The Allen and Greenough is still under construction;
so some links may not work quite the way you would expect.
300. In a subordinate clause of a complex sentence
there is a double use of Reflexives.
1. The reflexive may always be used to refer to the Subject of its
own clause (Direct Reflexive): -
- iúdicárí potest
quantum habeat in sé boní cónstantia
(B. G. i. 40), it can be determined how much good firmness possesses (has in itself).
- [Caesar] nóluit eum locum
vacáre, né Germání é suís
fínibus tránsírent (id, i. 28), Caesar did
not wish this place to lie vacant, for fear the Germans would cross over
from their territories.
- sí qua
sígnificátió virtútis élúceat
quam sé similis animus adplicet at adiungat
(Lael. 48), if any sign of virtue shine forth to which a similar
disposition may attach itself.
2. If the Subordinate clause expresses the words or thought of the
subject of the main clause, the reflexive is regularly used to refer to
that Subject (Indirect Reflexive): -
- petiérunt ut sibi
licéret (B. G. i. 30), they begged that it might be
allowed them (the petitioners).
- Iccius núntium mittit, nisi
subsidium sibi submittátur (id. ii. 6), Iccius
sends a message that unless relief be furnished him, etc.
- decima legió eí
grátiás égit, quod dé sé optimum
iúdicium fécisset (id. i. 41). the tenth legion
thanked him because [they said] he had expressed a high opinion of
- sí obsidés ab
eís (the Helvetians) sibi (Caesar, who is the speaker) dentur, sé (Caesar) cum eís pácem esse
factúrum (id. i. 14), [Caesar said that] if hostages
were given him by them he would make peace with them.
NOTE: Sometimes the person or thing to which the reflexive
refers is not the grammatical subject of the main clause, though it is in
effect the subject of discourse: Thus, - cum
ipsí deó nihil minus grátum futúrum sit quam
nón omnibus patére ad sé plácandum viam
(Legg. ii. 25), since to God himself nothing will be less pleasing
then that the way to appease him should not be open to all men.
a. If the subordinate clause does not
express the words or thought of the main subject, the reflexive is not
regularly used, though it is occasionally found: -
- sunt ita multí ut
eós carcer capere nón possit (Cat. ii. 22),
they are so many that the prison cannot hold them. [Here se could not be used; so also in the example
- ibi in proximís víllís
ita bipartító fuérunt, ut Tiberis inter eos
póns interesset (id. iii. 5), there they stationed
themselves in the nearest farmhouses, in two divisions, in such a manner
that the Tiber and the bridge were between them (the divisions).
- nón fuit eó contentus quod
eí praeter spem acciderat (Manil. 25), he was not
content with that which had happened to him beyond his hope.
- Compare: quí fit,
Maecénás, ut némó, quam sibi sortem seu
ratió dederit seu fors obiécerit, illá contentus
vívat (Hor. S. i. 1. 1), how comes it, Maecenas, that
nobody lives contented with that lot which choice has assigned him or
chance has thrown in his way? [Here sibi is used to put the thought
into the mind of the discontented man.]
b. Ipse is often (is rarely) used instead of an indirect
reflexive, either to avoid ambiguity or from carelessness; and in
later writers is sometimes found instead of the direct reflexive: -
- cúr dé suá
virtúte aut dé ipsíus díligentiá
déspérárent (B. G. i. 40), why (he asked) should they despair of their own courage or his diligence?
- omnia aut ipsós aut
hostés populátós (Q. C. iii. 5. 6), [they said
that] either they themselves or the enemy had laid all waste.
- quí sé ex hís, minus
timidós exístimárí volébant, nón
sé hostem verérí, sed angustiás,
itineris et mágnitúdinem silvárum quae
intercéderent inter ipsós (the persons referred to by sé above) atque Ariovistum ... timére
dícébant (B. G. i. 39), those of them who wished
to be thought less timid said they did not fear the enemy, but were afraid
of the narrows and the vast extent of the forests which were between
themselves and Ariovistus.
- audístis núper dícere
légátós Tyndaritánós Mercurium
quí sacrís anniversariís apud eós
colerétur esse sublátum (Verr. iv. 84), you have
just heard the ambassadors from Tyndaris say that the statue of Mercury
which was worshipped with annual rites among them was taken away.
[Here Cicero wavers between apud eós
colébátur, a remark of his own, and apud sé colerétur, the words of
the ambassadors. eos does not
strictly refer to the ambassadors, but to the people - the