Adjectives with Locative Nouns?

marius2k4

New Member

I'm wondering how to supply an adjective to modify a noun which is in the locative case.

For instance, if one were to speak of being at "Rome the Great", how would one treat 'Magna', in this case? The same goes for being on 'damp earth', except with that one has a special locative for which an adjective might not fit. Ergo, would it be "humi humidi"? (Yes, I realize this is semantically redundant, but I can't seem to find a rule for this situation.)

What about when one mixes 1/2 and 3rd declension nouns and adjectives? Does being "at" a third declension place (which takes an ablative) require one to use the corresponding adjective in the ablative, even if it's 1st/2nd declension, or would that 1st/2nd declension adjective take the genitive as appropriate?

Thanks!
 

socratidion

Civis Illustris

  • Civis Illustris

  • Patronus

The rule appears to be that the adjective goes into the locative too.
The scenario you posit, that one might say something like "Yesterday I was in great Rome" strikes me as unlikely to arise in practice. Where you would find adjectives with place-names is where the place-name itself is a noun+adj pair, such as... (fishing around) Castra Caecilia, Nova Carthago, Vicus Augustanus, Alba Longa, that kind of thing, where I don't think you would feel the least inhibition about putting the adjective into the same case as the noun, even from different declensions.

If you found yourself wishing to mention, en passant, that Rome was deserving of the epithet 'great', you would probably do something like 'mansi Romae, in urbe magna', the 'in' being optional, but the ablative required to take over from the locative in the appositional phrase. My source for this is Woodcock's New Latin Syntax section 53.

Also from Woodcock I find 'tuae domi' = at your home.

I don't know about 'on damp earth', but suspect that to try to shoehorn an adjective in there might go against the grain. With 'humus' the locative form is optional anyway, so you could easily say humo humida.
 

marius2k4

New Member

Thanks for the quick reply!

I try to keep fresh by using Latin regularly (which forces me, outside of an academic setting, to use it regarding banal and colloquial matters), and while I'm a pure ecclesialist when it comes to pronunciation, and have to rely on neo-Latin or reverse translation from, say, Italian for many common matters, I like to retain as much proper grammar as possible so that I don't devolve into a vulgar dialect deserving of another name than "Latin". By no means do I wish to do to Latin (again) what the internet is doing to English.

Little matters such as these therefore eat at me, and your help is much appreciated.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus

  • Civis Illustris

With the exception of possessive pronouns and alienus, which are all the equivalent of an adnominal genitive, I've never seen an adjective or demonstrative directly modifying a locative noun. I think the normal practice is to convert the whole phrase into a locative ablative, usually with in. The same would also apply for the accusative of end of motion (e.g. in totam domum rather than just totam domum) and the ablative of separation (e.g. ex eadem domo rather than just eadem domo). This is certainly how it works with domus, at least, and apparently with humus and rus as well, though these last two are far less commonly modified by adjectives. Likewise when domus is used to mean anything besides a literal "home" or "homeland", e.g. "family" or "[philosophical] sect", you have to say in domo.

As for names of cities, towns, and small islands, you don't often see them modified by an adjective unless it's an integral part of the place-name itself. I think the best thing to do in this situation is just use a noun in apposition with it, and have the adjective modify the noun. After the locative the normal practice is to use the ablative, with or without in, e.g. Romae, [in] magna urbe "at the great city, Rome" or Lemni, [in] insula volcania "on Lemnos, the island of Vulcan".

I'm not sure exactly how it works with those cities which have an adjective as part of the name. I could imagine, for example, Albae Longae, but Novae Carthagine would seem weird to me, as compared with Nova Carthagine. Thankfully the locative is usually identical to the ablative.
 

Acsacal

Civis Illustris

  • Civis Illustris

This answer may be somehow late, but I am a new member here.
According to my favorite grammar book (Grammaire latine complète, by Lucien Sausy), prepositions are sometimes used with city names, domus and rus in some cases;
Examples given are:
  • Sum in ipsa Roma = je suis à Rome même (I am in the very city of Rom)
  • Eo in rus amoenum = je vais dans une campagne agréable (I go/am going to a pleasant country place)
  • Redeo e rure amoeno = je reviens d'une campagne agréable (I come back/am coming back from a pleasant country place)
  • [Domi meae = chez moi (at home)] ≠ [in domo mea = dans ma maison (in my house)]
  • [Eo domum Caesaris = je vais chez César (I go/am going to Caesar's place)] ≠ [Eo in domum Caesaris = je vais dans la maison de César César (I go/am going to Caesar's house)]
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illūstris

  • Censor

We have relics of non-prepositional locative in my language "doma" (=domi). And it just sounds plainly wrong with an adjective. Next to that we have of course a local case which works only with the prepositions (just as Latin ablative), so no problem to say "in domū magnā".
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus

  • Civis Illustris

This answer may be somehow late, but I am a new member here.
According to my favorite grammar book (Grammaire latine complète, by Lucien Sausy), prepositions are sometimes used with city names, domus and rus in some cases;
Examples given are:
  • Sum in ipsa Roma = je suis à Rome même (I am in the very city of Rom)
  • Eo in rus amoenum = je vais dans une campagne agréable (I go/am going to a pleasant country place)
  • Redeo e rure amoeno = je reviens d'une campagne agréable (I come back/am coming back from a pleasant country place)
  • [Domi meae = chez moi (at home)] ≠ [in domo mea = dans ma maison (in my house)]
  • [Eo domum Caesaris = je vais chez César (I go/am going to Caesar's place)] ≠ [Eo in domum Caesaris = je vais dans la maison de César César (I go/am going to Caesar's house)]
Those examples are in perfect accordance with what I said above.
 
Top