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(Schubert: zum Gebrauch der Temporalconjunktionen bei Plautus, Leipzig, 1880.)

For Plautine Latin we must discard the hard-and-fast rules of our School grammars, that ‘quom takes the Pluperfect Subjunctive, ubi the Perfect Indicative’, and so on. The various Temporal Conjunctions (except perhaps quoniam, as is explained below) all receive the same treatment. And the Tense used is merely the ordinary Tense of Independent Sentences in narration. The Perfect Indicative is, of course, pre-eminently the narrative Tense, e.g. heri veni, and so Plautus more often says quom veni, ubi veni, etc., than anything else. But the Historical Present (see V. 11) is also a narrative Tense, and so Plautus can also say quom venio, ubi venio, etc. (especially when the main Verb is also Hist. Present). If the priority of the one action to the other is insisted on, the Pluperfect becomes appropriate, e.g. quom veneram, ubi veneram, and so on. Just as we found in discussing the Subjunctive Mood (V. 28 sqq.), that Plautine Latin makes no sharp distinction between main and dependent clauses, so we find in Plautus' treatment of Temporal Sentences. The use of the Subjunctive often implies purpose (for examples, see below), but it may be due to a number of other nuances, to as many, in fact, as those which condition the use of the Subjunctive in other Dependent Sentences or in Main Sentences. These general remarks must be borne in mind, while we consider the details of Plautus' use of the Temporal Conjunctions.

With postquam and priusquam we might regard the Pluperfect as the natural Tense. But we must remember that in Plautine Latin the expression is rather post veni quam feci, prius veni quam feci (see above, 2 s.vv.), so that the ordinary Tense of narration is as suitable with them as with the others.

Priusquam (antequam is not found at all in Plautus and only once in Terence, although frequent in Cato) takes the Subjunctive (just as in classical Latin) when Purpose is implied, e.g. Amph. 533exire ex urbe priusquam lucescat volo” (contrast Mil. 708priusquam lucet, adsunt”, a mere statement of the time of their arrival), or when the sense is that of potius quam, e.g. Amph. 240animam omittunt priusquam loco demigrent.” Often the choice of Subjunctive or Indicative seems arbitrary, e.g.

In general the Subjunctive attached itself more and more to priusquam after the time of Plautus. The Historical Present Indicative is used in Curc. 637is prius quam moritur, mihi dedit tanquam suo”. (For full details and examples see Hullihen: ‘Antequam’ and ‘Priusquam.’ Baltimore, 1903.)

Postquam is most often found with Perfect Indicative, e.g.

never with Pluperfect in Plautus (but in Terence, e.g. Andr. 177qui postquam audierat”; cf. Caecilius 44). It takes Present Indicative especially when it has the sense of ‘since,’ e.g. Most. 925tibi umquam quicquam, postquam tuus sum, verborum dedi?” But it is also found in the sense of ‘after’ with the Historical Present, especially when the Main Verb is in the same Tense, e.g. Capt. 24postquam belligerant Aetoli cum Aleis . . . capitur alter filius”; (with iam Men. 24postquam iam pueri septuennes sunt, pater oneravit navim magnam multis mercibus”), Afranius 207.

Dum is associated with the Present Tense. In the sense of ‘while’ it usually takes the Historical Present Indicative (see 2 s.v.), e.g. Bacch. 279forte ut adsedi in stega, dum circumspecto, atque ego lembum conspicor”; but is also found with other Tenses of the Indicative, e.g.

When it refers to future time the Future Indicative is used, e.g. Men. 728vivito vel usque dum regnum obtinebit Iuppiter”. The Subjunctive in Truc. 103 is due to the idea of Purpose: “oenus eorum aliqui osculum amicae usque oggerit, dum illi agant ceteri cleptae” ‘in order that they may act meanwhile.’ This idea of Purpose is also present when dum ‘until’ takes the Subjunctive, e.g. and absent when it takes the Indicative (usually Present), e.g. On dum (dummodo) ‘provided that’ (with the Subjunctive, e.g. Capt. 694dum pereas, nihil interdico aiant vivere”) see 5 above. (For full details see G. M. Richardson: dedumparticulae apud priscos scriptores Latinos usu. Leipzig, 1886; J. Schmalz Donec und Dum in Archiv lat. Lexikographie, 11, 333 sqq.)

