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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

GENITIVE WITH VERBS/Verbs of Accusing, condemnng, and Acquitting

352. Verbs of accusing, condemning, and acquitting, take the Genitive of the Charge or Penalty:—

arguit mē furtī, he accuses me of theft.

pecūlātūs damnātus (pecūniae pūblicae damnātus) (Flacc. 43), condemned for embezzlement.

videō nōn tē absolūtum esse improbitātis, sed illōs damnātōs esse caedis (Verr. 2.1.72), I see, not that you were acquitted of outrage, but that they were condemned for homicide.

a. Peculiar genitives, under this construction, are—

capitis, as in damnāre capitis, to sentence to death.

mâiestātis [laesae], treason (crime against the dignity of the state).

repetundārum [rērum], extortion (lit. of an action for reclaiming money).

vōtī damnātus (or reus), bound [to the payment] of one's vow, i.e. successful in one's effort.

pecūniae (damnāre, iūdicāre, see note).

duplī etc., as in duplī condemnāre, condemn to pay twofold.

Note— The origin of these genitive constructions is pointed at by pecūniae damnāre (Gel. 20.1.38), to condemn to pay money, in a case of injury to the person; quantae pecūniae iūdicātī essent (id.xx.1.47), how much money they were adjudged to pay, in a mere suit for debt; cōnfessī aeris ac dēbitī iūdicātī (id.xx.1. 42), adjudged to owe an admitted sum due. These expressions show that the genitive of the penalty comes from the use of the genitive of value to express a sum of money due either as a debt or as a fine. Since in early civilizations all offences could be compounded by the payment of fines, the genitive came to be used of other punishments, not pecuniary. From this to the genitive of the actual crime is an easy transition, inasmuch as there is always a confusion between crime and penalty (cf. Eng. guilty of death). It is quite unnecessary to assume an ellipsis of crīmine or iūdiciō.

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