[*] 598. The main rules for the Order of Words are as follows:— [*] a. In any phrase the determining and most significant word comes first:—
- Adjective and Noun:—
- omnīs hominēs decet, EVERY man ought(opposed to some who do not).
- Lūcius Catilīnanōbilī genere nātus fuit, māgnāvī et animī et corporis, sedingeniō malō prāvōque (Sall. Cat. 5), Lucius Catiline was born of a NOBLE family, with GREAT force of mind and body, but with a NATURE that was evil and depraved. [Here the adjectives in the first part are the emphatic and important words, no antithesis between the nouns being as yet thought of; but in the second branch the noun is meant to be opposed to those before mentioned, and immediately takes the prominent place, as is seen by the natural English emphasis, thus making a chiasmus. 1]
- Word with modifying case:—
- “quid magis Epamīnōndam,Thēbānōrumimperātōrem, quamvictōriaeThēbānōrum cōnsulere decuit ” (Inv. 1.69) , what should Epaminondas, commander of the THEBANS, have aimed at more than the VICTORY of the Thebans?
- lacrimā nihil citius ārēscit (id. 1.109), nothing dries quicker than a TEAR.
- “nēmō ferēlaudis cupidus ” (De Or. 1.14) , hardly any one desirous of GLORY (cf. Manil. 7, avidī laudis, EAGER for glory).
- “cum aliquā perturbātiōne ” (Off. 1.137) , with SOME disturbance.
- “ hōc ūnō praestāmus ” (De Or. 1.32) , in THIS one thing we excel.
- cēterae ferē artēs, the OTHER arts.
[*] Note.--This happens because such words are usually emphatic; but often the words connected with them are more so, and in such cases the pronouns etc. yield the emphatic place:—
- “ causa aliqua ” (De Or. 1.250) , some CASE.
- stilus ille tuus (id. 1.257), that well-known STYLE of yours (in an antithesis; see passage). [ Ille is idiomatic in this sense and position.]
- “ Rōmam quae apportāta sunt ” (Verr. 4.121) , what were carried to ROME (in contrast to what remained at Syracuse).
- (1) dīcēbat idem Cotta (Off. 2.59), Cotta used to SAY the same thing (opposed to others' boasting).
- idem fēcit adulēscēns M. Antōnius (id. 2.49), the same thing was DONE by Mark Antony in his youth. [Opposed to dīxī just before.]
- facis amīcē; (Lael. 9), you ACT kindly. [Cf. amīcē facis, you are very KIND (you act KINDLY).]
- (2) “prōpēnsior benīgnitās esse dēbēbit in calamitōsōs nisi forte erunt dīgnī calamitāte” (Off. 2.62) , liberality ought to be readier toward the unfortunate unless perchance they REALLY DESERVE their misfortune.
- praesertim cum scrībat (Panaetius) (id. 3.8), especially when he DOES SAY (in his books). [Opposed to something omitted by him.]
- (3) fuimus Trōes, “ fuit Īlium” (Aen. 2.325) , we have CEASED to be Trojans, Troy is now no MORE.
- “ loquor autem dē commūnibus amīcitiīs ” (Off. 3.45) , but I am SPEAKING NOW of common friendships.
- “plūrēs solent esse causae ” (Off. 1.28) , there are USUALLY SEVERAL reasons.
- quōs āmīsimus cīvīs, “eōs Mārtis vīs perculit” (Marc. 17) , WHAT fellow-citizens we have LOST, have been stricken down by the violence of war.
- maximās tibi omnēs grātiās agimus (id. 33), we ALL render you the WARMEST thanks.
- haec rēs ūnīus est propria Caesaris (id. 11), THIS exploit belongs to Cæsar ALONE.
- “obiūrgātiōnēs etiam nōn numquam incidunt necessāriae” (Off. 1.136) , OCCASIONS FOR REBUKE also SOMETIMES occur which are unavoidable.
- (1) “rērum cōpia verbōrum cōpiam gignit” (De Or. 3.125) , ABUNDANCE of MATTER produces COPIOUSNESS of EXPRESSION.
- (2) lēgēs suppliciō improbōs afficiunt, “dēfendunt ac tuentur bonōs” (Legg. 2.13) , the laws VISIT PUNISHMENTS upon the WICKED, but the GOOD they DEFEND and PROTECT.
[*] Note.--Chiasmus is very common in Latin, and often seems in fact the more inartificial construction. In an artless narrative one might hear, “The women were all drowned, they saved the men.”
- “nōn igitur ūtilitātem amīcitia sed ūtilitās amīcitiam cōnsecūta est ” (Lael. 51) , it is not then that friendship has followed upon advantage, but advantage upon friendship. [Here the chiasmus is only grammatical, the ideas being in the parallel order.] (See also p. 395: longissimē , minimē , proximī .)
- “dictitābat sē hortulōs aliquōs emere velle ” (Off. 3.58) , he gave out that he wanted to buy some gardens. [Here aliquōs is less emphatic than emere , but precedes it on account of the emphasis on hortulōs .]
- cōnsul ego quaesīvī, cum vōs mihi essētis in cōnsiliō; (Rep. 3.28), as consul I held an investigation in which you attended me in council.
- falsum est id tōtum (id. 2.28), that is all false.
[*] Note.--These had, no doubt, originally an emphasis which required such an arrangement, but in the course of time have changed their shade of meaning. Thus, senātus populusque Rōmānus originally stated with emphasis the official bodies, but became fixed so as to be the only permissible form of expression.[*] l. The Romans had a fondness for emphasizing persons, so that a name or a pronoun often stands in an emphatic place:—
- [dīxit] “vēnālīs quidem sē hortōs nōn habēre” (Off. 3.58) , [said] that he did n't have any gardens for sale, to be sure.
- “ita sēnsim sine sēnsū aetās senēscit ” (Cat. M. 38) , thus gradually, without being perceived, man's life grows old.