Questions tagged [roman-culture]

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7
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0answers
54 views

Roman wedding congratulations

How did the Romans congratulate a couple on their wedding day? The concepts of wedding and marriage were not quite what they are now back then, but I assume that celebrations and congratulations were ...
6
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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 ...
5
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1answer
128 views

Were iuvenēs expected to squander the family fortune?

Within the familia there are inevitable tensions between members of the various hierarchies that govern it: fathers and sons, men and women, slave and free. As a servant of two masters, adulescens and ...
6
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1answer
96 views

Who minted this Roman coin, celebrating the sentencing of Vestal virgins?

This coin is part of a presentation done by University of Glasgow in relation to a seminar on coinage and numismatics. The coin is introduced in a video done by the Hunterian Museum, and I have found ...
8
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1answer
250 views

What is Peniculus insinuating with his reference to Samian crockery?

Introduction and question Pl. Men. 1.2.71. Pēn. Metuis, crēdō, nē forēs sămiae sient. Pēniculus You fear, I believe, that the doors may be Samian*. * By [Henry Thomas Riley][1] translated as ‘of ...
3
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0answers
78 views

Did Romulus and Remus have other names?

Throughout Classical times, Romans would often have several names: one person might be identified by praenomen, nomen gentilicum, cognomen, agnomen, signum, and patronymic, all together. Were Roman ...
2
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1answer
163 views

Was there a standard accent in Latin in the Roman era?

I know that the standard language was Classical Latin and that the average person spoke Vulgar Latin, but was there a standard dialect or pronunciation for Latin? Like the way it was spoken in Rome?
14
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1answer
4k views

Does it make sense to display a decimal number such as 12.34 as Roman numerals? If not, how else?

I'm auto-converting any "Arabic" number in a text to Roman numerals. This means that: 123 Becomes: CXXIII But what to do when I encounter decimals such as: 12.34 ? Should I really do: XII....
3
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1answer
141 views

Was there a link between happiness and the fascinum?

Catullus 7 ends with the following lines: quae nec pernumerāre cūriōsī possint, nec mala fascināre lingua. [Kisses] which the curious cannot count and an evil tongue cannot hex. According ...
1
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1answer
82 views

Difference in the role of Cenaculum and Triclinum

Why Romans had both, Cenaculum and Triclinum, as dinning rooms? What was the difference, and why Cenaculum was upstairs? What was the benefit to have a dining room in the attic. I know what is a ...
5
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1answer
909 views

Generic toast in classical Latin

Was there a generic toast that Romans would say to each other when drinking, along the lines of Cheers, or Sláinte. It doesn't need to have the meaning of those so much as have the same cultural usage:...
8
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1answer
327 views

Is there any database on idiomatic expressions in Latin?

It is often said that one has an excellent command of a language when one is able to use it in an idiomatic way, which typically involves making use of Idioms and Collocations, i.a. There are many ...
3
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0answers
73 views

Did the Romans abbreviate the days of the week?

In current Spanish when we have to abbreviate the days of the week using only one character, in most places (but not everywhere) to tell apart martes (Tuesday) from miércoles (Wednesday) we use 'M' ...
4
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1answer
97 views

Understanding a sacrifice in Horace's carmen 1.5

In Carmina 1, poem 5, Horace writes about an untrustworthy and seducing lady. He ends the poem in: (...) Me tabula sacer votiva paries indicat uvida suspendisse potenti vestimenta maris deo. ...
9
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3answers
857 views

What did the Greeks and Romans call their pets?

I know that some Greeks and Romans kept pet canēs, cattī, and even dracōnēs. My question now is: what did they name them? In other words, do we have attestations of how the ancients named their pets? ...
5
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2answers
83 views

How to construct the title of a house: House of the Large Cups?

I have read the thread on Domus optima, but I am looking for the idiom: how did Romans title their houses (vs. describe them)? In English, I would title our place "House of the Large Cups" because ...
9
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3answers
208 views

Did the Romans 'tip' for good service?

I need to refer in Latin to the modern practice of 'tipping' in return for good service. I am well aware of words and phrases for 'reward', which are essentially correct for my purpose, but I should ...
4
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1answer
93 views

Requests with 'posse'

In English and many other languages, asking "can you close the window?" is not an inquiry on the ability to close the window but rather a request to do so. Can the (classical) Latin posse be used the ...
10
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0answers
290 views

What do you call your aunt or uncle's spouse?

In Latin, a paternal aunt is an 'amita', a paternal uncle is a 'patruus', a maternal aunt is a 'matertera' and a maternal uncle is an 'avunculus'. However, what do you call each of these people's ...
5
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2answers
232 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 ...
5
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2answers
497 views

Did the Romans have a color of mourning?

In today's western culture the color black is associated with mourning. Did the Romans have a mourning color? I am interested in a color that was physically present in time of mourning, for example in ...
4
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1answer
99 views

Did the Romans have an expression for a national day?

Did the Romans have any kind of a national day, or did the Romans have a name for the national day of some other nation? Such days go by various names in different countries (e.g. independence day or ...
4
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0answers
192 views

Why was the period between Domitian and Commodus so happy and prosperous?

In my introduction to Meditations, Edward Gibbon is quoted as saying that the period between the death of Domitian and the accession of Commodus was the happiest and most prosperous in human history. ...
2
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1answer
86 views

Was the Roman concept of “imperium” influenced by Plato?

Early on in The Republic, Socrates contends with Thrasymachus's argument that "justice is the interest of the stronger". Socrates gives some analogies, such as the relationship that doctors have with ...
3
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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 ...
9
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2answers
980 views

Hypocorism/diminutive name forms in Roman antiquity/Latin?

