Lectio Decima

De nominibus neutralibus

Summary: There was a great mercantile city in north Africa, Carthage, founded from Phoenicia in the 9th century B.C. Vergil was wrong in saying Dido founded it in the 12th century. Their ships sailed every sea, for trade. Rome was not fond of trade at this time. But the Carthaginians were not fond of service in their army. Rome preferred agriculture to trade.

In Africa septentrionáli fuit urbs magna—Carthágo. Carthaginiénses fuérunt mercatóres. Multas naves habuérunt. Mercatúram fecérunt cum multis natiónibus. Carthaginiénses boni fuérunt mercatúra. Multam pecúniam habuérunt. Poéta Románus, Vergílius, dixit quod Dido fundávit Cartháginem. Sed veritátem non dixit. Coloni ex Phoenicia fundaverunt Carthaginem. (Phoenicia est terra in Asia). Vergilius putavit quod Dido fundavit Carthaginem in saeculo duodecimo (XII). Sed Vergilius non dixit veritatem. Coloni ex Phoenicia fundaverunt Carthaginem (probabiliter saeculo nono (IX) ante Christum. Ergo Vergilius non narravit veritatem—narravit fabulam. Quia Carthaginienses venerunt ex Phoenicia, Romani dederunt aliud nomen: Punici. Carthaginienses fuerunt Punici. Punici miserunt naves in multa maria, in multas terras. Carthaginienses etiam habuerunt exercitum. Sed viri Carthaginienses non voluerunt pugnare—Carthaginienses voluerunt mercaturam facere—voluerunt habere multam pecuniam. Mercatores Punici venerunt etiam in Siciliam. Multae naves venerunt in mari ad Siciliam. Romani non fuerunt magni mercatura. Romani amaverunt agros. Romani amaverunt pugnare et fortes esse. Romani fuerunt boni fortitudine.


Nunc Cogitemus

Nouns with Nominative and Objective Plural in -A:

There are some nouns whose nominative and objective plurals end in -a. These belong to the second and the third declension (there are a few in fourth—we shall see them later). We have met only seven of them so far. Here they are, with their nominative and objective plurals. Note the identical endings in the nominative and objective.


All but mare and nomen belong to the second family. Notice that the nominative singular is the same as the objective singular. That is true of all neuter nouns in all declensions. So in second declension, we have some nominatives in -um, and in third declension, the objective singular may be something other than -em.

Notice that the nominative and objective plurals all have -a —both in second and in third declension. But some have not merely -a, but -ia. How can we tell when to use the -ia? It is obvious in second declension—when the nominative singular has -ium, the nom.-obj. plural will be -ia. But it is easy in third declension. Some third declension words use -e for the ablative: these have only -a, for example: nomen, nomine has nomina for plural. But some use -i in the ablative: these will have -ia for nom.-obj. plural of neuter nouns: e.g., mare, -i has mária for plural.

How can we tell which nouns will have one of these -a endings? In the second declension, all nouns whose nominative ends in -um will have the -a endings. In third declension, we have a longer rule: all nouns whose nominative ends in: -n, -t, -men, -ma, -e, -al, or -ar are neuter and will have the -a endings. But we will see more of this in the next lesson.

Nunc Exerceamus Nos

[ Open the above in its own tab ]

English to Latin

  1. The Romans were in danger.
  2. Marcus was able to come to the city.
  3. Marcus said that Columbus was good.

[ Open the above in its own tab ]

Tapescript Practice

[ Open the above in its own tab ]

[ Open the above in its own tab ]