The Use of "V" for "u" in Latin words

By Adam S., in 'Latin Beginners', Nov 16, 2018.

  1. Hey everyone! I am kind of new at this and I am still learning the 2nd declension nouns. Scrolling around on the web I see that Latin inscriptions use "V" where I would expect a "U" to be, like in the word "Dominus." I see it written as "dominvs." Can someone explain to me why they did this, under what circumstances they used this convention, and is it proper to do so? Thanks for the help! I am excited to learn a lot here.
  2. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    litore aureo
    u and v are the same letter. The Romans tended to chisel V in inscriptions, but u in handwriting.

    I wrote a bit more about it here.
    Adam S. likes this.
  3. I would say that the basic answer to this is no, but with a caveat. In normal writing and correspondence, it is best and proper to distinguish between u and v. Indeed, in distinguishing between these two characters, we have improved upon the ancients. The aforementioned caveat is that you might want to use v for u if you are writing for poetic or rustic effect within an inscription, such as in writing a motto, etc. Hope that clarifies a little.

    Cinefactus, I like your "U and V" discussion. In fact, I'm going to give it a "like" right now!

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