[*] 410. The deponents ūtor , fruor , fungor , potior , vescor , with several of their compounds,1 govern the Ablative:—
- “ūtar vestrā benīgnitāte ” (Arch. 18) , I will avail myself of your kindness.
- “ita mihi salvā rē pūblicā vōbīscum perfruī liceat ” (Cat. 4.11) , so may I enjoy with you the state secure and prosperous.
- “fungī inānī mūnere ” (Aen. 6.885) , to perform an idle service.
- “ aurō hērōs potitur ” (Ov. M. 7.156) , the hero takes the gold.
- “ lacte et ferīnā carne vescēbantur ” (Iug. 89) , they fed on milk and game.
[*] Note.--This is properly an Ablative of Means (instrumental) and the verbs are really in the middle voice (§ 156. a). Thus ūtor with the ablative signifies I employ myself (or avail myself) by means of, etc. But these earlier meanings disappeared from the language, leaving the construction as we find it.[*] a. Potior sometimes takes the Genitive, as always in the phrase potīri rērum, to get control or be master of affairs (§ 357. a):—
- “tōtīus Galliae sēsē potīrī posse spērant ” (B. G. 1.3) , they hope they can get possession of the whole of Gaul.
[*] Note 1.--In early Latin, these verbs are sometimes transitive and take the accusative:—
- “fūnctus est officium ” (Ter. Ph. 281) , he performed the part, etc.
- “ille patria potitur commoda ” (Ter. Ad. 871) , he enjoys his ancestral estate.
[*] Note 2.--The Gerundive of these verbs is used personally in the passive as if the verb were transitive (but cf. § 500. 3): as, “—Hēracliō omnia ūtenda ac possidenda trādiderat” (Verr. 2.46) , he had given over everything to Heraclius for his use and possession (to be used and possessed).