Sum Stultus. - I give up. Latin Help Please?
March 13, 2012 3:21 PM   Subscribe

My Latin is very rusty: "Et in perpetuum, frater, ave et vale." is a quote from Catullus. If I substitute filius or amicus do they become vocative, and thus filii and amici? Help.

I want to adapt this classic epitaph to say, "Et in perpetuum, [son], [brother], [friend], ave et vale. OR Et in perpetuum ave et vale, son, brother, friend.

Usually vocative and nominative are the same so I can't tell if frater is vocative, and if so do filius and amicus change form when they are in the vocative?
posted by MasonDixon to Writing & Language (7 answers total)
I can't help you with the grammar, but assuming it becomes vocative: Frater remains frater, filius becomes fili, amicus becomes amice.

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posted by jedicus at 3:50 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Should be 'fili' and 'amice'.
posted by gimonca at 3:50 PM on March 13, 2012

1. Yes they become vocative.
2. The vocative of filius is fili and amicus amice.

So I agree with jedicus and gimonca, but note also that the quotation is 'atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale' - i.e. you have et's where you should have atque's.
posted by dd42 at 3:52 PM on March 13, 2012

Yes and no. The vocative of frater is frater, the vocative of filius is filii and the vocative of amicus is amice.
posted by francesca too at 3:56 PM on March 13, 2012

the vocative of filius is filii.

This is not true. See Allen and Greenough, paragraph #49c: "Proper names in -ius have -í in the vocative, retaining the accent of the nominative: as, Vergi'lí. So also, fílius, son; genius, divine guardian: as, audí, mí fílí, hear, my son."

It's the form Catullus uses too:
Cat. 33.2: Vibenni pater et cinaede fili
Cat. 33.8: fili, non potes asse venditare?
Cat. 37.8: cuniculosae Celtiberiae fili,
posted by dd42 at 4:12 PM on March 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I believe that amice would break the meter of the original poem.
posted by stopgap at 4:38 PM on March 13, 2012

dd42 is correct, filii is vocative for the plural of filius.
posted by francesca too at 4:51 PM on March 13, 2012

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