previous next
V , v , a character derived from the Greek γ, Mar. Victor. p. 2459 P. A consonant which, though originally written with the same sign as the vowel
I.u (v. the letter U), was by the ancients themselves considered as essentially different from it, Charis. p. 57 P.; Diom. p. 416; 420 P.; Prisc. p. 539; 542; 544 sq. P.; Vel. Long. p. 2215; 2222 P.; just as the consonant i (j) and the vowel i were regarded as two distinct letters; v. the letter J.
I. The sound of V seems to have been the same with that of English initial W. It corresponded to the Æolic digamma; “hence it is called,Quint. 12, 10, 29, Aeolica littera, and the emperor Claudius used the Greek digamma inverted F to represent it (because in its proper position it already formed the Latin letter F), Quint. 1, 7, 26; Prisc. p. 545 sq. P.; Gell. 14, 5, 2; “v. also the inscrr. of the period during and immediately succeeding the reign of Claudius,Inscr. Orell. 710 sq.; Marini Atti, p. 97. In very many words which were originally common to both languages, the initial or medial v in Latin represents a lost digamma in Greek; cf.: ver, ἦρ; vis, ἴς; video, ΙΔ; vestis, ἐσθής; vitulus, ἰταλός; vomo, ἐμέω; voco, ἔπω; volvo, εἴλω; vinum, οἰνος; viola, ἴον; vespera, ἑσπέρα; Vesta, Ἑστία; silva, ὕλη; ovis, ὄϊς; divus, δῖος; aevum, αἰών; scaevus, σκαιός; vicus, οἶκος; levis, λεῖος al. (For a full discussion of the sound of V, see Roby, Gram. I. praef. p. xxxiii. sqq.).—
II. V has the closest affinity to the vowel u, and hence, in the course of composition and inflection, it often passed into the latter: solvo, solutum, from solvĭtum, solŭĭtum; caveo, cautum, from cavitum; fautor, from faveo; lautum, from lavo; nauta, from navita; audeo, cf. avidus; neu, seu, from neve, sive; tui, cf. Sanscr. tvam; sui, Sanscr. sva-; suavis, Sanscr. svadus, and is resolved into it by the poets from prosodial necessity: silŭa (trisyl.) for silva; dissŏlŭo, evŏlŭam (quadrisyl.), for dissolvam, evolvam; dissŏlŭenda, evolŭisse (quinquasyl.), for dissolvenda, evolvisse, etc., just as, for the same cause, although less freq., u passed into v: gēnva, tēnvis (dissyl.), for gēnŭa, tĕnŭis; tēnvĭa, tēnvĭus (trisyl.), for tĕnŭĭa, tĕnŭĭus.—For the affinity of v to b, v. the letter B.—
III. V as a medial between two vowels was very freq. elided, esp. in inflection, and the word underwent in consequence a greater or less contraction: amavisti, amāsti; deleverunt, delērunt; novisti, nōsti; audivisti, audīsti, or audiisti; siveris, siris, or sieris; obliviscor, oblitus; dives, dis; aeviternus, aeternus; divitior, ditior; bovibus, bubus, etc.; providens, prudens; movimentum, momentum; provorsus, prorsus; si vis, sis; si vultis, sultis; Jovis pater, Juppiter; mage volo, mavolo, malo; non volo, nolo, etc. An example of the elision of v without a further contraction of the word is found in seorsus, from sevorsus (v. seorsus).—This etymological suppression of v is to be distinguished from its purely orthographical omission before or after u in ancient MSS. and inscriptions, as serus for servus, noum for novum, festius for festivus, Pacuius for Pacuvius; cf. the letters J and Q.—V is sometimes elided after a mute: dis for dvis from duo; likewise after s: sibi for svibi (from su-ibi); sis, sas, sos, for suis, suas, suos; sultis for si vultis; so Lat. si corresponds to Umbr. sve and Osc. svai; v. esp. Corss. Ausspr. 1, p. 310 sqq.—
IV. As an abbreviation, V (as the sign of the consonant) stands for vir, vivus, vixit, voto, vale, verba, etc.; V. C., or also VC., vir clarissimus; VCP., voti compos posuit; V. V., virgo Vestalis; V. F. Q. D. E. R. F. P. D. E. R. I. C., verba fecerunt. Quid de eā re fieri placeret, de eā re ita censuerunt.—As a numeral, the letter V stands for half of the geometrical cross X or ten, Zumpt, Gr. § 115 Anm. 1.
hide Dictionary Entry Lookup
Use this tool to search for dictionary entries in all lexica.
Search for in
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: