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Aelius Herodian, Declension of Nouns 751.25-37


Aelius Herodian studied and taught language and literature (“grammar”) in Alexandria in Egypt, the intellectual and cultural center of the Roman East, before moving to Rome as a celebrated scholar later in his career. In his grammatical treatise on spelling, Herodian cited the toponym Caesarea (Καισάρεια) as an example of a particular word-formation. George Choeroboscus, the Early Byzantine grammarian, paraphrased this passage over six centuries later (Prologue and Notes 303.12-20).


τὰ εἰς -α λήγοντα θηλυκά, ἐὰν μὲν ἔχῃ τὸ -α καθαρόν, τουτέστι μὴ προηγουμένου συμφώνου, ἢ πρὸ τοῦ -α τὸ ρ, ἢ μακρόν, φυλάττει καὶ ἐν τῇ γενικῇ, φημὶ δὴ τὸ -α, καὶ προσθέσει τοῦ ς ποιεῖ τὴν γενικήν. ἔστω δὲ παραδείγματα τοῦ κανόνος ταῦτα· τὸ ᾱ μὲν καθαρὸν οἷον μαῖα μαίας, γραῖα γραίας, γαῖα γαίας, Μήδεια Μηδείας (τὸ γὰρ “Μηδείης ὑπ᾿ ἔρωτι” Ἰωνικόν ἐστι), Κράτεια Κρατείας, Ἀλεξάνδρεια Ἀλεξανδρείας, Καισάρεια Καισαρείας, Ἀντιόχεια Ἀντιοχείας. 1

Textual Note

Ed. Lentz 1868


As for feminine nouns ending -a, if they have pure -a (i.e., no preceding consonant), r before -a, or long -a, it persists also in the genitive, I mean the -a, and by addition of -s makes the genitive. Take these examples of the rule: pure -a, e.g., maia-maias, graia-graias, gaia-gaias, Medeia-Medeias (since “Medeies hyp’ eroti” is Ionic dialect), Krateia-Krateias, Alexandreia-Alexandreias, Kaisareia -Kaisareias, Antiocheia-Antiocheias.

Translation Note

Trans. J. L. Rife

Discussion Note

Aelius Herodian quotes “Medeies hyp’ eroti” from Apollonius of Rhodes, Voyage of the Argo 3.31.

Works Cited

  • 1 Aelius Herodianus, Herodiani technici Reliquiae, ed. August Lentz, vol. 2, 3 vols., Grammatici Graeci 3 (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1868), p: 751.25-33.Link to Zotero Bibliographic RecordLink to HathiTrust Bibliographic record


How to Cite This Entry

William L. Potter et al., “Aelius Herodian, Declension of Nouns 751.25-37,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, entry published June 30, 2023,


William L. Potter et al., “Aelius Herodian, Declension of Nouns 751.25-37.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife., edited by Joseph L. Rife. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project, 2023. Entry published June 30, 2023.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Aelius Herodian, Declension of Nouns 751.25-37

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
  • Joseph L. Rife, editor, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
  • David A. Michelson, Daniel L. Schwartz, and William L. Potter, technical editors, “Aelius Herodian, Declension of Nouns 751.25-37
  • William L. Potter and Joseph L. Rife, entry contributors, “Aelius Herodian, Declension of Nouns 751.25-37

Additional Credit:

  • TEI encoding by William L. Potter
  • URNs and other metadata added by William L. Potter
  • Electronic text added by Joseph L. Rife
  • Testimonia identified by Joseph L. Rife
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