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409. The Ablative is used to denote the means or instrument of an action:—
  1. certantēs pūgnīs, calcibus, unguibus, morsū dēnique (Tusc. 5.77) , fighting with fists, heels, nails, and even teeth.
  2. cum pūgnīs et calcibus concīsus esset (Verr. 3.56) , when he had been pummelled with their fists and heels.
  3. meīs labōribus interitū rem pūblicam līberāvī; (Sull. 33), by my toils I have saved the state from ruin.
  4. multae istārum arborum meā manū sunt satae (Cat. M. 59) , many of those trees were set out with my own hands.
  5. victa vīs, vel potius oppressa virtūte audācia est (Mil. 30) , violence was overcome by violence, or rather, boldness was put down by courage.

a. The Ablative of Means is used with verbs and adjectives of filling, abounding, and the like:—

  1. Deus bonīs omnibus explēvit mundum (Tim. 3) , God has filled the world with all good things.
  2. aggere et crātibus fossās explent (B. G. 7.86) , they fill up the ditches with earth and fascines.
  3. tōtum montem hominibus complēvit (id. 1.24), he filled the whole mountain with men.
  4. opīmus praedā (Verr. 2.1.132) , rich with spoils.
  5. vīta plēna et cōnferta voluptātibus (Sest.23), life filled and crowded with delights.
  6. Forum Appī differtum nautīs (Hor. S. 1.5.4) , Forum Appii crammed with bargemen.

Note.--In poetry the Genitive is often used with these words. Compleō and impleō sometimes take the genitive in prose (cf. § 356); so regularly plēnus and (with personal nouns) complētus and refertus (§ 349. a):—

  1. omnia plēna lūctūs et maerōris fuērunt (Sest. 128) , everything was full of grief and mourning.
  2. ōllam dēnāriōrum implēre (Fam. 9.18) , to fill a pot with money. [Here evidently colloquial, otherwise rare in Cicero.]
  3. convīvium vīcīnōrum compleō; (Cat. M. 46, in the mouth of Cato), I fill up the banquet with my neighbors.
  4. cum complētus mercātōrum carcer esset (Verr. 5.147) , when the prison was full of traders.

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