Thus, for example, quomodo glosses adverbs, prepositional phrases, ablative absolutes
- elements of discourse usually classified in quite separate places in medieval and modern instructional grammars but not in modern functional accounts of syntax.
In Riddle 22, 'De achalantida', she translates line 4, Spreta colore tamen sed non spreta canendo, 'Though my plumage is spurned, I am not spurned for my singing', as if spreta colore were an ablative absolute
; however, as the metre and the gloss make clear, the a in spreta is short, hence: 'For all that I am spurned for my colour, I am not spurned for my singing'.
neque terrain inicere nec cruenta convestire corpora, Catullus 64.153 neque iniacta tumulabor mortua terra (where iniacta, read by all MSS and modem editors, is a unique form and should probably be replaced with iniecta), Vergil, Aeneid 6.365-6 aut tu mihi terram | inice, Ciris 442 iniecta Tellus tumulabit harena, iniecto pondere terrae would be an ablative absolute
with causal effect: `and you could no longer raise your head, nymph, because of the weight of earth that had been thrown over you'.
candido is not taken to mean 'from a clear sky', but is recognized as an ablative absolute
meaning 'the sky being clear, under a clear sky'.
Since Tacitus describes situation before the Othonians irrupt into the Forum, we cannot bring the two narratives into complete agreement, unless we read into |lugubri prospectu' an element of futurity it does not carry, no matter what kind of ablative it is,(5) and offer a translation like |in expectation of a mournful scene'.(6) Hence most scholars, guided more by the underlying idea than by the actual wording of Plutarch's account, take |lugubri prospectu' as an ablative absolute
, coordinate with |completis ...