Donec (older donicum) ‘until’ differs from dum ‘until’ in being used of past time. In this use it normally takes Perfect Indicative and is rarely found with Historical Present Indicative ( Cist. 583<non hercle> hoc longe destiti instare usque adeo donec se adiurat anus iam mihi monstrare”). Usually however it refers to the future and takes Future Perfect, e.g. Vidul. frag. 5, “neutri reddibo, donicum res diiudicata erit haec” (but Future, e.g. Liv. Andr. Odyss. “donicum videbis”). Quite exceptional is Rud. 812ni istunc istis (sc. clavis) invitassitis usque adeo donec qua domum abeat nesciat, periistis ambo”. (For fuller details see J. Schmalz ‘Donec und Dum’ in Archiv Lat. Lexikographie, 11, 333 sqq.)

On quoad, see 2 above.

Ut, like postquam, is chiefly associated with the Perfect Indicative, e.g. Epid. 14nam ut apud portum te conspexi, curriculo occepi sequi.” The use of the Pluperfect implies that the action is previous to the action of the Main Verb, e.g. Curc. 646postquam illo ventumst, iam, ut me collocaverat, exoritur ventus turbo”, Most. 484ut foris cenaverat tuos gnatus, postquam rediit a cena domum, abimus omnes cubitum”. The Imperfect sometimes occurs, e.g. Asin. 343verum in tonstrina ut sedebam, me infit percontarier”. Rarely the Historical Present, e.g. Merc. 100discubitum noctu ut imus, ecce ad me advĕnit.

Ubi, when used of past time, commonly takes the Perfect Indicative, e.g.,

It can also take the Historical Present, e.g. Amph. 1061ubi parturit” and (with iamCapt. 234 (quoted below), Ennius trag. 83 “nam ubi introducta est puerumque ut laverent locant in clupeo”. For the Pluperfect may be cited Aquilius 10 “ubi primum accensus clamarat meridiem.

Quando (see 3 above) signifies indefinite time, e.g. Novius 25quando (indefinite) ludos vēnit (‘has come’), alii cum (definite) tacent, totum diem argutatur quasi cicada”. So in the few instances in which it refers to the past, it takes Imperfect or Pluperfect, Pseud. 1180noctu in vigiliam quando ibat miles, quom tu ibas simul, conveniebatne in vaginam tuam machaera militis?”, Epid. 433quom militabam, pugnis memorandis meis eradicabam hominum aures, quando occeperam.

Quoniam is nothing but quom iam. The addition of iam1 makes the Present the appropriate Tense (or the Perfect of completed action e.g. Most. 1050), e.g.

Similarly take the Present Like nemo homo, with pleonastic addition of homo (see IV. 21), we find once quoniam iam Truc. 402quoniam iam decumus mensis adventat prope”. After Plautus' time the Conjunction dropped its Temporal and retained its Causal sense (see above 3). Already in Cato the Temporal function is played by cum (quom) iam, not by quoniam (if our MSS. are to be trusted on this point), Agr. Cult. 161, 3post annos octo, cum iam est vetus, digerito” (like ubi iam 158, 1ubi iam coctum incipit esse, eo addito”). Cf. Merc. 552demum igitur quom sis iam senex, tum in otium te conloces”. But quoniam is Temporal in Accius praet. 17 “quoniam quieti corpus nocturno impetu dedi, . . visum est in somnis pastorem ad me adpellere pecus”, Pacuvius 393 “quoniam ille interit, imperium Cephalo transmissum est.

Quom. A few examples will suffice to show the freedom of its construction:

‘As soon as’ is in Plautus expressed usually by quom extemplo (e.g. Most. 101aedes quom extemplo sunt paratae . . laudant fabrum”), a phrase which fell into disuse after his time; also by >ubi primum (e.g. Mil. 109ubi primum evēnit militi huic occasio”) and once by simulac (cf. above, 2), Asin. 479ut vapules, Demaenetum simul ac conspexero hodie”. But quom primum has always the literal sense ‘when for the first time’ (cf. “ut primumEpid. 600), e.g. Asin. 890pater, iube dari vinum: iam dudum factum est, quom primum bibi”. (For fuller details see J. C. Jones in Archiv Lat. Lexikographie 14, pp. 89 sqq., 233 sqq.). Quom maxume is as early as Plautus, e.g.

The Vulgar Latin iam ut (Subjunctive) appears in Ter. Hec. 378iam ut limen exirem, ad genua accidit” ‘at the moment of going out.’ (On Curc. 646, see 8.10

Examples of the Iterative type of Temporal (and Conditional) Sentences are:

1 Compare the use of the Historical Present in all periods of Latin with iamdudum, iam pridem, iam diu.

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