L R H

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L

ATIN FOR

R

ESEARCH IN THE

H

UMANITIES

S

EMINAR

5

R

EPORTED

C

OMMANDS

Direct commands in Latin can be expressed in the following ways:

(1)

(2)

Using an imperative: e.g. ‘Noli quemquam mittere.’

Do not send anyone.

Using a jussive subjunctive: e.g. ‘Ne hic maneamus.’

Let us not stay here.

When a command is being

reported

, however, it can assume one of two forms:

(a)

iubeo

and

veto

+ infinitve

The verbs

iubeo

(I order) and

veto

(I forbid) are always followed by an

infinitive

.

Iubeo

is never followed by a negative.

Domina servum iussit fenestram reficere.

The misress ordered the slave to mend the window

.

Spectatores vetabantur cibum bestiis dare.

The spectators were forbidden to feed the animals

.

(b)

ut

and

ne

+ subjunctive

All verbs other than

iubeo

and

veto

are followed by a clause introduced either by

ut

or

ne

and a subjunctive. Whereas

ut

introduces positive commands,

ne

introduces negative commands.

The tense of the subjunctive in a reported command follows what is often called ‘the sequence of tenses’ and it is important to understand this before proceeding further. In Latin, the tense of the verb in a subordinate clause is usually affected by the tense of the verb in the main clause on which it depends. As in English, the main verb ‘sets the pace’ for the whole sentence.

There are two groups of tenses. Those referring to the present or future are called the

primary

tenses, while those which refer to the past are called the

historic

tenses.

Primary tenses

Present

Future

Perfect (in subord. clauses)

Future Perfect

Historic tenses

Imperfect

‘Future-in-past’ 1

Pluperfect

Perfect (in main clauses)

Whichever of the two groups the verb of the main clause belongs to, the verb in the subordinate clause will also be chosen from the same group: if a main verb is in a primary tense, so the subordinate verb will be in a primary tense.

The sequence of tenses is of greater importance for some types of subordinate clause than for others. Those subordinate clauses which are concerned primarily with

facts

(e.g. relative clauses and adverb clauses of result) are wont to disregard the sequence, but those types of subordinate clauses which are concerned with

ideas

or

thoughts

(e.g. reported

1

i.e.

in English, ‘he would do’; in Latin (in the subjunctive)

facturus esset

. We will discuss this more closely in dealing with reported questions.

1

commands, reported questions, and purpose clauses) tend to follow the sequence of tenses rigorously.

In a reported command, the subjunctive in the subordinate clause is either in the

present tense

(where the main clause includes a verb in a primary tense) or in the

imperfect tense

(where the main clause includes a verb in an historic tense).

Rex militibus imperavit ut captivos liberarent.

The king ordered the soldiers to set the prisoners free.

Hortatur eos ne animo deficiant.

He exhorts them not to lose courage.

C

AESAR

Decrevit senatus ut Opimius videret.

The senate decreed that Opimius should see.

C

ICERO

As in reported statements,

se

and

suus

refer to the speaker.

Avunculus me rogavit ut secum irem.

My uncle asked me to go with him

.

Certain verbs connected with prohibiting, hindering, deterring etc. – such as

prohibeo

,

impedio

,

deterreo

etc. – use the conjunctions

ne

,

quominus

, or

quin

to introduce their subordinate clauses.

Per Afranium stetit quominus proelium dimicaretur. Caesar

It was owing to Afranius that no battle was fought

.

Atticus, ne qua sibi statua poneretur, restitit.

Atticus opposed having any statue raised to him.

Nepos

Nihil abest quin sim miserrimus.

Nothing is wanting to my being most miserable.

Cicero

Common verbs introducing reported commands

(te) rogo, -are

(te) oro, -are

(te) moneo, -ere

(te) hortor, -ari

(tibi) persuadeo, -ere, -suasi, -suasum

(tibi) impero, -are

(tibi) praecipio, -cipere, -cepi, -ceptum

(abs te) peto, petere, petivi, petitum

to ask to beg, entreat to warn, advise to exhort, encourage, urge to persuade to command, order to instruct to ask, beg

Exercises

(1) Servo magnis praemissis persuadet ut litteras ad Caesarem deferat.

(2) Consuli permissum est ut duas legiones scriberet. (Livy)

(3) Dominus ancillis imperavit ut vinum ferrent.

(4) Agricola nos monuit ut prima luce proficisceremur.

(5) Sacerdos pueros vetuit in templo loqui.

(6) Amici mihi persuadere conantur ne in hoc oppido maneam

(7) Senex nautem hortabatur ut navem venderet et tabernam emeret.

q. 1 – defero, -ferre, -tuli, -latum = to bear, carry, deliver q. 2 – scribo, scribere, scripsi, scriptum =

here

to enrol q. 4 – proficiscor, -ficisci, -fectus = to begin, go forward, set out

2

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