)

Opinions vary on the early instances of itaque in Plautus, including ex. (a) above. Some scholars take it as ita + ‌‑que ‘and so’, others as itaque = ita, that is as an adverb, in its consecutive interpretation (see § 24.12),137 sometimes comparing namque for the ‌‑que element.

24.45 The interactional particle ergo

The interactional particle ergo ‘therefore’ signals that the speaker/writer expects the addressee to subscribe on the basis of their shared knowledge to the conclusion as formulated in the sentence or larger discourse unit in which ergo occurs.138 Examples are (a)–(f). In (a), the slave girl Pardalisca observes that, if ‘all is out’, as the slave Olympio has just said, he will agree that the only conclusion is to confess everything. In (b), ergo signals an inevitable conclusion. In (c), the speaker is surprised about the answer he has received and wants to check whether he understood correctly. Quid ergo (est) ‘what is the consequence?’ followed by a detailed question is a very common expression in Cicero, as in (d).139 In (e), ergo signals the return to the line of argument (p.1214) after a short digression in which the preceding information was recapitulated. In (f), ergo signals a conclusion that is based on what happens in the non-verbal situation, not in a preceding text. Ergo differs from enim among other things in that its appeal to the addressee is more urgent. An illustration is (g), which also contains the swear word edepol.140

  1. (a) Perii hercle ego! Manufesta res [est]. # Omnem [in] ordine rem / fateri ergo aequom est.

    (‘I’m dead! It’s all out. # So it’s only fair to confess everything one by one.’ Pl. Cas. 893–6)

  2. (b) Age porro: Iovem et Neptunum deum numeras. Ergo etiam Orcus frater eorum deus.

    (‘Come tell me further: you reckon Jupiter and Neptune gods, therefore their brother Orcus is also a god.’ Cic. N.D. 3.43)

  3. (c) Philolaches hic habitat, quoius est pater Theopropides. / Qui … tibicinam / liberavit. # Philolachesne ergo? # Ita. Philematium quidem.

    (‘Philolaches lives here, whose father is Theopropides. He freed a flute girl. # You mean Philolaches? # Yes, and she is called Philematium.’ Pl. Mos. 970–2)

  4. (d) ‘Quid ergo? Istos’, inquies, ‘mercede conductos habebimus?’ Quid faciemus si aliter non possumus?

    (‘You’ll say: “Are we then to keep these fellows as mercenaries?” What else, if we can’t keep them on any other terms?’ Cic. Att. 2.1.8)

  5. (e) Nummos Arpinat<i>um, si L. Fadius aedilis petet, vel omnis reddito. Ego ad te alia epistula scripsi <de> HS CX¯ quae Statio curarentur. Si ergo petet Fadius, ei volo reddi, praeter Fadium nemini.

    (‘You may hand over the money due to the municipality of Arpinum, the whole of it, if the Aedile L. Fadius claims it. I have written to you in another letter about the HS 110,000 to be paid to Statius. So then, if Fadius claims it, I want the money made over to him, but to no one except Fadius.’ Cic. Att. 15.15.1)

  6. (f) Quorum mediam orationem interrumpunt subito undique tela immissa, quae ille obtectus armis militum vitavit. Vulnerantur tamen complures … Tum Labienus: ‘Desinite ergo de compositione loqui. Nam nobis nisi Caesaris capite relato pax esse nulla potest.’

    (‘Their ongoing talk was suddenly interrupted by a volley of weapons from all sides. Protected by his soldiers’ shields, Labienus avoided them. But several men were wounded … Then Labienus: “So stop talking about a settlement, for in our view no peace is possible unless we get Caesar’s head.” ’ Caes. Civ. 3.19.7–8)

  7. (g) Nam apsque te esset, hodie numquam ad solem occasum / viverem. # Ergo edepol, si recte facias, ere, med emittas manu. (p.1215)

    (‘If it hadn’t been for you, I’d never have lived till sunset today. # Then, by Pollux!, if you were to do the right thing, master, you’d set me free.’ Pl. Men. 122–3)


    Dic opsecro hercle serio quod te rogem. / Cave mi mendaci quicquam. # Quin tu ergo rogas? (Pl. As. 29–30); Quid amas— # Bacchidem? Duas ergo hic intus eccas Bacchides. / # Quid? duae? (Pl. Bac. 568–9); Dixit illi quicum ipsa ibat— # Quid? # Tace ergo, ut audias. (Pl. Epid. 241); Eho, quaeso, an tu is es? / # Is enim vero sum. # Ai’n tu tandem? Is ipsusne es? # Aio. # Ipsus es? / # Ipsus, inquam, Charmides sum. # Ergo ipsusne es? # Ipsissumus. / Abi’n hinc ab oculis? (Pl. Trin. 986–9); M. Manlius … regnum adpetisse est iudicatus. Ergo eius domum eversam duobus lucis convestitam videtis. (Cic. Dom. 101); Non placet autem paucis a diis inmortalibus esse consultum. Sequitur ergo ut nemini consultum sit. (Cic. N.D. 3.70); Adfectus autem animi in bono viro laudabilis. Et vita igitur laudabilis boni viri. Et honesta ergo, quoniam laudabilis. (Cic. Tusc. 5.47); Clodius ergo, ut ais, ad Tigranem! (Cic. Att. 2.4.2); Epaminondas, Polymnidis filius, Thebanus. De hoc priusquam scribimus, haec praecipienda videntur lectoribus … Natus ergo patre, quo diximus, genere honesto … (Nep. Ep. 1.1–2.1); Numquamne ergo familia nostra quieta erit? (Sal. Jug. 14.9); Itaque ergo erecti suspensique in minime gratum spectaculum animo incenduntur. (Liv. 1.25.2); Correpti consules cum quid ergo se facere vellent—nihil enim segnius molliusve quam patribus placeat acturos—percontarentur, decernunt ut … (Liv. 2.28.5—NB: in an indirect question; the parenthesis contains the interactional particle enim); Thales primum aquam putavit omnium rerum esse principium; Heraclitus … Democritus … Pythagoreorum vero disciplina … Ergo Democritus, etsi non proprie res nominavit sed tantum individua corpora proposuit, ideo ea ipsa dixisse videtur, quod … (Vitr. 2.2.1); (talking about luxuries) Principium ergo columenque omnium rerum pretii margaritae tenent. (Plin. Nat. 9.106); ‘Quid ergo? Omnes servos admovebo mensae meae?’ Non magis quam omnes liberos. (Sen. Ep. 47.15); Quantum potes ergo, mi Lucili, reduc te ab istis exceptionibus et praescriptionibus philosophorum: aperta decent et simplicia bonitatem. (Sen. Ep. 48.12); Inter quos [etiam] pictorum amantium vultus tamquam in solitudine exclamavi: ‘Ergo amor etiam deos tangit.’ (Petr. 83.4); (sc. Nero) … interrogat an Seneca voluntariam mortem pararet. Tum tribunus nulla pavoris signa, nihil triste in verbis eius aut vultu deprensum confirmavit. Ergo regredi et indicere mortem iubetur. (Tac. Ann. 15.61.2); (sc. Caesar) … unum e collegio Pontium Aquilam non assurrexisse adeo indignatus sit ut proclamaverit: ‘Repete ergo a me, Aquila, rem publicam!’ (Suet. Jul. 78.2); Quid ergo nos docet Abraham? Ut breviter dicam: ut Deo non praeponamus quod dat Deus. (August. Serm. 2.4); (after describing the Mons Dei) Nos ergo sabbato sera ingressi sumus montem … (Pereg. 3.1)

Ergo can be used in a main clause following a conditional or a causal clause. This is mainly attested in Late Latin, but see (h) and (i).141

  1. (h) Quem igitur imitaris? Si aliquem, ceteri ergo Attice non dicebant?

    (‘Whom then are you going to imitate? If some particular one, do you mean that all the others did not speak pure Attic?’ Cic. Brut. 285) (p.1216)

  2. (i) Quodsi Luna dea est, ergo etiam Lucifer ceteraeque errantes numerum deorum obtinebunt.

