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Questions tagged [medieval-latin]

Questions regarding the Latin of the Medieval period, approximately 500–1400

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What is the Tinctura Physica?

This question quotes an alchemical text by Sendivogius, which mentions the Tinctura Physica as equivalent to the Lapis Philosophorum, i.e. the Philosopher's Stone. But what exactly was the Tinctura ...
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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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Translation of the latin word 'sit' in Thomas Aquinas' works

Modern translations of medieval texts frequently translate the Latin verb 'sit' as he/she/it is. However, 'sit' is the subjunctive mood of the verb 'sum'. In my view it should be translated as he/...
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What is the “apparatus fontium”?

I have encountered with apparatus fontium for example in this reference: Gundissalinus, De divisione philosophiae, apparatus fontium ad pp. 36 –7 What is it and what is it's the literal meaning?
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Meaning of “individuandum”

What is the meaning and structure of individuandum? I guess that it is an accusative gerund of unknown verb to me. For example in this context: (Siger de Brabant, Quaestiones in metaphysicam, 1981, p....
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In what sense is a university (universitas) a whole?

The word for a university in many languages (not Finnish though!) comes the Latin word universitas. The word appears to mean roughly "the whole", but one might also analyze it along the lines of "...
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What sort of grammatical construct is ‘Quod per sortem sternit fortem’?

In the poem ‘O Fortuna’ (anon., 13th c., but made famous by Carl Orff’s setting), there is this verse: Quod per sortem sternit fortem mecum omnes plangite! This is typically translated as ‘...
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Which Latin verb was closer to the current meaning of English “solve”?

Nowadays the English verb solve means: Find an answer to, explanation for, or means of effectively dealing with (a problem or mystery). The etymology of the word indicates that it comes: from ...
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Help with paleography in a 16th century grant

I'm transcribing/translating a 16th century document relating to my ancestors, but struggling with a few words. One in particular is proving difficult - the contracted last word on the 1st line of the ...
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How does one “imitate into everything”?

"Good King Wenceslas" is a classic Christmas song, but its melody was taken from an older song: "Tempus Adest Floridum", from the Finnish carol book Piae Cantiones ("Pious Songs"). The first few ...
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what does “less correctly” mean in the Lewis & Short?

1. L&S: caenum (less correctly coenum) L&S: cena (not coena, caena) It seems “coenum” and “coena” both are medieval spellings which were straight borrowed from Greek. So both of them should ...
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Was the name “Sasan/Sassan” often spelled with a double S in Latin or Greek?

A question on ELU (“Sassanian” vs. “Sasanian”) brought up the fact that the name of Sāsān has often been spelled in English with a double S in the middle: "Sassan". (The same goes for related words ...
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Meaning of “naturam unibilitatis”

In Summa theologiae (ST I q. 29 a. 1 ad 5) one can read: Ad quintum dicendum quod anima est pars humanae speciei, et ideo, licet sit separata, quia tamen retinet naturam unibilitatis, non potest ...
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Latin etymology of Spanish “tarde”

In Spanish, the word "tarde" has two different meanings: The part of the day between noon and dusk. Equivalent to the English noun "afternoon". Happening after the due, usual, or proper time. ...
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Pun on Leibniz quote

Can anyone help me out with the two Latin sentences in the quote below ? After googling and looking up a dictionary I was only able to come up with something like, "It is unncessary to employ many ...
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What does “Sion respectat dominus” mean?

I want to ask a question about medieval Latin. Sion respectat dominus. Does this sentence in English mean: "The lord gives some thought to Zion"? Is this translation correct? This title is from ...
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Translating “jerusalem duplici jugo gravata” into English

What does this mean? jerusalem duplici jugo gravata Ekkehard of Aura was the monk in medieval. He departed to the crusades of 1101. This sentence is from his book Hierosolimita in RHC V, PP. 1-40.
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Latin Bibles (other than Vulgata) available as text?

