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Dear Maria,

An old Latin composition book shows following translation.

Anyone can boast that he is more learned than any of his own pupils.
Cuilibet promptum est gloriari se doctiorem esse quam quemquam suorum discipulorum.

1) cuilibet means anyone?
2) Can 'potes' be used instead of 'promptum est'? Same meaning?
3) quemquam(acc.) agrees with se?

Thank you.


Dear John,

here are my answers:

1)“cuilibet” (dative singular of the indefinite pronoun “quilibet” )  means “anyone” in “Cuilibet promptum est gloriari...” literally meaning:”For/To anyone (cuilibet) it is easy (promptum est) to boast (gloriari)..”, i.e. “Anyone can boast...”.

2)The verb "potest"  (3rd person singular, present indicative) can be used instead of "promptum est" and then say:”Quilibet (Nominative= "anyone") potest (can) boast (gloriari)..”.

3)”quemquam”(acc. masculine singular of “quisquam”) agrees with “se” in the sense that “quemquam” (meaning:”any” in “than any of..”)  is the second member of the comparison whose first member is “se” in  the infinitive clause “se doctiorem esse” (that he is more learned).

Please note that  the comparative (“doctiorem” in this context) may be followed by QUAM (than) and when QUAM is used, the two things compared are put in the same case, i.e. in the accusative in this sentence where the first member of the comparison is just the accusative “se” in “se doctiorem esse”, while the second member is “quemquam” in the same case (accusative).

In short, “se doctiorem esse quam quemquam suorum discipulorum” means:” that he (se)  is  (esse) more learned (doctiorem) than (quam) any (quemquam) of his (suorum)  pupils (discipulorum).”

Best regards,



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