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Questions tagged [classical-latin]

Questions concerning Latin of the classical era, approximately 75 BCE to 300 CE

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looking for a pair of texts in a Greek/Latin comedy

I'm looking for any pair of texts (Ancient Greek, Latin), meeting the following criteria: Both texts may be very brief. The Latin text should be a translation very close to the Greek text. The Greek ...
26
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7answers
10k views

How do you say “please” in Classical Latin?

I'm wondering how to say "please" in Classical Latin like "please" as in "can I PLEASE have that?" or "PLEASE go away" or something like that.
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3answers
63 views

Keep on dreaming

My niece is turning 18 and I want to get her a bracelet with something in Latin engraved. Im looking for something in the lines of "keep on dreaming". Can anyone help?
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2answers
326 views

Longest Text in Latin

What are the longest texts, say top 5, transmitted via manuscript from the Classical/Early Medieval period?
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1answer
240 views

“ne paelici suspectaretur” (Tacitus)

Tacitus, Annales 4.3: pellit domo Seianus uxorem Apicatam, ex qua tres liberos genuerat, ne paelici suspectaretur. The translation on Perseus (Church and Brodribb) gives: Sejanus, to avert his ...
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3answers
466 views

How did Latin sound?

Does anybody know how normal Latin dialog sounded — not the oratory or ecclesiastical versions? Are there any audio files that you recommend?
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3answers
194 views

“Fīliolō me auctum scito, salva Terentia”; what is “me” role in this phrase?

Is "Fīliolō me" the ablative of the phrase or "me" refers to "me auctum" in the accusative? If is in the ablative, how does it translates?
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5answers
3k views

Why is there no future perfect subjunctive in Latin?

Why is there no future perfect subjunctive verb form in classical Latin? I can't think of a time it would be used, but I can think of an English translation: "if subject were to have verbed, then ...
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1answer
149 views

“Explaining oneself” in Classical Latin

How should I say in Classical Latin the following phrases? "Explain yourself!" "I didn't explain myself well", "I didn't make myself / wasn't clear" I've been thinking of the verbs explico and ...
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2answers
193 views

-NL- and -LL- in Classical Latin

I just stumbled upon an old meta question about the name of our chat room, and a comment gave me the impression that the classical spelling would be conloquium rather than colloquium. (Let me ignore ...
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2answers
107 views

How did dogs and wolves compare in the Roman mind?

The Romans knew both dogs and wolves. But how similar and how dissimilar did they think they were, as indicated by their literature? I am looking for an understanding about Roman views on dogs and ...
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2answers
166 views

When were neuter nouns used in the vocative?

It seems that neuter nouns have vocative forms that are identical to their nominative/accusative forms. Most neuter nouns don't have a meaning that seems to me to fit easily with the use of the ...
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1answer
51 views

Latin original for “Would you have a great empire?” saying, by Publilius Syrus

Can someone provide the original Latin translation for Publilius Syrus's famous axiom, "Would you have a great empire? Rule over yourself." I have searched online and not been able to find it in Latin....
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1answer
94 views

Is “que” or “et” better for a “God and Family” tattoo?

Hi I’m planning to have a tattoo and I would like to have a translation in Latin of “God and Family”. Which one is appropriate, "deo et familia" or "deo familiaque"?
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2answers
276 views

The idiom “poenas dare” is translated passively. Why?

I'm new to Latin. I've been learning for about a month. I'm wondering if anyone can explain why "poenas dare" is often translated as "to pay the penalties" instead of "to give the penalties". I feel ...
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2answers
216 views

Can 'non' with gerundive mean both lack of obligation and negative obligation?

If a gerundive is used with non, can it mean both lack of obligation and negative obligation? For example, can non loquendum est mean both "it is not necessary to speak" and "it is necessary not to ...
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0answers
132 views

How things change in Latin

After having provided an answer to Draconis’ question ( Did Latin have any ergative verbs? ), I was wondering about the (very subtle?) meaning differences involved in triads like {aperit/se aperit/...
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1answer
93 views

Are there Roman accounts of Easter?

