[*] 6. Latin spelling varied somewhat with the changes in the language and was never absolutely settled in all details. Thus, we find lubet, vortō , as earlier, and libet , vertō , as later forms. Other variations are optumus and optimus , gerundus and gerendus . The spelling of the first century of our era, known chiefly from inscriptions, is tolerably uniform, and is commonly used in modern editions of the classics. [*] a. After v (consonant u ), o was anciently used instead of u (voltus, servos), and this spelling was not entirely given up until the middle of the first century of our era. [*] b. The older quo became cu in the Augustan period; in the second century of our era the spelling quu established itself in some words:—
- cum , older quom; 1 equos , ecus , later equus; sequontur, secuntur , later sequuntur; similarly exstinguont, exstingunt, later exstinguunt .
[*] Note.--Some variations are due to later changes in Latin itself, and these are not now recognized in classical texts.
- Unaccented ti and ci , when followed by a vowel, came to be pronounced alike; hence nūntiō was later spel'ed with a c and diciōwith a t.
- The sound of h was after a time lost and hence this letter was often omitted (as, arēna for harēna) or mistakenly written (as, hūmor for ūmor).
- The diphthong ae early in the time of the Empire acquired the value of long open e (about like English e in there), and similarly oe after a time became a long close e (about like the English ey in they); and so both were often confused in spelling with e: as, coena or caena for the correct form cēna .