I read the following text in the book Método de Latín I by Santiago Segura Munguía, published by the University of Deusto (emphasis mine on the words that cause me difficulty):

Multas fabulas a Graecis accepimus. Nobilis est fabula quae miram Iasonis Argonautarumque navigationem narrat. Iason, filius Thessaliae regis, cum rapere voluisset vellus aureum arietis, qui olim duos fratres per aera (por los aires) transportaverat, magnam expeditionem paravit (organizó). Rex Colchorum vellus aureum servabat, custoditumque erat ab immani dracone taurisque feris, qui flammas ore vomebant. Cum Iason immensam navem, quae Argo dicta est, construxisset, et in navem conscendisset cum Theseo, et Hercule multisque Graeciae principibus in Colchidem pervenit. Ibi a a Medea, regis filia, adiutus est. Cum Iason Colchidae regem post (después de) multos labores devicisset, vellus aureum rapuit et Medeam in patriam secum devexit. Cum Argonautae in Graeciam venissent, Olympicos ludos instituerunt, qui ab omnibus Graeciae populis semper celebrati sunt.

It seems to me that these three vellus should be vellerum: vellus is nominative singular, so it should be the subject or a predicative complement of the subject of the sentences, but I believe that this doesn't make sense. If vellerum was used instead of vellus, it would be the direct object of the sentences, something that makes complete sense. So, is this an error in the book? Or am I missing something?

The curious thing is that this book has been translated to Catalan and published by the University of Barcelona, but you can find the same text with these three vellus in the translation.

1 Answer 1


Vellus is a neuter noun, and neuter nouns have the same form in both the nominative and accusative cases.

The proper accusative singular of vellus is vellus. Vellerum, meanwhile, is the genitive plural, as this paradigm chart will show you.

  • 3
    Note that if it were not neuter, it would be vellerem (e.g. Romani Venerem colebant). Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 9:42
  • Follow up question to that comment: Are there third declension masculine or feminine nouns (not neuter) with nom. sing. ending in -us? Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 7:24
  • 2
    @NicolasMiari Sebastian lists one: Venus.
    – cmw
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 13:43
  • Shouldn’t Colchidae in the second to last sentence be Colcihdis?
    – Patricius
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 22:34
  • @Patricius It does seem to be an error. Google Books doesn't allow me to access the link, so I don't know if it's Munguía's error or what.
    – cmw
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 22:48

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