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Latin/Postpositive Conjunctions


Years ago in a college Latin course I was taking, the instructor told  us that in regard to the phrase
Hail and farewell, the correct placement of "atque" was "ave vale atque"  rather than ave atque vale.  But I cannot find anything to back up my prof.  Cam you help me?

That information is incorrect.  There are certain conjunctions in Latin that are called "postpositive"; that is, they follow the word(s) that they connect.  Two examples of such conjunctions are "autem" (moreover) and "tamen" (nevertheless).  As it happens, these conjunctions are postpositive (in the best usage) in English as well:

  Caesarem Romae vidi.  Pompeium autem ille Magnum ibi vidi.
  I saw Caesar at Rome.  I saw, moreover, Pompey the Great there.

Atque (ac), however, is not a postpositive conjunction.  It always precedes the word(s) that it connects:

  Ave atque vale.
  Hail and farewell.

It may be that the instructor was thing of "-que" (and), which does follow the word that it connects:

  Canis felesque
  Dog and cat


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Ph.D. Cand. in Classical Languages. Conversant with all forms of the language: classical, mediaeval, and modern.


I have 50 years of teaching at all levels of Latin from high school through university postgraduate. I read, write, and speak Latin daily.

American Classical League, American Philological Association

A.B., M.A., Ph.D. Cand. in Classics.

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