I would like to translate the phrase "collective unconscious" coined by Carl Jung, into classical Latin. It does not need to be a literal translation as long as it conveys the same concept of a shared unconscious between all members of a species.

For context, I've been working on creating a mythology (long term pet project) and Latin is used as a "high speech" in the way that Stephen King has High and Low Speech in his dark tower novels (which I imagine was inspired by the Romans and vulgar vs classical Latin).

  • A possible lead: I believe Carl Jung knew Latin, so possibly he coined a Latin phrase for this himself. I don't know where to begin looking to see if he did, though.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 2:01
  • I tried Googling and couldn't really find anything. Did the Romans have the concept of the unconscious in the way that we do?
    – Adam
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 15:46
  • They have words for simply being not conscious, but I don't know if they had the concept of thought as being conscious and unconscious.
    – Adam
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


This isn’t an answer but (frequent excuse) it’s too long for a comment.

One of the key indigestibilities of Aristotle, when we were absorbing him in the c13, was precisely the question of the collective versus the individual intellectual soul. The Muslim commentators seemed to be happy with the idea of “the mind of Man” as opposed to the mind of each man; Christians clearly were not. It took Aquinas to disentangle the problem.

In the course of this disentanglement a vocabulary will have been developed to talk about the distinction in Latin, and this with a small amount of realignment will probably give the most natural step towards “Jungius”.

You can tell I’m away from my books! But if you are interested enough to see how essentially the same questions as Jung’s were being handled by the mediaeval renaissance, possible ways in might be Pieper’s Introduction to Aquinas or either Copleston’s History of Mediaeval Philosophy or the relevant volume of his overall History of Philosophy. Thus equipped, you will be in a position to see where in Aquinas to look in order to check the precise technical vocabulary he is using.

  • 2
    Looking forward to know the terms used!
    – Rafael
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 13:00
  • I did a little digging based on your comment, and one possible phrase that Aquinas may have meant for it is "Unitate Intellectus", or "Unity of Intellect". They mention it here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Adam
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 20:47

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