chapter  30
7 Pages

Periphrastics

The influence of Greece on Roman civilization cannot be downplayed. It permeated many aspects of Roman society, including language. Some Greek borrowings are easily identifiable by certain rare Latin letters or letter combinations. Many words were adapted into Latin declension classes. In the case of proper nouns, the words of Greek origin maintain some semblance of their original Greek declensional patterns. It is important to emphasize at the outset that the rules for the declension of Greek nouns are by no means watertight. Variation occurs within a single noun and between prose and poetry. One should deal with each noun on a case-by-case basis as it is encountered in reading. The bulk of Greek nouns borrowed into Latin are proper names or words with no plural, only singular forms exist in the Greek declension. Some Greek nouns do have plurals. Most are thrown into the Latin declension but a few may exhibit Greek plurals.