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Latin Grammar / 03.05.2018

Imparasyllabic nouns are those which have one more syllable in their Genitive Singulars than in their Nominative Singulars. The majority of such nouns are in the Third Declension, and within this declension there are two groups, or categories, of nouns (and related adjectives) which are of significance in relation to the length of syllables at the end of words, i.e. final syllables: 1) Imparasyllabic Third Declension nouns with nominative Singulars ending in '- es', which have a short penultimate syllable in the Genitive Singular. In almost all Latin words...

Latin Grammar / 08.10.2017

On occasions, Virgil permits himself a certain licence in his metrication, when he lengthens syllables at the end of words which would normally be short both by nature and by position. Ancient authorities commentating on these irregularities explain them either by focusing on their position in the verse, or by suggesting that Virgil's usage in these instances reflects that these syllables had been long in quantity in earlier periods of Latin poetry. With regard to the first of these tentative explanations, it is indeed the case that in...

Latin Grammar / 23.01.2012

Preface: On 6 March 2010 Sabidius issued on this blogspot a short item concerning the use of Gerunds (verbal nouns) and Gerundives (passive verbal adjectives) in Latin; and on 17 January 2011 he followed this up with an article entitled "Nunc est bibendum", which was a detailed discussion of the controversy concerning whether the "bibendum" in this famous quotation was a Gerund or a Gerundive, and thus the alternative possibilities for its translation. Now, having just completed a translation of Book XXX of Livy's history (see article dated 26...

Latin Grammar / 17.01.2011

"Nunc est bibendum", of which "Now it is time to drink" is but one of the many possible translations, is one of the most famous quotations from Latin literature. It comes from the first line of carmen XXXVII of Horace's Odes, Book I, a poem written to celebrate the news of the death of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, in 30 B.C. Sabidius' purpose in this article is to analyse the grammatical significance of this short clause and, in particular to discuss whether 'bibendum' is a gerund or gerundive.