[*] 417. Certain adjectives of quantity are used in the Genitive to denote indefinite value. Such are māgnī , parvī , tantī , quantī , plūris , minōris :—
- meā māgnī interest, it is of great consequence to me.
- “illud parvī rēfert ” (Manil. 18) , this is of small account.
- “est mihi tantī ” (Cat. 2.15) , it is worth the price (it is of so much).
- “Verrēsne tibi tantī fuit ” (Verr. 2.1.77) , was Verres of so much account to you?
- tantōne minōris decumae vēniērunt (id. 3.106), were the tithes sold for so much less?
- “ut tē redimās captum quam queās minimō: sī nequeās paululō, at quantī queās ” (Ter. Eun. 74) , to ransom yourself, when captured, at the cheapest rate you can; if you can't for a small sum, then at any rate for what you can.
[*] Note.--These are really Genitives of Quality (§ 345. b).[*] a. The genitive of certain colorless nouns is used to denote indefinite value. Such are nihilī ( nīlī ), nothing; assis, a farthing (rare); floccī (a lock of wool), a straw:—
- nōn floccī faciō; (Att. 13.50), I care not a straw. [Colloquial.]
- “utinam ego istuc abs tē factum nīlī penderem ” (Ter. Eun. 94) , O that I cared nothing for this being done by you! [Colloquial.]
- “fidem suam et religiōnem pecūniā commūtāre ” (Clu. 129) , to barter his faith and conscience for money.
- “exsilium patriā sēde mūtāvit ” (Q. C. 3.7.11) , he exchanged his native land for exile (he took exile in exchange for his native land).
- “vēlōx saepe Lucrētilem mūtat Lycaeō Faunus ” (Hor. Od. 1.17.1) , nimble Faunus often changes Lycœus for Lucretilis. [He takes Lucretilis at the price of Lycæus, i.e. he goes from Lycæus to Lucretilis.]
- vertere fūneribus triumphōs (id. 1.35.4), to change the triumph to the funeral train (exchange triumphs for funerals). [Poetical.]
[*] Note.--With verbs of exchanging cum is often used, perhaps with a different conception of the action: as,—ariēs ... “ cum croceō mūtābit vellera lūtō” (Ecl. 4.44) , the ram shall change his fleece for [one dyed with] the yellow saffron.[*] c. With verbs of buying and selling the simple Ablative of Price must be used, except in the case of tantī , quantī , plūris , minōris :—