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images from ms. of De civitate Dei
image of vultures (Aberdeen Bestiary)
image of medieval king (11th century)

Grammar: Relative Pronoun at "Beginning" of Sentence

In both classical and medieval Latin, it is extremely common to "begin" a sentence with a relative pronoun. You will find it much easier to mentally replace that relative pronoun with a demonstrative pronoun, giving yourself a kind of "mental break" between the clauses:

Marcus loquebatur de rebus multis.
Cui respondit Camilla: "Tace, o stulte!"

is the same as:

Marcus loquebatur de rebus multis.
Ei respondit Camilla: "Tace, o stulte!"
(or: Marco respondit camilla: "Tace, o stulte!"

Modern Languages 4970 / MRS 4903: Medieval Latin. Spring 2003 Online Course at the University of Oklahoma. Visit for more info.
Laura Gibbs, University of Oklahoma - Information Technology © 2003. Last updated: December 29, 2002 7:12 PM