Latin Grammar I, Lesson 21.

In this lesson, we study chapter 21 of Book I of the Latin Grammar of Emmanuel Alvarez. This is a translation of chapter 21 of Book I of the Latin Grammar of Rev. Emmanuel Alvarez, S.J., by William C. Michael

l. Genitivus pluralis declinationis primae, secundae ac tertiae interdum, praesertim a poetis, minuitur, quam imminutionem Graeci “syncopen” vocant.

The Genitive plural of the declension first, second and third sometimes, especially by (the) poets, is abbreviated, which abbreviation (the) Greeks “Syncope” call.

The topic of this lesson is simply the use of syncope, or “abbreviation”, in Latin, where the normal plural forms of the Genitive singular cases are abbreviated by dropping one or more letters.

Primae, ut Caelicolum, Aeneadum, Trojugenum, Macetum, pro Caelicolarum, Aeneadarum, etc. qua in compositis nominibus, et patronymicis potissimum utimur.

Of (the) first, as Caelicolum, Aeneadum, Trojugendum, Macetum, for Caelicolarum, Aeneadarum, etc., which in compound nouns, and patronymics are chiefly used.

“Patronymics” are names used to refer to the ancestors of men. For example, in the Bible, we read of “the sons of Israel”, who are referred to as the “Israelites”, which is a patronymic. In classical Greek and Latin similar words are used to identify the families to which men belong. “Caelicolum” is an abbreviated form of “Caelicolarum”, which means the “children of the gods”. “Aeneadum” is an abbreviated form of “Aeneadarum”, which means “the sons of Aeneas”. These are patronymics.

Secundae, ut liberum, nummum, denarium, talentum, sestertium, fabrum, socium, Deum, modium pro liberorum, nummorum, etc. Et in adjectivis meum, magnanimum, quinum, senum, denum et aliis pro meorum, etc.. Siculum pro Siculorum (Lucretius) Adversarium pro adversariorum (Terentius). Plura exempla vide apud Ciceronem, ubi ea de re late.

Of (the) second (declension), as liberum, nummum, denarium, talentum, sestertium, fabrum, socium, Deum, modium for liberorum, nummorum, etc. And in (the) adjectives meum, magnanimum, quinum, senum, denum and others for meorum, etc. Lucretius (uses) Siculum in place of Siculorum. Terentius (uses) adversarium for adversariorum. More examples see with Cicero, where concerning the matter widely (he writes).

In the second declension, the full Genitive ending -ORUM is abbreviated to -UM.

Tertiae, ut cladum, caedum, veprum, caelestum, agrestum, potentum, furentum, pro cladium, caedium, veprium, caelestium, potentium, furentium, quae et alia ejusdem generis non facile apud oratores reperiuntur.

Of (the) third (declension), as cladum, caedum, veprum, caelestum, agrestum, potentum, furentum, for cladium, caedium, veprium, celestium, potentium, furentium, which also others of the same kind not easily in the works of the orators are discovered.

In the third declension, the full Genitive ending -IUM is abbreviated to -UM.

II. Genitivus imminutus a substantivis –as syllaba finitis usitatior est quam plenus, ut civitatum quam civitatium, anatum quam anatium.

II. (An) abbreviated Genitive from substantives ending with the syllable -AS is more used than (the) full (form), as civitatum than civitatium (from civitas), anatum than anatium (from anas).

lll. Quidam genitivi tum pleni tum imminuti sunt usitati etiam apud oratores, ut apium et apum, serpentium et serpentum, Quiritium et Quiritum, optimatium et optimatum, locupletium et locupletum.

Certain genitives sometimes full sometimes abbreviated are used also in the works of (the) orators, as apium and apum, serpentium and serpentum, Quiritium and Quiritum, optimatium and optimatum, locupletium and locupletum.

Memory Work

The following points provide a summary of the content of this lesson and should be memorized.

  1. The Genitive plural of the first, second and third declensions is sometimes syncopated (or, abbreviated).
  2. The Genitive plural of the first declension is sometimes abbreviated from -ARUM to -UM.
  3. The Genitive plural of the second declension is sometimes abbreviated from -ORUM to -UM.
  4. The Genitive plural of the third declension is sometimes abbreviated from -IUM to -UM.

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