I would like to translate the following sentence into Latin.

Minerva is the goddess of wisdom and of wool.

My first guess would be,

Minerva est dea sapientiae et lanae.

But I'm not sure whether this is the correct syntax. Is the use of two genitives modifying one noun, dea, correct? Also, could the word order be improved?


1 Answer 1


Your syntax is correct. You can combine as many genitives as you wish in a similar fashion. For choosing between et and -que, see the question about that choice. I think et is more appropriate here.

To improve your translation, I would put est all the way at the end: Minerva dea sapientiae et lanae est. Besides being more natural word order in Latin, it helps to group the genitives together. If you want to keep est closer to dea, dea est is more natural than est dea. If you put est between the genitives, wool becomes a side note: Minerva dea sapientiae est et lanae. "Minerva is the goddess of wisdom, and also of wool."

  • 1
    I made a small edit, which I'll mention because I know correct English is important to you. You "put" est "at" the end, while you "move" it "to" the end (just as you can "move" something "from" somewhere but you can't "put" something "from" somewhere). Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 4:35
  • @JoelDerfner, thanks! Things like this are always a source of confusion, especially since in Finnish things are different.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 7:40
  • How about Minerva sapientiae et lanae est dea?
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 1:45
  • @BenKovitz, that is also possible. I have a feeling that that word order is somewhat less idiomatic than Minerva dea sapientiae et lanae est. My gut feeling has failed me before in Latin word order, though.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 5:22

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