What is a Latin phrase similar to "annus horribilis" meaning a year of change, as in a year where everything changes?

For example - a year in which I moved across the country, totally changed job etc I would refer to it in Latin as my "year of change".

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    Welcome! If you have a specific type of change in mind, that'd be useful information to include here. Another way to improve the accuracy of any answer you get here would be to consult a dictionary and choose the word for "change" that you think fits your context best. Then we can put it into the right form. Thanks! Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


There was one year that became especially proverbial for change.

In the year of the Seven Emperors. anno Septem Imperatorum...

...emperor #1 appointed his son joint-emperor. The senate already hated the man and appointed an 83-year-old, who said he couldn't do it without his son's help, so they were appointed the REAL two emperors: but they died in a serious defeat. Two more tried. An unfortified town wore the original Emperors down; starved their army; resisted a siege. Emperor #7 was appointed in celebration. (Read the Loeb text here: posted by Thayer)

This is all too much for Vikipedia; who have one short page on another hectic year:

The Year of the Five Emperors, Annus Quinque Imperatorum which had much less change of course, but still slightly proverbial.

More simply, mutabilis, means 'changeable,' (describing a mind, a woman, a face, and (variusque labor) work.) . But if I met 'annus mutabilis,' I would think of normal change, new fashions, changing seasons, weather, the varying year. A stronger phrase would be : Annus mutabilitatis, a year of change. (ponounced mootabilita:tis).

If as a result of change everything is now upside down, back to front and inside out, say Annus Inversus.

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    Does annus mutabilis have a better or different connotation than annus mutationis? Or does the latter actually not make sense? Or how about annus mutationum?
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 2:21
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    mutabilis mean "changeable", so I think it is too much of a stretch to have annus mutabilis mean "a year in which many changes have occurred." Mutabilis was common in literature, an aspect of the "sublunar realm," and has a much different connotation than just "major life events occurred."
    – brianpck
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 14:49

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