In this answer to the Space Exploration SE question Who called the Lagrangian points as “Libration” points and and why was the terminology “Libration” used? I have recently written the following:

This is a supplemental answer to @CallMeTom's answer.

Wikipedia's Lagrangian point; History says:

The three collinear Lagrange points (L1, L2, L3) were discovered by Leonhard Euler a few years before Joseph-Louis Lagrange discovered the remaining two3,4

3"KoLoMaRo" (Wang Sang Koon, Martin W. Lo, Jerrold E. Marsden and Shane D. Ross) Dynamical Systems, the Three-Body Problem, and Space Mission Design (also archived here and discussed in this answer)


As you can see I've just transcribed the title as I believe it to be without being certain how to type it. I am aware that sometimes words are more recognizable when some V's are written as U's and that these days we try not to write in all capitals when not necessary.

How should I best present the title of this mathematical work written in Latin as a reference in a Stack Exchange answer?


1 Answer 1


Being trained in physics and mathematics, I enjoy seeing questions on these topics here!

Indeed, Latin has various spelling conventions regarding U and V. I am not sure how well search engines cope with this; if you transcribe a title to lower case, it might not be as easy to find. I did not check this particular case, but of course you are safe when you have a link.

Converting the title to lower case makes it indeed easier to read, and with the most common conventions it would be as follows:

De motu rectilineo, trium corporum se mutuo attrahentium

In this title every V happens to be a vowel and spelled as u.

Your current title has replaced auctore with the English "by". That is otherwise fine, but the Latin phrase requires the name to be in the ablative case (Eulero), whereas in English (as a name followed by an English preposition is used in English) one should use the basic form, the nominative.

As you are writing in English, it makes most sense to me to report the author's name also in English: L. Euler. If you want to use Latin, call him L. Eulerus.

If you need to figure out the basic form (nominative) of a Latin name, you can try Vicipaedia. Some English Wikipedia pages have a link to a Latin version, and there the title will be in nominative. For people like Euler a Latin page does exist. Alternatively, you can ask us on this site. But my recommendation is to use the current English name.

  • Well I am pleasantly surprised to find out who the author is! Okay this is a really helpful and instructive answer, I'll update the line in the linked question after re-reading a few times more. Thanks!
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 8:59
  • @uhoh I'm glad to be able to help! Was the content of the title clear enough from context or did you want a translation as well?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 11:07
  • Oh that would be greatly appreciated; would you like it as a new question or is here okay? Also if you like please feel free to edit my linked answer there as well; I may not get it right the first time or two.
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 11:33
  • 2
    @uhoh I think a separate question would work better. There are several approaches to translating it. But it's your call.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 13:15
  • will do then...
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 14:12

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