I would like to express the following times in Latin:
- "at four o'clock sharp"
- "every hour, on the hour"
I want to emphasize that the event takes place exactly on the hour. My dictionaries do not contain such time expressions, so I don't know if there is an idiomatic expression for these. Besides looking for something idiomatic, I want to make it as difficult as possible to misinterpret the times. The best translations I have come up with so far are these:
- hora quarta exacte
- quaque hora, hora ineunte/incipiente or quaque hora ineunte/incipiente
In the first one I also thought of hora quarta exacta, but I don't want to turn it into an absolute ablative corresponding to exigere; such interpretation might lead to "at the end of the fourth hour" or "not before five o'clock", so misinterpretation is too easy.
The Latin hora quarta can be thought of as "on the fourth hour" as well as "at four o'clock". Therefore I think a simple hora quarta does not express what I want to say in the first point. And even the English expression "at four o'clock" does not emphasize that something should happen exactly on the hour.
I know that hours were counted from a differently in antiquity than today, from dawn instead of midnight or noon. This is irrelevant for me here so you can ignore this problem; I believe the way of counting hours should be clear enough from context.
What translations would you suggest and why? If you suggestions are different from mine, can you explain why yours would be better?