By Akela, in 'General Latin Chat (English)', Jul 21, 2010.
How would an ablative absolute help the situation if there is no participle available?
I guess she means if the participle were transitive and had a direct object, in which case the direct object could be made into an ablative absolute with passive meaning. It wouldn't work with Infacundus's particular example, though.
I mean a passive ablative absolute instead the non-extant active past participle.
E.g. "Having closed the door, he left" = clausa porta abiit ("The door having been closed, he left").
Ah, ok. Unless I suppose the person was running a race, or such.
Actually, impersonal passive ablative absolutes aren't inexistent, though I recognize they aren't the most common construction and in this case I would very much hesitate as to the idiomaticity of curso abiit.
I was just wondering about this, actually, and trying to figure out how it might work. So this would simply be a one-word ablative absolute (curso)? I suppose it would need to be...
I'm not sure I've ever seen one that was really only one word as in curso abiit, in fact; I wonder whether there wasn't always an adverb or such with it. Maybe something like, say, ter circum arborem curso, abiit, would be a bit less odd, though I still wouldn't put my money on it. It definitely is possible and makes sense in theory, but whether this particular sentence, with this particular verb, etc., would be idiomatic is another matter.
So as to give one authentic example of the construction, here's one I've managed to remember and find back, from Apuleius:
Ibi corpus splendentibus linteis coopertum introductis quibusdam septem testibus manu revelat et diutine insuper fleto obtestata fidem praesentium singula demonstrat anxie, verba concepta de industria quodam tabulis praenotante.
So it works even with intransitive verbs...
I think I've seen something similar with dubio as well, which I figured was technically an adjective.
Though apparently "inexistent" is a valid word (I'd never heard it, actually) "nonexistent" is by far more frequent in English. (Just so you know.)
You mean something like, say, dubio num faciendum aliquid sit necne, non facio, (very literally) "It being doubtful whether something must be done or not, I don't do it"?
I was well aware of impersonal ablatives absolute, so there was no need to furnish examples. I didn't mention them because they're unlikely to be used in the kind of expression we're dealing with and are far from common in the first place.
Ok, I said as much myself.
I didn't furnish the example for you in particular, but just for anyone who might not know about it and might be interested.
Like me, so thank you (I mean, I'd guessed that they could exist and was about to ask, but had never seen one...)
The example I had in mind turned out to be this:
'it [not at all] being doubtful...'
If I remember correctly, Livy tends to use words like dubio and incerto as impersonal ablatives absolute quite a bit. Is this from Livy as well?
Yes, it was in a scene from Ab Urbe Condita.
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