Dear Maria,
Can you help me with the following grammar question (from Allen and Greenough):
(1)   Nisi …, nec deprecaturi sumus nec postulaturi. (516 d).
Question:  what tense do the words “deprecaturi” and “postulaturi” correspond to?
(2)   … si luce palam iretur hostis praeventurus erat. (516 f)
Question: what is “iretur”? what tense is “praeventurus  erat”?
(3)   … neque metus ultra neque pudor est.  (518 a)
Question: How to understand “ultra”?
Thank you.

Dear Robert,

Please note that:

In “ Nisi oculis videritis insidias Miloni a Clodio factas,  nec deprecaturi sumus ut crimen hoc ...nobis...condonetis.., nec postulaturi..” (Cicero, Pro Milone, 6, in Allen and Greenough, 516 d)- literally meaning “If  you will have not seen with your own eyes the plots laid against Milo by Clodius, we  shall neither beg to pardon us this offence ..... nor shall we demand...”- the words “deprecaturi” and “postulaturi” are future active participles of the verbs “deprecor” and “postulo” respectively.

I have to point out that  this is an idiomatic construction called Active Periphrastic Conjugation that combines the Future Active Participle with the forms of  the verb SUM (I am) and denotes a future or intended action.

Therefore  “deprecaturi sumus “ and “postulaturi [sumus] “ correspond to a future tense such as “we  shall beg “ and “we shall demand”.

Such an active periphrastic, aka First Periphrastic Conjugation, can also used to mean “to be on the point of”,”to be about to” and sometimes “ in order to” (see Allen and Greenough 158 and 195).

In “ … si luce palam iretur,.... hostis ....praeventurus erat” (Livy,Ab Urbe Condita,  book XXII, chapter  24, section 6 in 516 f) - literally meaning “if  one marched openly by daylight ...., the enemy will  have prevent him...” -  the word “iretur”  ( marched) is the  imperfect conjunctive, 3rd person singular,  passive voice of the verb “ire”(to go/to march), used in the impersonal construction.

In Latin in fact  the impersonal construction, as having no personal subject,  uses  the third person singular  of the passive form such as “itur”( one goes, they go, it is gone),”pugnatur” (one fight, they fight, it is fighting), etc. (See Allen and Greenough 208 d)

As for  “praeventurus erat”, it  is another active periphrastic, i.e. First Periphrastic Conjugation, composed of the active future participle “praeventurus” (from “praevenio”) + the imperfect “eram” (from “sum”) and then means “will have prevent...”.

In “ … neque metus ultra neque pudor est”  (Tacitus, Annales, 3.54 in Allen and Greenough 518 a)- meaning “there is neither  fear  nor shame” -  the word “ultra” is used as an adverb combined with “neque” and meaning “neither ...nor”.

Hope I have helped you.

Best regards,


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