"Provincias praetores nondum sortiti sunt. Res eodem est loci, quo reliquisti. Topothesian, quam postulas, Miseni et Puteolorum, includam orationi meae. "A. d. III Non. Decembr." I once saw this word in my latin-portuguese dictionary with the meaning of "a fictive situation of a place". One day I asked a greek what's the real meaning and she said "location". So, what did Cicero mean by that?

  • 1
    Why would you think a random Modern Greek speaker would have a better handle on what an Ancient Greek word used by a Latin speaker means than a Latin dictionary?
    – Cairnarvon
    Jun 12, 2023 at 1:42
  • She's a greek teacher.
    – user11898
    Jun 12, 2023 at 23:36
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    He means more: if she teaches modern Greek, that doesn't necessarily make her an expert on ancient Greek. The words change.
    – cmw
    Jun 14, 2023 at 3:42
  • Ancient Greek philology is, of course, part of any paedagogical study at Greek universities, because the Katarevusa is based on it and still in use in many branches, prominently the law. But its not presented as a scientific course and most students hate it. Similar to math for engineering, business and biology.
    – Roland F
    Jun 19, 2023 at 7:12

1 Answer 1


While modern Greek is not the same as ancient Greek (Protuguese isn't Latin, right?), both are definitions of the word. From the LSJ, which includes this very passage:

τοποθεσία , ἡ,
I. topography, “τῆς κατ᾽ Αἴγυπτον χώρας” D.S.1.42, cf. Cic.Att.1.16.18, Ptol.Geog.1.1.3.
2. Astrol., situation, arrangement of heavenly bodies in regions, Vett.Val.42.12.
II. description of a place, topographical account, Cic.Att.1.13.5.
2. plan, survey, POxy. 100.10 (ii A. D.), etc.
3. region, quarter, PMasp. 162.9 (vi A. D.).
4. = canalis, Gloss.

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    I don't know anything about Greek. The dictionary didn't help by saying "fictive". I thought it was like a fairy tale place, Narnia. I'd never imagine it was about topography. 🤔
    – user11898
    Jun 12, 2023 at 1:44
  • @ManuelCauãRebouças Does this answer your question, or are you looking for something further?
    – cmw
    Jun 30, 2023 at 23:51

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