    (‘But if the Moon is a goddess, then Lucifer also and the rest of the planets will have to be counted gods.’ Cic. N.D. 3.51)

Ergo is used in all periods of Latin. It is common in texts of an interactive character but rare in purely narrative texts or episodes.142 Its relative frequency in Late Latin, for example in the Peregrinatio, is related to the increase in the use of cohesive devices in Late Latin texts in general and to the use of ergo outside its proper context (in other words, its ‘desemantization’).143

24.46 Sequential connexion of sentences

The chronological sequence of events described in sentences and larger units of discourse can be clear from the content of the sentences and discourse units itself, as in the famous asyndetic sequence veni, vidi, vici ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’. The relative order of events can also be expressed explicitly, for example, by the use of special tenses. Thus, if a sentence contains a pluperfect tense the event in that sentence will be understood as anterior with respect to an event in the preceding or following discourse (see § 7.31). Time adjuncts are another explicit device to locate an event in time and so, indirectly, to indicate its position in relation to other events. Examples are the adverb pridie ‘the day before’ and the ablative noun phrase eo anno ‘in that year’ (see §§ 10.27–30).144 This section deals with a number of words which serve as linking devices between sentences and larger units and mark the sequence of the events, either just the temporal sequence, like deinde, tum, and post in (a), or (also) the position of an event in a sequence, like primo and postremo in (b).145 Words marking temporal sequence and position can co-occur, as in (c) with deinde postremo.146 The words under consideration can also be used in enumerations within sentences, as in (d).

  1. (a) Modo consul quo<t>an<n>is, is deinde primus erat civitatis. Tum proficiscitur in Asiam. Deinde hostis et exul est dictus. Post imperator <sep>t<i>mo factus est consul.

    (‘Recently consul every year, next he was first man of the state; then he sets out for Asia; next he is declared a public enemy and exiled; after that while general-in-chief he is made consul for the seventh time.’ Rhet. Her. 4.68) (p.1217)

  2. (b) Primo incaute se invehentes Masinissa excipiebat. Mox plures simul conferti porta effusi aequaverant certamen. Postremo iam omnis equitatus proelio cum adesset, sustineri ultra nequiere.

    (‘At first, as they rashly charged, Masinissa would meet their attack. Later larger numbers, dashing out of a gate in a mass, had made it an even combat. Finally, when all their cavalry was engaged, they could no longer be withstood.’ Liv. 29.34.12)

  3. (c) In hac (sc. parte) eae res quaeruntur quae gestum negotium consequuntur. Primum, quod factum est, quo id nomine appellari conveniat. DeindeDeindeDeindePosteaDeinde postremo adtendendum est num quae res … consequantur.

    (‘Under this category those things are sought which ensue from an action being performed. First, by what name shall the act be designated? … Next … Next … Next … Then … Next, finally, it should be noted whether some things ensue … ’ Cic. Inv. 1.43)

  4. (d) Quare dicemus primum de genere eius, deinde quibus disciplinis et a quibus sit eruditus, tum de moribus ingeniique facultatibus … postremo de rebus gestis …

    (‘Therefore I shall speak first of his family, then of the subjects which he studied and his teachers, next of his character and his natural qualities … finally of his exploits … ’ Nep. Ep. 1.4)

In addition to the words used in the above examples sequential connectors include tunc ‘then’, nunc ‘now’, interea ‘meanwhile’, denique ‘finally’.147 Apart from their use as connectors, most of the words involved function also, or primarily, as temporal adverbs.148 A case in point is nunc.149 In (e), nunc is an adverb functioning as a position-in-time adjunct which could be used as an answer to the question ‘when?’ (see § 10.30); in (f), it is a connector introducing a new discourse unit. As a connector it has its position at the beginning of the sentence, whereas in (e) nunc’s position is free. In (e), nunc is in contrast with hodie, while something similar is inconceivable for (f). An interesting instance with two cases of nunc in different functions in one sentence is (g).150

  1. (e) Ita ancilla mea quae fuit hodie, sua nunc est.

    (‘The girl who was my slave today belongs to herself now.’ Pl. Per. 472)

  2. (f) Quid quaeris? Permoleste tuli. Nulla enim abs te per hos dies epistula inanis aliqua re utili et suavi venerat. Nunc, si quid in ea epistula quam a. d. XVI (p.1218) Kal. Mai. dedisti fuit historia dignum, scribe quam primum ne ignoremus. Sin nihil praeter iocationem, redde id ipsum.

    (‘As you can imagine I was very much put out. Every one of the letters you have sent me lately has contained something useful and charming. Now, if the letter you dispatched on 15 April had anything in it worth chronicling, write at once so that I am not left in ignorance. If on the other hand it was all badinage, why, I am entitled to that too.’ Cic. Att. 2.8.1)

  3. (g) … bestiamque aliquam recte dicentibus vobis merito consentio. Meque magnopere semper a suis terret aspectibus malumque grande de vultus curiositate praeminatur. Nunc si quam salutarem opem periclitanti sorori vestrae potestis afferre, iam nunc subsistite.

    (‘ … and you must be right when you say he is some beast, I agree. He is always intimidating me from looking at him, and threatening some great punishment for any curiosity about his features. Now, if you can bring some salvation to your sister in her danger, help me right now.’ Apul. Met. 5.19.2–4)

24.47 The semantic relation between asyndetically connected sentences

The semantic relation between two adjacent asyndetically connected sentences depends on the content of these sentences and on their relation to the surrounding context or the communicative situation in which the sentences are produced and received. In (a), repeated from § 19.1 (n), the three asyndetic sentences are not semantically related as such. Each of them is omissible and the linear order is arbitrary. What they have in common is that they contribute to the feeling of happiness of Damocles: there is a relation of consequence between the three sentences and the final one, which could be expressed by igitur.

  1. (a) Aderant unguenta, coronae. ° Incendebantur odores. ° Mensae conquisitissimis epulis exstruebantur. Fortunatus sibi Damocles videbatur.

    (‘There were perfumes, garlands; incense was burnt; the tables were loaded with the choicest banquet: Damocles thought himself a lucky man.’ Cic. Tusc. 5.62)

Such sequences of independent sentences which have no grammatical or lexical properties in common can easily be found, for example, in Pliny the Elder’s encyclopedic work, as in (b). Here, the two sentences are not related to each other semantically in a straightforward way; however, they are both part of a discussion on the use of animals for the treatment of eye diseases, that is they belong to an ‘enumeration’. In this case the relation is supported by the parallelism of the structure of the sentences: in semantic terms: (part of) animal—disease—effect; in syntactical terms: subject—object—verb.151


  1. (b) Ova perdicum in vase aereo decocta cum melle ulceribus oculorum et glaucomatis medentur. ° Columbarum, palumbium, turturum, perdicum sanguis oculis cruore suffusis eximie prodest.

    (‘Partridge eggs boiled down with honey in a bronze vessel cure ulcers on the eyes and opaqueness of the lens. The blood of pigeons, doves, turtle doves, or partridges, makes an excellent application for blood-shot eyes.’ Plin. Nat. 29.126)

In a narrative context, adjacent asyndetically connected sentences can often be interpreted as a purely temporal sequence, as in (c). However, asyndeton is also used to give the impression of a rapid succession of actions or the parallelism of simultaneous actions. Examples are (d) and (e) (repeated from § 19.14).152 In (e), the sequence of events appears partly from the time adjuncts in some of the sentences.

  1. (c) A. d. VII Id. Mart. Brundisium veni. ° Ad murum castra posui.

    (‘On 9 March I reached Brundisium and encamped before the walls.’ Caes. Att. 9.13a1)

  2. (d) (Gallus quidam) … manu significare coepit utrisque quiescerent. ° Pugnae facta pausa est. ° Extemplo silentio facto cum voce maxima Ø conclamat, si quis secum depugnare vellet, uti prodiret. ° Nemo audebat propter magnitudinem atque inmanitatem facies.

    (‘ … he began to gesture to both armies, telling them to stop fighting. There was a pause in the battle. Having achieved silence, he immediately shouted at the top of his voice that, if anyone was willing to fight to the finish with him, he should come forward. Because of his size and his monstrous appearance nobody dared to do so.’ Quad. hist. 10b=6C—tr. Briscoe)

  3. (e) Mittuntur ad Caesarem confestim a Cicerone litterae magnis propositis praemiis, si pertulissent. ° Obsessis omnibus viis missi intercipiuntur. ° Noctu ex materia quam munitionis causa comportaverant turres admodum centum XX excitantur incredibili celeritate. ° Quae deesse operi videbantur perficiuntur. ° Hostes postero die multo maioribus coactis copiis castra oppugnant, fossam complent. ° A nostris eadem ratione qua pridie resistitur. ° Hoc idem reliquis deinceps fit diebus.

