I feel obliged to post again on this subject even though I can almost hear some(one) mumbling: Quousque tandem abutere, Carole, patientia nostra?
But I believe that the question discussed has not been properly settled yet.
Let us return to the original sample sentence:
In media urbe inter colles Capitolium et Palatium est forum Romanum, quo homines ex tota Italia atque ex omnibus provinciis Romanis conveniunt.
I deliberately rendered prominent not only the quo
but also conveniunt
because I believe that the use of quo
cannot be properly understood if the verb of the clause is not taken into consideration.
Let's look at quo
first. I've had a look at several Latin dictionaries. Some list it as an adverb, some as a conjunction, and others as both (with one saying that its uses as an adverb or conjunction cannot always be clearly distinguished). In the above sentence it is obviously used to introduce a subordinate clause and thus serves as a "relative adverb". See §§ 308 f, g, i and 279 of Allen & Greenough's "New Latin Grammar". § 308 gives a few examples for the use of quo
- quô cum vênisset, and when he had come there (whither when he had come)
- mortuus Cûmîs quô sê contulerat, having died at Cumae, whither he had retired.
- locus quô aditus nôn erat, a place to which (whither) there was no access
None of these examples use the "place where" meaning but instead use the "place to which, whither" meaning. All the dictionaries I have been checking favour the latter meaning although some do list the "place where" meaning.
The entry quô
in the "Langenscheidts Handwörterbuch Latein-Deutsch" is also illuminating:
It lists (among many other uses not directly conveying anything spatial) only spatial meanings which can be translated by "where to". And as far as constructions are concerned, it lists the following examples (bold face placed by me):
- eo ibimus, quo iusseris
- mare, quo (= in quod) [really, not in quo but in quod] Rhenus influit
- omnes, quo (= ad quos) se contulit
All of these use the "place to which, whither"-meaning, and in each case the quo
could be replaced by an accusative-construction, not
by an ablative.
Now, let's turn to conveniunt
and again look at how it is used. Those dictionaries accessable to me and giving information about construction (or even sample sentences) tell that conveniunt
uses an accusative construction.
The Langenscheidt, for example, gives in its conveniunt
-entry the following examples for the meaning of "gathering, meeting of individuals":
- ad alqm, e.g. ad me
- ab, ex loco in/ad locum, e.g. in senatum, Romam, ad templum, in colloquium
- in loco, apud alqd. [Yes, in loco is an ablative-construction. However, according to Langenscheidt it is unclassical.]
Another dictionary, Walter Ripman's "A Handbook of the Latin Language", also provides examples:
- Convenîre aliquem
- Omnês in ûnum locum convênêrunt.
And here again: accusative construction. Nota bene:
I believe that it is important to note that in the sample sentence provided by pmda quo
an ablative construction - at least as far as I can tell after my in-depth research in this matter. If it were one ought to be able to replace quo
with a more obvious ablative relative adverb like ubi
. That, however, is not possible as we have seen from the constructions used with conveniunt
. Unless, of course, we are opening the flood gates to each and every construction from the later eras of the Latin language, which is not an error as such but probably not what was intended by Mr. Orberg.
As far as conveniunt
and its use of the accusative are concerned, §§ 370 b and 388 b from "New Latin Grammar" might be helpful. A&G comment that some compounds (among these convenio
) have acquired a transitive meaning, and take the accusative.
This example shows that a construction in English like "gather/assemble", which we feel implies an ablative, does not necessarily use one in actual Latin. Latin is
different! Another example: in silvas se abdere
- a classical accusative construction (with a possible but unclassical ablative construction).
I did my best to investigate this matter, but of course I am a mere beginner, and perhaps one of the pros would want to comment on this matter.
Thank you, pmda, for the interesting question. I've learned a lot (hopefully the right things).