I wanted eliminate all acronyms from my digital copy of the Clementine Vulgate, when I came across this acronym: S.R.E, which I'm pretty sure it means Sancta Romana Ecclesia (Holy Church of Rome). Now, the problem is, which conjugation should I use? The full complete sentence in which it was wrote, reads as follows:

Si quis vero typographus in quibuscumque regnis, civitatibus, provinciis, et locis tam nostræ et S. R. E. ditioni in temporalibus subjectis, quam non subjectis, hanc eamdem sacrarum Scripturarum editionem intra decennium præ dictum quoquo modo, elapso autem decennio, aliter quam juxta hujusmodi exemplar, ut præfertur, imprimere, vendere, venales habere, aut alias edere vel evulgare: aut si quis bibliopola a se vel ab aliis quibusvis, post datam præsentium, hujus editionis impressos libros, seu imprimendos a præfato restituto et correcto textu in aliquo discrepantes, seu ab alio, quam a typographo Vaticano, intra decennium excusos, pariter vendere, venales proponere, vel evulgare præsumpserit, ultra amissionem omnium librorum, et alias arbitrio nostro infligendas pœnas temporales, etiam majoris excommunicationis sententiam eo ipso incurrat: a qua nisi a Romano Pontifice, præterquam in mortis articulo constitutus, absolvi non possit.

In my very limited knowledge of latin, the translation of the part I'm interested in, should goes something as:

If some true print-maker in whatever kingdom, city, province, and in places nonetheless ours and under the authority of the Holy Church of Rome in temporal matters, as well as non-temporal matters....

I'm only interested in translating the right conjugation for S. R. E., and since Sancta and Romana are both adjectives bound to Ecclesia, I'm only really interested at the conjugation of the latter, which if I'm guessing correctly should be singular genitive. So Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae?

  • Welcome to the site, and thanks for your question! I wrote my answer, but you might want to consider that the acronym is most probably written that way in the original, judging from digitized version of more than one printed version, and from the fact that it's a common acronym used in this context.
    – Rafael
    Sep 26, 2019 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


You are right, it is Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae. For consistency with the current text, you might want to use ligatures instead of separate letters for the diphthong ae: Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ.

FWIW, the technical name for the analogue of conjugation when applied to endings of nouns (i.e., when nouns change ending according to grammatical function) is declension. The parallel of tense (in the sense of different grammatical functions a word can take) for nouns is case. The case in question here is called genitive and is what is usually translated as of [the] + noun.

I think the relevant part of the text, locis tam nostræ et S. R. E. ditioni in temporalibus subjectis means in places subject to our authority as well as that of the Holy Roman Church. The pope is using the royal we (as customary) and inherently linking his authority to that of the Church (as per Catholic doctrine).

I tried searching for a translation of this specific preface in five languages (to avoid basing my answer in my view only), but my search so far has been obscured by the plenty of instances of the original text available, and translations without these prefaces. (Perhaps someone with better Google skills than mine can help?)

  • 1
    Thanks for your very fast response, I did searched a translation for the preface as well and couldn't find anything, I don't think anyone has ever done one. Also, just so you know, I'm italian and we use a very similar name for declensions as the one you used, the only reason I didn't choose it was because I thought it wasn't very english-like and maybe it was simply one of those wrong "literal translations".
    – user6102
    Sep 26, 2019 at 15:20
  • @Zashura it is likely that there is no other translation, in fact
    – Rafael
    Sep 26, 2019 at 15:21

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