filius sus ¿what word is "sus"?

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by melonidas, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. melonidas Member

    Hello, in Sus-suis, means pig. But this syntagm: "filius sus", doesn't it mean '' sons of him?
    I'm confused

  2. It should be Filius suus, which means "His son"
  3. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    His son is filius eius in Latin:

    Pater et filius eius valde similes sunt. = The father and his son are very alike.

    However Middle Ages Latin sometimes used suus insted of eius (influence of Romance languages?): pater et filius suus = father and his son (similarly like in Spanish: padre y su  hijo);

    In Classical Latin filius suus would mean 'a son of himself' (he is a son of himself).
  4. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member


    With all respect to bibax (#3):
    Latin preserves a nice distinction between filius eius and filius suus which is not apparent in English "his son".

    Marcus et filius suus will always mean "Marcus and his [i.e. Marcus'] son", whereas Marcus et filius eius will mean "Marcus and his [i.e. someone else's] son".
  5. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    With all respect to Scholiast, it is not correct.

    :tick: Marcus et filius eius means "Marcus and his (i.e. Marcus') son"
    :cross: Marcus et filius suus is quite nonsensical.

    HOWEVER, Medieval Latin commonly used suus instead of correct eius:

    Ermengaudus comes et filius suus Regimundus
    Rotbaldus comes et uxor sua Eimildis

    beside correct

    Domnus Radulfus Dolensis et filius eius Odo
    Wido comes Pontivensis et uxor eius Adila comitissa

    BTW, the Slavic languages preserve the distinction filium suum/filium eium eius (filio suo/filio eius, etc.) as well, but filius suus (svůj syn in Czech) in the nominative case is extremely rare (nearly non-existent) both in Slavic and in Classical Latin. In the nominative case you should have always use filius eius (jeho syn in Czech).
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  6. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Eius is the genitive singular of is/ea/id. There is no such thing as “eium”. Scholiast’s description is correct.
  7. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Thanks for the correction.

    Could you give us an example of using the reflexive possessive suus in nominative?

    It would be a real rarity (in Classical Latin, of course).
  8. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    “hunc pater suus de templo deduxit,” he was taken from the temple by his father, Cic. Inv. 2, 17, 52
    “suus rex reginae placet,” a queen likes her own king, Plaut. Stich. 1, 2, 76

    Note however, that in these examples, suus does not refer to the grammatical subject of the sentence, but to the logical subject.
  9. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Nice examples. I like especially the Plautus' one. Very illustrative.

    In any case, Octavius et milites eius ... means that the soldiers belong to Octavius and not to someone else.

    BUT Caesar in Italiam pervenit cum militibus suis (i.e. with Caesar's soldiers) is correct, of course.

    You can find "XY et milites sui" only in Medieval texts. The Medieval authors/scribes commonly mixed up suus and eius.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  10. Imber Ranae Senior Member

    English - USA
    It has to be Marcus et filius eius, though. Bibax is quite right about that: the referent of nominative suus can't be a separate subject of the same verb, though it can be a direct or indirect object (see fdb's examples).
  11. jrundin Senior Member

    USA, English
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  12. Curt Jugg Senior Member

    English - England
    Sorry to come late to this thread but I'm a beginner in Latin and what I've read about suus and eius here confuses me somewhat. I wonder if someone would be kind enough to clarify things for me. In Kennedy's Revised Latin Primer it says in paragraph 318: "Eius, his, never refers to the Subject of the Sentence...". And in Chapter 13 of Wheelock's Latin it says: "...the reflexive possessive adjective suus, -a, -um must be carefully distinguished from the nonreflexive possessive genitives eius, eorum, earum...which do not refer to the subject." But one of the examples quoted above as correct seems in fact to be using eius to refer to the subject of the sentence. What am I missing here?
  13. radagasty Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    Australia, Cantonese
    Which example? I haven't looked through the thread very carefully, but, as far as I can tell, none of the examples quoted has ejus with the subject of the sentence as its antecedent. Note that in a sentence like 'Pater et filius ejus valde similes sunt.', the subject is not pater but pater et filius ejus.
  14. Curt Jugg Senior Member

    English - England
    As you suspected, radagasty, I was incorrectly identifying the subject. Thanks for putting me right on that. To further clarify, would it be positively wrong to substitute suus for the ejus ​ of your example?
  15. radagasty Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    Australia, Cantonese
    > To further clarify, would it be positively wrong to substitute suus for the ejus ​ of your example?

    By the standard of Classical Latin, yes. In Mediaeval Latin, though, suus increasingly appears in place of ejus, with often with no reflexive force. That said, though, pater et filius suus (unacceptable in the Classical language) would always refer to the father's son, whereas pater et filius ejus could in principle (although rarely in practice) refer to another person's son.
  16. Curt Jugg Senior Member

    English - England
    Thanks again.

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