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Comparative Clauses: Proportion

Prose Comp
Comparative Clauses of Proportion
= express likeness, agreement,or the opposite, with what is stated, asked, or ordered in the main sentence.

Conjunctions or conjunctional phrases (Intr. 51):

'as' =
ut, uti
velut, veluti
sicut, sicuti

'as being' = utpote

'as if' =
quasi, quam si
ut si, velut si

'as, how' =
quem ad modum

'than, as' =

'as though' =

The conjunctions above all correspond to a number of demonstrative adverb or phrases.
* X in Oratio Obliqua
Comparison made in the subordinate clause is stated as something REAL.

He was punished as he deserved. Perinde ac meritus est, poenas persolvit.
Comparison is introduced as a mere CONCEPTION of the mind, something IMAGINARY or UNREAL, NOT FACT.

He was punished as though he had deserved it. Perinde ac si (ut si, quasi) meritus esset, poenas persolvit.
Class I: Expressions in Indicative
(i) ADJECTIVAL (correlative), instead of adverbial phrase

Tanta est tempestas, quantma numquam antea vidi. The storm is greater than I ever saw before (i.e., is unparalleled in my experience).

(ii) ADVERBIAL phrase (= adverbial clause of comparison):

1. ADVERBIAL clause (manner, quality, time, place, intensity)

PERINDE ac meritus est, poenas persolvit. He was punished AS he deserved.

2. ADJECTIVAL clause (quality, quantity, accompanied with relative pronoun)

Poenas QUAS debuit persolvit. He paid the penalty WHICH he merited.

3. ADVERBIAL phrase or adverb

PRO MERITIS (MERITO, PRO scelere) poenas persolvit. He was punished in accordance with his guilt (or deservedLY).
General Rule for 'likeness' and 'difference'
Likeness in the main sentence... = ...comparative conjunction

ita, sic, perinde.... = ...ut.
perinde, pariter, aeque, iuxta, pro eo... = ...atque.

Difference in the main sentence... = ...comparative conjunction

aliter, secus... = ...atque.
*strong contrast marked by double aliter
contra... = ...atque, quam.
a comparative adjective or adverb... = ...quam
Comparative Clause introduced by ut, 'as'
*Special usages

(i) CONCESSIVE: marks a contrast with the main sentence.

Ut fortasse honestum est hoc, sic parum utile. Though this is perhaps right, yet it is scarcely expedient.


Ita vivam, ut te amo. May I live so far only as I love you (i.e., may I die if I do not love you).

(iii) GENERAL REMARK: in accordance with which a particular fact is noticed.

Tum rex, ut erat natura benignus, omnibus veniam dedit. Thereupon the king, in accordance* with the kindness of his nature, forgave them all.
*may be expressed by other substitutes for the needed participle of esse.

(iv) PARENTHETICAL: ut fit, 'as (often) happens'; ut aiunt, 'as the proverb says'

(v) Sometimes the verb is not expressed.

a. 'As you would expect':
Magnus pavor, ut in re improvisa, fuit. The panic was great, as was natural in so unexpected an occurrence.

b. 'So far as could be expected':
Satis intrepide, ut in re improvisa, se gessit. He showed considerable presence of mind, considering the unexpected nature of the occurrence.
Quam: INDICATIVE clauses of comparison
Regularly used with the main sentence contains a comparative adjective or adverb or a word involving the idea of comparison (275).

1. The verb of the comparative clause is understood from that of the main sentence.

2. When the point of the comparison is the DEGREE to which two adjectives (or adv.) are applicable to t a common noun (or verb), the COMPARATIVE of one adj (or adv.) is used in the MAIN sentence and the COMPARATIVE of the other in the QUAM-clause.

Pestilentia minacior fuit quam perniciosior. The pestilence was more alarming than fatal.

3. EQUALITY of DEGREE is expressed by using TAM with the positive of one adj. (or adv.) in the main sentence, and the positive of another adj in the quam-clause.

Tam timidus hodie est quam tum fuit audax. He is as cowardly to-day as he was then bold.
Class II: Expressions in the Subjunctive (i)
The comparative clause is itself in the PROTASIS of a CONDITIONAL statement whose APODOSIS is SUPPRESSED.
Such clauses are introduced by QUASI, QUAM SI, UT SI, TAMQUAM SI, VELUT SI (or simply by TAMQUAM or VELUT); and the main sentence contains some word which looks forward to the comparison.

Ita se gessit quasi consul esset. He behaved as though he were a consul (i.e., as he would behave if he were a consul)

*Tense of subjunctive usually determined by sequence of tense (not by principles of conditional sentences).

These conjunctions are constantly used in Latin to qualify a strong expression or metaphor.

'The soul flies forth from the prison-house of the body.' E corpore, velut e carcere, evolat animus.

*Quidam, quodammodo, and ut ita dicam are often used to qualify a metaphor.
Used when action mentioned is to be rejected. Such clauses are introduced by QUAM and have a SUBJUNCTIVE verb.
Some such word as POTIUS, PRIUS in the main sentence draws attention to the action which is preferred.

Depugna potius quam servias. Fight to the death rather than be a slave.

*The subjunctive in such quam-clauses is prospective (441, nt.2)