by Jove – it’s the third declension / by Anthony Gibbins

Latin has five families of Nouns, called Declensions. Each Declensions has the exact same Cases (Nominative, Vocative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative, Ablative and – although rare – Locative). And each Declension has its own set of Case Endings, to indicate Case, that varies across Declensions. For example;

The Genitive Case has a number of roles, but it’s most common is expressing Possession – not unlike an ‘apostrophe s’ in English; templum Iovis Jupiter’s temple. Here are five Nouns, one from each Declension, along with the Noun in the Genitive Case. The Genitive Ending is highlighted to help you compare the differences:

Declension      Noun               Genitive          Meaning of Genitive

First                 nauta               nautae             the sailor’s : of the sailor

Second             taurus            tauri                the bull’s : of the bull

Third                Juppiter           Iovis                Jupiter’s : of Jupiter

Forth               currus              currus              the chariot’s : of the chariot

Fifth                spes                 spei                 hope’s : of hope

Indeed, the Genitive Endings are so different, that a Latin dictionary will tell you what they are just so you can determine which Declension a Noun belongs to. Cool? Try it. Look up lion in a dictionary. leo, leonis m lion. That second form is, and always will be, the Genitive of the Noun. And because it ends in –is, leo must be a Third Declension Noun. Awesome.

Juppiter Jupiter appears in the Genitive Case twice on today’s page, to reclaim possession of his temple and statue. I’ve simplified things here a little; during its life the temple was actually rededicated to three gods, Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, often referred to as the Capitoline Triad, as each had a temple on the Capitoline Hill in Rome. Here are the entries from the official Pompeii Website - - in both English and Italian.

This dates from the 2nd cent. BC and has a high podium, with an entry staircase on the front, over which the cell rises: the latter, preceded by columns and divided into three by a double colonnade, held a statue of Jupiter, of which the head remains, from the Sullan period (approximately 80 BC), when the building was converted into a Capitolium and dedicated to the worship of the ‘Capitoline Triad’ (Jupiter, Juno, Minerva). The floor of the cell, as in the temple of Apollo, had a rhomboid polychrome stone pattern, arranged in imitation of perspective cubes (opus scutulatum). The podium was restored in the Tiberian period (14-37 AD), when the large altar located in the Forum, aligned with the temple, was also replaced.

Risale al II sec. a.C. e presenta un alto podio, con scala d'accesso sulla fronte, sul quale s'innalza la cella: questa, preceduta da colonne e tripartita da colonnati a due ordini, custodiva una statua di Giove, della quale resta la testa, di età sillana (80 a.C. circa), periodo in cui l'edificio è trasformato in Capitolium e dedicato al culto della 'Triade Capitolina' (Giove, Giunone, Minerva). Il pavimento della cella, come nel tempio di Apollo, era a rombi di pietra policromi, disposti ad imitazione di cubi prospettici (opus scutulatum). Il podio fu restaurato in età tiberiana (14-37 d.C.), quando pure fu sostituito il grande altare posto nel Foro in asse col tempio.

The huge temple of Jupiter is situated in the forum. Once a great statue of Jupiter stood in the temple. For many years the Pompeians were accustomed to give thanks here to Jupiter.

The Lego model of Pompeii is housed in the Nicholson Museum of The University of Sydney, Australia. Entry to the museum is entirely free, and you may visit Monday to Friday between 10:00 and 4:30. The Nicholson is Australia’s oldest University museum and contains the largest collection of antiquities in the Southern Hemisphere. 

The Pompeii model was commissioned by the Nicholson and constructed by LEGO Professional Builder Ryan McNaught. It is the third such model the museum has exhibited, following the Colosseum and Acropolis.  The Colosseum was returned to McNaught and recently exhibited around Australia. The Acropolis was denoted by the Nicholson to the Acropolis Museum in Athens. The Pompeii model is estimated to include 190 000 bricks and took 420 hours to complete.