I am not sure how to translate

Augustus affirmāvit genūs suum ab Iove ortum esse.

One can logically conclude that this much of the sentence is correct...

Augustus affirmed that ... from Jupiter had arisen.

genūs can only be genitive singular, and suum can only be accusative.

If I try to put this together the only way to put this together is

Augustus affirmed that his knee had arisen from Jupiter.

My question is if this is actually the correct translation, then why didn't the author use genū instead of genūs?

  • 3
    genus (thus, with two short vowels) is nominative/accusative singular neuter and it means "birth, descent". Want to try again?
    – fdb
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


You are confusing gĕnu, -ūs ("knee") and gĕnus, -ĕris ("origin, lineage, stock").

The latter is a 3rd declension neuter noun, so the accusative singular is the same as the nominative singular. Hence, to fill in the blank:

Augustus affirmed that his lineage had arisen from Jupiter.

  • 1
    thanks... I guess there was a long mark typo in my book. I was thinking that there was some mythology story I missed out on of Augustus being born in Zeus's knee or something...
    – user062295
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 5:25
  • 1
    @user062295 There probably was. :) Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 19:54
  • 2
    @user062295 Knowing what I do about mythology, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if that was actually a story. Sure sounds like one!
    – Sam K
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 1:37

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