Ablative Absolute • An ABLATIVE ABSOLUTE is a phrase in Latin that consists of a • (noun or pronoun) + (participle), both in the ablative case. • Urbe captā, militēs, discessērunt. With the city having been captured, the soldiers departed. • Pavone coctā, Caecilius discessit. With the peacock having been cooked, Caecilius departed
Ablative Absolute • The abl. abs. gives more information, often about the time or cause of the action in the main clause. • It is often set off by commas. • It is loosely attached to the main clause. • The noun/pronoun of the abl. abs. cannot be the subject or object of the main clause.
Ablative Absolute • Urbe captā may be translated: – The city having been captured (literally) – With the city having been captured (insert “with” or another suitable preposition) – After/When the city had been (turn it into a clause) • Pavone coctā, may be translate – The peacock having been cooked (literally) – With the peacock having been cooked (insert “with”) – After/When the peacock had been cooked (turn it into a clause)
Tense of the participle • The participle can be any kind of participle. • If the participle is a ppp (perfect passive participle), then the ablative absolute happened before the action of the main verb. • Urbe captā, militēs discessērunt. – The city was captured first, then the soldiers left. • Pavone coctā, Caecilius discessit. – The peacock was cooked first, then Caecilius left.
• If the participle is a pap (present active participle, then the ablative absolute happens at the same time as the main verb. • Caesare urbem capiente, militēs discessērunt. – While Caesar was capturing the city, the soldiers departed. – Caesar captured the city and the soldiers left at the same time. • Grumiōne pavonem coquente, Caecilius discessit. – While Grumio was cooking the peacock, Caecilius left. – Grumio cooked the peacock and Caecilius left at the same time.
• If the participle is a fap (future active participle), then the ablative absolute happens after the main verb. • Caesare urbem captātūrō, militēs discessērunt. – With Caesar about to capture the city, the soldiers departed. – Caesar will capture the city after the soldiers have departed. • Grumiōne pavonem coctūrō, Caecilius discessit. – With Grumio about to cook the peacock, Caecilius departed. – Grumio will cook the peacock after Caecilius has departed.
ABLATIVE ABSOLUTE-2 NOUNS • Sometimes instead of a participle, there is another noun. Something like the present participle of sum--“being” in English-- is understood between them. • Caesare et Bibulō cōnsulibus, Grumiō pavonem coquit. • With Caesar and Bibulus being the consuls, or While Caesar and Bibulus were consuls, Grumio cooked the peacock.