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C , c , n. indecl., or f., the third letter of the Latin alphabet; corresponded originally in sound to the Greek Γ (which in inscrr., esp. in the Doric, was frequently written like the Latin C; v. O. Müll. Etrusk. 2, p. 295); hence the old orthography: LECIONES, MACISTRATOS, EXFOCIONT, [pu]CNANDOD, PVC[nad], CARTACINIENSI, upon the Columna rostrata, for legiones, magistratos, effugiunt, pugnando, pugnā, Carthaginiensi; and the prænomina Gaius and Gnaeus, even to the latest times, were designated by C. and Cn., while Caeso or Kaeso was written with K; cf. the letter G. Still, even as early as the time of the kings, whether through the influence of the Tuscans, among whom Γ sounded like K, or of the. Sabines, whose language was kindred with that of the Tuscans, the C seems to have been substituted for K; hence even Consul was designated by Cos., and K remained in use only before
I.a, as in Kalendae; k. k. for calumniae causā, INTERKAL for intercalaris, MERK for mercatus, and in a few other republican inscrr., because by this vowel K was distinguished from Q, as in Gr. Kappa from Koppa, and in Phœnician Caph from Cuph, while C was employed like other consonants with e. Q was used at the beginning of words only when u, pronounced like v, followed, as Quirites from Cures, Tanaquil from Thanchufil, Thanchfil, Θανκϝιλ; accordingly, C everywhere took the place of Q, when that accompanying labial sound was lost, or u was used as a vowel; so in the gentile name of Maecenas Cilnius, from the Etrusk. Cvelne or Cfelne (O. Müll. Etrusk. 1, p. 414 sq.); so in coctus, cocus, alicubi, sicubi; in relicŭŭs (four syl.) for reliquus (trisyl.): AECETIA = AEQITIA, i. q. aequitas (V. AECETIA), etc., and as in the Golden Age cujus was written for quojus, and cui for quoi (corresponding to cum for quom); thus, even in the most ancient period, quor or cur was used together with quare, cura with quaero, curia with Quiris, as inversely inquilinus with incola, and in S. C. Bacch. OQVOLTOD = occulto. Hence, at the end of words que, as well as ce in hic, sic, istic, illic, was changed to c, as in ac for atque, nec for neque, nunc, tunc, donec for numque, tumque, dumque; and in the middle of words it might also pass into g. as in negotium and neglego, cf. necopinus. Since C thus gradually took the place of K and Q, with the single exception that our kw was throughout designated by qu, it was strange that under the emperors grammarians began again to write k instead of c before a, though even Quint. 1, 7, 10, expressed his displeasure at this; and they afterwards wrote q before u, even when no labial sound followed, as in pequnia, or merely peqnia, for pecunia; cf. the letters Q and U. About the beginning of the sixth century of the city the modified form G was introduced for the flat guttural sound, and C thenceforth regularly represented the hard sound = our K. The use of aspirates was unknown to the Romans during the first six centuries, hence the letter C also represents the Gr. X, as BACA and BACANALIBVS, for Baccha and Bacchanalibus (the single C instead of the double, as regularly in the most ancient times); cf. also σχίζω with scindo, and πολύχροος with pulcer. But even in the time of Cicero scheda came into use for scida, and pulcher for pulcer; so also the name of the Gracchi was aspirated, as were the name Cethegus and the word triumphus, which, however, in the song of the Arval brothers, is TRIVMPVS; cf. Cic. Or. 48, 160, and the letter P. About this time the use of aspirates became so common, in imitation of Greek, that Catullus wrote upon it an epigram (84), which begins with the words: Chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet; and in Monum. Ancyr. inchoo is used for the orig. incoho, acc. to which the ancient Romans also employed cohors for chors (v. cohors).On account of the near relationship of c and g, as given above, they are very often interchanged, esp. when connected with liquids: Cygnus, Progne, Gnidus, Gnossus, from κύκνος, Πρόκνη, Κνίδος, Κνωσσός (even when n was separated from c by a vowel, as in Saguntum for Ζάκυνθος, or absorbed by an s, as in vigesimus and trigesimus for vicensimus and tricensimus); mulgeo for mulceo, segmen from seco, gummi for commi (κόμμι); gurgulio for curculio, grabatus for κράβατος, so that amurca was also written for amurga, from ἀμόργη, as inversely conger for gonger, from γόγγρος; but also with other letters; cf. mastruca and mastruga, misceo and μίσγω, mugio and μυκάομαι, gobius and κωβιός, gubernator and κυβερνήτης. Not less freq. is the interchange of c and t, which is noticed by Quint. Inst. 1, 11, 5, and in accordance with which, in composition, d or t before qu, except with que, became c, as acquiro, nequicquam, iccirco for idcirco, ecquis for etquis, etc. Hence is explained the rejection of c before t, as in Lutatius for Luctatius, and the arbitrariness with which many names were written with cc or tt for ct, as Vettones for Vectones; Nacca or Natta for Nacta (from the Gr. γνάπτω). It would be erroneouś to infer, from the varied orthography of the names' Accius, Attius, and Actius, or Peccius, Pettius, and Pectius, a hissing pronunciation of them; for as the Romans interchange the terminations icius and itius, and the orthography fetialis and fecialis, indutiae and induciae, with one another, they also wrote Basculi or Bastuli, anclare or antlare, etc. Ci for ti does not appear till an African inscr. of the third century after Christ, and not often before Gallic inscrr. and documents of the seventh century; ti for ci is not certainly found before the end of the fourth century; and ci before a vowel does not appear to have been pronounced as sh, except provincially, before the sixth or seventh century; cf. Roby, Gr. bk. 1, ch. 7; and so in gen., Corss. Ausspr. I. p. 33 sqq. C is sometimes interchanged with p: columba, palumbes; coquus, popa, popina (cf. in Gr. κότερος; Sanscr. katara; πότερος; Lat. uter). C is sometimes dropped in the middle of a word: luna for luc-na, lumen for luc-men; so also at the beginning of a word: uter for cuter; Sanscr. katara, v. supra.As an abbreviation, C designates Gaius, and reversed, O, Gaia; cf. Quint. 1, 7, 28. As a numeral, C = centum, and upon voting tablets = condemno, Ascon. Cic. Div. in Caecil. 7, 24; cf. the letter A fin.; “hence it is called littera tristis (opp. A = absolvo, which is called littera salutaris),Cic. Mil. 6, 15 Moeb.
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