Ablative of Separation

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400. Words signifying separation or privation are followed by the ablative.

401. Verbs meaning to remove, set free, be absent, deprive, and want, take the ablative (sometimes with ab or ex).

Oculīs sē prīvāvit. (Fin. 5.87)
He deprived himself of eyes.

Omnī Galliā Rōmānīs interdīcit. (B. G. 1.46)
He (Ariovistus) bars the Romans from the whole of Gaul.

aquā et īgnī interdīcitur. (Vell. 2.45)
He is debarred the use of fire and water.
[The regular formula of banishment.]

voluptātibus carēre (Cat. M. 7)
to lack enjoyments

Nōn egeō medicīnā. (Lael. 10)
I want no physic.

Levāmur superstitiōne, līberāmur mortis metū. (Fin. 1.63)
We are relieved from superstition, we are freed from fear of death.

solūtī ā cupiditātibus (Leg. Agr. 1.27)
freed from desires.

multōs ex hīs incommodīs pecūniā sē līberāsse (Verr. 5.23)
that many have freed themselves by money from these inconveniences

For the genitive with verbs of separation and want, see § 356, Note

402. Verbs compounded with ā, ab, , ex, (1) take the simple ablative when used figuratively; but (2) when used literally to denote actual separation or motion, they usually require a preposition (§ 426.1).

  1. cōnātū dēsistere (B. G. 1.8)
    to desist from the attempt

    dēsine commūnibus locīs (Acad. 2.80)
    quit commonplaces.

    abīre magistrātū
    to leave one's office

    abstinēre iniūriā
    to refrain from wrong

  2. ā prōpositō aberrāre (Fin. 5.83)
    to wander from the point

    dē prōvinciā dēcēdere (Verr. 2.48)
    to withdraw from one's province

    ab iūre abīre (id. 2.114)
    to go outside of the law

    Ex cīvitāte excessēre (B. G. 6.8)
    They departed from the state.

    [But cf. Fīnibus suīs excesserant (id. 4.18)
    They had left their own territory.]

    ā māgnō dēmissum nōmen Iūlō (Aen. 1.288)
    a name descended (sent down) from great Iulus

For the dative used instead of the Ablative of Separation, see § 381. For the ablative of the actual place whence in idiomatic expressions, see § 427.1, § 428.f.

a. Adjectives denoting freedom and want are followed by the ablative.

urbs nūda praesidiō (Att. 7.13)
the city naked of defence

immūnis mīlitiā (Liv. 1.43)
free of military service

plēbs orba tribūnīs (Leg. 3.9)
the people deprived of tribunes

Note— A preposition sometimes occurs.

ā culpā vacuus (Sall. Cat. 14)
free from blame

līberī ā dēliciīs (Leg. Agr. 1.27)
free from luxuries

Messāna ab hīs rēbus vacua atque nūda est. (Verr. 4.3)
Messana is empty and bare of these things.

For the genitive with adjectives of want, see § 349.a.

Suggested Citation

Meagan Ayer, Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-04-7. https://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/ablative-separation