Questions tagged [passage-request]

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5
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1answer
329 views

Did Plato describe man as “a being in search of meaning”?

I happened upon this Quora question, in which the quote "man, a being in search of meaning" is ascribed to Plato. Did Plato write this and if so, where? Obviously there are other Platonic ...
4
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3answers
3k views

Good examples of common gender nouns

Some Latin nouns are common gender: their grammatical gender varies depending whether they refer to a male or a female (human or other animal). This is mentioned in many Latin grammars (including ...
6
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0answers
63 views

How was the Concept of Price-Wage Inflation Expressed in the Roman World?

Inflation bedevils capitalist economies. Despite the power of Rome, the low-wage slave-economy, and a single currency (quite an achievement), the Roman World suffered from inflation. This happened ...
12
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1answer
1k views

How did the Romans congratulate a new father?

One of our users recently became a father and of course congratulations are in order. How did the Romans do that? More specifically, are there any attested congratulations to a new father in the ...
20
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3answers
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 ...
7
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0answers
387 views

Is “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end” correctly attributed to Seneca (the younger)?

The quote is a fairly well know lyric in the 1998 song Closing Time by Semisonic. In the Wikipedia entry for the song, it claims "The song ends with a quote attributed to Roman Stoic philosopher ...
6
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1answer
268 views

Were mushrooms vegetables to Romans?

Mushrooms are taxonomically clearly distinct from plants and animals (and other kingdoms), but in "cuisine taxonomy" they are typically included in plants. The word "vegetables" in ...
22
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1answer
3k views

A story of a king who wanted to simplify Latin grammar

I vaguely remember reading a story years ago, and it was something like this: A king in medieval Europe knew some Latin but made mistakes. I think there was something like him writing plurals ...
9
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3answers
211 views

Did the ancients write that their sculpture is painted?

I have the impression that for a long time scholars thought that ancient Greek and Roman sculpture was unpainted, and marble statues would be wholly white, but the modern consensus is that sculpture ...
11
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1answer
473 views

Numbering of persons

It is conventional to number the three persons of Latin and Greek and many other languages so that the first person is the speaker, the second one is the listener, and the third one is anyone else. ...
7
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0answers
80 views

Is there a pre-Christian Roman story of “coming to faith”?

Is there a story in the Roman literature of someone previously not believing in the traditional Roman gods or a specific deity within their pantheon but later, after a vision or another experience, ...
5
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1answer
132 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 ...
7
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2answers
175 views

Is the Abrahamic god ever named in Classical-era Latin or Greek?

As far as I'm aware, the Septuagint, New Testament, and Vulgata never directly transcribe the Tetragrammaton (יהוה) into Greek or Latin: they substitute in words like κύριος/dominus "lord" or θεός/...
6
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1answer
113 views

finding a Latin quote

I am reading the book "6/5" by Alexandre Laumonier, in French about high-frequency trading in electronic financial markets (bear with me). Near the end of "5", he says Pour autant, comme l'écrivit ...
2
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1answer
98 views

A poem about looking back without regret

There's an adage I've heard about grief: look back and be happy about the time you had, rather than regret what might have been. The Roman lyricists seem to have poems for every possible aspect of ...
6
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2answers
149 views

Looking a gift horse in the mouth

A common phrase for mistrust towards a given gift is looking a gift horse in the mouth. As explained in Wiktionary (linked above), the saying goes back to the New Testament via St. Jerome's Latin ...
4
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1answer
64 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 ...
4
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1answer
2k views

What is the origin of “Wonder begets wisdom?”

Socrates famously said, "Wonder begets wisdom." Where is this passage from and what is the full text translation? There seems to be some great missing context...
4
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0answers
70 views

Is Hades ever associated with iron?

Traditionally, the Greek and Roman god of the dead is associated with gold and silver, since he controls everything under the earth: he has epithets like Plūtōn "the [god] of riches" and Dīs Pater "...
2
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1answer
106 views

Branches of Roman military in Latin

The military force of a country is often divided in branches such as an army, a navy, and an air force. There are many other branches out there, but the point is that I am looking for a division of ...
2
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1answer
82 views

Are there Classical attestations of specifically “Etruscan” deities?

As the Roman Empire expanded, the state religion incorporated new deities and practices from all over the world: Bacchus, for example, was borrowed from the Greeks, while Isis came from Egypt, and ...
10
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1answer
159 views

Do any Latin authors mention other Italic languages?

By the power of modern linguistics, quite a lot is known about the early history of Latin: for quite a while it coexisted with close relatives like Oscan, Umbrian, and Faliscan, as well as the ...
7
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1answer
91 views

When was a pair of Greek and Roman gods first identified?

There is a canonical correspondence between some Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, for example Ares and Mars. However, these two were originally different deities: Ares represented rage in war and ...
16
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4answers
494 views

Where did the Romans think Latin comes from?

Did the Romans have a theory for the origin of their language? I assume there were several ideas, and it would be great to see a summary of them. No need to go very deep on any individual theory; a ...
5
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2answers
227 views

How did dogs and wolves compare in the Roman mind?

