[*] 382. The Dative is used to denote the Purpose or End, often with another Dative of the person or thing affected. This use of the dative, once apparently general, remains in only a few constructions, as follows:—
- The dative of an abstract noun is used to show that
for which a thing serves or which it accomplishes, often with another
dative of the person or thing affected:—
- “reī pūblicaeclādī sunt ” (Iug. 85.43) , they are ruin to the state (they are for a disaster to the state).
- “māgnōūsuīnostrīs fuit ” (B. G. 4.25) , it was of great service to our men (to our men for great use).
- tertiam aciem nostrīssubsidiō mīsit (id. 1.52), he sent the third line as a relief to our men.
- suīssalūtī fuit (id. 7.50), he was the salvation of his men.
- “ēvēnit facile quod dīs cordīesset ” (Liv. 1.39) , that came to pass easily which was desired by the gods (was for a pleasure [lit. heart] to the gods).
[*] Note 1.--This construction is often called the Dative of Service, or the Double Dative construction. The verb is usually sum . The noun expressing the end for which is regularly abstract and singular in number and is never modified by an adjective, except one of degree ( māgnus , minor, etc.), or by a genitive.
- The Dative of Purpose of concrete nouns is used in prose
in a few military expressions, and with freedom in poetry
- “locumcastrīs dēligit ” (B. G. 7.16) , he selects a site for a camp.
- receptuī canere, to sound a retreat (for a retreat).
- “receptuī sīgnum ” (Phil. 13.15) , the signal for retreat.
- “optāvit locum rēgnō” (Aen. 3.109) , he chose a place for a kingdom.
- “locumīnsidiīscircumspectāre ” (Liv. 21.53) , to look about for a place for an ambush. [Cf. locumsēditiōnisquaerere (id. 3.46).]