A TEI Project

Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Genitive of Quality

345. The Genitive is used to denote Quality, but only when the quality is modified by an adjective:—

vir summae virtūtis, a man of the highest courage. [But not vir virtūtis.]

māgnae est dēlīberātiōnis, it is an affair of great deliberation.

māgnī formīca labōris (Hor. S. 1.1.33), the ant [a creature] of great toil.

ille autem suī iūdicī (Nep. Att. 9), but he [a man] of independent (his own) judgment.

Note— Compare Ablative of Quality (§ 415). In expressions of quality, the genitive or the ablative may often be used indifferently: as, praestantī prūdentiā vir, a man of surpassing wisdom; maximī animī homō, a man of the greatest courage. In classic prose, however, the genitive of quality is much less common than the ablative; it is practically confined to expressions of measure or number, to a phrase with êius, and to nouns modified by māgnus, maximus, summus, or tantus. In general the Genitive is used rather of essential, the Ablative of special or incidental characteristics.

a. The genitive of quality is found in the adjective phrases êius modī, cûius modī (equivalent to tālis, such; quālis, of what sort):—

êius modī sunt tempestātēs cōnsecūtae, utī; (B. G. 3.29), such storms followed, that, etc.

b. The genitive of quality, with numerals, is used to define measures of length, depth , etc. (Genitive of Measure):—

fossa trium pedum, a trench of three feet [in depth].

mūrus sēdecim pedum, a wall of sixteen feet [high].

For the Genitive of Quality used to express indefinite value, see § 417.

XML File