Lingua Latina 6:
Via Latina

A supplement for Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, Chapter 6. You may use this page to support your reading and rereading of the chapter. You may find this page useful when reviewing for tests and quizzes, too.

Lectio Prima
Lines 1-45

We learn the major roads of the Italian peninsula. The Via Appia is perhaps the most famous.

1. Certain Prepositions Take an Accusative Noun:

In chapter 5 we told a half truth. While a preposition does need a noun to complete its meaning, that noun is not always ablative. Many prepositions require an accusative noun.

The most common Latin prepositions taking an ablative noun are found in the name Sid Space. Sid is your new friend for ablatives!

Rule: Any preposition NOT found in Sid's name takes an accusative.

Here's a quick list of new prepositions that need an accusative noun:

Preposition Meaning Example
inter between, among inter servōs et ancillās
among the slave men and slave women
prope near prope viam
near the road
circum around circum vīllam
around the house
ante before, in front of ante dominum
in front of his master
post after, behind post eum
behind him
apud at, by, near, among apud ancillās
among the slave women
per through per ōstium
through the doorway
ad to, toward ad hortōs
toward the gardens

2. The Verb To Go Is Irregular:

For those who study a Romance language it is no surprise that the verb to go is irregular. In Latin, the infinitive is īre. The present tense is as follows:

īre to go
I go
is you go
it he, she goes
īmus we go
ītis you all go
eunt they go

For students of Spanish, French, and Italian, compare another Latin verb meaning to go:

vadere to go, to advance, to make one's way
vadō I go
vadis you go
vadit he, she goes
vadimus we go
vaditis you all go
vadunt they go

For now, memorize it and eunt.

3. Relative Clauses are Coming!

We first saw relative clauses in chapter 3. As a reminder, a relative clause is adjectival, i.e. it functions as a adjective. It begins with a relative pronoun (quī, quae, quod), it has its own verb, and it simply describes a noun in the main sentence.

What's easy: The relative pronoun agrees in gender and number with its antecedent. If a clause is to refer to a girl, the pronoun must be feminine and singular. If it is to refer to boys, it must be masculine and plural.

What's hard: The case of the relative pronoun is determined by how it used. Students often have the same trouble with this concept in Latin as they have with who and whom in English.


Puer quī in hortō est mātrem vocat.
The boy who is in the garden calls his mother.

Puer quem servī amant mātrem vocat.
The boy whom the slaves love calls his mother.

Puer cuius pater abest mātrem vocat.
The boy whose father is away calls his mother.

Puer ā quō puella discēdit mātrem vocat.
The boy from whom the girl is departing calls his mother.

N.B. In each example the pronoun is masculine and singular to refer to the boy. But in its own clause the nominative (quī) is the subject, the accusative (quem) is the object, the genitive (cuius) shows possession, and the ablative (quō) is in a prepositional phrase.

4. Translating Quam:

   A. As an adverb, quam means as or than. It is used in comparisons.

It often appears together with tam: tam... quam... means so... as....

Nīlus fluvius longior est quam Tiberis.
The Nile river is longer than the Tiber.

Tiberis nōn tam longus est quam Nīlus.
The Tiber is not so long as the Nile.

   B. As an interrogative, quam means how?

Quam longus est Nīlus fluvius?
How long is the Nile river?

   C. As a relative pronoun, quam means whom or which as a feminine accusative.

Fēmina quam Iūlius amat est Aemilia.
The woman whom Julius loves is Aemilia.

   D. We have not seen the last of quam. But for now, three meanings are enough!

5. Who Says Whence and Whither Anymore?

The Romans used whence (unde) and whither (quō) all the time.

Rule: Unde? means from where? It is answered with the ablative:

Unde venit puer? Ab oppidō.
From where does the boy come? From the town.

Unde veniunt puellae? Rōmā.
From where are the girls coming? From Rome.

Rule: Quō? means to where? It is answered with the accusative:

Quō it puer? Ad oppidum.
To where does the boy go? To the town.

Quō eunt puellae? Rōmam.
To where are the girls going? To Rome.

N.B. Read and reread lines 1-45 with the above 5 points in mind.

Lectio Altera
Lines 46-95

6. The Locative Case:

This special case is used for the proper names of cities and towns. For now, the locative form will look like a genitive singular:

in Rome

in Tusculum

in Capua

in Brundisium

in Genua

in Ariminum

7. Ablative of Means/Instrument:

To say with a thing or by a thing, the ablative is used with NO PREPOSITION.

So far we have seen:

on or by the road

on or by a horse

with or by the shoulders

in or by a litter

with or by words

with or by a stick

Rule: Any noun in the ablative with no preposition may mean with, by, or on that noun.

N.B. This is only for THINGS, not for people. For people, see #9 below.

8. Passive Voice:

In an active sentence, the subject performs the action. In a passive sentence, the subject receives the action. Verbs are said to have either Active Voice or Passive Voice.


See these examples in Latin and English:

Active Voice Passive Voice
Fīlia patrem amat
The daughter loves her father
Pater ā fīliā amātur
The father is loved by his daughter
fīlius mātrem vocat
The son calls is mother
māter ā fīliō vocātur
mother is called by her son
Equus virum vehit
The horse carries the man
Vir equō vehitur
The man is carried by a horse
Dominus servōs videt
The master sees his slaves
Servī ā dominō videntur
The slaves are seen by their master
Puella verba audit
The girl hears the words
Verba ā puellā audiuntur
The words are heard by the girl
Servī forum vident
The slaves see the public square
Forum ā servīs vidētur
The public square is seen by the slaves

9. Ablative of Personal Agent:

To say by a person, the ablative is used with the preposition ā (ab).

N.B. The preposition ā (ab) now means either (away) from or by according to context. With a person in the ablative it can mean either one:


Servus ā dominō discēdit.
The slave goes away from his master.

Servus ā dominō vidētur.
The slave is seen by his master.

Puella ā vīllā venit.
The girl comes from the farmhouse.

Rosae ā puellā carpuntur.
The roses are picked by the girl.

Pecūnia ā servīs vidētur.
The money is seen by the slaves.

Rule: There are three P's to the ablative of personal agent: The verb must be Passive, the action is performed by a Person, and the Preposition ā (ab) must be used.

10. Poetic Elision:

In line 82 of your text, the syllables in parenthesis are to be skipped, left unpronounced.

Nōn via long(a) est Rōm(am), ub(i) amīc(a) habitat mea pulchra.
Lingua Latina, Chp. 6, p. 44, line 82

11. Vocabula Nova: Lingua Latina Chapter 6

Also get a of vocabulary for this chapter.

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