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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar


424. Special constructions of time are the following:—

a. The Ablative of time within which sometimes takes in, and the Accusative of time how long per, for greater precision:—

in diēbus proximīs decem (Iug. 28), within the next ten days.

lūdī per decem diēs (Cat. 3.20), games for ten days.

b. Duration of time is occasionally expressed by the Ablative:—

militēs quīnque hōrīs proelium sustinuerant (B. C. 1.47), the men had sustained the fight five hours.

Note— In this use the period of time is regarded as that within which the act is done, and it is only implied that the act lasted through the period. Cf. inter annōs quattuordecim (B. G. 1.36), for fourteen years.

c. Time during which or within which may be expressed by the Accusative or Ablative of a noun in the singular, with an ordinal numeral:—

quīntō diē, within [just] four days (lit. on the fifth day). [The Romans counted both ends, see § 631. d.]

rēgnat iam sextum annum, he has reigned going on six years.

d. Many expressions have in Latin the construction of time when where in English the main idea is rather of place:

pūgnā Cannēnsī (or, apud Cannās), in the fight at Cannœ

lūdīs Rōmānīs, at the Roman games.

omnibus Gallicīs bellīs, in all the Gallic wars.

e. In many idiomatic expressions of time, the Accusative with ad, in, or sub is used. Such are the following:—

supplicātiō dēcrēta est in Kalendās Iānuāriās, a thanksgiving was voted for the first of January.

convēnērunt ad diem, they assembled on the [appointed] day.

ad vesperum, till evening; sub vesperum, towards evening.

sub idem tempus, about the same time; sub noctem, at nightfall.

f. Distance of time before or after anything is variously expressed:

post (ante) trēs annōs, post tertium annum, trēs post annōs, tertium post annum, tribus post annīs, tertiō post annō (§ 414), three years after.

tribus annīs (tertiō annō) post exsilium (postquam ēiectus est), three years after his exile.

hīs tribus proximīs annīs , within the last three years.

paucīs annīs, a few years hence.

abhinc annōs trēs (tribus annīs), ante hōs trēs annōs, three years ago.

triennium est cum (trēs annī sunt cum), it is three years since.

octāvō mēnse quam, the eighth month after (see § 434. N.).

g. In Dates the phrase ante diem (a. d.) with an ordinal, or the ordinal alone, is followed by an accusative, like a preposition; and the phrase itself may also be governed by a preposition.

The year is expressed by the names of the consuls in the ablative absolute, usually without a conjunction (§ 419. a):—

is diēs erat a. d. v. Kal. Apr. (quīntum Kalendās Aprīlīs) L. Pīsōne A. Gabīniō cōnsulibus (B. G. 1.6), that day was the 5th before the calends of April (March 28), in the consulship of Piso and Gabinius.

in a. d. v. Kal. Nov. (Cat. 1.7), to the 5th day before the calends of November (Oct. 28).

xv. Kal. Sextīlīs, the 15th day before the calends of August (July 18). [Full form: quīntō decimō diē ante Kalendās.]

For the Roman Calendar, see § 631.

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