I'd originally asked this on SE:H, but it was suggested that here would be more appropriate. Triggered by recently reading about the history of English names with Anglo-Saxon roots and the ...
5
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1answer
401 views

What is an entrepreneur?

I am looking for a Latin word for "entrepreneur" or "self-employed" or something in that direction. My question is two-fold: Was there a word in classical Latin for someone who owns their own ...
3
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0answers
88 views

Did the Romans give names to instances of natural disasters?

It is common to name storms. For example, a hurricane called Harvey is now over Texas. On the other hand, ancient people named deities related to various places and natural phenomena. There might be a ...
7
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2answers
141 views

Are there attested prohibition signs?

Are there preserved inscriptions or other such texts from ancient Rome that contain a prohibition? I would prefer original signs that have survived, but mentions in the literature are also interesting....
8
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2answers
799 views

Hushing with a finger gesture

I was reading Dante's Divine Comedy, and this verse caught my attention (Hell 25.45 with my translation): mi puosi 'l dito su dal mento al naso I put my finger up from my chin to my nose This is ...
8
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1answer
1k views

What verb is wine made with?

Which verb did the Romans use for making wine? I can imagine saying vinum facio/conficio/primo and maybe some other options as well. Different verbs might emphasize different aspects or steps of ...
8
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1answer
186 views

Did the Romans have children's books?

In the same vein as our other "Did the Romans have..." questions, I would like to know: Did the Romans have any children's books? I am especially interested in preserved examples, but a second-hand ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Do Roman numerals stand for something?

This may be an incredibly obvious question, but if so it's not immediately clear to me and probably deserves a question here. Two Roman numerals seem to have an obvious parallel to an existing word: ...
3
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1answer
331 views

Does “matrimonium” ever refer to a polygamous or homosexual relationship?

Matrimonium is the standard term in Roman legal parlance for "matrimony", along with the related term nuptiae, "wedding." My question is simply stated: In Roman classical antiquity, either by legal ...
9
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2answers
140 views

Latin quote about a million doggerel verses

I distinctly remember from a class at some point a disparaging remark by a Latin poet about other less accomplished poets who churned out "a million hexameters a year", obviously implying terrible ...
8
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2answers
273 views

Did the Romans have a selection game?

If there are three people and only two candies — and in other similar dire situations — people sometimes choose to play some kind of game to select who is left without something or who ...
8
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1answer
353 views

What did a *cellarius* do?

Inspired by this question A good word for waiter or waitress I'd like to know what duties a cellarius had in antique times. The German word for waiter, Kellner, is a loan from cellarius, but it ...
16
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3answers
2k views

What is the largest online Latin speaking community?

I noticed that many online places where Latin could be spoken are dead (unlike the language itself). Where can I practice Latin online? Is there any chat or forum that is really active?
7
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1answer
281 views

Did the Romans have a Valentine's day?

The ancient Romans had many festivals, but did any of them celebrate friendship or love? Wikipedia mentions similarity to Lupercalia, but I consider love to be very different from fertility. I'm ...
13
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3answers
3k views

Does liberi only refer to free children?

This issue came up in an answer and comments to this earlier question about comparing liberi and filii, and I think it's important enough to be treated in a separate question. Also, the answer to this ...
11
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1answer
339 views

How did the Romans call their currency?

I wanted to make a kind of western-style WANTED-poster in Latin, and I got a few questions about it. My questions: how did the romans say WANTED on a poster? I was doubting between the words ...
9
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2answers
213 views

Is *Numidius* an Ancient Roman name?

Is Numidius an Ancient Roman name (probably a nomen gentilis) or is it spurious and caused by corruption of other names? What I have found so far: The name Ummidius (that is clearly and unmistakably ...
36
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1answer
9k views

Did the Romans use any swear words?

I was reading the book Lingua Latina, Per Se Illustrata by Hans H. Ørberg, and I often saw scenes in which persons were angry. In the book, the writer doesn't use any swear words or anything to that ...
8
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2answers
4k views

How did the Romans wish happy holidays?

The Roman year included many festive occasions. In today's world it is customary to wish merry Christmas, happy Easter, and other such things. Did the Romans do the same during their own festivals, ...
11
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1answer
4k views

Why did Roman children call their father 'tata' instead of 'pappa'?

I was reading a text from Hans H. Øberg, and I saw in the text the following sentences: Noli dicere 'tatam' et 'mammam', Iuliola! Ea nomina a te audire nolumus. Ita loquuntur parvuli infantes, nec ...
9
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2answers
421 views

Was the middle finger obscene in Ancient Rome?

I was recently reading a work where I became (re)acquainted with the fact that the middle finger can be referred to as the digitus impudicus -- the "shameful finger" -- in Latin. My question is ...
10
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1answer
862 views

Term for the water/wine ratio chooser?

What's the Latin word for the person at cena who decided whether more or less water was added to the wine to keep the party going steadily?
18
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1answer
841 views

How did Roman babies talk?

Following a chat discussion, I want to know if we have any written record or general indication of how Latin was spoken by young children. Most languages that I know have several distinct ...
16
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1answer
586 views

Did ancient Romans develop cryptography for Latin?

Did the Romans ever develop any form of cryptography, where either words were replaced with other words or letters were replaced with other letters? Do we have any remaining examples, and if so have ...
16
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3answers
920 views

Did the Romans use dictionaries to check what words mean?

Did Romans or other ancient users of Latin have lists of difficult words with explanations in Latin? I mean dictionaries composed entirely in Latin, not dictionaries between Latin and another language....