Is it possible to find the text online of any of the Bibles/NT's in the list below? I fetched the "text only" option of Beza's NT from archive.org, but the amount of typos is considerable :( Theodore ...
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How might I write a latin phrase for swapping bodies?

Putting together a small literary piece where an item is inscribed with a Latin phrase that hints that it can be used to swap bodies (or minds, depending, I suppose, on your perspective) with another ...
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What's the translation of this Medieval document?

This is a page taken from a medieval breviary from 13th century Italy Found this document at The Antiquarium in Houston. Would like to know what it is describing. Translations as well as paraphrases ...
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meaning of “status” and “condiciones”

I'm reading Olaus Magnus's 1550 Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus, earumque diversis statibus, condicionibus, moribus, ritibus, superstitionibus, disciplinis, exercitiis, regimine, victu, bellis, ...
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Medieval irregularities in the conjugation of salveo?

In the medieval hymn, Dies Irae, there is a stanza: Rex tremendæ majestatis, Qui salvandos salvas gratis, Salva me, fons pietatis. Which I guess is intended to be understood as: King of ...
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Few are saved, many are damned

In Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror; in chapter 2, in her description of the Medieval church, she uses the phrase 'Salvandorum paucitas, damnandorum multitudo' to describe the general opinion of the ...
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References of medieval ornithology terms

I was browsing through the Czech-Latin dictionary Glossarius by Magister Bohemarius Bartholomaeus de Solencia dictus Claretus, which also lists an impressive collection of zoology terms, and I found ...
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Deciphering Latin text in an illuminated musical manuscript

I'm trying to decipher this text, or find at least part of a sentence so I can find the complete text online. I believe it's Latin, but stand to be corrected. The primary reason is I wanted to see if ...
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Meaning and etymology of 'vinnola' or 'vinola' or 'vinnus' (music term)?

I stumbled onto the word 'vinola' or 'vinnola' and the allegedly related 'vinnus' in treatises on medieval chant. I don't see these words in Wiktionary or any online dictionaries. Does anybody know ...
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Where is the database of “Corpus Latinorum Et Mediaevalium Naturae Scriptorum”, promised 10 years ago

Has anybody found the actual database of "Corpus Latinorum Et Mediaevalium Naturae Scriptorum" instead of just project notes? The descriptions look incredibly promising: CLEMENS, acronym for Corpus ...
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Origin and explanation of memoriae

For an assignment, I have been translating several Latin inscription (on tombstones) from 400–600 AD and one phrase that occurs quite often is memoriae (sometimes with an adjective such as ...
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Does this adverb phrase apply to one or both verbs separated by 'vel'?

The quote below is from the Instituta Patrum de modo psallendi, an anonymous Carolingian or High Medieval (I myself would date it 800s or 900s) document on singing psalms in Gregorian chant. Source ...
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How can you translate the expression “Kindled embers” to preserve the meaning of smoldering chunks of coal or wood?

I'm in need of translating this expression to Latin for a project of mine. I really tried figuring this out using Google but I came to a short end. Could anyone help me?
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How can the use of “-aeus” as an adjective suffix in “Herculaeus” be explained?

Apparently, the English word "Herculean" has an old spelling variant "Herculæan". This seems to correspond to a Latin variant of the adjective "herculeus/Hercŭlĕus" spelled "Herculæus" (example: "...
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Motto of Sir Francis Drake

The motto of Sir Francis Drake is: Sic parvis magna It is usually translated as "Greatness from small beginnings", but what is the literal translation? Would be be something like "Thus from ...
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16th stanza of Dies irae

The 16th stanza of Dies irae reads: Confutatis maledictis, Flammis acribus addictis, Voca me cum benedictis. Why are the first two lines in 2nd person plural, while the last one is 2nd ...
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Philosophically sound English translation of Duns Scotus's “sed forma non cognoscitur nisi ex operationibus”?

