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Questions tagged [history]

For questions related to history. Bear in mind that questions about only history are off-topic; there should be a connection to Latin.

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Check my Latin: Note on Ovid’s use of the name Appias. (A fountain, a nymph, and a bunch of lawyers.)

Ovid uses the words Appias or Appiades on three occasions (Ars Amatoria 1.79-88 and 3.447-452; Remedia Amoris 659-660) to refer jokingly to the legal business conducted in the Forum of Julius Caesar. ...
Patricius's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
187 views

Novo v. Novus v. Novum for demonym

What would be the correct or most appropriate demonym for someone who was from New Spain? I have seen “Nova Hispania” used for New Spain in some 17century maps but wikipedia also uses “Viceregnum ...
HispanusHorribilis's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Both 'masculus' and 'vir' mean man/male: what's the difference?

In Latin, masculus means male. Noun masculus m (genitive masculī); second declension a male (of humans or other animals) In Latin, vir also means male. Noun vir m (genitive virī); second ...
user14417's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
127 views

Autistic/schizoid in latin?

What did the Romans—ordinary people or historians like Herodianus and Plinius—call the people who today are considered, in the modern sense, "autistic", or "schizoid". In fact, how ...
ephesinus's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
363 views

What other numeral systems were used in Classical Rome?

In a recent question, I asked what the symbol was used for a thousand in Classical Latin, because I had heard somewhere that it was not 'M' which is what we are currently taught is the symbol (Short ...
Mitch's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
4k views

What was the symbol used for 'one thousand' in Ancient Rome?

I saw an episode of QI (Quite Interesting, a British 'quiz' show that just sort of presents trivia). I don't know the episode or when it was produced (I've searched for it on youtube but haven't found ...
Mitch's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
121 views

Roman awareness of the Italic branch

I've recently learned the Romans and Greeks were aware of their linguistic connection (aeolism). However, I couldn't find anything pertaining to their more obvious relationship with the Sabellic ...
MMastro1610's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
62 views

Possibility of Vulgar Latin or Old Romanian origins of "Akoldo" and "Dir" in medieval Primary Chronicles of Kievan Rus

The names "Akoldo" (that's how he was called for the first time, and later he is mentioned as Askold) and "Dir" are mentioned as the first Varangian rulers of Kiev in the medieval ...
Damir's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
1k views

"Semitic languages" in Classical Latin

The term semiticus is attested in Rudimenta linguae Hebraicae (C. H. Vosen, 1883) but I am more interested in Classical Latin. In English, the expression "Syro-Arabian languages" is ...
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4 votes
1 answer
222 views

On a Quote from St. Gregory and the Contextual Meaning of the Word `Operator'

Contained in St. Alphonsus Liguori's Dignity and Duties of the Priest or Selva, one finds the following passage in the section on "Sanctity Necessary for the Priest": But St. Bernard says, ...
DDS's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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Are the cases in Latin always six?

In a book about linguistics I've read this sentence: Each word has up to six different such 'cases', and each case has distinct endings for singular and plural. Now I'm pretty sure that when I ...
Enlico's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did the ancient Romans write on clay tablets?

I know that the most common writing media for the Latin language were papyrus, stone, wax and wood tablets. But, are there any clay tablets preserved to this day that are written in Latin? All I can ...
SOMEONE's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
102 views

Philip III of France in Latin

Philip III of France is called "the Bold" ("le Hardi" in French). The Latin Wikipedia page translates: "Philippus Animosus" but I can't find any historical source using ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did the ancient inhabitants of Rome who spoke Latin refer to themselves as Latins?

In Ancient Rome (8th century BC to 5th century AD), did the inhabitants use the terms Roman and Latin synonymously to describe themselves as a people?
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3 votes
2 answers
382 views

Is the word "pitikkus" (meaning small) attested in Vulgar (or other) Latin?

Being interested in the obscure etymology of popular Romanian word "pitic" (n.m. "dwarf", adj. "of small stature") I have oddly concentrated only on a possible Greek-...
cipricus's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
931 views

Why is Latin more different and hard to learn for a Romance-language speaker than the other Romance languages?

