Notes for the Funerary Inscription for Helena

Helena, ae f. Only to a dog-lover might it seem appropriate to give to a pet the name of the most beautiful woman in Greece, Helen of Troy, daughter of Jupiter and Leda. The name of the deceased is normally in the dative, as the indirect object, or in the genitive case with dis manibus.

alumnus/a, -i/-ae m/f
pupil, disciple; foster child; an unusual word to apply to a pet dog.

anima, -ae f.
life, living being; soul; spirit. Since the ending may signify dative or genitive, consider the possible meanings.

incomparabilis, -e
unable to be equaled; incomparable.

benemerens = bene + merens, from mereo, -ere, -merui, meritum
well-deserving. In classical Latin it was written as two words; it is found as one in catacomb burials. Some epitaphs bear the past participle: benemeritus, -a, -um, having deserved well; well-deserved.

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