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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Objective Genitive

348. Nouns of action, agency, and feeling govern the Genitive of the Object:—

cāritās tuī, affection for you.dēsīderium ōtī, longing for rest.
vacātiō mūneris, relief from duty.grātia beneficī, gratitude for kindness.
fuga malōrum, refuge from disaster.precātiō deōrum, prayer to the gods.
contentiō honōrum, struggle for office.opīniō virtūtis, reputation for valor.
Note— This usage is an extension of the idea of belonging to (Possessive Genitive). Thus in the phrase odium Caesaris, hate of Cæsar, the hate in a passive sense belongs to Cæsar, as odium, though in its active sense he is the object of it, as hate (cf. a). The distinction between the Possessive (subjective) and the Objective Genitive is very unstable and is often lost sight of. It is illustrated by the following example: the phrase amor patris, love of a father, may mean love felt by a father, a father's love (subjective genitive), or love towards a father (objective genitive).

a. The objective genitive is sometimes replaced by a possessive pronoun or other derivative adjective:—

mea invidia, my unpopularity (the dislike of which I am the object). [Cf. odium meī (Har. Resp. 5), hatred of me.]

laudātor meus (Att. 1.16.5), my eulogist (one who praises me). [Cf. nostrī laudātor (id. 1.14.6).]

Clōdiānum crīmen (Mil. 72), the murder of Clodius (the Clodian charge). [As we say, the Nathan murder. ]

metus hostīlis(Iug. 41), fear of the enemy (hostile fear).

ea quae faciēbat, tuā sē fīdūciā facere dīcēbat (Verr. 5.176), what he was doing, he said he did relying on you (with your reliance).

neque neglegentiā tuā, neque id odiō fēcit tuō (Ter. Ph. 1016), he did this neither from neglect nor from hatred of you.

b. Rarely the objective genitive is used with a noun already limited by another genitive:—

animī multārum rērum percursiō; (Tusc. 4.31), the mind's traversing of many things.

c. A noun with a preposition is often used instead of the objective genitive:—

odium in Antōnium (Fam. 10.5.3), hate of Antony.

merita ergā mē (id. 1.1.1), services to me.

meam in tē pietātem (id . 1.9.1), my devotion to you.

impetus in urbem (Phil. 12.29), an attack on the city.

excessus ē vītā (Fin. 3.60), departure from life. [Also, excessus vītae, Tusc. 1.27.]

adoptiō in Domitium (Tac. Ann. 12.25), the adoption of Domitius. [A late and bold extension of this construction.]

Note— So also in late writers the dative of reference (cf. § 366 . b ): as, — longō bellō māteria (Tac. H. 1.89), resources for a long war.

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