I have seen different ways to decline nemo.

Nemo neminis nemini neminem nemine (I am not including the vocative)


Nemo nullius nemini neminem nullo

Which one is correct? Has it changed throughout history?


1 Answer 1


Nemo is a third declension noun, and indeed it is declined according to your first quote. However, in Classical Latin (so after Old Latin, the genitive and ablative of nullus, -ius were used in place of neminis and nemine, as its entry in Lewis and Short make clear:

in class[ical] Lat[in] nullius is used for the gen[itive], and nullo or nullā for the abl[ative]

Both neminis and nemine are used in Plautus and a few times here and there afterward. Suetonius, known for his archaic language, for example, uses nemine frequently. But otherwise those forms basically fell out of favor.

  • 1
    Thank you. So, it changed through history and, for some reason, neminis and nemine stopped being used. Is there any historical reference of why this happened?
    – user
    Commented Mar 5 at 18:38
  • 5
    @user I don't think I've seen anyone try to explain why, just merely note that it happened. I'm not sure there's any real reason at all except that languages often change.
    – cmw
    Commented Mar 5 at 19:11

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