You are here:

Latin/Clarification of Verb Forms


Hello Michael,
I have two questions.

First sentence: "Primo vere convenere."  I know the first two words mean "In early spring," but I don't recognize the verb form.
The first and second e's are long.

"Missus Hannibal in Hispaniam primo adventu omnem exercitum in se convertit." The next sentence goes on to say, "The old soldiers imagined that Hamilcar, as he had been in his youth, had been restored to them."  The part that confuses me is "in se convertit."

Your help is much appreciated, as I'm studying on my own.

"Convenere" is an alternative form for "convenerunt" for the third-person plural in the perfect tense of verbs.  The second form is particularly useful in poetry because "convenerunt" would end in two long syllabyles, whereas "convenere" ends in a long and a short syllable.  That allows for two different forms to be used by the poet depending upon the sequence of syllables that he needs for the meter.  In Allen & Greenough's New Latin Grammar, see Section 163a.

"In se convertit" is a phrase that means (literally) "converted to himself," that is, won over to himself, made loyal to himself (because he so impressed the troops).  "Convertit" is the perfect tense of "converto."  "Se" is the reflexive pronoun, which serves as the accusative object of the preposition "in" and refers to the subject of the sentence, Hannibal.  In Allen & Greenough, see Section 299.

Keep at it.  It's hard to go at it alone, but the rewards are great!


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Classical Languages (Greek, Latin). Conversant with Classical Greek and all forms of the Latin 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.

A.B., M.A., D.Phil. (h.c.) in Classical Languages (Greek, Latin).

©2017 All rights reserved.