There is this title page of a "disputation" (a kind of academic thesis?), which begins with the abbreviation J.S.J.P. Because it is the first line, I would expect it to be some kind of benediction, like Quod Deus Bene Vertat. On the other hand, it is a legal subject, so perhaps it could be some kind of personal title or degree with juris in it? An example:

enter image description here

Update: Another example, from the same printer and the same university:

enter image description here

I haven't managed to find any other examples.

  • 1
    Are there more examples of the same (or similar) abbreviation? That would help judge how era-, location- or author-specific it is.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 19:57
  • 1
    Suggestion: S and P are the Senate and President; JJ are legal terms, Jus, Jussus, Judex, Judicans.
    – Hugh
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 3:24
  • 1
    @Hugh That makes me guess iussu senatus, iussu praesidentis, "by the order of the senate and the president". I might extend this to an answer when I get to a computer. [Edit: I did.]
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 5:40
  • 4
    Perhaps: juris sacri et juris profani
    – fdb
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 8:34
  • 1
    @Hugh: So did mine. There is the Constitutio Carolina, an important (body of?) law of the Holy Roman Empire that this "disputation" might relate to. Or it might have something to do with the Gustavo-Caroline University, as the university of Tartu was called at the time. Or it may be a kind of oration held in honour of Charles XII of Sweden; I have another title page with a dissertation exhibited during festivities celebrating Charles's birthday.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 1:57

3 Answers 3


In my experience, academic theses are defended in public with permission — and perhaps protection — of high university officials, and this is often indicated on the title page. Consider for example this dissertation (which contains a poem that I asked about). The title page says:

D. F. G.
Consensu Ampliss[imae] Facult[atis] Philosoph[iae]
in Regia Academia Aboensi,
Matheseos Prosessore Reg. et Ord.
Andreas Johannes Lexell
ABOA Fenno
Die XXX Junii Anni MDCCLIX


The bolded part says that the thesis was defended with consent from the great faculty of philosophy. The title pages you show do not have a similar phrase, so it is possible that the abbreviation JSJP might have a similar role. Based on this, I might guess iussu senatus, iussu praesidentis/praesidis, "by the order of the senate and the president [of the university]".

However, I would be much more confident about this theory if I knew what JUDPPO meant in your examples and DFG in mine. My suggestion is merely an educated guess, but I leave it for others to judge whether it was educated enough.

  • 2
    I think you'll find that it's praesidii rather than praesidentis, referring to the General Council rather than the President (who in classical Latin would more likely precede the Senate, as ego precedes ille, for instance).
    – Tom Cotton
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 9:16
  • 1
    The first initialism also looks like a motto. Dominus ... gratiae or something like that?
    – luchonacho
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 11:40
  • 1
    How about "Judicis Universitatis, Doctoris Philosophiae, Publici Oratoris," A description of the Assessor, Joh. Schack in the Genitive is needed but my commas suggest that this suggestion is not right.
    – Hugh
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 15:12
  • 2
    Very interesting suggestion. It is possible! On the other hand, I would expect a kind of benediction in that position rather than "on the order of the senate". The university and functionaries are mentioned below the introduction of the subject in all such title pages I have seen. My guess for DFG would be something like Dei Faventis Gratia, similar in function to Quod Deus Bene Vertat from the other title page. // I believe JUDPPO stands for Juris Utriusque Doctor Professor Publicus Ordinarius, because both JUD and POP (though not in the order PPO) are common academic titles.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 1:46

After looking at a number of Title pages, I found

jussu senatus
By order of the Senate.

on works published collectively such as statutes,books of medical recipes,public lectures. And one historical example which almost fits

iussu senatus, iure iurando pollicitans,
by order of the Senate, promising on oath

These are J not I, and in abbreviations Jus, Jussus are the most frequent Js. However in this case the 'Senatus' is Genitive, 'of;' and so it is not the Senate 'pollicitans,' making promises.


I think this is some form of "Motto" or blessing attached to dissertations, which might have been personal. For example, here you can find In Nomine Jesu Feliciter, which initialism would have been JNJF. Not quite the same in your example, but it might be some form of in ... Jesu ...

Other examples are:

  • Q.D.B.V., which might stand for Quod Deus Bene Vertat ("May God grant success?").

  • C.D.& A.C., which second letter might be Domine or related (can't find an explanation online).

  • ?.N.D.N.I.C, where could be partly like nomine Deus or etc.

  • J for in doesn't sound right to me (but I can't rule it out either.)
    – Rafael
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 17:41
  • @Rafael I thought that capital i is J. Or that is not always the case?
    – luchonacho
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 17:43
  • 1
    as far a I know, j is a late, non-universal addition to Latin to mark consonantal i. Hence you can see jam (whenever j is used) for iam, but rarely, if at all, jn (here, i acts as a vowel).
    – Rafael
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 19:26
  • I agree with you in that I would expect a kind of blessing or motto. (But what?) You say it could be a personal motto, i.e. not used anywhere else. But the one you mention is written in full: wouldn't it be odd to abbreviate an expression that was not widely known? On the other hand, I've not been able to find JSJP anywhere outside Greifswald. // Your missing letter must be a J. Also visible two pages later.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 1:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.