    (‘Dispatches were at once sent by Cicero to Caesar, with promise of great rewards if the bearers carried them safe; with all the roads blocked, the messengers were cut off. During the night about one hundred and twenty towers were erected with incredible speed out of the timber which they had collected for the purpose of the entrenchment. The apparent deficiencies in the earthworks were rectified. On the next day, with far greater forces assembled, the enemy assaulted the camp and filled in the trench. Our troops resisted in the same fashion as on the day before. Exactly the same was done on the other days following.’ Caes. Gal. 5.40.1–4)



    Deinde Romae dies XXX fere Quinctius commoratur. ° Cum ceteris quae habebat vadimonia differt, ut expeditus in Galliam proficisci posset. ° Proficiscitur. (Cic. Quinct. 23); (sc. oppidum) Vallo et fossa circumdedi, ° sex castellis castrisque maximis saepsi, ° aggere, vineis, turribus oppugnavi ususque tormentis multis, multis sagittariis magno labore meo, sine ulla molestia sumptuve sociorum septimo quinquagensimo die rem confeci ut … (Cic. Fam. 15.4.10)

In addition to the enumerative and continuative relations discussed so far two types of asyndetic relation have received special attention, viz. the adversative and explanatory/justificatory relations.153 Examples of an adversative relation are (f) and (g). In (f), the contrast is between two constituents in the consecutive sentences: victumas and agninis. In (g), the contrast is at a higher level, between the contents of the entire sentences. The first sentence in the sequence can contain the particle quidem, which has a preparative function and creates the expectation of contrast, as in (h). The adverb sane can be used in a similar way.154

  1. (f) Nolo victumas. ° Agninis me extis placari volo.

    (‘I don’t want big animals for sacrifice. I want to be placated with lambs’ intestines.’ Pl. Ps. 329)

  2. (g) Videbant Agyrinenses quicquid ad eos recuperatores Apronius attulisset illum perfacile probaturum. ° Condemnari cum istius invidia infamiaque malebant quam ad eius condiciones pactionesque accedere.

    (‘The men from Agyrium saw that, before a court like this, Apronius would have no trouble in establishing any charge he might bring. They chose to be found guilty, and thus to bring odium and disgrace to [Verres], rather than accept the terms and conditions their accuser demanded.’ Cic. Ver. 3.69)

  3. (h) Et haec quidem humanis consiliis providebantur. ° Mox petita dis piacula aditique Sibyllae libri …

    (‘Such were the provisions made by human plans; next, expiations for the gods were sought and the books of the Sibyl were appealed to … ’ Tac. Ann. 15.44.1—tr. Woodman)


    Nam patrimonium domestici praedones vi ereptum possident, ° fama et vita innocentis ab hospitibus amicisque paternis defenditur. (Cic. S. Rosc. 15); Et forsitan in suscipienda causa temere impulsus adulescentia fecerim. ° Quoniam quidem semel suscepi, licet hercules undique omnes minae. Terrores periculaque impendeant, omnia succurram ac subibo. (Cic. S. Rosc. 31); Verum concedo tibi ut ea praetereas quae, cum taces, nulla esse concedis. ° Illud quidem, voluisse exheredare, certe tu planum facere debes. (Cic. S. Rosc. 54); Non quaero quanta memoria Simonides (p.1221) fuisse dicatur, quanta Theodectes, quanta is, qui a Pyrrho legatus ad senatum est missus, Cineas, quanta nuper Charmadas, quanta, qui modo fuit, Scepsius Metrodorus, quanta noster Hortensius. ° De communi hominum memoria loquor … (Cic. Tusc. 1.59); Non peculatus aerari factus est neque per vim sociis ereptae pecuniae, quae quamquam gravia sunt tamen consuetudine iam pro nihilo habentur. ° Hosti acerrumo prodita senatus auctoritas, proditum imperium vostrum est. ° Domi militiaeque res publica venalis fuit. (Sal. Jug. 31.25); Consul ubi ad iniquum locum ventum est, sistit aciem. ° Miles aegre teneri, clamare et poscere ut perculsis instare liceat. ° Ferocius agunt equites. ° Circumfusi duci vociferantur se ante signa ituros. (Liv. 2.65.2–3)

A common form of asyndeton is found between an imperative sentence of some sort and a following declarative or interrogative sentence. The relation is sometimes labelled ‘concessive-adversative’.155 Examples are (i)–(k). The adversative relation could have been made explicit by using at or tamen.

  1. (i) Sint sane superbi. ° Quid id ad nos attinet?

    (‘Let us concede that they (sc. the Rhodians) are arrogant. How does that affect us?’ Cato hist. 95g=93C—tr. Cornell)

  2. (j) Tum ille prognatus Theti / sine perdat. ° Alia apportabunt ei Nerei filiae.

    (‘Then let that son of Thetis lose them: the daughters of Nereus will bring him others.’ Pl. Epid. 35–6)

  3. (k) Esto. Sit in verbis tuis hic stupor. ° Quanto in rebus sententiisque maior!

    (‘Very good; so much for the stupidity in your words: how much greater the stupidity in your actions and opinions!’ Cic. Phil. 2.30)

However, a sequence of an imperative sentence followed by a declarative one with a future verb form can also be interpreted as a consequence or result. A common form in Cato is (l), to which (m) may be compared. A similar relation of consequence exists between the two sentences in (n) and in (o).156

  1. (l) Postea bis in die (sc. brassicam) contritam inponito. ° Ea omnem putorem adimet.

    (‘Then the crushed cabbage should be applied as a poultice, and renewed twice a day; it will remove all putridity.’ Cato Agr. 157.3)

  2. (m) Resinam ex melle Aegyptiam vorato, salvom feceris. / # At edepol tu calidam picem bibito, aegritudo apscesserit.

    (‘Swallow Egyptian resin dipped in honey and you’ll get well. # But you drink hot pitch and your grief will go away.’ Pl. Mer. 139–40)

  3. (n) (sc. Helvetii) Nullam partem noctis itinere intermisso in fines Lingonum die quarto pervenerunt, cum et propter vulnera militum et propter sepulturam (p.1222) occisorum nostri triduum morati eos sequi non potuissent. ° Caesar ad Lingonas litteras nuntiosque misit ne eos frumento neve alia re iuvarent.

    (‘The march was not interrupted for any part of the night, and three days after they reached the borders of the Lingones; for our own troops had not been able to pursue them, having halted for three days to tend their wounds and to bury the dead. Caesar dispatched letters and messages to the Lingones, ordering them not to give assistance by corn or otherwise, and affirming that, if they gave such assistance, he would treat them in the same fashion as the Helvetii.’ Caes. Gal. 1.26.5–6)

  4. (o) Profice modo. ° Intelleges quaedam ideo minus timenda, quia multum metus adferunt.

    (‘All you need to do is to advance; you will thus understand that some things are less to be dreaded, precisely because they inspire us with great fear.’ Sen. Ep. 4.3)

Examples of an explanatory or justificatory relation are (p) and (q). In (p), the second sentence explains the emotion indicated in the first. In (q), the second sentence explains why Cassius asked his question.

  1. (p) Miser sum. ° Argentum nusquam invenio mutuom.

    (‘I’m wretched, I can’t find money on loan anywhere.’ Pl. Ps. 80)

  2. (q) L. Cassius ille, quem populus Romanus verissimum et sapientissimum iudicem putabat, identidem in causis quaerere solebat ‘cui bono’ fuisset. ° Sic vita hominum est ut ad maleficium nemo conetur sine spe atque emolumento accedere.

    (‘The illustrious Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people considered the wisest and most conscientious of judges, was in the habit of asking repeatedly in trials, “Who had profited by it?” Such is the way of the world: no man attempts to commit a crime without the hope of profit.’ Cic. S. Rosc. 84)


    Eccere autem capite nutat. ° Non placet quod repperit. (Pl. Mil. 207); Vicini quo pacto niteant, id animum advertito. ° In bona regione bene nitere oportebit. (Cato Agr. 1.2); … supplicium in parricidas singulare excogitaverunt ut, quos natura ipsa retinere in officio non potuisset, ei magnitudine poenae <a> maleficio summoverentur. ° Insui voluerunt in culleum vivos atque ita in flumen deici. (Cic. S. Rosc. 70); Vereor ne aut molestus sim vobis, iudices, aut ne ingeniis vestris videar diffidere, si de tam perspicuis rebus diutius disseram. ° Eruci criminatio tota, ut arbitror, dissoluta est. (Cic. S. Rosc. 82); Cum igitur praecipitur ut nobismet ipsis imperemus, hoc praecipitur, ut ratio coërceat temeritatem. ° Est in animis omnium fere natura molle quiddam, demissum, humile, enervatum quodam modo et languidum. (Cic. Tusc. 2.47); Igitur talibus viris non labor insolitus, non locus ullus asper aut arduos erat, non armatus hostis formidulosus. ° Virtus omnia domuerat. (Sal. Cat. 7.5); Potes sine viro pati. ° Peregrinationem eius tulisti. (Sen. Con. 2.2.4)

Sometimes a passage ends with an asyndetic sentence which functions as a conclusion or a summary (asyndeton summativum).157 In (r), the last sentence indicates the result (p.1223) of Verres’ machinations. In (s), the last sentence could contain ergo, indicating the decision made by Verres on the basis of his considerations.

