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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Ablative of Comparison

406. The Comparative degree is often followed by the Ablative1 signifying than:

Catō est Cicerōne ēloquentior, Cato is more eloquent than Cicero.

quid nōbīs duōbus labōriōsius est (Mil. 5), what more burdened with toil than we two?

vīlius argentum est aurō, virtūtibus aurum (Hor. Ep. 1.1.52), silver is less precious than gold, gold than virtue.

a. The idiomatic ablatives opīniōne, spē, solitō, dictō, aequō, crēdibilī, and iūstō are used after comparatives instead of a clause:—

celerius opīniōne (Fam. 14.23), faster than one would think.

sērius spē omnium (Liv. 26.26), later than all hoped (than the hope of all).

amnis solitō citātior (id. 23.19.11), a stream swifter than its wont.

gravius aequō (Sall. Cat. 51), more seriously than was right.

XML File

This is a branch of the Ablative of Separation. The object with which anything is compared is the starting-point from which we reckon. Thus, “Cicero is eloquent”; but, starting from him we come to Cato , who is “more so than he.”