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361. The dative is used to denote the object indirectly affected by an action. This is called the indirect object (§ 274). It is usually denoted in English by the objective with to.

Cēdite temporī.
Yield to the occasion.

Prōvincia Cicerōnī obtigit.
The province fell by lot to Cicero.

Inimīcīs nōn crēdimus.
We do not trust [to] our enemies.

362. The Dative of the Indirect object with the accusative of the direct may be used with any transitive verb whose meaning allows (see § 274).

tibi librum.
I give you a book.

Illud tibi affīrmō. (Fam. 1.7.5)
This I assure you.

Commendō tibi êius omnia negōtia. (id. 1.3)
I put all his affairs in your hands. (commit them to you)

Dabis profectō misericordiae quod īrācundiae negāvistī. (Deiot. 40)
You will surely grant to mercy what you refused to wrath.

Litterās ā tē mihi stator tuus reddidit (Fam. 2.17)
Your messenger delivered to me a letter from you.

a. Many verbs have both a transitive and an intransitive use, and take either the accusative with the dative, or the dative alone.

Mihi id aurum crēdidit. (cf. Plaut. Aul. 15)
He trusted that gold to me.

Equō nē crēdite. (Aen. 2.48)
Do not put your trust in the horse.

Concessit senātus postulātiōnī tuae. (Mur. 47)
The senate yielded to your demand.

concēdere amīcīs quidquid velint (Lael. 38)
to grant to friends all they may wish

363. Certain verbs implying motion vary in their construction between the Dative of the Indirect Object and the Accusative of the End of Motion (§§  426 427).

  1. Some verbs implying motion take the accusative (usually with ad or in) instead of the indirect object, when the idea of motion prevails.

    litterās quās ad Pompêium scrīpsī (Att. 3.8.4)
    the letter which I have written [and sent] to Pompey.
    [Cf. nōn quō habērem quod tibi scrīberem (id. 4.4A) not that I had anything to write to you]

    Litterae extemplō Rōmam scrīptae. (Liv. 41.16)
    A letter was immediately written [and sent] to Rome.

    Hostīs in fugam dat. (B. G. 5.51)
    He puts the enemy to flight.
    [Cf. ut mē dem fugae (Att. 7.23) to take to flight]

    Omnēs rem ad Pompêium dēferrī volunt. (Fam. 1.1)
    All wish the matter to be put in the hands of Pompey
    (referred to Pompey).

  2. On the other hand, many verbs of motion usually followed by the accusative with ad or in, take the dative when the idea of motionis merged in some other idea.

    mihi litterās mittere (Fam. 7.12)
    to send me a letter

    Eum librum tibi mīsī. (id. 7.19)
    I sent you that book.

    Nec quicquam quod nōn mihi Caesar dētulerit (id. 4.13)
    And nothing which Cæsar did not communicate to me.

    Cūrēs ut mihi vehantur (id. 8.4.5)
    Take care that they be conveyed to me.

    cum alius aliī subsidium ferrent (B. G. 2.26)
    while one lent aid to another

364. Certain verbs may take either the dative of the person and the accusative of the thing, or (in a different sense) the accusative of the person and the ablative of the thing.1

Dōnat corōnās suīs.
He presents wreaths to his men.  OR

Dōnat suōs corōnīs.
He presents his men with wreaths.

vincula exuere sibi (Ov. M. 7.772)
to shake off the leash (from himself)

Omnīs armīs exuit. (B. G. 5.51)
He stripped them all of their arms.

Note 1— Interdīcō (forbid) takes either (1) the dative of the person and the ablative of the thing, or (2) in later writers, the dative of the person and the accusative of the thing.

aquā et īgnī alicui interdīcere
to forbid one the use of fire and water
[The regular formula for banishment.]

Interdīxit histriōnibus scaenam. (Suet. Dom. 7)
He forbade the actors [to appear on] the stage.
(He prohibited the stage to the actors).

Fēminīs (dat) purpurae ūsū interdīcēmus? (Liv. 34.7)
Shall we forbid women the wearing of purple?

Note 2— The dative with the accusative is used in poetry with many verbs of preventing, protecting, and the like, which usually take the accusative and ablative. Interclūdō and prohibeō sometimes take the dative and accusative, even in prose.

hīsce omnīs aditūs ad Sullam interclūdere (Rosc. Am. 110)
to shut these men off from all access to Sulla (close to them every approach).
[Cf. utī commeātū Caesarem interclūderet (B. G. 1.48)  to shut Cæsar off from supplies]

Hunc (oestrum) arcēbis pecorī (Georg. 3.154)
You shall keep this away from the flock.
[Cf. Illum arcuit Galliā. (Phil. 5.37)  He excluded him from Gaul.]

sōlstitium pecorī dēfendite (Ecl. 7.47)
keep the summer heat from the flock
[Cf. utī sē ā contumēliīs inimīcōrum dēfenderet (B. C. 1.22)  to defend himself from the slanders of his enemies]

365. Verbs which in the active voice take the accusative and dative retain the dative when used in the passive.

Nūntiābantur haec eadem Cūriōnī. (B. C. 2.37)
These same things were announced to Curio.
[Active: nūntiābant (quīdam) haec eadem Cūriōnī.]

Nec docendī Caesaris propinquīs êius spatium datur, nec tribūnīs plēbis suī perīculī dēprecandī facultās tribuitur. (id. 1.5)
No time is given Cæsar's relatives to inform him, and no opportunity is granted to the tribunes of the plebs to avert danger from themselves.

Prōvinciae prīvātīs dēcernuntur. (id. 1.6)
Provinces are voted to private citizens.



1. Such are dōnō, impertiō, induō, exuō, adspergō, īnspergō, circumdō, and in poetry accingō, implicō, and similar verbs.

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.