1 April 2024


 I have noticed a grammatical construction which I can thus describe: you have an ut-clause; and dependant upon that clause you have another subordinate clause which might reasonably begin with another ut. In these circumstances, the second potential ut may be replaced by quatenus.

Here is a Patristic example, taking us back a few centuries, from the sermon of S Gregory the Great, read on Easter Sunday: "sic quippe necesse est ut audiamus quae facta sunt, quatenus cogitemus etiam quae nobis sunt ... facienda."

Here is a liturgical example: "Deprecantes, ut beatus confessor Birinus ... nobis obtineat, quatenus ipsius societate perfruamur ..."

And here is a curial example: " ... rogamus, ut ita in dei opere perseverare studeas, quatinus regi regum deo placere valeas ..."

My second example was from a 12th century liturgical book probable connected with Abendon; my third from a letter sent by or associated with Pope S Leo IX, to King Edward the Confessor.

Now here are my queries.

 Is this particular construction widespread? Should we consider it "Christian"?

According to Lewis and Short (sub voce E and F), we should think of Lactantius (d. 326), Cassiodorus (d. 575), and the Digest, which would be heavy enough hints even if we were not advised "(eccl. Lat.)" and "(post-class)." Here we are certainly being referred to temp S Gregory.

But what about the other end of things? I am referring to Renaissance Latin. Is this a usage stylists such as Cardinal Pole, or Bembo or Gigli, would have been happy with? Or would they have deemed it a relic of the Dark Ages?

Has anybody spotted it in any non-Christian texts?


Frugifex said...

Quatenus scire voluisti, quid sibi ‘quatenus’ vult, nullatenus negabo, nam eatenus explicandum est quatenus radice tenus vel saltem aliquatenus intelligatur. Haec hactenus, cetera postea.

frjustin said...

The curia seems to prefer the form "quatinus", but there is an instance of quatenus...ut...quatenus in Spinoza:

Nam QUATENUS uterque idem amat, eo ipso utriusque amor fovetur (per propositionem 31 partis III) hoc est (per definitionem 6 affectuum) eo ipso utriusque lætitia fovetur. Quare longe abest UT QUATENUS idem amant et natura conveniunt, invicem molesti sint.

Which is roughly: For inasmuch as each loves the same thing, the love of both is fostered (according to proposition 31 of part III), that is (according to the definition of the 6 affections) the happiness of both is fostered. Therefore it is far from the case that in so far as they love the same thing and agree by nature, they should trouble each other.

That would be in Spinoza's Ethica IV

Inutilissimus Servus said...

Might this be an example? From Frontinus, De Aquaeductu (late first century A.D.): "Et quoniam incrementum urbis exigere videbatur ampliorem modum aquae, eidem mandatum a senatu est, ut curaret, quatenus alias aquas posset in urbem perducere." (Loeb edition, p. 344)

Stephen v.B. said...

Unfortunately, the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae has not yet published the results of its inquiries into words beginning with Q... But there is a quite thorough article on quatenus by Eduard Wölfflin - in the Archiv für lateinische Lexicographie &c., vol. V (1888), pp. 399-414 (accessible via Google Books) - which completely vindicates your analysis.

According to Wölfflin, the use of quatenus as a final conjunction is first attested in Tertullian (De baptismo 16, but I note that the text is a bit uncertain there), is then taken over by Ambrose and Augustine, and continued by Leo and Gregory the Great, and so on. (It appears in legal prose around the same time: Ulpian and Paulus.) The additional fact that - e.g. - more 'classical' authors such as Lactantius and Jerome avoid 'final quatenus' might indeed mark this as a specifically 'Christian' usage in the Mohrmannian sense.

Wölfflin notes, regarding the passage from Tertullian, that "die finale Bedeutung [erscheint] um so eher glaublich, als unmittelbar vorausgeht: venerat per aquam et sanguinem, ut aqua tingueretur, sanguine glorificeretur, so dass wohl das Streben nach Abwechslung die Wahl des Ausdruckes bestimmt hat." (p. 409) And, further on, he cites a large number of examples from different authors to illustrate "dass der Schriftsteller oft sich fur quatenus entscheidet, um nicht ut wiederholen zu müssen." (p. 410) Cassiodorus similarly uses quatenus after ne. The late grammarians (Priscian) acknowledge this (relatively rare) sense of quatenus as well.

Continuing, Wölfflin also notes the use of quatenus in a consecutive sense, for example after dignus or talis, from the 4th century onward. This seems to have been more rare than the final use.

It would be interesting to see when this use of quatenus died out. I think Bembo and Pole would not have been in favour of it ... if only for the reason that Caesar and Cicero were not too fond of quatenus in any sense!