The academic year at the University Cambridge consists of three terms: Michaelmas, Lent and Easter. For more details, consult the term date pages of the university. What are these terms called in Latin? I would prefer to see actual use examples, newer or older. I assume that Cambridge has sufficient history in using Latin that Latin versions of the names do exist.

  • 1
    I see no alternative to them comming from Christian liturgy, thus Lent-->Quadragessima, Easter-->Pascha/tempus paschale. The connection is more loose with Michaelmas (ethymologically, Mass of [Saint] Michael), since it corresponds to a single day: Festus Sancti Michaelis. The names seem to be previous to the Reformation. See also this. – Rafael Aug 30 '16 at 13:14
  • @Rafael, I agree now that they probably have Christian origin. Before googling in preparation of this question I didn't know that Lent and Michaelmas meant something. However, it is not clear what the exact Latin names are, and how one might say "I took an algebra class in the Michaelmas/Lent/Easter term" in Latin. – Joonas Ilmavirta Aug 30 '16 at 13:25
  • In the societas christiana of the High Middle Ages it was very common to divide the year (and day) according to liturgy. Education was broadly in charge of monks and priests. While I write this, @fdb posted an answer regarding the word for term which I didn't know (I would have chosen something like bimensis in the lack of a sourced expression). – Rafael Aug 30 '16 at 13:35

These phrases come from English Law Latin, which divides the Legal Year into four quarters: Terminus Paschae, Terminus Trinitatis, Terminus Sancti Michaelis, Terminus Sancti Hilarii.

See this: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=DeQYXYMBtwgC&pg=PA976&lpg=PA976&dq=%22Terminus+trinitatis%22&source=bl&ots=CV2kk-794L&sig=1yXPeJLBn4AECOytRjeUsdm7c1w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjripmNn-nOAhUkAsAKHZviAp0Q6AEIJDAD#v=onepage&q=%22Terminus%20trinitatis%22&f=false

  • Great! Can you add any sources? – Rafael Aug 30 '16 at 13:35
  • Just to be sure: Would Lent be called Terminus Sancti Hilarii? The connection to the English version is much less obvious than for the other two. – Joonas Ilmavirta Aug 30 '16 at 13:39
  • 2
    @JoonasIlmavirta. Yes exactly. In what we in Cambridge call “the other place” (i.e., Oxford) the three academic terms are called Michaelmas, Hilary, Trinity. – fdb Aug 30 '16 at 13:43
  • @JoonasIlmavirta It seems that the choice for names is not uniform and universal: as you see in the source, they connect T. S. Hilarii to a Hilary Term, while wikipedia has separate articles for it and Lent Term – Rafael Aug 30 '16 at 13:44
  • @fdb, excellent, thank you! (I'm much more familiar with Cambridge than the other place, so the Oxford term names were news to me.) – Joonas Ilmavirta Aug 30 '16 at 13:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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