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Dative in Livy

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Dative in Livy

Postby praepositus » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:15 pm

Hello all. Before I ask my question, let me say by way of background that I've been studying Latin on my own for about six years. My path has been Wheelock, Wheelock intermediate reader, then mostly Cicero and Seneca. I've started Livy recently and I've been encountering many usages that seem strange to me. One example of this is his use of datives, that seem to be datives of purpose. Here's a couple from Book I:

"Iuppiter Feretri, haec tibi victor Romulus rex regia arma fero, templumque his regionibus quas modo animo metatus sum dedico, sedem opimis spoliis quae regibus ducibusque hostium caesis me auctorem sequentes posteri ferent."

"Huius filiam virginem auro corrumpit Tatius ut armatos in arcem accipiat; aquam forte ea tum sacris extra moenia petitum ierat."

In the first sentence, the temple will be a place for the spolia opima. In the second place, the girl is going for water for a religious ritual. So these would seem to be datives of purpose. But if these are the intended meanings, I would expect ad or an ut clause, e.g., ad sacra instead of sacris in the second example. Furthermore, according to Allen and Greenbough, datives of purpose are only used with abstract nouns (as in 'mihi dolori fuit') and usually in double dative constructions outside of poetry. Would Livy be a rare exception to this rule? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Dative in Livy

Postby mwh » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:48 pm

Livy is significantly later than Cicero, and his style is significantly different. You’ve put your finger on one of the points of difference, extended use of the dative.
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Re: Dative in Livy

Postby praepositus » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:42 pm

Thank you!
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Re: Dative in Livy

Postby Nesrad » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:17 pm

For the sake of discussion, I wonder how this would be expressed in Golden Age style. Would we necessarily use a subordinate clause? This is maybe one reason why later style is so concise, cf. Tacitus.
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Re: Dative in Livy

Postby praepositus » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:18 pm

Nesrad wrote:For the sake of discussion, I wonder how this would be expressed in Golden Age style. Would we necessarily use a subordinate clause? This is maybe one reason why later style is so concise, cf. Tacitus.

Couldn't you say something like sedes ad opima spolia (continenda) and aqua ad sacra (agenda)? I think this would be the natural golden age construction.
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Re: Dative in Livy

Postby RandyGibbons » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:37 pm

My Latin is not deep or broad enough, and my knowledge of historical linguistics is too vapor thin, to judge, but I'm a little skeptical that usage of the dative, or of case versus preposition, is a particular distinguishing characteristic in the prose of Cicero, Livy, and Tacitus or their eras. (Though I'd love to be enlightened!)

But, praepositus, permit me this thought. In my opinion, Wheeler is admirable in its organization, simplicity, and clarity (hey, it's in its 7th edition!). But I believe, from personal experience, that it has a major downside. It leaves you unconsciously thinking that the grammatical constructs it teaches somehow preceded the language, and that part of reading Latin is identifying the applicable grammatical construct (or the one the author had in mind) as you go along. I KNOW YOU DON'T THINK THAT! Anyway, one day, while making a sacrifice to Juppiter Feretri, I had an epiphany. I suddenly realized that I had read enough Latin to pretty much 'get' the dative and ablative cases (and other stuff), and that the Roman gods were absolving me of any further need to think about 'the dative of this' and 'the ablative of that.' Me manumiserunt! Just how liberating this was I realized a few years ago when I read Livy XXX-XLV in a seminar and was able to focus on suffering with the Greeks and not with the grammar. Just a thought!

Not that I'm a purist. It's natural, of course, from time to time to question the usage, and certainly to compare that of different authors. Ïf I had to pick, I'd probably say the dative in your two examples is a dative of reference, which, in Allen and Greenough's definition, "depends not on any particular word [their emphasis], but on the general meaning [their emphasis] of the sentence." The sentence is Dedico templum/sedem; opimis spoliis further narrows the scope of the statement. Aquam petitum ierat is the sentence; sacris further narrows the scope of the statement. But in my blissful state of grammatical forgetfulness, 'dative of indirect object' and 'dative of purpose' and 'dative of reference' and the like all kind of blend. For me, I regard the following general characterizations as a sufficient understanding of the dative:

    + Allen and Greenough: "The Dative is probably [my emphasis], like the Genitive, a grammatical case, that is, it is a form appropriated to the expression of a variety of relations other than that of the direct object [my emphasis].

