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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Dative of Agent

374. The Dative of the Agent is used with the Gerundive to denote the person on whom the necessity rests:—

haec vōbīs prōvincia est dēfendenda (Manil. 14), this province is for you to defend (to be defended by you).

mihi est pūgnandum, I have to fight (i.e. the need of fighting is to me: cf. mihi est liber, I have a book, § 373. N.).

a. This is the regular way of expressing the agent with the Second or Passive Periphrastic Conjugation (§ 196).

Note 1— The Ablative of the Agent with ab (§ 405) is sometimes used with the Second Periphrastic Conjugation when the Dative would be ambiguous or when a stronger expression is desired:—

quibus est ā vōbīs cōnsulendum (Manil. 6), for whom you must consult. [Here two datives, quibus and vōbīs, would have been ambiguous.]

rem ab omnibus vōbīs prōvidendam (Rab. 4), that the matter must be attended to by all of you. [The dative might mean for all of you.]

Note 2— The Dative of the Agent is either a special use of the Dative of Possession or a development of the Dative of Reference (§ 376).

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