While I was reading Lingua Latina per se Illustrata - Familia Romana, I noted something: the vocabulary list has ĕius but pēius, is that by accident? Also I noted meī as mēī in line 92 of chapter 25, but that one must be a typo.

Note that all other words have vowels noted long before /jj/ in the book, even though that's the length of the i (not of the vowel), as in māius.

  • Can you quote all of line 92 of chapter 24? At lines 91–92, I've got Quīntus: "Ego canem iānitōris nōn vereor neque um­quam ab eō morsus sum."
    – Ben Kovitz
    Nov 9, 2019 at 9:00
  • @BenKovitz sorry, I meant twenty-five. Nov 9, 2019 at 13:50
  • Ah, there it is. I've found a few punctuation errors in LLPSI but never a macron error. Now I'm wondering if Laetāminī, cīvēs mēī! might actually be correct somehow. ;)
    – Ben Kovitz
    Nov 9, 2019 at 15:04
  • @BenKovitz Yeah, there are some lowercase letters after "?" but only when there are repeating questions in succession, so I would say it's an editorial choice. And eius is the exception; they write Māius, pēior, Trōia, Trāiānum with a long vowel before the /jj/, so maybe it was Ørberg's dictionary, or something. Nov 9, 2019 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


Apparently, the e in eius could be long (normal) or short (see Lewis & Short). The one in peius seems to be normally long as well. There can be quite a bit of irregularity in the length of vowels in Latin, especially in very common words such as pronouns.

  • OK. How would one pronounce them differently, though? Is the "i" in "eius" not doubled? Nov 9, 2019 at 2:08
  • @SlayerGames44: I'm no expert on pronunciation, but I'd expect the i to be doubled in both cases. It's just the length of the vowel that's different (so not necessarily the length of the syllable).
    – Cerberus
    Nov 9, 2019 at 2:43
  • 1
    Lewis and Short doesn't mark hidden quantity; it's mānsī, but they don't mark the A, even though they seem to mark it before /jj/ - Māius. Gaffiot marks all vowels short before /jj/, so eius and peius; Also L&S says it's scanned ĕius, just like it gives Ītalia for Italia because it's usually scanned as such - also given that the normal form is ēius and ĕius is found only in some earlier authors, I don't know what motivated Ørberg to make that choice Nov 9, 2019 at 14:04
  • @SlayerGames44: You make some good points. Feel free to edit that into my text if you want.
    – Cerberus
    Nov 10, 2019 at 0:56

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