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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Cum Causal or Concessive

549. Cum causal or concessive takes the Subjunctive:—

    id difficile nōn est, cum tantum equitātū valeāmus (B. C. 3.86), this is not difficult since we are so strong in cavalry. [Causal.]

    cum sōlitūdō īnsidiārum et metūs plēna sit, ratiō ipsa monet amīcitiās comparāre (Fin. 1.66), since solitude is full of treachery and fear, reason itself prompts us to contract friendships. [Causal.]

    cum prīmī ōrdinēs concidissent, tamen ācerrimē reliquī resistēbant (B. G. 7.62), though the first ranks had fallen, still the others resisted vigorously. [Concessive.]

    brevī spatiō legiōnēs numerō hominum explēverat, cum initiō nōn amplius duōbus mīlibus habuisset (Sall. Cat. 56), in a short time he had filled out the legions with their complement of men, though at the start he had not had more than two thousand. [Concessive.]

Cum causal may usually be translated by since; cum concessive by although or while; either, occasionally, by when.

Note 1— Cum in these uses is often emphasized by ut, utpote, quippe, praesertim; as, nec reprehendō: quippe cum ipse istam reprehēnsiōnem nōn fūgerim (Att. 10.3 A), I find no fault; since I myself did not escape that blame.

Note 2— These causal and concessive uses of cum are of relative origin and are parallel to quī causal and concessive (§ 535. e). The attendant circumstances are regarded as the cause of the action, or as tending to hinder it.

Note 3— In early Latin cum (quom) causal and concessive usually takes the Indicative: as, quom tua rēs distrahitur, utinam videam (Pl. Trin. 617), since your property is being torn in pieces, O that I may see, etc.

a. Cum with the Indicative frequently introduces an explanatory statement, and is sometimes equivalent to quod, on the ground that:

    cum tacent, clāman (Cat. 1.21), when they are silent, they cry out (i.e. their silence is an emphatic expression of their sentiments).

    grātulor tibi cum tantum valēs apud Dolābellam (Fam. 9.14.3), I congratulate you that you are so strong with Dolabella.

Note— This is merely a special use of cum temporal expressing coincident time (§ 545. a).

b. Cum ... tum, signifying both ... and, usually takes the Indicative; but when cum approaches the sense of while or though, the Subjunctive is used (§ 549):—

    cum multa nōn probō, tum illud in prīmīs (Fin. 1.18), while there are many things I do not approve, there is this in chief. [Indicative.]

    cum difficile est, tum nē aequum quidem (Lael. 26), not only is it difficult but even unjust.

    cum rēs tōta ficta sit puerīliter, tum nē efficit quidem quod vult (Fin. 1.19), while the whole thing is childishly got up, he does not even make his point (accomplish what he wishes). [Subjunctive; approaching cum causal.]

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