  1. (r) Itaque excogitat rem singularem. ° Navis quibus legatus praefuerat Cleomeni tradit. ° Classi populi Romani Cleomenem Syracusanum praeesse iubet atque imperare. Hoc eo facit ut … secum illam haberet, si (sc. Cleomenem) non tamquam virum sed tamquam aemulum removisset. ° Accipit navis sociorum atque amicorum Cleomenes Syracusanus.

    (‘He thought of a very original way out of this difficulty, which was to hand over the fleet, hitherto commanded by a deputy governor, to Cleomenes—to give full power and command over a Roman fleet to Cleomenes the Syracusan. His purpose was to be able to enjoy the wife’s society after the removal of a man who was not only her husband but his rival. The ships of our allies and friends were handed over to Cleomenes the Syracusan.’ Cic. Ver. 5.82–3)

  2. (s) Etenim si Phylarchus (sc. phaleras) vendidisset, non ei, posteaquam reus factus es, redditurum te promisisses. Quod quia vidisti plures scire, cogitasti, si ei reddidisses, te minus habiturum, rem nihilo minus testatam futuram. ° Non reddidisti.

    (‘Nor, indeed, if Phylarchus had sold them to you, would you, after this prosecution was instituted, have promised to give them back to him. Knowing that many people were aware of the truth, you reflected that if you did give them back you would be so much the poorer, and the facts would come out in the evidence none the less; and therefore you did not give them back.’ Cic. Ver. 4.29)


    Cum familiariter me in eorum sermonem insinuarem ac darem, celabar, excludebar, et, cum ostenderem, si lex utilis plebi Romanae mihi videretur, auctorem me atque adiutorem futurum, tamen aspernabantur hanc liberalitatem meam. ° Negabant me adduci posse ut ullam largitionem probarem. ° Finem feci offerendi mei, ne forte mea sedulitas aut insidiosa aut impudens videretur. (Cic. Agr. 2.12); Nam vetus haec opinio Graeciam opplevit esse exsectum Caelum a filio Saturno, vinctum autem Saturnum ipsum a filio Iove. ° Physica ratio non inelegans inclusa est in impias fabulas. (Cic. N.D. 2.64)

24.48 The use of connectors and interactional particles to connect paragraphs

For practical reasons I take the division in paragraphs in modern editions as reflecting ‘discourse units’, informally defined as semantically coherent and self-contained sets of sentences. Editors vary somewhat in their division of a text into paragraphs.158 As between sentences, the coherence may be created by various means, such as finite (p.1224) subordinate clauses, for example with cum ‘when’ or quod ‘as for the fact’; ablative absolute clauses; noun phrases like postero die ‘the next day’; anaphoric pronouns and phrases (in Caesar hic is very common); prepositional phrases with de ‘with respect to’; anaphoric adverbs such as ita ‘so’ and ideo ‘therefore’; and also some of the connectors and interactional particles discussed in the sections above. The choice of any one of these devices depends on the type of text and the personal preference of the author. The relationship between Caesar’s narrative de Bello Gallico and Cicero’s philosophical treatise de Officiis will serve as an illustration (see Table 24.8). Of the 344 paragraphs of Caesar only 22 have a connector or interactional particle, whereas in Cicero more than half of the 372 paragraphs have one; Caesar has the connector autem once, Cicero sixty times.

Table 24.8 Connectors (and interactional particles (i.p.)) connecting paragraphs in Cic. Off. and Caes. Gal.




Used as connector (or i.p.)

Used to connect paragraphs(N = 372)


Used as connector (or i.p.)

Used to connect paragraphs(N = 344)











































































Examples of the use of these words to link paragraphs are given below (in the order of Table 24.8; nec and ceterum added).159

  1. (a) Atque in ea re omnium nostrorum intentis animis alia ex parte oppidi Adiatuanus, qui summam imperi tenebat … uti eadem deditionis condicione uteretur ab Crasso impetravit. (p.1225)

    (‘Then, while the attention of all our troops was engaged upon that business, Adiatuanus, the commander-in-chief … obtained from Crassus the same terms of surrender as at first.’ Caes. Gal. 3.22.1)

  2. (b) Et quod paene praeterii, Bruti tui causa, ut saepe ad te scripsi, feci omnia.

    (‘And I nearly forgot to add that, as I have often written to you, I have done everything in my power for your friend Brutus.’ Cic. Att. 6.3.5)

  3. (c) Nec defuit fides, multaque arbitrio senatus constituta sunt.

    (‘And confirmation was not lacking, and many things were settled by the senate’s adjudication.’ Tac. Ann. 13.5.1—tr. Woodman)

  4. (d) At Romae nondum cognito qui fuisset exitus in Illyrico, et legionum Germanicarum motu audito, trepida civitas incusare Tiberium …

    (‘But at Rome, where it was not yet known what the outcome in Illyricum had been and news had been received of the German legions’ disturbance, the trembling community began to censure Tiberius … ’ Tac. Ann. 1.46.1)160

  5. (e) Muri autem omnes Gallici hac fere forma sunt. Trabes derectae perpetuae in longitudinem paribus intervallis distantes inter se binos pedes in solo collocantur.

    (‘All Gallic walls are, as a rule, of the following pattern. Balks are laid on the ground at equal intervals of two feet throughout the length of the wall and at right angles thereto.’ Caes. Gal. 7.23.1)

  6. (f) (Cuius partes duae: iustitia … et huic coniuncta beneficentia … ) Sed iustitiae primum munus est, ut ne cui quis noceat …

    (‘(Of this there are two divisions, justice and, close akin to this, charity … ) The first office of justice is to keep one man from doing harm to another … ’ Cic. Off. 1.20)

  7. (g) Ceterum ex aliis negotiis quae ingenio exercentur in primis magno usui est memoria rerum gestarum.

    (‘But among sundry intellectual pursuits, the recording of past deeds is especially serviceable.’ Sal. Jug. 4.1)

  8. (h) Nam ut Id. Mai. in senatum convenimus, rogatus ego sententiam multa dixi de summa re publica …

    (‘For when we met in the Senate on the Ides of May and my turn came, I spoke at length about the political situation on the highest level … ’ Cic. Att. 1.16.9)

  9. (i) Namque ipsorum naves ad hunc modum factae armataeque erant: carinae aliquanto planiores quam nostrarum navium …

    (‘For their own ships were built and equipped in the following fashion. Their keels were considerably more flat than those of our own ships … ’ Caes. Gal. 3.13.1) (p.1226)

  10. (j) Quamvis enim Themistocles iure laudetur et sit eius nomen quam Solonis inlustrius … non minus praeclarum hoc quam illud iudicandum est.

    (‘However highly Themistocles, for example, may be extolled—and deservedly—and however much more illustrious his name may be than Solon’s … yet Solon’s achievement is not to be accounted less illustrious than his.’ Cic. Off. 1.75)

  11. (k) Triplex igitur est, ut Panaetio videtur, consilii capiendi deliberatio.

    (‘The consideration necessary to determine conduct, is, therefore, as Panaetius thinks, a threefold one.’ Cic. Off. 1.9)

  12. (l) Itaque Titum Labienum legatum in Treveros, qui proximi flumini Rheno sunt, cum equitatu mittit.

    (‘Accordingly he dispatched Titus Labienus, lieutenant-general, with the cavalry to the territory of the Treveri, who live next the river Rhine.’ Caes. Gal. 3.11.1)

  13. (m) Sit ergo hic sermo, in quo Socratici maxime excellunt, lenis minimeque pertinax, insit in eo lepos.

    (‘Conversation, then, in which the Socratics are the best models, should have these qualities. It should be easy and not in the least dogmatic; it should have the spice of wit.’ Cic. Off. 1.134)

    There are of course other ways to structure a longer text. Sallust, Livy, and Velleius Paterculus use ‘digressions to indicate breaks in their narratives between one episode and another’. Velleius also uses some sort of heading of a paragraph followed by the explanatory connector quippe, or anaphoric hic or qui.161 Headings were also common in juridical texts.162

    From the second century BC onwards inscriptions, papyri, wax tablets, and texts on other material show several non-linguistic means to segment longer stretches of texts into paragraphs, such as the projection of the text into the left margin, the use of capitals, and red colour, and also larger spaces.163 The same techniques are used in the older manuscripts. There is however, much variation in the degree to which these techniques were used.

24.49 Grammatical devices contributing to discourse coherence

In this section three grammatical phenomena will be briefly touched upon from the perspective of discourse coherence: tense, active/passive variation, and word order.