In Libri 1, Quaestio XX, sec. 26, of Duns Scotus's In Octo Libros Physicorum Aristotelis, Duns Scotus gives expression to a common tenet of a doctrine of the Forms when he writes [S]ed forma non ...
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Reading a snippet of 15th century handwriting in Latin

The Lilly library has a Gutenberg bible on display and the page that it is open to varies. This week the page had a marginal comment in it, which is unusual for this particular copy, and I was hoping ...
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What does 'ANGLORUM REGIS QUI COR LEONIS DICTUS' mean?

In the cathedral of Rouen I visited the grave of Richard I the Lionheart. It has an inscription: ANGLORVM REGIS QVI COR LEONIS DICTVS So what is the best translation? King of England, who ruled ...
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“Et in terra pax hominibus bona voluntas” [sic!]

I have a German Christmas song of the 16th century, which is bilingual, German–Latin. The lyrics go as follows (I translated the German parts into English): O how beautiful the group of ...
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Was “dominus” or similar used with a title?

If a person is addressed formally with a title, it seems to vary from language to language (and to some extent within a single language) whether a word like "Mr" or "Herr" (German) is used. In Finnish ...
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Contradictory interpretations of a charter by King Robert the Bruce circa 1314 in medieval Latin

The Charter can be found in Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum Vol 1, Appendix i, #71. It reads: "Carta Malcolmi Comitis de Levenax. Robertus etc. Cum concessimus Malcolmo comiti de Levenax ...
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Books of reading medieval Latin manuscripts

I would like to learn how to read medieval Latin manuscripts, but they often use abbreviations/shorthand. What are some books that would help me read these manuscripts?
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Who asked whom about the cape of parchment? And who answered?

I quote this cautionary tale about the dangers of studying Scholastic logic in full because it's just too good not to, but my question is only about the part in bold face: Parisius accidit, quod ...
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Did Boethius write in Classical, Late, or Medieval Latin?

Did Boethius write in Classical, Late, or Medieval Latin? His style does not appear medieval in the Peter of Spain sense of Medieval Latin; however, it does not appear to be classical in the ...
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Hominem super hominem

I'm really struggling with a passage in a 12th century manuscript extolling the virtues of studying astrology that I'm working on for my thesis. The sentence is: De huius utilitate autem superfluum ...
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Does Ordericus/i end with a “us” or “i”?

Why do some Latin names end with both an "us" and an "i"? For example, Ordericus Vitalis, or Orderici Vitalis, Ekkehardus Uraguensis, or Ekkehardi Compare this edition in Latin v. this edition in ...
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What does this manuscript say?

On the Medieval Latin Wikipedia page, this image is present under Influences: Christian Latin. I can make out some of the words, but I'm not particularly good with interpreting scribes' handwriting. I ...
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Is filius necessarily a biological descendant?

I saw a Latin inscription in a church in Rome years ago, and there was an interesting feature. It mentioned a pope and his filius. We were a couple of Latinists and we agreed that so it said, but we ...
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“Nil virtus generosa timet”

The phrase "NIL VIRTUS GENEROSA TIMET", sometimes also found as "Nihil virtus generosa timet", was, supposedly, the divise or motto of Bertrand du Guesclin, French knight during the Hundred Years' War....
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Does “a priori” have an implied substantive?

Is a priori short for a longer phrase of the form a priori _____? If so, what is the elided substantive? Background, or, How I Got Confused I'm pretty sure that a fortiori is short for a fortiori ...
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Is pronouncing 'th' as 's' in 'Boethius' typical in any common Latin pronunciation scheme?

I'm listening to lectures by theologian Douglas Kelly (Medieval Theology, lectures 7 and 8), in which he repeatedly pronounces the name Boethius as: boh-EE-see-us (how it sounds to me) /boʊˈiːsiəs/ (...
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What is a Latin version of Inshallah?

Anyone who served in the military in Iraq (and probably anyone who has done business in the Gulf) in the last 15 years is familiar with the term 'Inshallah.' I suppose it means 'God willing,' as in, "...