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I'm trying to translate both phrases "the great (female) ruler of the WORLD" and "the great (female) ruler of the WORLDS" in to Latin. So, the latter phrase is otherwise the same as the first one, except the word "world" is now in plural form.

  • When I'm talking about a female ruler, the meaning is: "ruleress", "mistress", "female slave owner", or even "dominatrix", so I believe the Latin word "domina" is appropriate in this case.
  • As to the adjective "great", I like "magna" as a translation, since it was used to refer to a highly esteemed female figure, for example in the epithet "magna mater".
  • The "world" and "worlds" are probably here forms of the noun "mundus", since, aside from "world", it is also associated with "universe" (which is the meaning I'm looking for here.)

Now, my problem is I don't really know how to put these words together: Is it (in the case of the plural "worlds:) "domina magnae mundorum"? "domina mundorum magnae"? "magna domina mundorum?" ...Also, what about the singular "world"?

I would be very thankful if you could translate the phrase for me in with both forms "world"+"worlds" :) ...Also, if you so wish, as a plus you can also give me alternative translations (with words like "regina", "universum" and such). But mostly I'm interested in the forms that I provided above.

Thank you very much, in advance!

P.S. Speaking English as a second language is hard enough for me, don't yet have time to get good at a dead tongue :D ...Still, I appreciate if you can explain in a few words why the sentence is translated the way you translate it.

3 Answers 3

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The adjective needs to be congruent with the noun it modifies, in this case domina, which is feminine, so it has to be magna. So you have

magna domina mundi - the great [female] ruler of the world,
magna domina mundorum - the great [female] ruler of the worlds.

The word order is flexible, so you could equally well say domina magna instead of magna domina. Indeed you could even say domina mundorum magna, and it still would mean the great [female] ruler of the worlds.

You could indeed replace domina by regina in either of the given expressions, and you could certainly replace mundi by universi. However, the plural universorum wouldn't really work in the latter case.

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  • Thank you for your answer. Strange that the word order can be so flexible, would think it'd lead to misunderstandings. Like some guy in Rome names his S&M-club "The Big World of Dominatrixes", but then some guy walks past and goes "Why's this place called The Great Ruler of The World?" :D ...but I guess the different forms of the words take care of those problems... P.S. So could I then also say magna mundorum domina ? Oct 12, 2020 at 9:50
  • @JanosDrake indeed, the inflections take care of most ambiguities. Yes, magna mundorum domina would also work.
    – gmvh
    Oct 12, 2020 at 11:01
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I would suggest imperatrix magnifica mundi/mundorum, which could be translated as "the great empress of the world/worlds".

I chose imperatrix, which is a female version of imperator and can be translated as "empress" if imperator is "empreror". It feels like a powerful and idiomatic word for a powerful female in command. Another good option is simply regina, "queen". You indicate in a comment that you wanted a more sadomasochistic tone; in that case you can consider dominatrix, which is a proper albeit rare Latin word for a female ruler.

The adjective magnificus sounds more suitable to me than magnus, as we want greatness to mean eminence and nobility more than just size and power. In traditional academic Latin, at least in Finland, the highest official of a university is rector magnificus. If the person is of divine nature, then magna instead of magnifica works well too.

Based on your comment, I would suggest dominatrix magna mundorum or magna dominatrix mundorum.

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  • I'm still gonna stick with domina, since there's a bit of sadomasochistic element to that character in the comic book I'm making. I also prefer magna since I've seen it used when referring to divine beings, as in the case of the goddess Magna Mater, and that's the kind of vibe I'm going for here... So would the grammatically correct phrase then be domina magna mundorum ? Oct 12, 2020 at 9:34
  • @JanosDrake I updated my answer; take a look.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Oct 12, 2020 at 10:08
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  • Putting words together into the phrase: Domina is a feminine singular noun; if magnus, -a, -um ("great") describes the "domina" it must agree with it in gender and number, so you would want magna. Of the world or of the worlds would use the genitive case, so either mundi (singular) or mundorum (plural).

    Word order is flexible; you should be able to combine these words in whatever order sounds best to you, without affecting the meaning. ("Magna" will agree with "domina" in case and not with "mundi"/"mundorum", so there is no danger of accidentally saying "Great World(s)" instead.) So your options include:

    • Magna Domina Mundi
    • Magna Domina Mundorum
    • Magna Mundi Domina
    • Magna Mundorum Domina
    • Domina Magna Mundi
    • Domina Magna Mundorum
    • Domina Mundi Magna
    • Domina Mundorum Magna
  • Grammatical Case. If you are using this in a larger Latin phrase or sentence, it may affect the case of the main noun "Domina" (and therefore also of "Magna," which agrees with it.) "Domina" is the form in the nominative and vocative (if the Magna Domina is the subject of a sentence, or if someone is calling on or directly addressing the Magna Domina.) If you need the phrase in the accusative case (for example, in the direct object of a sentence), it would become "Magnam Dominam;" for the dative (for example, in the indirect object of a sentence), "Magnae Dominae"; for the ablative, "Magna Domina"; for the genitive (for example, in a possessive, "the Magna Domina's") you would use "Magnae Dominae."

    In all these cases, "Mundi" or "Mundorum" would stay the same, since it was already in the genitive case and does not agree with the main noun in case.

  • Word Choice: domina, magna, and mundus all seem appropriate to the meaning you want to express, for the reasons you mention.

    For "ruler," domina emphasizes mastery and subordination. (As you note, domina refers among other things to the owner or mistress of slaves. In Western Roman history, the era when Emperors began to widely adopt dominus as part of their official titles is usually thought to represent a major shift of Roman political culture towards more openly despotic and authoritarian rule.) There are some other common titles that were associated with female rulers and with the female companions of male rulers. Regina and Augusta, tend to emphasize the reverential or sacral (religious) aspects of a venerated ruler. At the time of the Roman Empire, regina would suggest traditional forms of royalty no longer acknowledged as existing in Rome; augusta would suggest modern forms of rule acknowledged as existing in Rome, and was the term typically associated with powerful women in the imperial household, including women like Agrippina the Younger, Zenobia, etc. who exercised effective rule during part of their career.)

    Imperatrix ("empress", "[female] commander") is very rare in classical Latin, although it appears in later Latin to describe modern empresses such as Catherine the Great. The word it comes from, impero refers to military command and is associated with the power of life and death. In classical Latin it appears only in a very few places, sometimes to describe the political power of grammatically feminine subjects (e.g. "Italia"), sometimes to describe the sexualized power of a woman over her male admirers.

    For "world," "worlds," you might also want to consider orbis for "world" or "worlds" (literally: "circle", "globe"; frequently used in both classical and later Latin, to describe all of (1) the earth as an inhabited world, (2) the universe or cosmos, and (3) other heavenly bodies, including the sun, the moon, the heavenly spheres, etc.). In the genitive, this would be orbis for singular, or orbium for plural; so you might have the Magna Domina Orbis or the Magna Domina Orbium; as before, you can rearrange the word order in any way you see fit.

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