The Allen and Greenough is still under construction;
so some links may not work quite the way you would expect.
Ablative of Cause.
404. The Ablative (with or without a preposition) is
used to express Cause: - [The cause, in the ablative, is
originally source, as is shown by the use of ab, dé, ex; but when the accusative with
ad, ob, is used, the idea of
cause arises from nearness. Occasionally it is difficult
distinguish between cause and means (which is the old Instrumental case) or circumstance (which is either the Locative or the Instrumental).]
plectimur (Lael. 85), we are chastised for negligence.
- guberntóris ars útilitate
nón arte lauditur (Fin. 1.42), the pilot's skill
praised for its service, not its skill.
- certis de causis, for
- ex vulnere aeger (Rep. ii. 38), disabled by (from) a wound.
- mare á sole lucet
(Acad. ii. 105), the sea gleams in the sun (from the sun);
a. The Ablative of Cause without a
preposition is used with labóró (also with ex), exsilió,
exsultó, triumphó, lacrimó,
For gaudeó and glórior, see § 431.
- doleó té aliís
malís labóráre (Fam. iv. 3), I am
sorry that you suffer with other ills. [Cf. ex aere alienó labóráre
(B. C. iii. 22), to labor in debt (from another's money).]
- exsultáre laetitiá,
triumpháre gaudió coepit (Clu. 14), she
began to exult in gladness, and triumph in joy.
- exsiluí gaudió
(Fam. xvi. 16), I jumped for joy. [Cf. lacrimó gaudió (Ter Ad. 409),
I weep for joy.]
- árdére dolóre
et irá (Att. ii. 19.5), to be on fire with pain
b. The motive which influences the mind of
the person acting is expressed by the ablative of cause; the object
exciting the emotion often by ob[Originally a mercantile use: cf.
ob decem minás, for the
price of ten minae.] or propter
with the accusative: -
nón ob praedam aut
spoliandí cupidine (Tac. H. i. 63), not for booty or
through lust of plunder.
amícitia ex sé et
propter sé expetenda (Fin. 11.83), friendship
must be song of and for itself.
NOTE: But these constructions are often confused: as, - párére légibus propter metum
(Par. 34), to obey the laws on account of fear. [Here metum is almost equivalent to ``the terrors of
the law,'' and hence propter is used,
though the ablative would be more natural.]
c. The ablatives causá and grátiá, for the sake of, are used
with a genitive preceding, or with a pronoun in agreement: -
- eá causá, on
account of this; quá
grátiá (Ter. Eun. 99), for what purpose?
- meá causá, for my
sake; meá grátiá
(Plaut.), for my sake.
- ex meá et reí publicae
causá, for my own sake and the republic's.
- praedictiónis causá
(N. D. iii. 6), by way of prophecy.
- exemplí grátiá
(verbí grátiá), for example.
- suí púrgándí
grátiá, for the sake of clearing themselves.
NOTE: But grátiá with possessives in this
use is rare.