I found the following quote at the beginning of a book on Indo-European linguistics:

"Opusculum hoc, quamdiu vixero, doctioribus emendandum offero." (Iunius, Observationes)

I'm trying to figure out what it means. For starters, I wanted to at least find the meaning of all the individual words:

opusculum = a little work (nominative/accusative/vocative singular)

hoc = for this reason, hither, to this place, < hic = this (nominative/accusative neuter, ablative masculine/neuter singular)

quamdiu = how long, as long as, until, during

vixero < vivo = live (first-person singular future perfect active indicative)

doctioribus < doctior = wiser (ablative masculine/ feminine/neuter plural)

emendandum < emendandus = which is to be corrected (nominative/accusative/vocative neuter singular, accusative masculine singular)

offero = bring before, bring to, present, offer, show...

I still have difficulties finding the meaning of the whole sentence since I'm not really on good terms with Latin syntax. Can someone translate this sentence if it's not too much trouble?

1 Answer 1


Hoc (here hoc is simply 'this.') opusculum This little work,

, quamdiu vixero, for as long as I shall live,

doctioribus (here dative after offero) to those more learned

emendandum offero I offer for [their] correction.

What a generous dedication. Can it possibly be recent?

  • 1
    The dedication itself is not recent. "Junius" lived in the second half of the 18th century. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junius
    – fdb
    Aug 25, 2019 at 17:31
  • Isn't it Observationes in Willerami Abbatis Francicam paraphrasin Cantici canticorum (1655)? reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/resolve/display/bsb10123522.html (NB: I didn't check it though, could be completely wrong)
    – Alex B.
    Aug 25, 2019 at 19:38
  • 1
    AlexB. Politeness to a sponsor or patron is understandable. What is rare in this example is the gentle self-deprecation of the writer and trust in the readers.
    – Hugh
    Aug 25, 2019 at 20:57
  • 2
    Note: in a literal translation, vixero would be "I shall have lived".
    – Cerberus
    Aug 27, 2019 at 0:03
  • 1
    @Cerberus: Yes, and (fut. perf.) should be a completed action in the future, followed by a future tense e.g. "si veneris, eum videbis". Here, "quamdiu vixero" is ongoing and "offero" is present tense. What happened to the stricture that a Latin present cannot be used as a future (tense)?
    – tony
    Sep 13, 2019 at 11:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.