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plural names of cities

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plural names of cities

Postby benissimus » Wed May 07, 2008 7:01 am

Is it known why the names of many prominent cities in Greek and Latin are plural nouns? e.g. Ἀθῆναι, Δελφοί, Θῆβαι, Cannae. Under the heading for Ἀθῆναι, my Lewis & Scott says:

used in pl., because it consisted of several parts

That seems really unlikely to me. Is there a consensus on this?
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby swiftnicholas » Wed May 07, 2008 12:20 pm

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Postby IreneY » Wed May 07, 2008 12:42 pm

Well that's what I was taught, at least for Athens (can't remember about other cities). Many little settlements that became one big city.
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