Declining Jupiter

The Romans referred to Jupiter, but also to Jove. How did this work?

The nominative, Iuppiter, is derived from the archaic vocative and pater (the word is a ‘syntactic compound’). The rest of the cases are derived from the stem Iov-, which A&G identify as related to the Greek Ζεύς through the PIE root *dyew. We can imagine that ‘Iovis‘ could serve a nominative, but the go-to nominative is definitely Iuppiter (or Iupiter).

Picture 1

(photo credit: Wiktionary)

You might be curious about why there’s a plural declension. Statues of Jove were also called ‘Joves.’

The Essential AG: 79, 79b, 100, 266c

5 comments on “Declining Jupiter

  1. Daniel says:

    I’m new to your website, but I’m a great fan of Latin. As I’m currently doing some translations of books in Latin, I’ve quite a simple question, I just don’t know where to post it (don’t see a rubric for questions): what would your translation be for the following “?” – “What are people?”, or “What would the people be?”, or what do you think is more correct for Present Active Subjunctive of “esse”?
    Sorry that no context is provided
    And sorry for my English, as I’m a non-native speaker.

    Thanks for help!

    • rsmease says:

      My guess is that ‘we are people’ would be ‘hominēs sumus’ and ‘quid esset populus?’ are the best translations. The present subjunctive would have the flavor of ‘what might the people be?’ so I suggest the imperfect subjunctive.

      • Daniel says:

        Thank you for a reply, but I seem to have mis-copied the most important part in my message…
        Again I adress you: “what would your translation be for the following: Qui sint homines?

  2. rsmease says:

    Who might the men be? What should we call ‘men’?

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