I am a native Romanian and I can master more or less only English, French and Italian - while Spanish and Bulgarian are transparent to me: but German is not - nor Latin! It seems to me obvious that ...
cipricus's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
371 views

Is the ancient word Greek πῐ́θηκος / píthēkos ("monkey") attested with the meaning "dwarf" more than once?

I am interested in the obscure etymology of popular Romanian word "pitic" (n.m. "dwarf", adj. "of small stature"). It might have a connection with the Latin line that led ...
cipricus's user avatar
  • 423
2 votes
1 answer
131 views

Meaning of old Greek neighborhoods' names

I was curious about the meaning/origins/etymology of the names of some of the well-known historic neighborhoods of central Athens. I can assume that due to their age, there's a connection to classical ...
Cocktail's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

Are tone indicators attested in Latin?

In English it's possible to use emojis or "tags" (/j, /hj, /s, etc.) to indicate that a sentence is a joke, sarcastic, etc. In the long history of the Latin language, was there anything ...
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10 votes
0 answers
182 views

Did the Romans walk their dogs?

Here is a mosaic from Pompeii showing a Roman dog in a leash: (Image from Wikipedia.) Other similar pictures of mosaics are easy to find online, so I am confident that dog leashes were a well known ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
4k views

Origin and actual quote of the proverb "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion"

While searching for the Latin quote of the proverb "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion", I was a bit surprised because the form that I know of that proverb was "It's not enough for ...
Leonardo's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
165 views

Unde orta est sententia "Simplex sigillum veri"?

A little googling reveals that Simplex sigillum veri—"Simplicity is the seal of truth" or "The simple is the mark of the true"—is best known as the motto of Dutch physician ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
246 views

Who assigned numbers to the declensions and conjugations, and why?

Why are the declensions in the order they are? If someone was learning Latin 2000 years ago, would they have used the same numbers? Would they have believed that some god assigned the numbers to the ...
onigame's user avatar
  • 253
3 votes
2 answers
429 views

The classical Latin speakers called Vulgar Latin sermo vulgaris, sermo vulgi, and sermo plebeius, but what did plebeians call their language?

The elite and the educated, the classical latin speakers, called Vulgar Latin sermo vulgaris, sermo vulgi, and sermo plebeius, but what did plebeians and the other non elite Ancient Romans call Vulgar ...
Ana Maria's user avatar
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-4 votes
1 answer
137 views

is there a pronunciation lineage of latin from the dawn of time?

what I mean is that are there people today who learnt the language personally from people who learnt the language personally etc all the way back to whenever we first detect latin in history? the rest ...
Commenter's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
556 views

What are some examples of famous brands in the ancient Roman world?

In the Wikipedia article about brands, they give a few different examples of brands that existed in antiquity. A couple examples are given for ancient Rome, such as Umbricius Scaurus, a manufacturer ...
Adam's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
163 views

What is the event referred to in this passage from Hermann von dem Busche's Vallum Humanitatis?

In Hermann von dem Busche's Vallum Humanitatis, a spirited defense of renaissance humanism against scholastics at the University of Cologne, I have come across a puzzling passage. Ecce tibi, quam ...
Kingshorsey's user avatar
  • 6,624
13 votes
0 answers
186 views

the kiskis and kankan debate: primary sources

There's a very famous story about how in the middle of the sixteenth century the Sorbonne University filed a legal claim to the Parlement de Paris re: the correct pronunciation of qu- in Latin, viz. ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
136 views

How the Latin Hexameter was adopted and developed from the Greek?

In Wikipedia I stumbled upon quite surprising sentence: The hexameter came into Latin as an adaptation from Greek long after the practice of singing the epics had faded. Consequentially, the ...
d_e's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
228 views

Maria mater Domini

The phrase "Maria mater Domini" appears in Pseudo-Papias Fragment X (A fragment attributed by J.B. Lightfoot to Papias of Lombardy, 1040s–1060s, author of the Elementarium Doctrinae ...
Ryan Miller's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
151 views

What is the etymology of the Scythian word "hezios" meaning "covered"?

Pliny the Elder claimed, in the 6th book in the 19th chapter of "Naturalis Historia", that the name "Caucasus" comes from Scythian "kroi hezios" meaning "snow-...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
8 votes
0 answers
681 views

When did "si" become the standard word for "yes" in the Italian peninsula?

