previous next


To meus, tuus, suus, noster, vester we must add quoius (of Relative and Interrog.), alienus (of alius), e.g. Trin. 82ego meo sum promus pectori: suspicio est in pectore alieno sita.” We know from the parody: “dic mihi, Damoeta, cuium pecus anne Latinum?”, that the Possessive of qui and quis was discarded by purists. Perhaps the reason was that it was regarded as an incorrect use of the Genitive Singular. In a line like Rud. 1021si veniat nunc dominus quoiust (sc. vidulus)”, we might parse quoius either as Possessive or as Genitive Singular of qui.

The pleonastic strengthening of suus by the addition of sibi is a feature of colloquial Latin (see G. Landgraf in Archiv lat. Lexikographie 8, 43), which, especially in the proverb suo sibi gladio hunc iugulo ‘hoist with his own petard,’ survived to late times. It looks as though it were fashioned on the pattern of phrases like Bacch. 994tuus tibi servus tuo arbitratu serviat”, Rud. 712meas mihi ancillas invito me eripis” (the juxtaposition of Possessive and Personal Pronoun is normal) with sibi instead of ei (cf. 15); cf. Trin. 156reddam suum sibi”, Poen. 1083suam sibi rem salvam sistam, si illo advenerit”. But the Dative sibi has usually no place in the construction of the sentence, e.g.

Like sua sibi pecunia of Pers. 81 is Truc. 698ubi male accipiar mea mihi pecunia.

Other notable uses of the various Possessives are:

In Plautus, as in classical Latin, a Possessive may play the part of a Pers. Pronoun with a Preposition like ob, propter, e.g. tuus for ob te in

it may express the sense of ‘characteristic’ or ‘appropriate,’ e.g. non est meum Mil. 1363, etc.; cf. also Pers. 579 si quidem hanc vendidero pretio suo.

The Possessive is sometimes omitted with erus ‘master’ (for ‘my master,’ ‘your master’), e.g. Rud. 347. The arrangement of phrases like Capt. 875tuum Stalagmum servum”, Amph. 1077tua Bromia ancilla”, is normal (I. 4). (For statistics, see M. Nilsson: quomodo Pronomina, quae cum substantivis coniunguntur, apud Plautum et Terentium collocantur, Lund, 1901, p. 23.)

1 The vagueness of this use of the Possessive is utilized for keeping Euclio at cross-purposes between his ‘ducats and daughter,’ Aul. 744quid tibi ergo meam me invito tactiost?”, where meam is meant by Euclio for meam ollam, but is understood by Lyconides as meam filiam.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: