Questions tagged [medieval-latin]

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

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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
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26 votes
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How different were high medieval Latin dialects from different parts of Europe?

There are some regional differences in contemporary Ecclesiastical Latin, mostly in pronunciation (for example, "c" before e/i can be pronounced as [ʧ] or [ts]). Also, I know that as non-natives, ...
Pavel V.'s user avatar
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23 votes
1 answer
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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
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20 votes
7 answers
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"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
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20 votes
2 answers
620 views

How often were medieval scribal abbreviations used?

In the preface to The elements of abbreviation in medieval Latin paleography, Adriano Cappelli writes Take a foreign language, write it in an unfamiliar script, abbreviating every third word, and ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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18 votes
1 answer
376 views

Can "si etiam" have the same meaning as "etiam si"?

As is well known, "etiam si" is a Latin conjunction that means "even if." Are there any examples in Classical or Medieval Latin in which reversing the word order and saying "si etiam" preserves the ...
SAG's user avatar
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17 votes
5 answers
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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, "...
kingledion's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
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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
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17 votes
1 answer
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"Eundem"/"eumdem" in medieval Latin

"Eundem" is the correct accusative of "idem". However, I saw "eumdem" in various texts of medieval and/or Church Latin. So I wonder: when did "eumdem" start to be used, perhaps by non-native Latin ...
Pavel V.'s user avatar
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16 votes
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Why did Medieval Latin use "ad" with the accusative instead of just using the dative?

Part of Documents of Medieval Latin (page 14) states several differences between Classical Latin and Medieval Latin. One is an increased use of prepositions where Classical Latin used a simple ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
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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
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
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Meaning of "Noe" in Medieval Latin carols

Many Medieval Latin hymns, such as "Noe, Noe, psallite" by Jean Mouton (1459-1522), use the word "Noe" in the context of Christmas. My first thought was that it is related to "Noel," used in many ...
brianpck's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
334 views

Why were some medieval maps made in Latin?

Documents in Medieval Latin states that (page 18) Large numbers of maps, from small areas such as the English counties to world maps, were published from the early 16th century onwards. Many ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Representing medieval latin abbreviation symbols in Unicode

I'm trying to understand a paragraph from the 1806 transcription of latin legal texts from 1331, while being proficient at neither law nor latin. An example: which is from page 78 of Placita de quo ...
emrys57's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
Jonathan Scholbach's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
Malcolm McCaffery's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
810 views

What kind of scribal abbreviation for Christi is this?

These are the opening words of the "Subtrahente se famula Christi Liudmila" excerpt from Legenda Christiani (Vita et passio sancti Wenceslai et sanctae Ludmilae avae eius). However, what is ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
262 views

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 ...
nye's user avatar
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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/ (...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
406 views

What does "angelorum planta agmini" mean?

I at least partially understand all the invocations in Litaniae in omni tribulatione, but one stays mysterious: "Angelórum planta ágmini" It's quite Google-proof, a quoted search for it returned only ...
Pavel V.'s user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
189 views

What does "Hæc igitur illico non ingratanter Christianis patuit" mean?

I came across this phrase in Historia Hierosolymitana by Baldricus Dolensis (c. 1050–1130): What does these two sentences mean? I would appreciate any help. Hæc igitur illico non ingratanter ...
turuncu's user avatar
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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
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11 votes
1 answer
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Did the ancients or medievals have a word for the energy stored in plants?

If you spend a little time gardening, you soon become aware that plants store energy in their roots, which they collect from the Sun through their leaves. By the end of Autumn, perennials usually have ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
775 views

When did *discere* come to mean "to teach"?

In Anselm's Cur Deus Homo, 1.9.12, he writes: Verbum autem quod positum est, didicit, duobus modis intelligi potest. Aut enim didicit dictum est pro: alios fecit discere, aut quia, quod per ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
349 views

Why is *salāta feminine? What was the original noun it is modifying?

