Dacica

Tristantine

New Member
Hello all,

Recently a guy I know and myself have been doing some work on ancient Roman military names, but we have come across something which we can't really explain.

So we thought that writing "Traiani Bella Daca" should mean "Trajan's Dacian Wars". The reasoning for this is the following:

Traiani = genitive version of Traianus
Bella = Nominative pl. version of Bellum
Daca = Nominative pl. version of Dacus.

We have some problems however...

First, I'm not entirely sure that "Dacian" in the nominative singular is Dacus (and is therefore in the 2nd declension). Of course Dacia (the Proper Noun) is 1st declension, but the adjective version appears to be from a different declension - sort of like the difference between Roma (Rome) and Romanus (Roman).

The reason I think that Dacus might be correct is because I've seen plenty of references to "Dacorum" - for instance, Cohors Dacorum. If it's true that Dacus is actually a word, then it follows that Daca would work in "Traiani Bella Daca".

However, when researching the issue further I saw that Trajan himself wrote a work entitled "Traiani Bella Dacica".

Can anyone explain to me where he's got "Dacica" from because I don't really understand. Is this some form of irregular change, literary flair device or something I'm missing totally?

Please be aware that I'm not that great at Latin, and thanks for any help in advance!
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
The most usual adjective that means 'Dacian' is dacicus,-a,-um. The form dacus is typically used as substantive that means 'a Dacian'.
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
I think that Daci is the population, and it often is a substantive, whereas Dacicus is the adjective of the country/population. We should ask Kosmo maybe, who is very expert on Dacian matters, lol. Wait for more replies anyway.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
I accept your point, but I don't understand why "Dacorum" is used instead of "Dacicorum" then?
Because dacorum, being the genitive plural of dacus, means 'of the Dacians'. Translated literally, 'the Dacian cohort' would be cohors dacica.
 

Tristantine

New Member
Because dacorum, being the genitive plural of dacus, means 'of the Dacians'. Translated literally, 'the Dacian cohort' would be cohors dacica.
Sorry I'm really confused about what you mean.

I don't see why you'd have two seperate words which mean what appear to be identical things. Cohort of the Dacians is just another way of saying Dacian Cohort. That being the case, I don't really understand why one version would have extra bits added to it (for instance the i and the c).

Clearly there is some linguistic device here which I'm not registering. For instance, I'm not able to understand the difference between "Dacian" and "a Dacian". They both just look like adjectives to me. Obviously I don't understand how to express the grammatical differences between the two, barring the fact that the "a" part would symbolize singular.

From what you've written this has something to do with "substantive" words, which I've just read on google is where a word stands in the place of a noun.

As I said at the start, I'm by no means good at Latin (esp. where Proper Nouns and their derivatives are concerned) so if you can explain some of the things a little bit more, that would be helpful to me.

Thanks for all responses so far!
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Dacorum is a noun, dacica is an adjective. It's the same difference as between saying 'queen of the Britons' and 'the British queen'. I really don't know how to explain it any more clearly than that, sorry.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
ah ok, that makes perfect sense. But I thought "Dacia" ie 1st declension was the Proper Noun Version.
Dacia is the country/region. Dacus is a demonym for an inhabitant of the region. Dacicus,-a,-um is an adjective.

Maybe the fact that with some nationalities the demonym is the same as the adjective, just substantivized, is throwing you off (Romanus being the most pertinent example). That isn't always the case, however: another example would be Poenus and Poenicus, which correspond to Dacus and Dacicus.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Yes, and the Latin words for Britain/Briton/British even follow the same pattern:

Britannia, Britannus, Britannicus,-a,-um
 

Tristantine

New Member
Thanks so much for your help everyone. I think I get it now :p

The problem for me now is going about finding these adjectives. Finding information on nouns and verbs is usually easy enough, but finding out about Proper nouns and their adjective forms appears to be much more difficult. For instance, I now want to be able to say "The Roman province of Spain" which in theory should be very simple excepting the fact that I cannot find out the adjective version of the word Roman.

If I'm correct, writing "Romana provincia Hispaniae" would be wrong because Romana is not the correct adjective form to use.

Can anyone help me with this? I have heard that the adjective form I'm looking for often ends in "icus" (as pointed out above) but obviously that will not always be the case. If it is true in this instance, could "Romanica provincia Hispaniae" be correct?
 

LVXORD

Civis Illustris
With Roma, Romanus is the adjective used. There is no one type of adjective ending and so, what you've written is correct.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
The problem for me now is going about finding these adjectives. Finding information on nouns and verbs is usually easy enough, but finding out about Proper nouns and their adjective forms appears to be much more difficult. For instance, I now want to be able to say "The Roman province of Spain" which in theory should be very simple excepting the fact that I cannot find out the adjective version of the word Roman.

If I'm correct, writing "Romana provincia Hispaniae" would be wrong because Romana is not the correct adjective form to use.

Can anyone help me with this? I have heard that the adjective form I'm looking for often ends in "icus" (as pointed out above) but obviously that will not always be the case. If it is true in this instance, could "Romanica provincia Hispaniae" be correct?
No, just Romana provincia is fine. See what I wrote above:
Maybe the fact that with some nationalities the demonym is the same as the adjective, just substantivized, is throwing you off (Romanus being the most pertinent example)
Just look up the name of the place in the dictionary and all information about the adjective and (if different) demonym forms will be there as well.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Wouldn't it be provincia Hispania rather than Hispaniae?
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus

Tristantine

New Member
No, just Romana provincia is fine. See what I wrote above:

Just look up the name of the place in the dictionary and all information about the adjective and (if different) demonym forms will be there as well.
Thanks for this. As you pointed out, certainly there is some confusion on my part regarding the fact that some demonyms are the same as the adjective.

Just out of interest then, why would "Romanicus" (in the case of the example above, Romanica) be incorrect? According to wiki it's an adjective. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/romanicus.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Romanicus does exist but it's apparently quite rare. So it wouldn't necessarily be wrong, but it would be non-standard. For whatever reason Romanus was the preferred adjective that the Romans used, and their usage dictates acceptability for good Latin.
 

Tristantine

New Member
Alright, thanks. I guess figuring out what is rare or not will just require me to read plenty of texts.

On another note, does anyone know why the Gallic Empire of the 3rd century AD (a split off Empire from the Roman Empire) is called the "Imperium Galliarum"? Based on the help I've had from people here so far, I assume that "Imperium Gallicum" would be another (perhaps more correct) way of saying it.

A friend of mine theorized that Imperium Galliarum might have been a shortened version of "Imperium [Provinciarum] Galliarum" since originally Gaul and its dominions would have been provinces of Rome.

However I suppose the real question would be, on its own does "Imperium Galliarum" make lingustic sense?
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
The term seems rather to be a modern invention. The first footnote in its Wikipedia article explains the origin:
Wikipedia dixit:
The state was never officially styled as Imperium Galliarum on the official monuments, inscriptions or coins that have survived; rather, the phrase comes from a phrase in Eutropius (Galliarum accepit imperium, "[he took] command of the Gallic provinces", Drinkwater 1987, p. 15). Instead, the titles and administrative structures of the empire followed their Roman models (Drinkwater 1987, pp. 126-127).
 
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