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Faustus

The Noun Endings for the Gens

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Salve -

 

Perhaps this belongs in Nomina et Gentes but it is a Latin question.

I feel I must ask as it perturbs me personally and I'm certain other viewers (at least a few) would like an explanation also.

 

When I see the Antonia Gens, the Julia Gens, the Claudia Gens, I'm used to thinking Antonian, Julian, Claudian, etc. and in Latin I think Antonii, Julii, Claudii but these plural masculine endings are usually applied to the tribes, like the Cantii, Cornovii, Dumnonii, etc. and some seem to have feminine endings like the Belgae, the Novantae, the Selgovae.

 

But we see the Gens with what appear to be feminine endings. This doesn't seem to fit the Roman way, so I think, perhaps, we're declining as plural endings in the neuter gender and the nominative case so as to take in the whole, neither leanig to m or f. That seems to be too fair by half.

 

So what is the gender, the declension, the case, or what's the explanation?

 

 

Faustus

 

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If elegancy still proceedeth and English pens maintain that stream [of new words] we have of late observed to flow from many, we shall within few years be fain to learn Latin to understand English.

-- Sir Thomas Browne, 1646

Edited by Faustus

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Well, it's actually pretty straightforward: gens is a feminine noun, and in these constructions the names are acting as adjectives. Therefore, they must modify the noun they are with...meaning that they carry the same gender and number categorizations as the noun. So, the 'Julia Gens' is correct!

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Well, it's actually pretty straightforward: gens is a feminine noun, and in these constructions the names are acting as adjectives. Therefore, they must modify the noun they are with...meaning that they carry the same gender and number categorizations as the noun. So, the 'Julia Gens' is correct!

 

Salve Doc, and thank you for clearing that up for me. Most appreciated! :rolleyes:

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