The role of tense in the organization of discourse is mentioned several times in Chapter 7.164 The clearest example is the imperfect tense. An illustration is (a), repeated from § 7.20, (h). Here, the imperfect nuntiabantur marks the content of the sentence as background information, while the surrounding perfects invasit and (p.1227) consecuti sunt mark successive events. The information in the imperfect serves as an explanation of the panic that hit Rome and made Lentulus flee, as the interactional particle enim shows. Another example, without a particle, is (b). The paragraph that precedes it reports the actions the Helvetians undertook to prepare their departure. The imperfects in (b) indicate the considerations about the journey. Then, after a summary in the form of an ablative absolute clause (see also § 24.11), the action continues, marked by a historic present, dicunt. The relation between the considerations in imperfects and the action in a historic present is one of result or consequence.

  1. (a) … tantus repente terror invasit ut, cum Lentulus consul ad aperiendum aerarium venisset … , protinus … profugeret. Caesar enim adventare iam iamque et adesse eius equites falso nuntiabantur. Hunc Marcellus collega et plerique magistratus consecuti sunt.

    (‘ … suddenly such a great panic hit them that although the consul Lentulus had come to open the treasury he immediately fled. For it was falsely being reported that Caesar was on the very point of arriving and that his cavalry was present. Lentulus was followed by his colleague Marcellus and most of the magistrates.’ Caes. Civ. 1.14.1–2)

  2. (b) Erant omnino itinera duo quibus itineribus domo exire possent. … Allobrogibus sese vel persuasuros … existimabant vel vi coacturos ut per suos fines eos ire paterentur. Omnibus rebus ad profectionem comparatis diem dicunt

    (‘There were two routes, and no more, by which they could leave their homeland. … They supposed that either they would persuade the Allobroges … or would compel them perforce to suffer a passage through their borders. Having therefore provided all things for their departure, they named a day … ’ Caes. Gal. 1.6.1–4)

Active/passive variation is another grammatical feature that contributes to the organization of discourse, since it can be related to the selection of topic constituents in ongoing discourse.165 This is shown by (c), repeated from § 5.10, (a). In the first two sentences the subject/agents are the Helvetians. In (iii) there is a shift of perspective to the new topic Orgetorix, who is continued in (iv). Note the use of is (see also § 22.4).

  1. (c) (i) Ad eas res conficiendas biennium sibi satis esse duxerunt. (ii) In tertium annum profectionem lege confirmant. (iii) Ad eas res conficiendas Orgetorix deligitur. (iv) Is sibi legationem ad civitates suscepit.

    (‘(i) For the accomplishment of these objects they considered that two years were sufficient. (ii) They pledged themselves by an ordinance to take the field in the third year. (iii) For the accomplishment of these objects Orgetorix was chosen. (iv) He took upon himself an embassage to the communities.’ Caes. Gal. 1.3.2)

(p.1228) Conversely, the choice of an active or passive form may also serve to continue the perspective. This was illustrated in ex. (f) of § 5.10, here repeated as (d). Within the framework of tree-chopping activities trabes and robur are expressed as subject of their sentence, just like ilex and piceae in the preceding sentences. This requires a passive form: scinditur. Thereafter the perspective shifts to the men implied in the various activities, with active advolvunt.

  1. (d) (Itur in antiquam silvam, stabula alta ferarum.) / Procumbunt piceae. Sonat icta securibus ilex / fraxineaeque trabes cuneis et fissile robur / scinditur. (Advolvunt ingentis montibus ornos.)

    (‘(They pass into the forest primeval, the deep lairs of the beasts.) Down drop the pitchy pines. The ilex rings to the stroke of the axe; and ashen logs and splintering oak are cleft with wedges. (From the mountains they roll down huge ash trees.)’ Verg. A. 6.179–82)

Turning now to word order, the fact that the first or second position of the sentence is usually occupied by a pragmatically prominent constitutent contributes considerably to the coherence of the discourse. Very often that constituent is the topic of the clause which serves as an anchor for new information. It can also be a contrastive focus or a theme constituent, or—in the case of presentative sentences—a verb, which signals a new or unexpected entity. Chapters 22 and 23 contain enough illustrations, which need not be repeated here.

24.50 Opening and concluding a conversation or letter

When opening or concluding an act of communication the participants, especially the person who initiates the interaction, have to respect a number of social conventions in order to make the interaction successful. Of these conventions some are linguistic and consist of expressions of a more or less fixed character. Obvious examples of situations in which this is relevant are conversations and letters. However, there were also conventions to be observed when presenting a book on a technical subject, in the form of a preface, for example,166 or when opening a speech in defence of someone in court, although these conventions concern primarily matters of content and the intentions of the speaker or writer. This section is limited to a few linguistic features of the openings and conclusions of conversations and letters, which have received some attention over the last few decades.

Contemporary studies on conversation openings and conclusions naturally concentrate on the comedies of Plautus and Terence and—to a lesser degree—on Seneca’s tragedies.167 The actual form of an opening or ending depends on various (p.1229) non-linguistic factors which are determined by the relation between the speaker and the addressee and the communicative situation. A few generalizations can be made. An opening usually contains one or more of the following four components: (i) getting the attention of the addressee, (ii) addressing him or her, (iii) expressing a wish concerning the addressee’s well-being, and (iv) a question about what the addressee is doing. The first of these can also be a non-verbal activity. The addressee’s reaction may contain more or less the same components; the first component often consists of a reaction of surprise or joy. Examples are (a)–(c).

  1. (a) Heus Phormio, / vale. # Vale, Antipho.

    (‘Hey, Phormio! Goodbye! # Goodbye, Antipho!’ Ter. Ph. 882–3)

  2. (b) Oh, / Toxile, quid agitur? # Oh, lutum lenonium …

    (‘Oh, Toxilus, how are you? # Oh, you pimp dirt … ’ Pl. Per. 405–6)

  3. (c) Ecquis hic est? # Adest. # Eu, Philolaches, / salve, amicissume mi omnium hominum. / # Di te ament. Accuba, Callidamates.

    (‘Is anyone here? # Yes, there is. # Excellent, Philolaches, greetings, my best friend among all men. # May the gods love you. Do recline at table, Callidamates.’ Pl. Mos. 339–41)

The first component is often an interjection (see §§ 22.48–52). For expressions of address, see §§ 22.53–6. The openings can be much more elaborate, for comic or other purposes. An example in exalted style is (d): Amphitruo greets his pregnant wife, Alcumena, in the presence of his slave, Sosia, unaware that a pseudo-Amphitruo (in reality, Jupiter) has already enjoyed his return from Thebes with his wife.

  1. (d) Amphitruo uxorem salutat laetus speratam suam, / quam omnium Thebis vir unam esse optumam diiudicat, / quamque adeo cives Thebani vero rumiferant probam. / Valuisti’n usque? Exspectatu’n advenio? # (Sosia, aside) Hau vidi magis. / Exspectatum eum salutat magis hau quicquam quam canem. / # Et quom [te] gravidam et quom te pulchre plenam aspicio gaudeo. / # Opsecro ecastor, quid tu me deridiculi gratia / sic salutas atque appellas, quasi dudum non videris … ?

    (‘Amphitruo is happy to greet his longed-for wife, whom her husband judges to be the absolutely best of all in Thebes, and whom the citizens of Thebes truly celebrate as virtuous. Have you been well throughout? Are you happy that I’m coming? # (Sosia, aside) I don’t think so. She’s as happy to greet him as she would be to greet a dog. # I’m pleased to see you pregnant and beautifully round. # Please, why are you making fun of me by greeting and addressing me like this, as if you hadn’t seen me for a long time … ?’ Pl. Am. 676–83)

Conclusions of a conversation usually begin with a signal that it’s time to stop, and end with some form of farewell. Examples are (e), with the signal num quid vis, and (f). The addressee can, for comic or other purposes, ignore the signal to stop, as in (g), where Agorastocles ignores Adelphasium’s words ‘Follow me, my sister’.


  1. (e) Quid me? Num quid vis? # Vale! / # Et tu, frater.

    (‘What about me? Is there anything else I can do for you? # Be well. # You too, dear brother.’ Pl. Aul. 175–6)

  2. (f) Intro abi, appropera, age amabo. # Impetras, abeo. / # Mox magis quom otium <et> mihi et tibi erit, / igitur tecum loquar. Nunc vale. # Valeas.

