Greek Patronymics in Latin

Patronymics are generally Greek-derived Latin nouns with special endings, appearing frequently in epic poetry and rarely elsewhere. They may be masculine or feminine, but always one or the other, depending on the specific ending:

  • -adēs, idēs, īdēs and -eus are masculine
  • ās, is, and -ēis are feminine

In Greek, these are usually adjectives; in Latin, they are usually nouns.

Exempla:

  • Tydareus, -ī (the Spartan king) —> Tyndaridēs, -ae (either Castor or Pollux, the twin sons of Tyndareus)
  • Tydareus, -ī (the Spartan king) —> Tyndaris, -idis (Helen, the daughter of Tyndareus)
  • Anchīsēs, -ae (Anchises, the Dardanian prince) —> Anchīsiadēs, -ae (Aeneas, the son of Anchises)
  • Tydeus, -ī, (Tydeus, the Aeolian hero) —> Tydīdēs, -ae (Domedes, the son of Tydeus)
  • Oīleus, -ī (Oileus, the Locrian king) —> Aiāx Oīleus, Aiācis Oīleī (Ajax Minor, the son of Oileus)
  • Hesperus, -ī (the Evening Star) —> Hesperis, -idis sg. (a daughter of Hesperus) —> Hesperides, -um pl. the Hesperides (not Hesperidēs, -ae, which would be masculine)

The Essential AG: 244

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Greek Nouns (in Latin) of the First Declension

Latin features loanwords from Greek, which I doubt will surprise you. A&G mentions a host of proper names, as well as “about thirty-five” other words in the first declension.

  • “Greek forms” are only a feature of singular nouns, since the “Greek” nouns decline like typical Latin nouns in the first declension plural
  • By my reading, all or nearly all of these verbs correspond to the first/α-declension in Greek

From what I see, these more or less correspond to the four basic variations of the Attic first declension, with the datives -ῃ and -ᾳ rendered as -ae, and the genitive -ου as (again) -ae.


The Greek is slightly complicated beyond the ‘four basic variations’ (some would say there are six basic, and there are certainly eight total). That’s not my line of work, so here’s a Wiki Synopsis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_nouns#First_declension
Indeed, the Latin nouns are complicated too. Suffice it to say what I’ve offered above is a very terse representation of the numerous variations that A&G offer on each of these nouns. They also offer 5 additional sample nouns with different variations.

The Essential AG: 44