4

Continuing my series of questions about Malta (locative vs. in and monumentum/monimentum), I would like to ask about an inscription I saw in St. John's co-cathedral in Valletta.

The floor was tiled with tombstones with inscriptions in Latin. The one in the picture below starts: Heic in pulvere dormit fr[ater] Hieronymus de nobilibus Cataciensis qui omnibus equitis religiosi numeris absolutus gravissima sacro ordini praestitit…

A tombstone in Latin

What immediately caught my attention is the first word heic, which seems to stand for hic, "here". Is this variation common? Does it already appear in older Latin, or is it a medieval or later thing? I think this tomb is from the 18th century although the date is just outside the frame.

(If you have trouble parsing the text, please ask a separate question!)

4

You're right: heic is an archaic form of the adverb hīc.

See the latter entry at III.2:

hīc (old form heic; and with the interrog. part. ne, hicine ), adv. loci, in this place, here.

A corpus search reveals 0 results for that form. I did find at least one other inscription from Spain that uses the same form:

heus viator si ulla tibi / pietas inest verte huc / ora / heic sunt cineres c canii / poetae qui ad quart us/que olimp in urbe omnib / karus vix deinde in hispan / revers nemin laes tand / cum ad veteres cuper sodal / in latium remeare per/petuoq cum populo quir / viv dura nimium fata prae/ripuere et in itin occub / l albinus cit hisp proc hoc / marmore texit

  • 1
    If it's an archaic form, why is it showing up in the 18th century? – Draconis May 25 '18 at 22:20
  • Deliberate antiquarianism is the only reasonable answer. And the less commonplace Latin was becoming, I'd assume, the more latitude for idiosyncrasy. – Nick Nicholas Jul 22 '18 at 23:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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