    (‘Go inside, be quick, come on, please. # Yes, yes, I’m going. # Soon when both you and I have more time I’ll speak to you. Goodbye for now. # Goodbye.’ Pl. Cas. 214–16)

  3. (g) Etiam tibi hanc amittam noxiam unam, Agorastocles. / Non sum irata. # Non es? / # Non sum. # Da ergo, ut credam, savium. / # Mox dabo, quom ab re divina rediero. # I ergo strenue. / # Sequere me, soror. # Atque audi’n # Etiam? # Veneri dicito / multum meis verbis salutem. # Dicam. # Atque hoc audi. # Quid est? / # Paucis verbis rem divinam facito. Atque audi’n? Respice. / Respexit. Idem edepol Venerem credo facturam tibi.

    (‘Again I’ll let you get away with this one crime, Agorastocles. I’m not angry. # You aren’t? # No, I’m not. # Then give me a kiss so that I may believe you. # I’ll give you one in due course when I come back from the sacrifice. # Then go quickly. # Follow me, my sister. # And can you hear me? # Again? # Give my best regards to Venus. # I will. # And listen to this. # What is it? # Make your sacrifice with few words. And can you hear me? Look well at me. She did look well at me. By Pollux!, I do believe Venus will do the same to you.’ Pl. Poen. 403–9)

For letters comparable conventions existed. Apart from an indication of the sender and the addressee, as in (h),168 a letter normally contained an opening and a closure, each containing one or more components, more or less elaborate, often abbreviated, which proves that they were conventional. An example of a greeting formula, an inscriptio, is (i). An additional expression concerning the addressee’s (and sender’s) well-being is shown in (j). An exuberant version is (k).


    (‘Claudius Tiberianus to Longinus Priscus’ CEL 147.verso (Karanis, c. AD 115))

  2. (i) CICERO ATTICO SAL(UTEM) (dat) (or: s.d.)

    (‘Cicero gives his greetings to Atticus’ Cic. Att. 1.1)

  3. (j) S(I) V(Ales) B(ENE) E(ST). E(GO) V(ALEO).

    (‘If you are well, that’s good. I am well.’ Cf. Cic. Fam. 14.8)

  4. (k) Miles Lyconi in Epidauro hospiti / suo Therapontigonus Platagidorus plurumam / salutem dicit.

    (‘The soldier Therapontigonus Platagidorus gives his warmest greetings to his host in Epidaurus, Lyco.’ Pl. Cur. 429–31)

(p.1231) Examples of a farewell formula, a subscriptio, are (l)–(n). This can be followed by an indication of the date and the place, as in (o).

  1. (l) Vale.

    (‘Goodbye.’ Cic. Fam. 4.1.2)

  2. (m) Etiam atque etiam vale.

    (‘Once again, goodbye.’ Cic. Fam. 9.24.4)


    (‘Stay well. I wish you to be well for many years in complete happiness for ever. Goodbye.’ CEL 142.63–5 (Karanis, c. AD 115))

  4. (o) D(atum). IIII Kal. Iun. Pergae.

    (‘Dispatched 29 May, at Perge.’ Lent. Fam. 12.14.8)



(1) An excellent early introduction to the study of ‘texts’ is de Beaugrande and Dressler (1981). For the relation between sentence and discourse, see Mithun (2015). For a brief summary of ‘discourse linguistics and classics’, see van Gils et al. (2018: 5).

(2) The term ‘text’ is also used in this sense in works on Textlinguistik (for example, de Beaugrande and Dressler (1981)) and Textgrammatik (for example, Weinrich (1982)). For an application to Latin, see Blänsdorf (1978). For the French tradition, see Nølke et al. (2004: 147–52).

(4) See Zanker (1990).

(5) Exx. (d) and (e) are cited by K.-St.: II.158 as instances of asyndeton causale or explicativum.

(6) Smith (2003), discussed by Adema (2019b: 22–34), distinguishes five different ‘discourse modes’: ‘narration’, ‘description’, ‘report’, ‘information’, and ‘argument’.

(7) They are taken from Blänsdorf’s seminal article (1978). In (a), I follow his graphical presentation of the period.

(8) For the use of the ancient (Platonic) distinction between ‘mimetic’ and ‘diegetic’, see Bakker (1997) and Kroon (2002). For discourse modes in general and their application to the tenses in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, see Kroon (2007); for Virgil’s Aeneid, see Adema (2019b—a revised version of her 2008 dissertation). For the use of the historic present by Livy, see van Gils and Kroon (2018: 204–7; 2019). For a collection of studies on ‘war narratives’, see van Gils et al. (2018). For the relationship between historiography and discourse linguistics ibid.: 9–11.

(9) A good introduction is de Jong (2014).

(10) For diachronic changes, see Kiss (2005).

(11) For various forms of repetition, see Mendell (1917: 21–85), from whom several examples are taken. For repetition in legal texts, see de Meo (2005: 87–90).

(12) For a discussion of what she calls ‘faithful reiteration’, see Fugier (1991: 382–3).

(13) For a discussion of this passage, see Odelman (1972: 162–3).

(14) For the various possibilities of ‘unfaithful reiteration’, see Fugier (1991).

(15) See TLL s.v. homo 2882.13ff.

(16) Cited as an instance of asyndeton adversativum by K.-St.: II.156.

(17) Taken from TLL s.v. is 460.14ff.

(18) For the jurists, see Kalb (1888: 41–3); for Caesar, Odelman (1972: 152–9). In general, see Rosén (1981: 17–19) and Adams (2013: 491–2).

(19) See also Spevak (2010a: 98–9). Implicit subjects are much less common in Late Latin texts. See Herman (1991). For the development into Old French, see Prévost (2018).

(20) For the use of asyndeton in ‘war bulletins’, see Fraenkel (1956: 192).

(21) For the interpretation of zero objects, see Jones (2000: 24–5). Ex. (e) is taken from that publication.

(22) See Mendell (1917: 99).

(23) This example is discussed by Pennell Ross (1996: 519–20) and Bolkestein (2000: 128–30). Kroon (2010: 589) shows that zero-anaphora is the ‘default option’ in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

(24) For the anaphoric use of adverbs of place in historical texts, see Longrée (2010), with detailed statistics. For the anaphoric (and cataphoric) use of ibi, see Burkard (2019). It is not used deictically.

(25) The data are based upon Pennell Ross (1996) (Caes. Civ. I and II) and Bolkestein (2000: 113–14) (Cic. Att. I and II.1–10). Longrée (2003) shows that Sallust and Tacitus use ille much more often than Caesar.

(26) See Pennell Ross (1996: 514) and Spevak (2010a: 75), who has also data on Sallust. In Cicero’s letters, is and hic are divided between initial and non-initial, whereas ille is most often non-initial (Bolkestein 2000: 118). There are differences between these three words when used as pronoun and as determiner (Spevak 2010a: 74–5). See also Bolkestein (2001: 249–50). For the position of is in the function of object, see Luraghi (2016). For repetitive use of is in a number of texts, see Adams (2016: index s.v. is).

(27) This example is discussed by Pennell Ross (1996: 517). See also Kroon (2009a: 124–5).

(28) The data come from the same corpus as Table 24.1.

(29) See de Jong (1996) and Kroon (2009a; 2017).

(30) For resumptive and anticipatory verbal nouns, see Mendell (1917: 39–40), Rosén (1983: 187–9), and Spevak (2015b: 292–5). See also Fugier (1991: 388–90) on anaphoric reference by ‘grammatical recategorization’.

(31) For the term and the construction, see Bolkestein (2000; 2002; also summarized in 2001: 249–51). It is part of a technique called ‘ablatif absolu d’enchaînement’ by Chausserie-Laprée (1969: 120–2), which is also typical of Tacitus (Enghofer 1961: 118). For the use of these clauses, some of them ‘formulaic’, in the Bellum Alexandrinum, see Gaertner and Hausburg (2013: 63–4). Müller-Lancé (1994: 99) states that 83 out of 403 capita in Caesar’s de Bello Gallico begin with a ‘linking’ ablative absolute clause (of course, they will have been regarded as signals when our modern capita division was introduced). Holland (1986: 172) exaggerates when he states that participial ablative absolute clauses are mostly of this linking type.

(32) See Bolkestein (2002).

(33) See Chausserie-Laprée (1969: 55–60) and Kroon (2017). For Velleius Paterculus, see Ruiz Castellanos (2005: 935–6).

(34) For further instances of quod in Plautus, see Lodge s.v. qui 472 § N 1; for id, s.v. is 841 § B 5; for hoc, s.v. hic 695 § A 2.l; for illuc (illud), s.v. ille 756 § C 2.r; for istuc (istud), s.v. iste 854 § C 2.

(35) See K.-St.: II.158–9, Nägelsbach and Müller (1905: 758–61), TLL s.v. adeo 606.19ff.; s.v. ita 520.70ff., Sz.: 470. For the Greek term ἐπιφώνημα‎ ‘interjection, exclamation’, see Dickey (2007: 238).

