Questions tagged [medieval-latin]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
28 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
Pavel V.'s user avatar
  • 1,873
20 votes
7 answers
5k 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, ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 15.9k
17 votes
5 answers
8k 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, "...
kingledion's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
733 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 ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 15.9k
14 votes
2 answers
706 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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
11k 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 ...
Jonathan Scholbach's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
351 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 ...
Fredrick Brennan's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
762 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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
313 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 ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 15.9k
3 votes
0 answers
89 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 ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 15.9k
23 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
SAG's user avatar
  • 1,022
15 votes
2 answers
425 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") ...
twoblackboxes's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
233 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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 2,490
9 votes
1 answer
262 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
3 answers
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....
Rodia's user avatar
  • 405
8 votes
1 answer
304 views

Can you identify this medieval glyph?

In the attached image from a medieval Florentine manuscript, what is the character/abbreviation after "donavit"? There also seems to be a version of it in the word before "ecclesiam&...
ed94133's user avatar
  • 235
7 votes
1 answer
231 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 ...
Noah Snyder's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
516 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 ...
Paulus Filius Rogeri's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
839 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: "...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 28.5k
5 votes
1 answer
362 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'...
Mitomino's user avatar
  • 8,501
5 votes
3 answers
332 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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
120 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 ...
R. B. Jawad's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
53 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&...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 15.9k
2 votes
1 answer
168 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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66k