Ave, as in Ave Caesar, has the meaning of "hail".

Yet, according to Wiktionary, it is also the "second-person singular present imperative of aveō".

Now, aveō is a verb which means either "I desire", "I long for", etc. or "I am well" or "fare well".

Is there any historical connection between these two forms? Perhaps the "hail" meaning comes from some vulgar Latin form?

For example, in Spanish, Ave Caesar would be Viva Cesar, where viva comes from the Latin vivus, which means "to live" and whose vocative case is viva. So in Spanish it seems to be a direct connection between the expression and the verb, since Viva Cesar is basically saying "long life to Caesar". Hence my question about whether a similar relation exists for the Latin word ave.

PS: As I am just beginning to study Latin, let me know if Wiktionary is not the best or most complete source and please suggest others.

  • 2
    See this: latin.stackexchange.com/questions/2360/…
    – fdb
    Oct 24 '17 at 14:39
  • 2
    For people too busy to click through, fdb's point is that some argue that (h)ave is a Carthaginian loanword and a false cognate of aveo.
    – lly
    Jul 7 '18 at 10:58

Ave meaning 'hail' is the imperative of aveo, as you mention; when you hail someone you are instructing them to fare well (normally we would say you are wishing them to fare well), in much the same way that in English we can use 'farewell' to say goodbye. 'Hail' works the same way, except that the meaning 'be healthy' is very outdated now.

Consequently, if addressing multiple people you would say avete.

  • Welcome to the site! I agree, and I would also remind that this is very similar to the greeting vale(te).
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Apr 21 '17 at 2:24

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