Questions tagged [passage-request]

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6
votes
1answer
238 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
votes
1answer
2k 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
votes
3answers
191 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
453 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
votes
0answers
74 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
votes
1answer
104 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
votes
2answers
162 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
votes
1answer
95 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
votes
1answer
92 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
votes
2answers
125 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
62 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
votes
1answer
1k 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
votes
0answers
61 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
votes
1answer
87 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
votes
1answer
75 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
votes
1answer
144 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
votes
1answer
86 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
votes
4answers
387 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
votes
2answers
189 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
votes
1answer
97 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
votes
1answer
111 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
votes
1answer
119 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
votes
1answer
131 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
votes
2answers
172 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
votes
1answer
166 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
votes
0answers
61 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
votes
1answer
221 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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
288 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
44 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
votes
2answers
763 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
votes
1answer
157 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
votes
1answer
81 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
votes
2answers
115 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
votes
2answers
83 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
130 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
votes
1answer
89 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
votes
1answer
105 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
votes
1answer
114 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
votes
1answer
126 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
67 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
votes
3answers
187 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
40 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
79 views

Did the ancient Romans have a myth about returning to Rome?

There is a modern myth (or perhaps rather folklore, superstition or something else) that if one throws a coin in Fontana di Trevi, faith will make them come back to Rome. Was there anything similar in ...
4
votes
0answers
50 views

Comparing citizens and subjects

There is a difference between a citizen and a subject. Roughly, a citizen holds some power in the state (through voting or otherwise), whereas a subject is subordinate to their leader and has no say. (...
3
votes
3answers
110 views

Is there a more emphatic version of posse?

If I want to say "I can" in Latin, I will usually use posse. But what if I want something stronger and more emphatic, like "I am capable of", "I am able to", or similar? I am not aware of a Latin ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Inscriptions in statues along Via dei Fori Imperiali

I am interested in a couple of statues in Rome. They are on the north side of Via dei Fori Imperiali, between Via Cavour and Piazza Venezia. If my memory serves me well, they are of key figures in ...
4
votes
0answers
62 views

The simultaneity of democracy in Athens and Rome

A period of tyranny came to an end in Athens in 510 BC when the tyrant Hippias was expelled. The last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, was overthrown in 509 BC and the Roman Republic was born....