The term extemporalis refers unusual events in time, such as an exceptional snowstorm in spring time. I was wondering if there is an equivalent term which refers, not to a temporal aspect of an unusual event, but rather to a spatial/regional anomaly, e.g. snowing in Florida.

I found extemporalis in Forcellini: Fors proprie est casus extemporalis et inopinatus; caso, accidente, fortuna, Cicero 14 Att 13.

EDIT - 1

Another dictionary indicates that the term is almost exclusively used in rhetorical contexts, as you mentioned. But both in rhetorical and in general contexts, the term is oftentimes associated with fortuitous. Here's an instance:

In Lactantius: Lact. inst. 1, 4, 6 ut … ne in diem quidem laborarent contenti extemporali cibo quem deus subministrasset.

Synonyms: fortuitus, subitus. Opposite: cogitatus, compositus, praeparatus. Also: extemporāneus, (-a, -um). secundum extemporalis et (con)temporaneus

EDIT - 2

Intempestivus (unseasonable) seems much more related to my initial idea.

Paulo Orosius: temporum turbata temperies, hoc est aut intempestiva siccitas hiemis aut repentinus calor veris


1 Answer 1


I'm not sure there's a single word for this specifically, though such a phenomenon would likely fit in the general category of a monstrum, 'An unnatural thing or event regarded as an omen, a portent, prodigy, sign' (Oxford Latin Dictionary).

Nevertheless, in a few passages, Seneca the Younger uses the phrase (in) alieno loco/alienis locis, 'in a place where one doesn't belong' or 'in an unnatural place.' This might work.

De providentia 1.3:

ne illa quidem quae videntur confusa et incerta, pluvias dico nubesque et elisorum fulminum iactus et incendia ruptis montium verticibus effusa, tremores labantis soli aliaque quae tumultuosa pars rerum circa terras movet, sine ratione, quamvis subita sint, accidunt, sed suas et illa causas habent non minus quam quae alienis locis conspecta miraculo sunt, ut in mediis fluctibus calentes aquae et nova insularum in vasto exilientium mari spatia.

Even those phenomena which appear to be confused and irregular, I mean showers of rain and clouds, the rush of lightning from the heavens, fire that pours from the riven peaks of mountains, quakings of the trembling earth, and everything else which is produced on earth by the unquiet element in the universe, do not come to pass without reason, though they do so suddenly: but they also have their causes, as also have those things which excite our wonder by the strangeness of their position, such as warm springs amidst the waves of the sea, and new islands that spring up in the wide ocean.

(Trans. Aubrey Stewart; from Wikisource)

Oedipus, lines 373–380:

quod hoc nefas? conceptus innuptae bovis,
nec more solito positus alieno in loco,
implet parentem; membra cum gemitu movet,
rigore tremulo debiles artus micant;
infecit atras lividus fibras cruor
temptantque turpes mobilem trunci gradum,
et inane surgit corpus ac sacros petit
cornu ministros; viscera effugiunt manum.

What monstrosity is this? A foetus in an unmated heifer! nor does it lie in accustomed fashion, but fills its mother in an unnatural place. Moaning it moves its limbs, and its weak members twitch with convulsive rigors. Livid gore has stained the entrails black. ... The sadly mangled forms essay to move, and one disembowelled body strives to rise and menaces the priests with its horns; the entrails flee from my hand.

(Trans. Frank Justus Miller; from the 1917 Loeb edition of Seneca's tragedies)

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