I don't really know enough about Latin morphology or grammar to get a clear cut answer (already knowing that Latin is a very free-form language), so how does one say it? I was thinking something like trans aulaeum or maybe ultra aulaeum but I don't know if Latin allows for stand-alone prepositional phrases like English can.

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    What is the context you want to use this? Ronan theatres didn't have curtains (afaik) so if the idea is to convey an idea of something behind-the-scenes or an insider's perspective, the curtain metaphor might be an odd choice for Latin.
    – dbmag9
    Jul 16, 2021 at 8:55
  • The Romans did have curtains. I mentioned one above. The aulaeum, which was used in the downstage for dramatics, such a scene being suddenly revealed, or much like how we use our theatrical curtains today. But I think this is supposed to be a phrase applied in a neo-Latin setting, such as a motto of a school or something. The question still stands, does Latin allow for these prepositional phrases to have an inferred subject? Jul 16, 2021 at 18:51

2 Answers 2


Latin certainly allows “stand-alone prepositional phrases,” and I'm sure you already know a few of them, for example:

  • ante meridiem, post meridiem (a.m. / p.m.)
  • ad hoc, ad libitum, ad inifinitum, ad nauseam
  • in absentia, in medias res, in memoriam
  • de iure, de facto
  • ex cathedra, ex post facto

So I see no problem with ultra aulaeum, for example.


poscaenium ~ poscēnium is the name for the place behind the wall of the stage, and is probably what you're looking for, e.g. in poscēniō. It's derived from the phrase post scaenam ~ scēnam "behind the stage". The Roman theatre only had curtains in front of the stage that were lowered to reveal it, so the service space that for us is behind the curtains was for the Romans behind the stage decorations.

ultrā "further beyond" and aula "the (theatre) hall" don't work to express this; but the curtain revealing the stage was called aulaeum, so post aulaeum would express the opposite place from what is intended, i.e. the stage itself with decorations.

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