Now that it is Easter time, I wonder whether the Romans wrote about Easter. I am looking for non-Christian accounts in Latin describing the events of Jesus's death and subsequent resurrection. I ...
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2answers
5k views

What is the most neutral word for “shield”?

As you know, Latin language has several terms for what we call "shield", namely clipeus, scutum, parma, pelta etc. I'm just wondering which among them is the most "neutral" or "common" word that ...
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1answer
79 views

Switches between Direct & Indirect Speech in Suetonius

Suetonius, Caius (Caligula) 58: alii [tradunt] Sabinum summota per conscios centuriones turba signum more militiae petisse et Gaio 'Iouem' dante Chaeream exclamasse: 'accipe ratum!' ...
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1answer
61 views

Present Participles: can “respicienti” be part of an ablative absolute in this sentence?

Suetonius, Caius (Caligula) 58: ...alii Sabinum summota per conscios centuriones turba signum more militiae petisse et Caio "lovem" dante Chaeream exclamasse: "accipe ratum" respicientique maxillam ...
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1answer
31 views

Switches Between Direct & Indirect Speech in Suetonius-Supplemental

Suetonius, Caius (Caligula) 58: concerns the assassination of Emperor Caius (Caligula) on January 21st., AD 41. At this point, the assassins have struck the first blows and Caius, still alive, ...
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3answers
172 views

Does scansion ever require synizesis of two similar vowels?

Does scansion ever require a synizesis like ŭŭ > ū or with u replaced by another vowel? I am not sure if this should be called synizesis when the two joined vowels have the same ...
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3answers
698 views

Did an internal m nasalize the preceding vowel?

We know that the final m was not a full consonant in classical Latin, but denoted nasalization and elongation of the preceding vowel. See this or this old question for more details. Was this effect ...
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0answers
42 views

How often were names ending in -um used in real life?

There seem to be a number of examples of personal names ending in -um in the works of Plautus (apparently, they also show up in Terence1). In a discussion on Wiktionary, I found an interesting comment ...
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Quality of final ĕ ĭ ŏ

Evidence from the Romance languages provides fairly good evidence for distinct qualities, [ɛ] vs. [eː], for ĕ and ē in stressed syllables when followed by a consonant. Likewise for ŏ and ō as [ɔ] vs. [...
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1answer
245 views

Why is elision more common than synizesis?

In classical poetry, if two vowels are next to each other (without a consonant in between), there are two ways to avoid the collision: Elision removes one of the vowels when the vowels meet at a word ...
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0answers
55 views

How do we know how -iī and -iit perfects were stressed?

The question Are there exceptions to the Latin stress rules? has an answer by Joel Derfner saying that the first-person singular perfect forms dormiī, audiī, veniī (for dormīvī, audīvī, venīvī) have ...
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1answer
134 views

Understanding “audieritis” in Psalm 94

Consider the following excerpt from Psalm 94 in the Vulgate. Hódie, si vocem eius audiéritis, nolíte obduráre corda vestra, sicut in exacerbatióne secúndum diem tentatiónis in desérto: ubi ...
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2answers
111 views

Expressing outrage

I'm looking for a way to express in Latin "she broke a blood-vessel in a fit of passion". It's an English idiom, not to be taken literally, but used to express a burst of outrage or anger. I need ...
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2answers
260 views

Are vowels long before “gn”?

Allen and Greenough, §10d, provide a general rule: A vowel before ns, nf, gn, is long: as in cōnstāns, īnferō, māgnus [emphasis modified] This seems to agree with Priscian: 'gnus' quoque vel '...
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1answer
35 views

Self-teaching: Good resource for learning subjunctive

I am self-teaching Latin and have no instructors to whom I can ask questions. I am at a loss for learning subjunctive (mostly its uses and translating into English) and would like a resource that ...
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2answers
43 views

How to do indefinite person with verbs

In English you can conjugate like so: I eat You eat He/she/it eats We eat You all eat They eat But you can also conjugate with a variety of “indefinite” pronouns: One eats Everyone ...
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3answers
4k views

How do we know how the Romans pronounced Latin?

