Universities in the UK have two distinct titles (among others): "lecturer" and "reader". A reader is more senior than a lecturer but both are below a professor. The US (rough?) equivalents are "assistant professor" and "associate professor".

I would translate both of these words into Latin as lector or lectrix. Perhaps I could translate "lecturer" as lector/lectrix and "reader" as lector/lectrix senior, but I wonder if there is a better way. How do you suggest translating the two titles? Do such translations already exist, canonical or not?

  • When did these distinctions arise? Was it with the first universities or later? Anyway, I guess if there is such a distinction, it is undoubtedly Medieval Latin. update: What if it has to do with the origin of degrees? Both doctor and magister are basicaly persons that teach.
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 19:12
  • 1
    @Rafael, I know nothing about the history of this distinction. That would be very relevant. I know of no similar distinction in continental Europe. Nowadays both positions require a doctor's degree, so it would be best not to refer to these positions by either doctor or magister (of any kind).
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 19:56
  • another difficulty may arise from the fact that professor in Latin does not overlap exactly in meaning with the use they give to it in the UK.
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


According to this dictionary or this one, both are translated by prælector.

Lewis&Short gives then this definition of prælector:

praelector, ōris, m. id., one who reads an author to others and adds explanations, a prelector (post-class.; cf.: lector, recitator), Gell. 18, 5, 6.

Cassel's dictionary proposes scholasticus as a lecturer in the schools, teacher of rhetoric, rhetorician.

And finally, this dictionary accepts professor for lecturer.

  • 2
    I don't think this answers the question, which explicitly asks how to distinguish these two positions in Latin.
    – brianpck
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 3:05
  • scholasticus/professor seems to be more a lecturer than a reader.
    – Luc
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 16:28
  • 2
    Here in Cambridge a praelector is something totally different from a lecturer and from a reader. joh.cam.ac.uk/glossary/term/198
    – fdb
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 22:48
  • Indeed, my answer was only the result of search in dictionaries, so the question still awaits more precise answers…
    – Luc
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 13:44

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