How would one best translate the English idiom "to be known for", as in "he is known for defeating the Gauls"? This came up when discussing uses of the gerund, but in English the idiom also works with a non-verbal noun, as in "he is known for his strength".

(The obvious solution is a literal translation, with the passive of scīre, but the English feels too idiomatic for that. Another option would be an adjective like clarus, but I'd like to know if there's an idiom or commonly used expression for this.)

  • 2
    I would use notus for "known". My first guess is notus est pro X, but it sounds fishy.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Mar 22 '17 at 21:52
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    My guess would be something like Gallos vicisse notus est 'he is known to have defeated the Gauls'.
    – Anonym
    Mar 22 '17 at 22:51
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    Perhaps notus + ablative of respect, rather than pro? Not sure if that's attested but I know clarus can take it.
    – Draconis
    Mar 22 '17 at 22:56
  • My uninformed guess is that there is an appropriate idiom using "fama"
    – brianpck
    Mar 23 '17 at 1:07

"he is known for defeating the Gauls"

victoriā belli gallici praeclarus est

Clarus or praeclarus are the way to go, especially in a good sense. There are a zillion examples. Notus is really still only the participle of nosco, without the connotation of to be known for.

An ablative is the most common case, but other constructions exist: e.g. genitive: T. Livius, eloquentiae ac fidei praeclarus in primis, (Tac. A. 4, 34); or in + Abl. multi praeclari in philosophiā et nobiles, (Cic. de Or. 1, 11, 46)

As for translating “for defeating the Gauls” with victoriā belli gallici, it is a matter of taste. Latin privileges nomina actionis in such constructions, and e.g. Suetonius wrote in victoriā belli civilis (Suet. Caes. 75), “when he won the civil war.”

Famōsus is also an option, also with ablative, but it is used much more in a bad sense (infamous) than in a good one. In present-day Italian it’s only used in a good sense, and it’s a famosus false friend.

  • What about something in the line of ille victor gallicorum. Not sure if idiomatic, but the point is ille+title
    – Rafael
    Feb 22 '18 at 14:06
  • Not exactly what I thought, but ille arguably works. See this question and answer.
    – Rafael
    Mar 1 '18 at 19:26

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