XVI[16arg] That those words of Quadrigarius in the third book of his Annals, “there a thousand of men is killed,” are not used arbitrarily or by a poetic figure, but in accordance with a definite and approved rule of the science of grammar.
QUADRIGARIUS in the third book of his Annals 1 wrote the following There a thousand of men is killed," using occiditur, not occiduntur. So too Lucilius in the third book of his Satires,
From gate to gate a thousand of paces is.has mille est, not mille sunt. Varro in the seventeenth book of his Antiquilies of Man writes: 3 “To the beginning of Romulus' reign is more than a thousand and one hundred years,” Marcus Cato in the first book of his Origins, 4 “From there it is nearly a thousand of paces.” Marcus Cicero has in his sixth Oration against Antony, 5 “Is the middle Janus 6 so subject to the patronage of Lucius Antonius? Who has ever been found in that Janus who would lend Lucius Antonius a thousand of sesterces?” In these and many other passages mile is used in the singular number, and that is not, as some think, a concession to early usage or admitted as a neat figure of speech, but it is obviously demanded [p. 83] by rule. For the word mille does not stand for the Greek χιλιοι, “thousand,” but for χιλιάς, “a thousand” ; and just as they say one χιλιάς, or two χιλιάδες, so we say one thousand and two thousands according to a definite and regular rule. Therefore these common expressions are correct and good usage, “There is a thousand of denarii in the chest,” and “There is a thousand of horsemen in the army.” Furthermore Lucilius, in addition to the example cited above, makes this point still clearer in another place also: for in his fifteenth book he says: 7
Thence to Salcrnum six, 2
This horse no jolting fine Campanian steed,So too in the ninth book: 8
Though he has passed him by one thousand, aye
And twain, of paces, can in a longer course
Compete with, but he will in fact appear
To run the other way.
With sesterces a thousand you can gainLucilius wrote milli passum instead of mille passibus and uno milli nummum for unis mille nunmis, thus showing clearly that mille is a noun, used in the singular number, that its plural is milia, and that it also forms an ablative case. Nor ought we to expect the rest of the cases; for there are many other words which are declined only in single cases, and even some which are not declined at all. Therefore we can no longer doubt that Cicero, in the speech which he wrote In Defence of Milo, 9 used these words: “Before the estate of Clodius, where fully a thousand of [p. 85] ablebodied men was employed on those crazy substructures,” not “were employed,” as we find it in less accurate copies; for one rule requires us to say “a thousand men,” but another, “a thousand of men.”
A hundred thousand.