Latin for beginners (1911)/Part II/Lesson XXXIX

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230. Bases and Stems. In learning the first and second declensions we saw that the different cases were formed by adding the case terminations to the part of the word that did not change, which we called the base. If to the base we add in the first declension, and -o in the second, we get what is called the stem. Thus porta has the base port- and the stem portā-; servus has the base serv- and the stem servo-.

These stem vowels, -ā- and -o-, play so important a part in the formation of the case terminations that these declensions are named from them respectively the Ā- and O-Declensions.

231. Nouns of the Third Declension. The third declension is called the Consonant or I-Declension, and its nouns are classified according to the way the stem ends. If the last letter of the stem is a consonant, the word is said to have a consonant stem; if the stem ends in -i-, the word is said to have an i-stem. In consonant stems the stem is the same as the base. Ini-stems the stem is formed by adding -i- to the base. The presence of the i makes a difference in certain of the cases, so the distinction is a very important one.

232. Consonant stems are divided into two classes:

I. Stems that add -s to the base to form the nominative singular.
II. Stems that add no termination in the nominative singular.


233. Stems that add -s to the base in the nominative singular are either masculine or feminine and are declined as follows:

prīnceps, m., chief mīles, m., soldier lapis, m., stone
Bases or
prīncip- mīlit- lapid-
Nom. prīnceps mīles lapis -s
Gen. prīn´cipis mīlitis lapidis -is
Dat. prīn´cipī mīlitī lapidī
Acc. prīn´cipem mīlitem lapidem -em
Abl. prīn´cipe mīlite lapide -e
Nom. prīn´cipēs mīlitēs lapidēs -ēs
Gen. prīn´cipum mīlitum lapidum -um
Dat. prīnci´pibus mīlitibus lapidibus -ibus
Acc. prīn´cipēs mīlitēs lapidēs -ēs
Abl. prīnci´pibus mīlitibus lapidibus -ibus
rēx, m., king iūdex, m., judge virtūs, f., manliness
Bases or
rēg- iūdic- virtūt-
Nom. rēx iūdex virtūs -s
Gen. rēgis iūdicis virtū´tis -is
Dat. rēgī iūdicī virtū´tī
Acc. rēgem iūdicem virtū´tem -em
Abl. rēge iūdice virtū´te -e
Nom. rēgēs iūdicēs virtū´tēs -ēs
Gen. rēgum iūdicum virtū´tum -um
Dat. rēgibus iūdicibus virtū´tibus -ibus
Acc. rēgēs iūdicēs virtū´tēs -ēs
Abl. rēgibus iūdicibus virtū´tibus -ibus
1. The base or stem is found by dropping -is in the genitive singular.
2. Most nouns of two syllables, like prīnceps (prīncip-), mīles (mīlit-), iūdex (iūdic-), have i in the base, but e in the nominative. 'a. lapis is an exception to this rule.

3. Observe the consonant changes of the base or stem in the nominative:

a. A final -t or -d is dropped before -s; thus mīles for mīlets, lapis for lapids, virtūs for virtūts.

b. A final -c or -g unites with -s and forms -x; thus iūdec + s = iūdex, rēg + s = rēx.

4. Review § 74 and apply the rules to this declension.

In like manner decline dux, ducis, m., leader; eques, equitis, m., horseman; pedes, peditis, m., foot soldier; pēs, pedis, m.,foot.



First learn the special vocabulary, p. 291.


  1. Neque peditēs neque equitēs occupāre castellum Rōmānum poterant.
  2. Summā virtūte mūrōs altōs cotīdiē oppugnābant.
  3. Pedes mīlitum lapidibus quī dē mūrō iaciēbantur saepe vulnerābantur.
  4. Quod novum cōnsilium dux cēpit?
  5. Is perfidam puellam pulchrīs ōrnāmentīs temptāvit.
  6. Quid puella fēcit?
  7. Puella commōta aurō mīlitēs per portās dūxit.
  8. Tamen praemia quae summō studiō petīverat nōn reportāvit.
  9. Apud Rōmānōs antīquōs Tarpēia nōn est laudāta.


  1. What ship is that which I see? That (illud) ship is the Victory. It is sailing now with a favorable wind and will soon approach Italy.
  2. The judges commanded the savages to be seized and to be killed.
  3. The chiefs of the savages suddenly began to flee, but were quickly captured by the horsemen.
  4. The king led the foot soldiers to the wall from which the townsmen were hurling stones with the greatest zeal.