Agreement of an attribute with more than one noun

By Bitmap, in 'Grammar Tips And Examples', Apr 16, 2019 at 11:32 AM.

  1. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    I have just looked this up in Ausführliche Grammatik der lateinischen Sprache by Kühner & Stegmann (1914) because I remembered an old rule I had been taught once and wanted to see if it was actually right. It wasn't.

    - An attribute (adjective, participle, pronoun) that refers to more than one noun usually agrees with the nearest noun, but refers to the other nouns as well; it does not matter whether they have the same genus and numerus or not. You find the following possibilities:

    a) The attribute precedes all nouns.
    E.g. Caes. B. G. 5, 11, 5 res multae operae et laboris.
    6, 42, 2 ab ipso vallo portisque castrorum.
    Cic. Tusc 1, 7 Aristoteles, vir summo ingenio, scientia, copia.

    b) The attribute comes after all nouns.
    E.g. Cic. de or. 2, 242 ingenuitatem et ruborem suum.
    Rpb. 1, 51 divitiae, nomen, opes vacuae consilio.

    c) The attribute comes after the first noun.
    E.g. Cic. de or. 3, 82 vitam tuam ac studia.
    97 et ingenia vestra (...) et aetates.
    98 fastidio quodam et satietate.
    Caes. B. G. 3, 5, 2 vir et consilii magni et virtutis.

    * d) The attribute comes before the second noun.
    This is where I was taught nonsense. The simple fact is that there seems to be no evidence of such a positioning in classical Latin. Two loci may be found in Cicero, but they are both corrupted.
    In poetry, this way of positioning attributes can be found often and usually presents a figura ἀπὸ κοινοῦ (apo koinou), i.e. the attribute refers to both nouns.
    E.g. Ov. her. 5, 39 consului (...) anusque longaevosque senes.
    Verg. A. 2, 422 primi clipeos mentitaque tela agnoscunt.
    Hor. C. 1, 5, 6 heu quoties fidem mutatosque deos flebit.

    e) In some cases the attribute may refer to the more distant, but more important noun.
    E.g. Cic. Fin. 5, 18 prima quasi virtutum igniculi et semina.

    f) Where it is required for the sake of clarity or emphasis, the attribute gets repeated with every single noun.
    E.g. Caes. B. G. 5, 18, 5 ea celeritate atque eo impetu milites ierunt.
    Cic. Fam. 5, 7, 3 tanto consilio tantaque animi magnitudine.
    Godmy and Matthaeus like this.

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