USAGE miserere nobis (was: Possession and genitivity)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, May 1, 2005, 6:02|
On Saturday, April 30, 2005, at 12:40 , Roger Mills wrote:
> Ray Brown wrote:
>> In Latin the genitive is used for the object of certain verbs (probably
>> development of the partitive use):
>> 1. verbs of 'filling' and 'lacking' - complere (to fill), abundare (to )
>> egere (to lack), indigere (), carere ();
>> 2. verbs of remembering, and forgetting - mimenisse (tui memini "I
>> remember you"), oblivisci (to forget); the verb 'misereri' (to pity) also
>> governs the genitive.
> (What about "miserere nobis"-- or is that Later (Church) Latin?)
I've just checked again, but it is quite clear that in the Classical the
'object of pity' is (almost) always genitive. In CL 'have pity on us' is
It is even found _actively_ as an impersonal, i.e. _me tui miseret_ =
(approx.) 'it moves me to pity regarding you' = 'I pity you'. But the
passive _tui misereor' (I am moved to pity regarding you = I pity you) is
FWIW using the impersonal form "Have mercy on us" would be 'misereat te
The impersonal usage is never found with the object of pity in the dative
Because of its more frequent use in the passive, it seems to have become
regarded by many as a deponent. AFAIK the only recorded instance of its
being use with the dative in the Classical period is in the Fabellae of C.
Julius Hyginus where we find:
.. cui Venus postea miserata est - .. whom Venus later pitied.
But the 4th century grammarian Diomedes has the word governing the dative.
> I probably knew that list 50 years ago as a schoolboy ;-)); so apparently
> was lingering in the memory banks when I got to Kash. These verbs take[etc snip]
It certainly gives Kash a natlang feel IMO :)
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]