The same suffixes—ārius, tōrius, and sōrius—that formed a number of adjectives in this post can also be put to use as nouns with a regular range of meanings. This meaning is often restricted to the gender of the noun formed. Again, these denote a kind of belonging.
-ārius (m.) employee in a particular field
argentārius, -ī silversmith, broker
coriārius, -ī leather worker
Corinthiārius, -ī Corinthian bronze worker (for those not in the know, Corinthian bronze had Gucci bag status in antiquity)
mirābiliārius, -ī miracle worker
operārius, ī worker, day-laborer
-ārius (f.) thing associated with a particular field
aerāria, -ae copper mine
argentāria, -ae bank
arēnāriae, -ārum sandpits (arēna, sand)
Asināria, -ae the play The Ass (with fabula, -ae implied)
-ārium (n.) thing (often a place) associated with a field
aerārium, -ī treasury
tepidārium, -ī warm bath
sūdārium, -ī towel
salārium, -ī salary
calendārium, -ī notebook (calendae, calends)
-tōria / -sōria (f.) and -tōrium / -sōrium (n.) thing (often a place) associated with a field
Agitātōria, –aeThe Driver by Platus (agitātor, driver, with fabula, -ae implied)
The adjectival suffixes -ārius, -tōrius, and -sōrius denote belonging to a group qualified by the implied content of the correspond root. Effectively, these adjectives are formed by the addition to -ius to theadjectival root -āris or the nominal root -or. Let’s build a few examples.
A few things to notice about this pattern: (i) the original base of the adjective can be just about anything—noun, adjective, verb, adverb—but the penultimate word is always a noun or an adjective. That said, (ii) the penultimate noun or adjective is not always extant in Latin; note the [brackets]. Finally, note that (iii) this set of adjectives is often theoretical—rēs bellatōriae (matters of warriors)and rēs extrāriae (matters of foreigners) probably cover half the total appearances of those two adjectives.
The following is a list of nouns that features both a masculine and neuter form, each with the same meaning. Allen and Greenough hint that there are “many others of rare occurrence” beyond this list, suggesting neuter-for-masculine is a comfortable poetic standard, but these are the most common instances, or the ones used most widely in classical literature.
balteus/um, -ī sword belt, girdle
cāseus/um, ī cheese (also, in comedy, term of endearment)
clipeus/um, ī round brazen shield
collum/us, ī neck
cingulum/us, ī waistband, waist strap
pīleus/um, ī liberty cap
tergum/us, ī back
vāllum/us, ī wall, rampart
By the way, the Allen and Greenough term for these guys is heterogeneous. This term also covers the plūria transexuālia and plūria aliēna that I discussed in earlier posts.
This is an interesting case. According to Lewis and Short, it looks like the plural of caelum is actually lacking in Classical Latin except for a passage from Lucretius. However, caelī (m) meaning ‘heavings’ is frequent in Ecclesiastical Latin. Therefore, the evidence is inconclusive as to whether the noun is truly transgender.
I’ve discussed this phenomenon in parts in places, but I have never full described the phenomenon of plūrālia tantum—Latin words that appear categorically as plural nouns.
The plūrālia include—
names of cities: Athēnae, Thūriī, Philippī, Veiī
names of festivals: Olympia, Bacchānālia, Quīnquārtrūs, lūdī Rōmānī
names of social classes: optimātēs, maiōres (ancestors), liberī, penātēs, Quirītēs (citizens)
words that are plural in nature, like the English ‘jeans, scissor, contents, etc.’: arma, artūs (joints), dīvitiae, scālae (stairs), valvae (folding doors), forēs, angustiae, moenia, dēliciae (beloved), faucēs (throat), īnsidiae (ambush), cervīcēs (neck), viscera (flesh).
words that are popular plural poetical tropes: sceptra (for sceptrum), ora (for ōs), silentia (for silentium).
Where these appear in the singular, they often have meanings slightly distinct from their plural forms: