I'm struggling with the translation of the following sentence:

Praeterea quinque milia iuvenum iussu principis magna voce plaudere debebant.

It is not clear to me what to do with the word iuvenum, that I think would be "young" here. I believe it is Gen.Pl. but neither the milia nor principis agree with that. The milia, as far as I can tell, are in Nom. and the principis is singular. So I don't know who/what should be "young" here?

  • 4
    Welcome to the site! Shouldn't princips be principis? Looks like a typo.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Apr 8, 2021 at 9:03
  • 1
    Yes, this was a typo! changed it
    – blues
    Apr 9, 2021 at 9:42

1 Answer 1


This is all about how thousands work in Latin. The singular mille is an undeclinable adjective, the plural milia is a third declension noun. When you are counting the youth, with mille the young are in whatever case you need and with milia it is milia that is in the correct grammatical case and the young are in the genitive. In the singular the number is the attribute of the noun, in the plural the noun is the attribute of the number.

In your sentence nothing agrees with iuvenum. The word iuvenum is a genitive attribute of quinque milia.

In a table:

Case One thousand young people Two thousand young people
Nom. mille iuvenes duo milia iuvenum
Acc. mille iuvenes duo milia iuvenum
Gen. mille iuvenum duorum milium iuvenum
Dat. mille iuvenibus duobus milibus iuvenum
Abl. mille iuvenibus duobus milibus iuvenum
  • 1
    Nice succinct summary, +1 for you
    – MPW
    Apr 11, 2021 at 12:56

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