The Romans knew both dogs and wolves. But how similar and how dissimilar did they think they were, as indicated by their literature? I am looking for an understanding about Roman views on dogs and ...
2
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1answer
132 views

Latin original for “Would you have a great empire?” saying, by Publilius Syrus

Can someone provide the original Latin translation for Publilius Syrus's famous axiom, "Would you have a great empire? Rule over yourself." I have searched online and not been able to find it in Latin....
5
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1answer
116 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 ...
4
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1answer
133 views

Do the Romans write about “converting” foreign gods?

I've heard stories of Roman legions preparing for a battle by praying to the enemies' gods, offering them worship back in Rome if they'll switch sides and help the Romans win. This was one of the ways ...
3
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1answer
142 views

Did the Romans mention any excavations?

The Romans wrote about history and recognized monuments from past eras both at home and abroad. But it occurs to me that I have never heard of them digging anything up — I fail to recall ...
4
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2answers
220 views

Did the Greeks or Romans have future fiction?

Did the Greeks or Romans have any literature describing events in the future? The modern era has produced a number of books and movies concerning a future society with flying cars or other ...
5
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1answer
248 views

Do we ever see “in saeculo saeculorum”?

Recently, luchonacho asked about the phrase in saecula saeculōrum: literally, "into the lifetimes of the lifetimes". It's kind of a weird phrase, for multiple reasons. However, I'd always thought the ...
4
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0answers
64 views

Roman adage: The best death

There is a very famous quotation from one of the Roman authors to the effect that the best death is the one for which you can choose the time, and the second best is the one that comes unexpected. For ...
7
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1answer
266 views

What did the Romans think about female leadership?

Women seem to be absent from leading roles in Roman politics. However, the Romans were in interaction with other nations with female leaders, both historically (e.g. Cleopatra of Egypt) and mythically ...
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2answers
2k views

Descriptive example of Cicero's style

Cicero has produced quite a lot of Latin prose in what is considered excellent style. I would like to find ways to demonstrate briefly what Cicero's style is all about. If you had to demonstrate ...
10
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1answer
308 views

What errors did the Greeks typically make in Latin?

Suppose a person born and educated in Greece comes to ancient Rome. They have learned Latin and can converse fluently, but not at a native level. What kinds of wrong pronunciation, vocabulary, or ...
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0answers
47 views

Seeking a Classical quote for an epigraph

I'm editing a short piece of writing set in early Imperial Rome, and seeking a Classical quotation to use as an epigraph. The piece involves a woman whose arms and legs are twisted from birth, ...
6
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2answers
990 views

A classical Latin phrase for “all or nothing”

Is there a saying in classical Latin similar to "all or nothing"? I am aware of aut Caesar aut nihil, and that would be fine if it was classical. In most cases the era of origin is irrelevant, but I ...
5
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1answer
236 views

A quote for a relieving loss of a loved one

Is there a poem or other passage of classical Latin about the following sentiment? I prefer poetry, but good hits in prose are also welcome. It need not — and indeed should not — be the ...
8
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1answer
87 views

What was the first name of Christmas?

What was the first Latin word or expression used for Christmas, the Christian event in the honor of Jesus' birth? I know what to call Christmas in Latin, but it occurred to me that there is no ...
4
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2answers
121 views

Coincidental similarities between Latin and other ancient languages?

There are cases where a word in another language means something else in another one. I do not mean cognates or loan words having close but not identical meanings, but two words in different languages ...
5
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2answers
88 views

Which verb do insects fly with?

Having read a question (and answer) about flies flying, I started to wonder whether flies would really fly with the verb volare. I had always somehow imagined that volare referred to more elegant and ...
9
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1answer
153 views

Garden path sentences in classical Latin

A garden path sentence is a sentence that leads the reader astray and forces them to reanalyze. The obvious first interpretation when one starts reading is a red herring and it comes clear that the ...
7
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1answer
91 views

Ancient accounts of traffic

Are there accounts of traffic in the ancient world written in Latin? By traffic I mean the behaviour of various vehicles1 on roads and in intersections, not masses of pedestrians. If there are ...
4
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1answer
127 views

Ancient plagiarism

I have no doubt that plagiarism existed in the Greek and Roman antiquity: some authors must have copied material more or less directly from others without attribution. (The moral requirement to cite ...
6
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1answer
121 views

A representative work of Ovid

I am considering reading some Ovid(ius), possibly with some colleagues. I don't want too much due to time limitations; perhaps something on the order of a single book of Metamorphoses should be ...
4
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1answer
129 views

Are there classical examples of the imperative patere?

I wanted to see how the imperative patĕre of pati is used and I made a corpus search. However, most of the results seem to be polluted with the infinitive patēre, and I'm having hard time ...
6
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4answers
1k views

How to break up in classical Latin?

Are there any attested breakup letters, notes, or similar in classical Latin? A great number of relationships must have started and ended in classical antiquity, but I don't recall seeing any passages ...
2
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1answer
68 views

What is the earliest Latin crossword puzzle?

I think it is safe to assume that there have been crossword puzzles in Latin, and I think I have seen some in textbooks as well. But what was the earliest Latin crossword puzzle? I do not mean word ...
8
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3answers
197 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 ...
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0answers
42 views

Did the Romans distinguish derivation and loan?

I learned from this question that the Romans used the same verb mutuari both for loaning words from Greek and deriving new words within Latin. Are there any examples in classical literature that make ...