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Ablative of Means or Instrument.
409. The Ablative is used to denote the means or
instrument of an action: -
- certantés púgnís,
calcibus, unguibus, morsú dénique (Tusc. v. 77),
fight with fists, heels, nails, and even teeth.
- cum púgnís et calcibus
concísus esset (Verr. iii. 56), when he had been
pummelled with their fists and heels.
- meís labóribus
interitú rem públicam líberáví
(Sull. 33), by my toils I saved the state from ruin.
- multae istárum arborum meá
manú sunt satae (Cat. M. 59), many of trees were set
out with my own hands.
- ví victa vís, val potius
oppressa virtúte audácia est (Mu. 30), violence
overcome by violence, or rather, boldness was put down by courage.
a. The Ablative of Means is used with
verbs and adjectives filling, otbovnding, and the like: -
- Deus bonís omnibus
explévit mundum (Tim. 3), God has filled the world all
- aggere et crátibus fossás
explent (B. G. vii. S6), they fill up the ditches earth and
- tótum montam hominibus
complévit (id. i. 24), he filled the whole mounta with
- opímus praedá (Varr. II. 1.182), rich with spoils.
- víta pléna at cónferta
voluptátibus (Sast.23), life filled and crowded with
- Forum Appí differtum
nautís (Hor. S. i. 5.4), Forum Appii crammed with
NOTE: In poetry the Genitive is often used with these words.
Compleó and impleó sometimes take the genitive in
prose (ef. §356); so regularly plénus and (with person nouns) complétus and refertus (§349. a): -
- omnia pléna lúctús et maeróris
fuérunt (Sest. 128), everything was full of and
dénáriórum implére (Fam. ix. 18),
to fill a pot with money. [Here evidently colloquial, otherwise
rare in Cicero.]
vícínórum compleó (Cat. M. 46, in the month of Cato), I fill up the banquet with my neighbors.
- cum complétus
mercátórum carcer esset (Verr. v. 147), when the
prison was full of traders.