In the traditional English pronunciation of Latin—the one that gave us Caesar /siːzɚ/, Jupiter /dʒuːpɪtɚ/, epitome /əpɪtəmiː/, felix /fiːlɪks/, and virus /vaɪɹəs/—what should be the pronunciation of dives?
Context: J. R. R. Tolkien, English philologist and author of some big story or other, also wrote Farmer Giles of Ham, which is peppered with Latin, dog Latin, and all manner of language jokes. One of its major characters is a dragon by the name of Chrysophylax, also called “Chrysophylax Dives”, and at one point “Chrysophylax the Rich”. Naturally I assumed that the surname or epithet “Dives” was to be understood as Latin dives “rich”.
In the audiobook that Derek Jacobi narrates, he seems to my inexpert ear to mostly use the traditional English pronunciation: Aegidius /idʒɪdiəs/, Julius /dʒuəliəs/, Quercetum /kwɛɹsɛtəm/. Occasionally he seems to shift into a slightly more classical style, as with the King’s names or titles: Augustus /aʊgʊstʊs/, Aurelianus /aʊrelianʊs/, but also Bonifacius /bɒnɪfæsiʊs/ and Antoninus /æntonaɪnəs/.
But for Chrysophylax, he pronounces “Dives” as English /daɪvz/.
Now, I’m hesitant to disagree with Sir Derek (I CLAVDIVS) Jacobi, who probably learnt Latin at school when the English pronunciation was still current. But if it is the Latin dives, I would have expected /daɪviːz/, with the vowels of limes /laɪmiːz/ and Pisces /paɪsiːz/.