Italy and Italian

Offline Antiochus Megas

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Hello,

I am not quite sure how to translate the above words into Latin. My guess would be "Italia" and "Italica." Is this correct?


Offline billberg23

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Right on the first, Antiochus.
As for the second, the only word for "Italian" used by Virgil was the adjective Italus, which is inflected like any adjective in Latin: feminine Itala, neuter Italum;  plural Itali, Italae, Itala.  The form you choose will depend on your context.  For example, a single (masculine) Italian would be Italus.
The adjective Italicus, which is just a transliteration of the Greek Ἰταλικός, does occur in Cicero;  it would be inflected the same way as Italus.

On the other hand, if you're talking about "Italian" as a language, it would be lingua Itala or lingua Italica.  In ancient times, of course, there was no single Italian language.  Latin (lingua Latina) eventually came to be spoken universally, but originally it was only one of several languages spoken in Italy, like Oscan, Umbrian, Etruscan, etc.
« Last Edit: 19 Sep, 2008, 07:42:22 by billberg23 »



Offline Antiochus Megas

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Muchas gracias senior.

One more question: Is there a plural form of the adjetive "Italicus," i.e., if one was referring to multiple Italians? For example, the phrase "Hoplitai Italicus"--Italian Hoplites--sounds incorrect because Italicus is singular.


Offline spiros

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Offline billberg23

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Good to be reminded of good old Nuntii Latini!

Yes, ὁπλίτης Ἰταλικός (sing.) = hoplites Italicus
while ὁπλίται Ἰταλικοί (pl.) = hoplitae Italici

But those are both Greek transliterations.  Actual Romans, referring to their own troops, would probably have spoken of:
pedes Italus (sing.)
pedites Itali (pl.)
« Last Edit: 20 Sep, 2008, 14:13:45 by billberg23 »



 

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