Iubeō and Vetō Constructions

We’ve been discussing how verbs that demand and decree take a substantive clause of purpose (ut/nē + subjunctive). Allen and Greenough no sooner outline the phenomenon of these purpose clauses than they start demonstrating common exceptions.

Iubeō (order) and vetō (forbid) are more likely to take the infinitive + accusative.

  • He orders them to send more loaves: aliōs panēs eōs ferre iubet.
  • She forbids them from approaching the temple: aedem adire vetat. 

Where the verb is passive, the verb remains infinitive, but the subject accusative becomes nominative:

  • They are ordered to be present the next day: adesse iubentur postrīdiē.
  • He was ordered to go into exile: īre in exsilium iussus est.
  • Simonides was forbidden to sail: Simōnidēs vetitus est nāvigāre.

This construction is most common with these two verbs, but not unheard of with other verbs of commanding.

  • He orders that a bridge be built: pontem fierī imperat.
  • Matters at hand warn us to be on our guard so that we don’t perish too soon: rēs praestentēs nōs monet cavēre nē citior pereant.

(careful with that last one — it’s meant to differentiate the two options on the table, but if you read it too quickly it might just conflate them)

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2 comments on “Iubeō and Vetō Constructions

  1. tomsky says:

    On that last one…

    praestentēs -> praesentēs ? Or perhaps you meant praestantēs from praestō[1] ?

    Also, is citior meant to be an adverb or adjective? If the former, I thought it was the neuter form of the comparative, citius, for adverbs? If the latter, it doesn’t seem to agree in number?

  2. This post has become unexpectedly topical in light of the Pope’s recent foray into Latin tweeting: https://twitter.com/Pontifex_ln . There he uses “iubeo” with a double accusative: acc. rei “quid” and acc. pers. “studentes” – but as far as I can see from L&S this construction is illicit: if you have acc. rei you need dat. person! Unfortunate.

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