OED traces the "salad" family of words (Portuguese salada, Fra. salate, Spa. ensalada, Ita. insalata etc.) to spoken Latin *salāta, from the verb salāre. One notices that salāta as well as ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
843 views

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 ...
New User's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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Te tero, Roma, manu nuda, date tela, latete

There's a saying that's interesting for how it's comprised of 8 pairs of reduplicated syllables: Te tero, Roma, manu nuda; date tela, latete It's often loosely translated similarly to below: I will ...
cmw's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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What do three diagonal dots above a letter mean in the "Misal rico de Cisneros" (Spain, 1518)?

I can't seem to find this in any books about medieval scribal abbreviations. Manuscript: http://bdh-rd.bne.es/viewer.vm?id=12826&page=246 page 223/1613 They can be found all throughout the ...
Fredrick Brennan's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
331 views

The medieval abbreviation eccƚie

The abbreviation eccƚie is common in medieval latin texts, like this: which is from page 78 of Placita de quo Warranto. It can also be seen in this text and this text. There is a horizontal bar ...
emrys57's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
770 views

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 ...
Middle School Historian's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
388 views

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?
Geremia's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
5k views

Latin words for “engineer”

While I was reading La révolution industrielle au Moyen Âge (The Medieval Machine: The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages) by Jean Gimpel, I’ve read: In the old texts, James of Saint George ...
Luc's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
324 views

Translation of a passage related to the crusades

I am a historian, and I came across a text from Bauldric of Dol, a medieval historian. This text is about the crusades. I have been unable to translate the following passage. Could someone here help ...
turuncu's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ‘...
Brent Bessemer'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
9 votes
1 answer
232 views

Apicius' "sp[h]ondyli vel fonduli"

Apicius' de re coquinaria (Roman recipe book believed to have been compiled in the 4th/5th century CE) contains, in the book 3 "cepuros" on vegetables, a paragraph (XX, recipes 115 to 121) entitled "...
plannapus's user avatar
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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
9 votes
1 answer
101 views

How did people describe flags and banners using Latin?

This is my first time on the forum, so If there's any tips to get my question answered feel free to share. I have been working on a Minecraft resource pack that changes the Latin setting, hopefully ...
NanoEta's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
5k views

Was there a word which meant roughly the same thing as "nerd" or "geek" does today?

...That is, a word meaning someone with deep and specialized knowledge, and could be used either as a badge of pride: I'm a huge Linux nerd. I helped reoptimize some of the photonal decalcifiers ...
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
3 answers
264 views

Good travel literature written in medieval Latin?

I like reading medieval travel literature and I want to translate a short text (one chapter or two) from medieval Latin into English to improve my translation skills. Unfortunately, most medieval ...
Greenophile's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
585 views

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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
634 views

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 ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
296 views

Can you please translate these paragraphs (13th & 14th century)?

My dad found these two texts in a book whose title I don't know. For a guess of the origin, see below. 13th century: sed libera, mais delivre nous, sire, a malo, de tout mal et de cruel martire ...
xbmono's user avatar
  • 213
8 votes
3 answers
439 views

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 ...
kingledion's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Latin declension of a proper name, especially a city name

How can I figure out the Latin declension of a proper name, especially a city name? For example, consider the city of Marash in Turkey. It appears in various forms in medieval Latin sources: Marasim, ...
turuncu's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
807 views

Were there ever gerunds for posse and esse?

As Figulus stated in a recent answer: But passive infinitives are not the only infinitives which lack a gerund. Posse and esse also lack a gerund, and that brings to my mind the neo-Latin expression, ...
Draconis's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
281 views

Quo viso, ignorantes quid esset, Deo se commitentes, inde ad oppidum

I am trying to translate from Bartolf of Nangis, Gesta Francorum expugnantium Iherusalem. This sentence is below: Quo viso, ignorantes quid esset, Deo se commitentes, inde ad oppidum quod Marescum ...
turuncu's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
871 views

"Inter canem et lupum" in a Latin text?

A search for infra horam vespertinam, inter canem et lupum finds lots of blog posts (and dictionaries!) citing this Latin proverb as the ancestor of French entre chien et loup. (Meaning the evening, ...
Simon Branch's user avatar