"Livia has four beds."
Translation:Livia quattuor lectos habet.
Since most words use endings to communicate what they are doing in the sentence, Latin word order is pretty free.
Most numbers however, are indeclinable (that is, they do not change forms). For this reason, it is best to keep them before the word they are modifying, as in "quattuor lectos."
I disagree (respectfully) here, Magister Smith. Numbers do follow their noun with significant frequency in the literature. It think it's better to say that the number must be next to the noun, either before or after. Moreover I think numbers ending in unus -a -um follow their noun even more often, to avoid the awkward "viginti et unum crustula" apparent lack of agreement.
Yes--you stated that numbers preceding the noun they refer to/modify is a "firmer guidline" and I am disputing whether that is really true. Put IIII into the PHI (Packard Humanities Institute Latin Texts search engine) and see what comes up in the De Agri Cultura of Cato.
I also don't think that the meter dictates word order to Latin poets categorically either. But that's another topic.
Needs a tan or Needs Satan
Jobs are now here! or Jobs are nowhere!
Yes, Latin used to write in scriptio continua, which did not use spaces, different letter cases or punctuation, andneitherdidmostofus until about the 10th Century when we all got common sense. There was a collective sigh of "Why didn't we think of that before?" and everybody could suddenly read twice as fast. Have a look at the monograph page in the Book of Kells (c.AD 800). Christiautemgeneratiosicerat Christi autem generatio sic erat This is how the birth of Christ came about. No attempt to separate here, though elsewhere in the manuscript there is separation. There is now limited demand for a way of writing that is so impenetrable. I can only think of the German system, applicable to numbers and many portmanteau words, where you see things like Zweihunderttausend zweihundertzweiundzwanzig for two hundred thousand, two hundred and twenty-two (200,222). I know which I'd rather have.