I'm reading through a Latin edition of the Republic. Book III starts off as follows:

Haec igitur sunt, ut mihi videtur, quae de Diis audienda aut non audienda sint prima a pueritia his, qui Deos et parentes honoraturi sunt communemque amicitiam non parvi facturi.

I was drawn to what seems to be a conjunction, communemque, and searched through dictionaries, but never found a result. I found some sentences online that use it, but it just seems to be translated as "and," obscuring any contextual nuance.

What does this term mean, and how is it used?

  • 6
    It's not communemque that's translated as and, it's just the enclitic -que.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 10:55
  • 2
    @Cairnarvon Can you write that as an answer? Being short doesn't invalidate the answer in any way; here the key insight happens to be just that.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 11:54

1 Answer 1


The conjunction is not communemque, but just -que; it's an "enclitic" that attaches onto the previous word, like English 's. (It's generally written as part of the word, but that's a modern convention: the ancients abbreviated senatus populus-que Romanus as SPQR, with the -que separate.)

Communem here is an adjective modifying amicitiam:

…qui Deos et parentes honoraturi sunt communem-que amicitiam non parvi facturi.
…who should honor the gods and their parents, and not take their shared friendship lightly.

There are only a few enclitics in Latin; the others are -ve "or" and -ne "?" (marking a question).

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