THE GERUND AND GERUNDIVE IN THE WORKS OF TACITUS AND PLINY THE YOUNGER
Keywords:gerund, gerundive, Tacitus, Annals, Pliny the Younger, Letters
The gerund is a defective verbal noun and the gerundive is a passive verbal adjective in -ndus, -a, -um with necessitative meaning. This paper presents some results obtained from a comparison of the various uses gerunds and gerundives in the Annals of Tacitus and in the Letters of Pliny the Younger, i.e. in such diﬀerent literary forms as epistolography and history. The diﬀerence in the frequency of use of certain constructions by the two authors is very interesting and noticeable. The use of a gerund or of a gerundive is also the result of selection in stylistic presentation. In general Tacitus is much more free in his usage than Pliny. In the Annals we found 191 cases of the use of the gerund and 331 of the gerundive. However, in Pliny the gerunds are slightly in excess of the gerundive (152 to 106). Another very noticeable point of diﬀerence between our two authors is that in Tacitus the dative of gerundive makes a large per cent (37) of all the gerundive uses, a much larger proportion than is found in Pliny (3 per cent). The same case is with the use of the ablative of the gerund without a preposition. In the Annals this construction occurs 57 times, against only nine cases of the ablative of the gerund in Pliny. However, an analysis and classification of all occurrences of the gerund and gerundive in Pliny and Tacitus may also confirm the similarity of the use of these verbal forms in the Annals and in the Letters.
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