Saturday, January 18, 2020

What's In A Name? A Relationship Glossary

The following chart provides a list of vocabulary for married couples:


Feminae
(Women)
Incerti
(Gender Neutral)
Viri
(Men)
Nouns:
Domina (Cat. LXI.31)
Femina (Cat. LXI.173)
Mulier (Cat.LXX.1)
Uxor (Cat. LXI.178)

Verbs:
nubo, -ere (Mart.IX.10.1)
Nouns:
Coniunx (Cat. LXI.32)




Verbs:
coniungo, -ere
(Cat. LXIV.373)
Nouns:
Dominus (Cat.XLV.14)
Maritus (Cat. LXI.55)
Vir (Cat.LXI.3)


Verbs:
uxorem duco, -ere (Mart.IX.10.2)


The following chart provides a list of vocabulary for dating couples:



IF YOU’RE A…

Feminae

(Women)
Incerti
(Gender Neutral)
Viri

(Men)
 You Call Yourself A…
Puella (Sulpic.V.1)
Amans (Ovid, Met.4.73)
Amans (Ovid, Met.4.73)
Amator (Ovid, Am.I.iv.39)
 You Call Your Partner A…
Femina:
Amica  
(Mart.Ep.VII.70.2)
Vir:
Dominus 
(Ovid, Am.III.vii.11)
Vir
(Plaut. Casina,Act II, Sc. 1, line 17)
Amantem
(Cat.LXXIII.3)
Amores 
(Cat.X.1)
Deliciae* 
(Cat.XXII.2)
Femina:
Amica  
(Cat.LXXII.3)
Domina 
(Prop. El.I.i.21)
Mulier 
(Cat.LXXI.1)
Puella 
(Cat.VII.4)
Vir:
Puer 
(Mart.Ep.IV.42.14)


This list is far from complete. Since a majority of Latin literature was written by men, there is more data for men's relationship terminology. Traditionally, however, if the object of the man's desire was a woman, he would call her his puella (regardless of age); if the object of the man's desire was male, he would call him his puer (regardless of age).  Although no author self-identifies as a puer in the nominative case, the term can be used to refer to another man (often a poet's rival, cf. Horace, Odes I.5.1). Gender neutral terms (amores, delicias) would often be used in the plural, but sometimes in the singular (amanti/em). It is important to note, however, that although the term deliciae was used often with positive connotations (e.g., the Emperor Titus was called amor et deliciae generis humani, Suetonius, Titus.1), the phrase "in deliciis" almost always refers to a non-consenting partner (usually a slave sexually abused, cf. Pliny, Hist. Nat. vii.34).