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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Reflexive Pronouns

301. Special uses of the Reflexive are the following:—

a. The reflexive in a subordinate clause sometimes refers to the subject of a suppressed main clause:—

Paetus omnīs librōs quōs frāter suus relīquisset mihi dōnāvit (Att. 2.1), Pœtus gave me all the books which (as he said in the act of donation) his brother had left him.

b. The reflexive may refer to any noun or pronoun in its own clause which is so emphasized as to become the subject of discourse:

Sōcratem cīvēs suī interfēcērunt, Socrates was put to death by his own fellowcitizens.

quī poterat salūs sua cuiquam nōn probārī; (Mil. 81), how can any one fail to approve his own safety? [In this and the preceding example the emphasis is preserved in English by the change of voice.]

hunc sī secūtī erunt suī comitēs (Cat. 2.10), this man, if his companions follow him.

Note— Occasionally the clause to which the reflexive really belongs is absorbed: as, —studeō sānāre sibi ipsōs (Cat. 2.17), I am anxious to cure these men for their own benefit (i.e. ut sānī sibi sint).

c. Suus is used for one's own as emphatically opposed to that of others, in any part of the sentence and with reference to any word in it:—

    suīs flammīs dēlēte Fīdēnās (Liv. 4.33), destroy Fidenœ with its own fires (the fires kindled by that city, figuratively). [Cf. Cat. 1.32.]

d. The reflexive may depend upon a verbal noun or adjective:—

suī laus, self-praise.

habētis ducem memorem vestrī, oblītum suī (Cat. 4.19), you have a leader mindful of you, forgetful of himself.

perditī hominēs cum suī similibus servīs (Phil. 1.5), abandoned men with slaves like themselves.

e. The reflexive may refer to the subject implied in an infinitive or verbal abstract used indefinitely:—

contentum suīs rēbus esse maximae sunt dīvitiae (Par. 51), the greatest wealth is to be content with one's own.

cui prōposita sit cōnservātiō suī (Fin. 5.37), one whose aim is self-preservation.

f. Inter sē (nōs, vōs), among themselves (ourselves, yourselves), is egularly used to express reciprocal action or relation:—

inter sē cōnflīgunt (Cat. 1.25), contend with each other.

inter sē continentur (Arch. 2), are joined to each other.

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