(Psalm 1:3, Clementine Vulgate) Et erit tamquam lignum quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarum, quod fructum suum dabit in tempore suo: et folium ejus non defluet; et omnia quæcumque faciet prosperabuntur.

The Douay-Rheims translates this into English as, "And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters . . ."

How should decursus be parsed in this verse?

According to Wiktionary, secus is a preposition taking an accusative, but decursus doesn't look like it is in accusative form to me. What am I missing?


1 Answer 1


The noun decursus belongs to the fourth declension, not the second. You know this because, if you look it up in a dictionary, the two forms that are given (the 'principal parts') will be dēcursus, -ūs, not dēcursus, . Therefore, in your passage, decursus is, in fact, accusative, but plural (= dēcursūs).

  • Oh, I see now! When I looked up decursus on Wiktionary, it was listed as a participle form of the verb decurro. I didn't know it was also a noun. Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 0:14

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