I am aware that classical Latin did not have words for "yes" and "no" in the same sense that English does. I know that they could express the idea of "yes" by either ...
David's user avatar
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8 votes
0 answers
166 views

How did Jerome pronounce the Latin language?

Jerome (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) lived between the 4th and 5th centuries. He translated the Bible into Latin as the Vulgate (Biblia Vulgata). How would he have pronounced the Latin language? In ...
Leaky Nun's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
353 views

What are some notable works never translated from Latin?

I guess most, if not all, of classical-period works that have survived, were translated. But I'm certain many of the medieval era works were never published in a language other than their Latin ...
d_e's user avatar
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38 votes
3 answers
8k views

Could all soldiers in the Roman army actually speak Latin?

I am under the impression that men for the legions of the Roman Empire were conscripted across the empire, and so Latin could not have possibly been the first language to every soldier. But could all ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
185 views

What was the latin command to plunder?

After the Gallic Wars, there existed a commanders order to plunder the cities of the vanquished. What was that Latin command?
R. Frank's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
171 views

Did Romulus and Remus have other names?

Throughout Classical times, Romans would often have several names: one person might be identified by praenomen, nomen gentilicum, cognomen, agnomen, signum, and patronymic, all together. Were Roman ...
Draconis's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Which modern language out of French, Italian, and Spanish is most similar to classical latin?

Since Spanish, Italian and French languages are all Romance Languages, which one of them is the most similar one to Classical Latin? I found this Diagram of the Romance Languages on Wikipedia.
Nabla's user avatar
  • 355
7 votes
1 answer
316 views

What did the Romans think about new technology?

Are there any attested texts where a Roman comments on some new technology? The modern world sees a constant flux of them, but technological advancement was slower in antiquity and I do not recall ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
151 views

Is there an etymological connection between "comitia" and "comes"?

In the Roman Republic, the word comitia was used for the various popular assemblies (e.g. comitia centuriata). I can't find any clear indication online as to its etymological roots. I was wondering ...
Brecht Savelkoul's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
228 views

What is "Lux Belli"?

In a certain old text dealing with the Spanish conquest of the Americas, I found the following phrase: El restituirle el derecho, y acciones de Patron, que le tiene quitado, y el Titulo de ...
Obie 2.0's user avatar
  • 151
7 votes
2 answers
554 views

What did bishop Rémi say to Clovis?

When Clovis, the first king of Franks, stepped into the church where we was to be baptized, he was allegedly told by Rémi, bishop of Reims Depona colla, Sicamber. We were taught at school (in ...
WoJ's user avatar
  • 177
9 votes
1 answer
745 views

Meaning of "Spiritus Libertatis"

Another question from the frequent latin expressions in Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. Here a character is complaining about evil followers from Spiritus Libertatis. I saw that this could ...
franksands's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
273 views

Which ancient Latin works survived into the Middle Ages or later but are now lost?

While reading Saint Aldhelm's 'Riddles' I saw a reference to Lucan's Orpheus, a Latin poem written in the first century AD. The seventh century writer Aldhelm had a copy of Orpheus, but it is now lost ...
Scott Brown's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Origin of the Latin Language?

Latin is an Italic language which originated in the Italian peninsula, and was originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome located along the Mediterranean Sea. Similar to most European languages, ...
Quidam's user avatar
  • 1,776
5 votes
0 answers
96 views

How did the Romans salute the Republic?

Are there any known phrases that were used by Romans to celebrate or cheer for the Republic? Something like Ave Res Publica ? Or maybe they'd cheer for something else, like for the Senate or for the ...
buræquete's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
249 views

Extra initial Aeneid lines in 1662 M. de Marolles version

I have a 1662 version of the Aeneid, with Latin and French on facing pages, with the French having been translated by M. de Marolles, Abbé de Villeloin, [additional book info continues: À Paris, Chez ...
user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
4k views

Historicity doubted by Romans

The Roman historians seem happy to mix history with myth with no discussion on the reliability of one's sources — or even a mention of the sources in the first place. I would like to imagine ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
121 views

Written evidence of a ten-month calendar

There is speculation that prior to the republic Roman calendar there was an earlier calendar instated by Romulus and consisting of ten months. I do not want to discuss here whether Romulus existed and ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
214 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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar