The word "romance" seems to come from Latin, but no similar Latin word appears to mean anything related. Is there a good Latin word for a romance, a kind of an intimate relationship? I cannot think of anything close than amicitia, but that is not quite a romance unless I am mistaken.

  • 2
    FYI: lingua romana was used as a word for the Romance languages in the modern era. So it was used for literature not written in Latin, but in the vernecular (French). So developed the name of the literary genre "Roman" (French and German, "novel" in English). Certain types of literature were later described "as in a Roman", so the epoch of Romanticism got its name. From that meaning also the word "romance" evolved.
    – K-HB
    Apr 3 '19 at 15:36

I would suggest amor and especially its plural: amores.

I think the plural would be better because singular amor is quite common and generic, though it covers what we mean by "romance." My sense (despite the fact that L&S does not distinguish the meaning of singular and plural) is that amores has a slightly difference nuance, even though it still be used generically for more things than English "romance," e.g. the actual object of my romance.

A good example comes from Plautus' Mercator, which begins with Charinus laying out the argumentum:

Duas res simul nunc agere decretumst mihi:
et argumentum et meos amores eloquar.

Riley translates as:

Two things have I now resolved to do at the same time;
both the subject and my own amours will I disclose.

I think we can feasibly translate "meos amores eloquar" as: "I shall tell you of my romance."

  • Also Ovid's famous Amorēs
    – Draconis
    Apr 3 '19 at 15:28

Plautus seems to use intimus substantively at Mil Gl II,i (l. 108) :

itaque intimum ibi se miles apud lenam facit

Although it is perhaps not exactly a 'romance' in this case (!), it does suggest (to me, at any rate) that intimitia might serve, though it is not, I think, attested.

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