    + Kühner-Stegmann (Ausführliche Grammatik): "Während der Akkusativ sich nur auf das Prädikat bezieht und dieses ergänzt, bezieht sich der Dativ auf die ganze Satzsubstanz [my emphasis] und dient zu deren näherer Bestimmung [my emphasis]. (While the Accusative relates only to the predicate portion of the sentence and expands it, the Dative relates to the entire substance of the sentence and serves to narrow its scope.)
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Re: Dative in Livy

Postby mwh » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:06 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:I'm a little skeptical that usage of the dative, or of case versus preposition, is a particular distinguishing characteristic in the prose of Cicero, Livy, and Tacitus or their eras.
Randy, all I said was that extended use of the dative is a point of difference between Cicero and Livy. I thought that was generally recognized, and it’s exemplified by the two passages that praepositus adduced. You don’t need a thick or indeed any knowledge of historical linguistics to see it.
While I’m about it, I’d also disagree with you on sedem opimis spoliis. Like you, I don’t much care what label we pin on the dative (and it would never have occurred to me to ask what kind of dative it is), but it’s not a dative of reference in the A&G sense of the term, for it does depend on a particular word, namely sedem. Sorry to be so picky. I have sympathy with the thrust of what you are saying. I have myself been known to say there’s only one kind of dative, but it’s not quite true. And we all know that there are fundamentally two kinds of genitive, which can in turn be meaningfully sub-classified. Of course that’s not to say that ancient authors were in the habit of analyzing their language use (but note Varro), though they could certainly categorize one another’s styles.

Nesrad and praepositus, I think it would have to be a clause of some kind, probably an ut clause, e.g. ut fiat sedes opimis spoliis … or ut excipiat opima spolia. But the continuation is hardly “golden” either: Cicero would hardly have said me auctorem sequentes.
Incidentally, isn’t Livy often reckoned as still “Golden Age” himself? He’s certainly closer to Cicero than to Tacitus. “Golden” and “Silver” could use some deconstructing, and all periodizations are false, or fluid at best.
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Re: Dative in Livy

Postby RandyGibbons » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:17 pm

Well (msw), I'll take your word for it that Livy exhibits an extended use of the dative, compared to Cicero. I never thought of the dative (or genitive or ablative) as a function of style, though perhaps I'm forgetting the extraordinary degree to which Cicero and Livy and Tacitus were (immortal) literary craftsmen . Can you happen to think of any examples where Livy and Cicero say essentially the same thing, but Livy using the dative, Cicero something else? (I'm not challenging you, I'm looking for enlightenment!)

In a random internet search, I see someone actually wrote a book on Livy's use of the dative! I'm not running out to get it, though :lol: .

praepositus, just to say one more thing about Wheeler: To teach Latin (I'm not a teacher, by the way), obviously you must instruct (in a book or in a classroom) on case usage. It's natural to do that through examples. And to some degree, in an attempt to be helpful, through a classification of types of usage (though there are some, e.g., the Stephen Krashen and Comprehensive Input enthusiasts, who vigorously disagree), which means giving some kind of name to each type. These classifications might have been helpful to me in learning Latin (I really don't know), but they were ultimately a hindrance. The day I realized I didn't have to think about whether opimis spoliis was a dative of this or of that was a day of liberation for me, since it's perfectly obvious what Livy is saying. You seem to understand these sentences quite well, so I'm curious what you think.

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Re: Dative in Livy

Postby anphph » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:24 pm

Hey Randy,

The book you quoted being out of copyright, there's a scan of it online. At 50 pages, it's still 50 pages more than I'd be willing to read, but maybe you can find those examples you are looking for there. ;)
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Re: Dative in Livy

Postby RandyGibbons » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:50 pm

anphph, tibi gratias ago ... I think :) . (Actually, maybe Michael will read it for us !!)
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