[*] 414. With Comparatives and words implying comparison the ablative is used to denote the Degree of Difference:—
- quīnque mīlibus passuum distat, it is five miles distant.
- “ ā mīlibus passuum circiter duōbus ” (B. G. 5.32) , at a distance of about two miles. [For ā as an adverb, see § 433. 3.]
- “aliquot ante annīs ” (Tusc. 1.4) , several years before.
- “ aliquantō post suspexit ” (Rep. 6.9) , a while after, he looked up.
- “ multō mē vigilāre ācrius ” (Cat. 1.8) , that I watch much more sharply.
- “ nihilō erat ipse Cyclōps quam ariēs prūdentior ” (Tusc. 5.115) , the Cyclops himself was not a whit wiser than the ram.
- “ quō minus cupiditātis, eō plūs auctōritātis ” (Liv. 24.28) , the less greed, the more weight (by what the less, by that the more).
- “ quantō erat gravior oppūgnātiō, tantō crēbriōrēs litterae mittēbantur ” (B. G. 5.45) , the severer the siege was, the more frequently letters were sent.
[*] Note.--To this construction are doubtless to be referred all cases of quō and eō ( hōc ) with a comparative, even when they have ceased to be distinctly felt as degree of difference and approach the Ablative of Cause:—
- “eōque mē minus paenitet ” (N. D. 1.8) , and for that reason I regret less, etc. (by so much the less I regret).
- “haec eō facilius faciēbant, quod ” (B. G. 3.12) , this they did the more easily for this reason, because, etc. [Cf. hōc mâiōre spē, quod (id. 3.9).]
- “ paulō minus ducentīs ” (B. C. 3.28) , a little less than two hundred.
- “patria, quae mihi vītā meā multō est cārior ” (Cat. 1.27) , my country, which is much dearer to me than life.