(36) See TLL s.v. ita 518.79ff. See also § 15.103 for the use of ita and sic as preparative devices with accusative and infinitive clauses.

(37) For further examples of is, see TLL s.v. is 474.6ff.

(38) TLL s.v. iste 507.62ff. cites this as the first instance of preparative use of the determiner.

(39) See K.-St.: II.158.

(40) For Plautus’ ‘Armut an Konjunktionen’, see Blänsdorf (1967: 78).

(41) Cic. Att. 1.1–5 (178 lines OCT); Liv. 1.48–53 (195 lines OCT); Sen. Ep. 1–5 (181 lines OCT). From Table 24.3 it can also be deduced that in this sample Seneca has the shortest, Livy the longest sentences. This figure is taken from LSS § 12.1. For Seneca, see Bolkestein (1986).

(42) See Kiss (2005).

(43) See Rosén (2011: 136) and von Albrecht (2012: 35, 161).

(44) For Damon’s punctuation, see the Preface to her OCT edition, pp. lxiii and lxvi, n. 81.

(45) See Pinkster (1972: 153–64; 2004b), Risselada (1998b), Rosén (2005: 231–2), Kroon (2011), and Schrickx (2011: 261–8).

(46) See Rosén (2011: 139–40). For the use of et in various sentence types, see TLL s.v. et 890.14ff. Et can be used to coordinate an indirect question with num with another indirect question. See § 19.27, Supplement. Aut num can be used after a preceding question. See § 24.21.

(47) See TLL s.v. atque 1076.18ff. with a detailed semantic classification and OLD s.v. atque § 2 ‘beginning an emphatic sentence or clause’. Also Lodge: s.v. atque 178–9 (§ 13), McGlynn s.v. atque 59 (§§ XIII and XIV), Merguet (Reden) s.v. atque 308 (§II.1); (Phil.) 255 (§ II.1), and Gerber and Greef s.v. atque 109 (§ 2).

(48) See TLL s.v. et 890.14ff., Lodge s.v. et 534ff. (§§ S and D), Merguet (Reden) s.v. et 212 (§ A); (Phil.) 829 (§ C), Gerber and Greef s.v. et 389 (§ 2). For the use of et in the Passio Perp., see Adams (2016: 323–4).

(49) Adverbs of addition like praeterea often imply gradation. See Iordache (2010).

(50) For examples, see TLL s.v. et 892.53ff.

(51) Merguet (Reden) s.v. nec 258 (§ A); (Phil.) 662 (§ B.I.1.a).

(52) See Lodge s.v. aut 204 (§ D.1).

(53) See OLD s.v. aut § 7.

(54) Instead of the emendation non (by Graevius) there are several other proposals. See the apparatus in Rizzo’s edition.

(55) In her Table 4 Rosén (2009: 356–7) makes a distinction between pure ‘contrasting’ particles like tamen and ‘adjoining + contrastive’ particles like sed. She also has more particles than discussed in the following sections.

(56) A table with collocations of adversative connecting devices can be found in Rosén (2009: 340).

(57) See Orlandini (1999b: 203) and Spevak (2006c: 245).

(58) For discussion and examples, see Otto (1912: 43–57). See also K.-St.: II.321–2 and OLD s.v. quod, § 1.a.

(59) See, among others, Pasoli (1957: 46–9).

(60) See TLL s.v. ast, where the quoted instances must be checked in recent editions. For Cicero’s usage, see Pascucci (1968: 29–34) and Powell (2005: 136–7).

(61) For a discussion of at, see Kroon (1995: Ch. 12).

(62) See Sz.: 489.

(63) See TLL s.v. atqui 1085.11ff., Sz: 493–4, and Orlandini (1995).

(64) See Kroon (2011: 184). See also TLL s.v. autem 1578.27ff. For autem and ceterum, see Orlandini (1999a).

(65) See TLL s.v. autem 1585.42ff.

(66) For a few more examples, see TLL s.v. autem 1594.79ff. See also Kroon (1995: 246; 273).

(67) See TLL s.v. autem 1592.82ff. and Kroon (1995: 273).

(68) For further parallels of (c), see TLL s.v. autem 1593.68ff.; for (d), 1580.36ff.

(69) For (h) and (i), see Kroon (1995: 241–6).

(70) For the use of autem as a paragraph marker in medical texts, see Langslow (2000: 546).

(71) In the Peregrinatio, autem signals an ‘opposition très atténuée en général’ (‘a generally very weak opposition’) (Väänänen 1987: 117). See also Kiss (2006), Rosén (2009: 397), and Spevak (2012b: 350). For details about frequency, see TLL s.v. autem 1576.54ff. and Spevak (2012b: 340–2), with graphics. For a comparison between Rhet. Her. and Cic. Inv. of their use of autem in almost identical passages (Rhet. Her. has asyndeton), see Golla (1935: 59–60).

(72) Thirteen instances in the de Civitate Dei; eight in the Sermones.

(73) So the OLD and TLL.

(74) For a discussion of (d), see Kroon (1995: 83–7; 2011: 188–9).

(75) ‘The word is employed so frequently by T. in transition, opposition and resumption that it is certainly a mannerism, almost a fault’ (Goodyear ad loc.).

(76) TLL s.v. ceterus 970.29 takes (g) as the first attestation of the transitional use and, indeed, it is not always easy to decide. Further examples at 969.82ff. Another instance of ceterum in non-initial position is Pl. Poen. 92–3, in an imperative sentence. See also Orlandini (1999a: 145–6). For further examples of cetero, see TLL s.v. ceterus 974.47ff.; for de cetero, 974.64ff.

(77) For this use of ceterum, see TLL s.v. ceterus 972.52ff.

(78) Based on a count of maximally 100 sentences per text in LLT and following the punctuation by editors.

(79) For a very detailed classification of the usages of sed in Plautus, see Lodge s.v.; in Terence, McGlynn s.v. For some Christian authors, see Gillis (1938).

(80) OLD s.v. sed § 2.c.

(81) K.-St.: II.77.

(82) So Woodman and Martin ad loc., following Koestermann ad loc., who follows Gerber and Greef s.v. sed 1455 (§ e).

(83) Cato hist. 95b=88C, quoted by Gellius 6.3.16, and Cic. Att. 6.1.11 (enim bracketed by edd.).

(84) See OLD s.v. sed § 5; TLL s.v. sed 573.80ff. Quint. Inst. 9.3.14 says it is an archaism in Virgil, surprisingly, as Russell notes in his Loeb edition ad loc.

(85) See TLL s.v. enimvero 594.26ff.

(86) So OLD s.v. contra § 8.

(87) In the Classical prose corpus used by Spevak (2006c: 224) 20 out of 150 instances of tamen are intersentential (‘transphrastique’) connectors. Half of the instances concern its correlative use with a preceding, most often concessive, subordinate clause (see § 16.68). In a corpus of Late Latin prose, the percentage of intersentential use is much higher: 42 per cent. See Spevak (2005b: 205).

(88) See Maraldi (2001).

(89) Spevak (2005b: 221–2), discussing instances in Ammianus, states that in the order nihilominus tamen the first word has lost its proper meaning and only strengthens the overall concessive meaning.

(90) For the ‘side-effect’ idea, see Kroon (1995: 326–32; 2011: 191). For the traditional view, see K.-St.: I.798–9 and II.80. For the co-occurrence of vero with the coordinator sed, see § 19.62.

(91) See Langslow (2000: 547–9), Rosén (2009: 374), and Schrickx (2011: 227–30). For the difference between vero and autem, see Kroon (1995: 329–30). For their use in Cassius Felix, see Langslow (2000: 546).

(92) See Orlandini (1994), Pfister (1995: 245), and Maraldi (2002b).

(93) The material can be found in TLL s.v. etsi ‘paratacticum’ 979.4ff.

(94) For the syntactic and pragmatic properties of quamquam, see Martín Puente (2001). For criteria to decide whether a particular instance of quamquam is a subordinator or a connector, see Mellet (2005).

(95) The data concerning nam, namque, quippe, and nempe are taken from Schrickx (2009; 2011). Included is material collected by the TLL until Apuleius. The data concerning enim and etenim come from the LLT, period Antiquitas. There is no subdivision available for prose and poetry.

(96) Data obtained from LLT.

(97) For this description of the function of nam, see Kroon (1995: 144) and TLL s.v. nam 840ff. For nam in Plautus, see Blänsdorf (1967: 80–90; 191–205).

