In an answer, Draconis said the genitive plural -um (instead of -arum) is sometimes used in the first declension. Now, while -um is fairly common in poetry and with certain specific words, like deum, I don't remember ever seeing it in the first declension. How common is it compared to the second declension? Is it also mainly poetic? Do you happen to have an example on hand?

Draconis gave this file as a source mentioning the possibility in Virgil.

Related: Is -um (instead of -ōrum) a typical genitive plural ending outside of poetry?

1 Answer 1


Leumann (p. 421) mentions two cases:

  1. spoken gen.pl. drachmum and amphorum;

  2. in dactylic poetry, four-syllable masculine nouns, besides the regular forms, could also have gen.pl. in -um, mostly compounds with -cola and -gena (e.g. agricolum in Lucr. 4.586 or caelicolum; Troiugenum), and some Greek proper nouns (Gangaridum, Aeneadum, Phaselitum).

The question whether these forms are due to analogy (e.g. Sihler or Tronskii; cf. deum) or Greek influence is not settled yet (e.g. Weiss, p. 237).

  • Hmm interesting, good examples. So the -cola words seem to be of Latin descent. And the others all look Greek? Unless the -gena suffix is Latin? At any rate, there seems to be a conexion with Greek (and masculinity), as you say. By the way, agricolum gives me only a single hit by Lucretius in the HP corpus, which one might explain away as adjectival (non-classical or poetic) agricolus: latin.packhum.org/search?q=agricolum%23 Of incolum, HP has no instances—oh, but that word has only 3 syllables.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 21:12
  • @Cerberus and the TLL also adds another attestation of gen. pl. agricolum, a fifth century Christian poet Dracontius, Romul. 7:99 google.com/books/edition/Dracontii_Carmina_minora/…
    – Alex B.
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 18:28

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