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Alternative forms[edit]


Unclear.[1] The first element can be identified as the prefix prō-. Although the end of the word resembles the suffix -tōrium, the spelling with -torium seems to postdate that with -turium, and the word scans in Ovid Metamorphoses 15.709 as prōmuntŭrĭumque (per Müller, who rejects the alternative of reading this line with synizesis as prōmuntūr.jumque[2][3]).

The second element is typically considered to be mōns, montis (mountain)[1][4] (phonetic variation between /o/ and /u/ before a nasal in a closed syllable can be explained). However, several other suggestions have been made. De Vaan, noting that -tōrium is typically affixed to verb bases, proposes an alternative etymology from prōmoneō (warn) via contraction of *prōmonetōriom, with the idea that a word meaning "warner" might be used to refer to a "'signpost' in the landscape".[4] Lewis and Short (1879) and Gaffiot (1934) favor a connection with prōmineō (project, jut out), but Ernout and Meillet (1985) consider this difficult[1].



prōmunturium n (genitive prōmunturiī or prōmunturī); second declension

  1. peak, ridge, highest part of a mountain chain.
  2. cape, headland, promontory, ness
    • 43 BCEc. 17 CE, Ovid, Metamorphoses 15.709:[5]
      inde legit Capreas promunturiumque Minervae / et Surrentino generosos palmite colles
      • Translation by Frank Justus Miller
        Thence he skirted Capreae, Minerva's promontory, and the hills of Surrentum rich in vines


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative prōmunturium prōmunturia
Genitive prōmunturiī
Dative prōmunturiō prōmunturiīs
Accusative prōmunturium prōmunturia
Ablative prōmunturiō prōmunturiīs
Vocative prōmunturium prōmunturia

1Found in older Latin (until the Augustan Age).



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ernout, Alfred; Meillet, Antoine (1985), “prōmunturium”, in Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine: histoire des mots (in French), with additions and corrections of Jacques André, 4th edition, Paris: Klincksieck, published 2001, page 538
  2. ^ Müller, Lucian (1892), Platner, Samuel Ball, transl., Greek and Roman Versification: With an Introduction on the Development of Ancient Versification, Allyn and Bacon, page 93
  3. ^ Müller, Lucian (1894) De re metrica poetarum latinorum [...], 2 edition, page 302
  4. 4.0 4.1 De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “mōns, -tis”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 388
  5. ^ Miller, Frank Justus (1958) Ovid Metamorphoses with an English translation by Frank Justus Miller, page 414

Further reading[edit]

  • promunturium”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • promunturium”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • promunturium in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • a promontory juts out into the sea: promunturium in mare procurrit
    • to double a cape: promunturium superare
    • to double an island, cape: superare insulam, promunturium