Questions tagged [medieval-latin]

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

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18
votes
2answers
567 views

Nonne "a fortiori, a priori, a posteriori" solecismi sunt?

Are the terms a fortiori, a priori, and a posteriori bad Latin? If so, how and when did they become established? I understand that the dative case never takes a preposition in Latin—a most welcome ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

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, "...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

When did “c” before “e” or “i” start to be pronounced as [ts] (in contrast to classical [k])?

In Classical Latin, "c" was always pronounced as "k". Since Renaissance Latin grammar reform, the correct pronunciation of "c" before "e" or "i" was codified to [ts]. So in Renaissance the true ...
7
votes
2answers
590 views

What did "quid pro quo" originally mean?

The phrase quid pro quo means "what for what" in Latin, but that makes very little sense to me. Wikipedia hints at the original meaning having to do with substitutions. That makes sense, as pro can ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

"Miserando atque eligendo"

There seem to be two schools of thought about the meaning of the motto on Pope Francis's coat of arms: miserando atque eligendo These words are taken from the 21st homily of the Venerable Bede, ...
14
votes
2answers
535 views

Is there a semantic difference between the two perfect tenses in medieval Latin?

In medieval Latin active perfect forms started to use the auxiliary verb habere with perfect participle. Thus amavi would be replaced with amatum habeo. These two constructions must have coexisted for ...
9
votes
1answer
309 views

Why does the Misal rico de Cisneros uses the word "Qiſſa", and what is it supposed to mean? Why not "Miſſa" (Missa)?

The Misal rico de Cisneros, produced by archbishop Cisneros, the archbishop of Toledo, Spain, in the early sixteenth century, is a Latin Catholic missal also known as the Missale secundum ...
5
votes
1answer
235 views

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 ...
15
votes
2answers
289 views

Can there be double diminutives in Latin?

I've been reading some Latin of the 17th and 18th centuries and am wondering if it is possible for there to be "double diminutives." As I understand it, the word "cerebellum" (Oxford Latin = "brain") ...
6
votes
0answers
266 views

How old is Ecclesiastical Latin Pronunciation?

Salvete, I have trying to research how old the Ecclesiastical Pronunciation of Latin is. To be more precise, I mean the Italianate pronunciation, called 'La Pronuncia Scolastica' in Italian. Many ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

"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 ...
3
votes
0answers
73 views

Zeugma on a genitive noun: extraordinary or prosaic?

This Reddit comment points out that there is a zeugma on a genitive noun in this sentence from the conductus "Sol oritur occasus nescius"* in the Hortus Deliciarum: Et filiæ fit pater filius I'd ...
22
votes
1answer
881 views

When did the word "ly" enter the Latin language and where did it come from?

In an answer to this question, I gave examples of the word "ly" in Medieval Latin. This leads me to wonder when the term entered the language and where it came from? Because it resembles the article ...
12
votes
1answer
183 views

Do different truncation signs have different connotations?

I'm continuing reading Cappelli's The elements of abbreviation in medieval Latin paleography, and early on he discusses medieval truncation signs. There are three types used: An interpunct (first ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

"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....
7
votes
1answer
183 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
508 views

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: "...
5
votes
3answers
304 views

What does Bede's phrase, "suae genti ducatum praebebat, obtinuit," mean?

In Bede's Ecclesiastical History, 2.5, there's a phrase that appears to be the subject of some debate: Nam primus imperium huiusmodi Aelli rex Australium Saxonum; secundus Caelin rex Occidentalium ...
4
votes
0answers
129 views

On the alleged ambiguity of the Ablative Absolute "Mutatis mutandis"

According to the wikipedia entry of Mutatis mutandis, "Mutatis mutandis is a Medieval Latin phrase meaning 'with things changed that should be changed' or 'having changed what needs to be changed'...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Item versi in laude Christi editi a juvenco presbytero. can[untur] quando reversi fuerint et appropinquant regias ecclesie (sic)

This is a rubric for the hymn Gloria, laus, et honor from an 11th century manuscript. I've asked several people for help on it. Some said it is partly in Italian. I'm not sure why the (sic) is ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Elisum nomen ab "a fortiori"

What, if anything, is the elided noun in the phrase a fortiori? A curious variant and a curious translation I had been assuming that the full phrase is a fortiori ratione, "with stronger reason&...