The name Iuppiter is declined weirdly. It has otherwise regular third declension endings with the stem Iov-, but the nominative comes with the suffix -pater, producing Iuppiter. At least this is what all Latin grammar sources I have ever seen say.

Are there any attested uses of the -pater for oblique (other than nominative) cases? For example, a genitive Iuppitris is the kind of "long oblique case" that I'm looking for. The source may be an inscription or any other text.

  • 1
    We'd have to look it up in the TLL, to be certain. Btw, do you know that nom. Iuppiter is derived from voc. and the original nom. (unattested) was very similar to dius? Cf. its Old Latin paradigm gen. DIOVOS, dat. DIOVE, acc. DIOVEM (Weiss, p. 248). Also, regularization led to another nom. Iovis.
    – Alex B.
    Jun 5, 2017 at 3:08

2 Answers 2


Varro mentions the possibility:

De Lingua Latina 9.75.4ff. obliquos non habere ut in hoc Diespiter Diespitri Diespitrem, Maspiter Maspitri Maspitrem. ad haec respondeo et priora habere nominandi et posteriora patrici esset casus. ut ovis, et avis. sic in obliquis casibus cur negent esse Diespitri Diespitrem non video, nisi quod minus est tritum in consuetudine quam Diespiter; quod [in]nihili argumentum est: nam tam casus qui non tritus est quam qui est.

English translation

However, outside of grammarians, there is no literary record of the oblique forms, nor could I find them in inscriptions. They exist only in nominative and vocative.

As TKR noted below, Varro is saying that they should exist, and that others (the anomalists) say they do not exist. This section comes from book 9 of De Lingua Latina, though, in which Varro is presenting arguments against anomaly; this makes it a theoretical engagement, not words that ordinary Latin speakers would have known and used.

  • Looks promising! Let me know when you have updated this, so I don't miss it. (I know the trouble of traveling all too well. My 10-week trip to three continents ends in about an hour.)
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jun 4, 2017 at 12:38
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    Interesting find. It's worth pointing out that Varro here seems to be arguing for the "analogist" side of the so-called analogist-anomalist controvery, i.e. the position that language is inherently regular, so his assertion that these regular forms exist in Latin should probably be taken with some caution.
    – TKR
    Jun 4, 2017 at 23:24
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    @JoonasIlmavirta Thank you! It was only two continents for me, but a long journey regardless. I added a bit more, but sadly though it's only 9pm here, it's really "4am" to my body.
    – cmw
    Jun 5, 2017 at 1:08
  • Diespiter (nom.) is used twice in Plautus, once in Captivi and the second one in Poenulus.
    – Alex B.
    Jun 5, 2017 at 3:53

I have searched the entire Loeb Classical Library, Bibliotheca Teubneriana Latina and Keil's Corpus Grammaticorum Latinorum. Believe me, this is quite representative.

No, such forms are not attested and the only extremely rare occurrences are three grammarians, Varro, Priscian, aka Priscianus Caesariensis (5-6th centuries AD) and Pompeius (Maurus) (5th century AD). cf. enter image description here

  • I had hard time deciding which answer to accept. This answer is very useful, too. That the only attestations are in grammarians is a strong sign of the theoretical nature of such forms.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jun 7, 2017 at 10:00

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