A quick Google Search says plenty of things about Roman Latin pronunciation, and since it's an edu domain I'm inclined to believe it. However, the closest to citing a source it gets is saying "we know ...
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2answers
791 views

Meaning of “SEVERA INDEOVI VAS” from 3rd Century slab

Can someone explain the meaning of the words "SEVERA INDEOVI VAS" on this slab: According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depiction_of_Jesus, the above image is of an "Incised sarcophagus slab with ...
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1answer
105 views

Who are Maecenas' atavi?

The first verse of the first ode in the first book of odes by Horatius is Maecenas atavis edite regibus You Maecenas, who descend from great-great-great-grandfathers that were kings Who are ...
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1answer
816 views

Etymology of ambulance

For a while I have been curious about the etymology of the English word 'ambulance' since it seems to be derived from the Latin word 'ambulare' (to walk). This seems a strange origin for the word. ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the most common classical Latin word that we don't understand?

I assume that we do not know the meaning of every single word attested in classical and older Latin (literature, inscriptions, and other material). If this assumption is false, it makes this question ...
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3answers
576 views

What is analysis in Latin?

The word "analysis" is found in some form in a number of languages, and it is of Greek origin. I could not think of a Latin term meaning "analysis" (as the word is used today, which may or may not be ...
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1answer
161 views

Are there attestations of Greco-Latin contact languages from antiquity?

When speakers of different languages meet they often develop some contact language or pidgin containing elements of both languages. Surely speakers of Greek and Latin met in the antiquity at several ...
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1answer
83 views

Requests with 'posse'

In English and many other languages, asking "can you close the window?" is not an inquiry on the ability to close the window but rather a request to do so. Can the (classical) Latin posse be used the ...
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1answer
2k views

How do I know where to place macrons?

How do I use macrons? I understand what they do and how they do it, I just don't understand how you know when and where to place them.
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1answer
155 views

Plura or pluria?

Before answering this recent question about the US motto, I had to check whether the neuter version of plures is plura or pluria. I had recalled right: plura appears to be indeed the sole form used in ...
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1answer
1k views

John 3:16 In Latin

I know that there exist many Ecclesiastical Latin and Medieval translations kept by professors and most catholic churches, but I decided, just to test my vocabulary, to translate John 3:16 into ...
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0answers
43 views

Verbal Adjective of Necessity vs. Possibility

Greek distinguishes between verbal adjectives ending in -τέος and verbal adjectives ending in -τός. The latter (according to Smyth) express either possibility or the perfect passive participle (e.g. '...
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3answers
277 views

Length of i in Vergilius' “ferentis”

In the famous line "quicquid id est timeo Danaos et dona ferentis" Vergilius uses an older plural accusative form ferentis instead of ferentes. (It is unimportant here whether quicquid or quidquid is ...
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3answers
278 views

Comparison of participles

Participles behave much like adjectives. Do they also have comparative and superlative forms? They are easy enough to form: ferentior, dicturissimus. More precisely, are any comparatives or ...
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1answer
144 views

Is it idiomatic to say “Intellego” to assure the speaker you're understanding?

In other words, when an English speaking person would say "I see" meaning "I understand what you're saying", is it natural in classical Latin to say Intellego, as in, maybe even more than once? If not,...
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1answer
146 views

Which mora of a stressed long vowel or diphthong bears the emphasis?

When a stress falls on a long vowel or a diphthong as in, for example: dīcō (IPA /ˈdiː.koː/) coepiō (IPA: /ˈkoe̯.pi.oː/) should I think that the emphasis: falls on the first mora, falls on the ...
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1answer
102 views

Subject-verb agreement when the subject is a dominant participle construction

My question is whether constructions similar to the following English one can exist in Latin, i.e., constructions where (i) the subject is formed by a plural noun plus an obligatory/"dominant" ...