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novo eboraco?

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novo eboraco?

Postby metrodorus » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:19 pm

A friend and I are trying to work out the correct grammatical form for saying "in New York."
So far, we have Adler, who says we should say "Novo Eboraco", in accord with the rule of a town name modified by an adjective or in apposition.

Adler quotes Catharthagine Nova, and Alba Longa , with Alba Helvia, saying that without in, it is never Albae Helviae, like the Alba Longa of Vergil Aen. VI v. 766 . Hence also In Novo Eboraco, or simply, Novo Eboraco, and not Novi Eboraci, New York, which is as unusual as the Teani Apuli of Cic. pro Cluent. 9"

I looked around, and also find this matter is treated in Zumpt, page 288:
" With regard to adjectives and nouns of apposition joined with the names of towns, the following rules must be observed. When the name of a town is qualified with an adjective, the answer to the question where? is not expressed by the genitive, but by the preposition in with the ablative, eg in ipsa alexandria , Alba Helvia, not Albae Longae, but Alba Longa. In Cicero we find Teani Apuli"

Similarly, in "Syntax of the Latin Language" (after Zumpt) pg 24 " The addition of an adjective part of speech to the name of a town does not generally affect the case, with this exception, that it is more common to use a preposition, and especially in, with the ablative instead of the genitive...ipsa alexandria, teano sidicino.."

So, do we follow the unusual structure of Cicero's Teani Apuli, and say Novi Eboraci, or do we follow the general rule, and say "in novo Eboraco"?

Dexter Hoyos answered my original enquiry, with the following:
There seems a good deal of inconsistency in these usages in classical Latin.

Locatives of names with adjectives are reasonably well attested. Not only
does Cicero have 'Teani Apuli' (Pro Cluentio 27) but Livy writes 'Suessae
Auruncae natum' (32.9.3) and the Epitome of his Book 28 offers 'Carthagini
Novae'. The later writer Julius Obsequens, who based his booklet about
ancient prodigies on Livy, writes of one occurring 'Teani Sidicini' in 166
BC (Obseq. 12; Livy's own books for this period onwards are lost).

E.C. Woodcock, citing the first two passages in 'A New Latin Syntax', avers
that 'an adjective qualifying a name in the locative usually agrees with the
locative form', whereas a noun in apposition to the name is in the ablative
(pp. 36-7).

Fine: but Livy himself at 28.17 has 'Carthagine Nova' (abl.) as a locative;
ditto Valerius Maximus (9.11, ext. 1) & Suetonius (Galba 9.2); no doubt
others too. Just to complicate things, at 28.17 Livy uses 'Tarracone' (abl.)
by itself as a locative. (In fact it's hard to find a locative 'Tarraconi'
anywhere in online Latin texts, unless they are post-Roman.)

There may have been a preference, at times, for placing 3d-decl place-names
in the abl. rather than the locative; but less so for doing so with 1st- and
2nd-decl. names. Poets of course are allowed more licence: hence Aeneid

In sum, it looks as though both 'Novi Eboraci' or 'Novo Eboraco' would be
acceptable, with a preference for the former. Not, however, 'in Novo E.'
(though this would be OK if 'urbe' came between 'in' & 'Novo').

Another thought may be worthwhile. Romans didn't normally translate foreign
place-names but simply Latinised them. 'Carthage' means "New City"; and when
writing of the Spanish Carthage, Polybius the Greek historian duly calls it
Kaine Polis, "New City". The Romans by contrast kept 'Carthago' and merely
added 'Nova' to distinguish it from the original Carthage in Africa -
cheerfully ignoring (if they knew at all) that this literally meant "New New

Again, confronted in the Third Century AD by a new confederation of south
German peoples, who named themselves (a little unimaginatively) the league
of All Men, the Romans didn't translate this into Omniviri or
Universihomines but gave the German name itself a Latin stamp, Alemanni -
which stuck.

Thus New York would most probably have become 'Neuiorca' or 'Neuiorcum'; or
possibly 'Novum Iorcum' or 'Nova Iorca'. These do glide rather more
trippingly off the tongue than the polysyllabic Novum Eboracum, too.

What say you guys? The whole matter seems a tad unclear to me.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:42 pm

Novi Eboraci — locative following the genetive. Without question. The ablative has a permission of use in the sense that "Novo Eboraco natus sum," which could mean "I am born of New York," or "New York bore me." Go with Novi Eboraci.

As for the non translation of foreign names, York is in origin a Latin name, Eboracum, and in this sense is not foreign at all. "Carthage," meanwhile, is a name with no Latin origin whatever.
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Postby metrodorus » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:33 pm

York is not of Latin origin.
This city was originally named by the Celts as Eborakon
The Romans simply Latinised it.

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Postby Lucus Eques » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:51 pm

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Postby Essorant » Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:43 pm


But the origin of meter is Greek, that is it comes from/is borrowed from Greek. The Latin and English editions are just different spellings/pronunciations of that Greek word.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:06 am

Yet the medium is Latin. Equally, the medium between Latin and English is Norman French. The word "exposition" is of French origin, exposition, which in turn is of Latin derivation, expositio.
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