(98) For parallels of (a)–(d), (e), and (g), see TLL s.v. nam 8.71ff., 17.42ff., and 23.20ff., respectively. The examples are taken from the TLL article. For some later developments, see TLL s.v. 24.29ff. For (f), see Kroon (1998b: 57–60).

(99) See Holmes (2012).

(100) In Augustine’s work the proportion of nam and enim varies as well: Civ. 25/75, Conf. 20/80, Ep. 20/80, Serm. 15/85. In the Peregrinatio the proportion is 75/25 (source: LLT). For data on the frequency of nam and enim in didactic prose, see Langslow (2000: 542).

(101) See Kroon (1995: 163–8; 187). For ‘affirmative’ nam, see OLD s.v. nam § 1.

(102) For details, see Schrickx (2009); for further instances, see TLL s.v. namque.

(103) See TLL s.v. etenim 920.61ff. ‘adnectit aliquid novi’. The first instance cited is Cic. Att. 1.14.4, not convincingly.

(104) For the aetas patrum the LLT gives more than 5,300 instances.

(105) For the differences between nam and quippe, see Kroon (2014: 77–9).

(106) See Schrickx (2011: 130–3 and passim). The function of qui is disputed. For quippe in Velleius Paterculus, see Sánchez Manzano (2001) and Ruiz Castellanos (2005).

(107) On quippe in Lucretius, see Possanza (2008).

(108) See Schrickx (2011: 119–25).

(109) So Kroon (2011: 192). In her earlier work (1995: 184) she uses the term ‘consensus particle’.

(110) Namque enim is attested at Pl. Trin. 61. For discussion, see Kroon (1995: 209); for collocations of enim, see Kroon (1995: 172–5; 186–7).

(111) Editors also print etenim.

(112) In Livy 30 per cent of instances of enim and 12 per cent of nam are in direct speech. See Kroon (1995: 181).

(113) For these examples and further discussion, see Kroon (1995: 189–95). The examples in the Supplement are also taken from Kroon (1995).

(114) See Spevak (2012b: 337).

(115) See Kroon (1995: 196–8). For the traditional view, see K.-St.: II.120, TLL s.v. enim 572.10ff., OLD s.v. enim § 1–2, and Müller (1997: 69–74).

(116) For further instances, see TLL s.v. enim 572.63ff. For the argumentation, see Kroon (1995: 204).

(117) See TLL s.v. enim 589.65ff.; OLD § 6 s.v. enim.

(118) Brown translates ‘but’.

(119) Called ‘enim inceptivum’ in TLL s.v. enim 588.3ff.

(120) See TLL s.v. 590.40ff. OLD s.v. § 6 discusses instances like this under the heading: ‘introducing a slight contrast’.

(121) See Langslow (2000: 550–3). He states that in Celsus (books 4 and 5) nam is much less often used in this context.

(122) This description follows Schrickx (2011: 83). See also K.-St.: I.809. For a comparison of nempe and enim, see Schrickx (2011: 98–100).

(123) For the distribution of nempe, see Schrickx (2011: 269–71). There is only one instance in Cicero’s letters (Cic. Att. 9.15.3).

(124) See Schrickx (2011: 76).

(125) See Schrickx (2011: 95–6). Enim ergo is used a few times in Early Latin and then also a few times by Tertullian and Augustine. In Quintilian, three out of ten instances of nempe also have enim. There are not enough instances to draw a conclusion about their meanings.

(126) So K.-St.: II.145. Sz.: 525 calls it an ‘abundante konjunktionale Verbindung’. For discussion, see Thomsen (1930) and Pinkster (1972:158–62). Ergo igitur in (a) is also attested at Pl. Mos. 847 (ergoigitur), then seventeen times in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. Itaque ergo in (b) is later on five occasions attested in Livy (on which see Krylová 2003: 81), seventeen times in the Peregrinatio, occasionally elsewhere. For further combinations, see TLL s.v. ergo 774.78ff., s.v. igitur 271.55ff., s.v. itaque 530.18ff.

(127) For comparative data on ergo and igitur in the historians, see Krylová (2001: 67). Ammianus uses ergo and igitur more or less as do the Classical historians (Krylová 2001).

(128) For detailed figures about the frequency in individual authors and texts, see TLL s.v. ergo 760.26ff, where also information about the position in the sentence can be found.

(129) This formulation closely follows Kroon (1989b: 236).

(130) Paraphrasing K.-St.: II.137.

(131) The result would be pavimentula.

(132) For details, see TLL s.v. igitur 253.42ff.

(133) See TLL s.v. igitur 255.51ff. For discussion of these instances, see Kroon (2004b: 73). See also Rosén (2009: 358, (d)).

(134) See TLL s.v. igitur 262.39ff.

(135) K.-St.: II.130–1 use for igitur the term ‘Vernunftsschluss’ (rational conclusion). Van Gils (2005: 806–9) describes itaque as signalling a ‘volitional causal’ relation.

(136) See TLL s.v. itaque 531.52ff. For instances of itaque in a main clause after a subordinate clause, see ibid. 531.75ff.

(137) So TLL s.v. itaque 529.43ff. Kroon (2004b: 72) states that most or all instances can be taken as ‘and so’. Conversely, Pasoli (1962) rejects the idea that ‌‑que has a coordinating function.

(138) This formulation follows Kroon (2004b; 2011), from whom most of the examples are taken, and Krylová (2001; 2003; 2006).

(139) Also in Seneca’s letters (Kroon 2004b: 79).

(140) See Krylová (2006).

(141) For further instances, see TLL s.v. ergo 766.83ff.

(142) For the use of ergo in narrative texts, see Krylová (2003, especially pp. 79–91).

(143) For both phenomena, see Kiss (2006; 2007; 2010) and Rosén (2009: 397).

(144) For the expressions of continuity used by Caesar, Sallust, and Livy, see Chausserie-Laprée (1969: 28–9); for Velleius Paterculus, Ruiz Castellanos (2005: 935); for Apuleius’ Metamorphoses, Callebat (1998: 131–7).

(145) In (a) I print the Budé text of Achard. For the historical background, see Calboli ad loc.

(146) ‘abundanter’ TLL s.v. posterus 219.38.

(147) For a more complete list, see Rosén (2009: 355–9). Tandem is sometimes regarded as more or less synonymous with postremo, but it does not belong here. See Risselada (1998b).

(148) For the use of temporal adverbs as discourse organizers, see Hilton (1989; 1997/8) and Kiss (2010). For nunc and denique, see Rosén (2009: 329–31).

(149) For nunc, see Risselada (1998c), especially pp. 110–12, from whom exx. (e)–(g) are taken. For nunc in Plautus, see Blänsdorf (1967: 96–7). For the use of nunc in past narratives and as a contrastive connector, see Dalbera (2016; 2019).

(150) The Groningen Commentary ad loc. notes ‘the repetition lends urgency’, but this is not correct.

(151) For cohesive devices in texts that contain lists, see Conso (2007).

(152) Taken from K.-St.: II.155–6.

(153) See K.-St.: II.156–9.

(154) For this example and others, see Mendell (1917: 159–60). See also Kroon (2004a) and Orlandini (2005: 163–9).

(155) A survey of concessive relations can be found in Iordache (1992).

(156) Ex. (n) is discussed by Kiss (2005: 573–4). See also Rosén (2011: 141) on what she calls ‘inference’ relations.

(157) See K.-St.: II.159.

(158) See Ctibor (2017b). For the cohesive devices used by a number of Late Latin historians between text segments, see Kiss (2019).

(159) In (a), the Loeb edition does not start a new paragraph. For autem, see also § 24.26, (j) and (k); for ceterum § 24.27, (d)–(f); for igitur, § 24.43, (e).

(160) ‘Tacitus makes very frequent, indeed excessive, use of at in transitions … ’ (Goodyear ad loc.). For further examples in Tacitus, see Gerber and Greef s.v. at 106 (§ B).

(161) The quotation is from Woodman (1977: 154). For the ‘headings’ and quippe, see Ruiz Castellanos (2005).

(162) See Mantovani (2018: Appendice 1).

(163) See Müller (1964: 13–21), Wingo (1972), Cancik (1979), Bischoff (1990), Raible (1993), Ctibor (2017b), and Mantovani (2018).

(164) See now also van Gils and Kroon (2018).

(165) This paragraph follows LSS § 12.3.3.

(166) For Latin prose prefaces, see Janson (1964).

(167) For openings of conversations, see Hoffmann (1983), Roesch (2008—also in Seneca), and Ferri (2008). For conclusions, see Roesch (2002; 2005). For the use of politeness expressions in openings in Plautus and Terence, see Berger (2017b).

(168) The addressee alone is a further possibility. See Cugusi (1983: 64–7), who also discusses the relative order of sender and addressee.