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9
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
411 views

Can the ablative take a non-human agent or a human instrument?

In the study notes for chapter 6 of Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, I read about the ablative of agent and the ablative of instrument or means: In the passive, as we have seen, the personal agent ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Joke variant of US motto

As a joke, I'm imagining someone being confused about the US motto, and thinking it was "e unum pluribus", which hypothetically might mean "out of the one, many" or similar. But I bet that isn't ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How do you convert a noun to an adjective in Latin?

I'm thinking that a houseguest who stays on your couch should be something like hospes lectuli. But that sounds more like a guest invited by your couch, which is silly. In my non-expert understanding ...
8
votes
3answers
159 views

Can I pluralize letters of the alphabet?

In English, it's very common to talk about letters of the alphabet in the plural: he writes his R's backwards, for example, is a perfectly natural sentence. But the Latin names for the letters don't ...
8
votes
2answers
297 views

Can the supine ablative be used for motion?

I came across an Asterix translated into Latin. In the first story page the village chief notices that Asterix and Obelix return from a hunt and says: Asterix atque Obelix venatu redeunt! My question ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Reference with hic, is and ille

Consider this example: Ecce Marcus et Gaius. Hic canit, ille auscultat. Here are Marcus and Gaius. The latter sings, the former listens. When there are two or more things one could refer to, hic ...
8
votes
2answers
153 views

Translating “understand” in a conversation

What is the best verb to be used in phrases like "I'm sorry, I didn't understand" or "Did you understand?" in Latin? In English one might use "understand" or "get", in Italian perhaps "capire" is the ...
8
votes
3answers
169 views

Greek font with legible diacritics

Is there any monospaced font with Greek where the diacritics are distinctly legible around 10 points? I'm now using DejaVu Sans Mono, but to be sure, especially about spiritus, I have to increase ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Latin Phrase for “It goes without saying”

The title of the question pretty much sums it up. I am looking for a Latin phrase for the English expression "It goes without saying." I am not sure if an analogous expression exists- although I would ...
7
votes
1answer
135 views

Do we know how Greek dialects sounded?

To some extent, we know how sounds varied between ancient Greek dialects: the Aeolians lost rough breathings but preserved digamma, for example, while the Attics changed many of their long alphas into ...
7
votes
3answers
228 views

What is “old” in the age of a wine?

If I were to say "this man is 40 years old" in Latin, I would say hic vir 40 annos natus est. That is, I would use the participle natus instead of any adjective meaning "old", and it is my impression ...
6
votes
1answer
433 views

Where does the infinitive 'fieri' come from?

What is the origin of the infinitive fieri? It is unusual in many respects. The stem seems to be fi- and the infinitive ending -eri is only found in the second conjugation. However, the second ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

Variation between syllabic and non-syllabic V: in what contexts is it possible?

Allen's Vox Latina, 2nd edition (1988) metions that there is occasional "poetic interchange" in Latin of syllabic [u] and non-syllabic [w], mentioning trisyllabic silua and disyllabic genva ...
6
votes
1answer
181 views

How to phrase “it took two hours”?

In English or Finnish I can express the time it took to complete something in two ways, but in Latin only one: E: "I did it in two hours." F: "Tein sen kahdessa tunnissa." L: Duabus horis id perfeci. ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Agreement in “medio tutissimus ibis”

Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book II, line 137 gives us the aphorism (in) medio tutissimus ibis The English translation for this is typically given as "In the middle, you will go most safe." How does "...
6
votes
1answer
246 views

Why is “paeniteo” considered more correct than “poeniteo”?

Through answers to another question, I came across Lewis & Short's definition of paeniteo, which begins: paenĭtĕo (less correctly poen- ) L&S say that it comes from the Greek ποινή, which ...
6
votes
2answers
276 views

Noun adjuncts in Latin

So this question asks about forming adjectives from nouns, but no clear answer is really given for a general method. In english, you can just use a noun as a adjective without any modification by ...
6
votes
1answer
333 views

Is 'volo' ever used with a future infinitive?

One can certainly use volo with an infinitive to express a wish: Volo amari! I want to be loved! A future sense is often implied, as one would probably interpret that I'm not loved now if I wish ...
5
votes
1answer
166 views

Does using quippe in a relative clause require conjunctive?

One can insert the particle quippe in a relative clause to give it a causal or otherwise explaining tone.1 Does quippe require using conjunctive in the relative clause? If not, are there some rules ...
5
votes
1answer
170 views

Why did the Romans link Autumn with earth and melancholy, Spring with air and sanguine, and Winter with water and phelgm?

I don't understand the Romans' linking of humor, season, and characteristics for Humours 1-3. E.g. for 1: 1.1. Why'd black bile predominate in autumn (which I agree, is cold and dry)? 1.2. Why'd ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Why does the substantive come second in 'mutatis mutandis'?

The Wikipedia section on ablative absolute gives these examples. urbe captā Aenēās fūgit. Ovidiō exule, Mūsae planguntur. Caesare cōnsule... īrā calefactā, sapientia dormit. dominō absente, ...
5
votes
1answer
632 views

Are there any words in Latin that are “light”?

In Latin, every syllable is either "light" or "heavy". A "heavy" syllable is one that has a long vowel and/or a coda consonant, and a "light" syllable is anything else. This distinction is important ...
5
votes
1answer
486 views

“Deus meus”, aut “Deus mī”?

I was taught that meus had a special irregular vocative, mī. (So "my father" in the vocative would be pater mī, not pater meus.) However, there's a line that shows up a few times in the ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

What do we know about the Saturnian for sure?

Some of old Latin poetry was written in Saturnian metre. I am under the impression that use and proper understanding of this poetic form were lost by the classical era, and we do not have a full ...
3
votes
1answer
242 views

participium coniunctum vs. ablative absolute of transitive deponent verbs

I was wondering why the "active meaning" and the transitivity of deponent perfect participles like cohortatus in (1) are not naturally preserved in the Ablative Absolute in (2). Why is it ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

Ordinal adjectives for single things modifying plural noun?

To refer to "the first and second chapters", do I say: capitula prima et secunda or: capitula primum et secundum?
2
votes
3answers
188 views

Do vowels before /j/ make diphthongs?

In my experience, Latin has a short list of diphthongs that are found in native words. This list includes ei /ej/, as in dēinde. However, there are other vowels that can appear before /j/: see major /...
17
votes
1answer
259 views

Can I passivize a verb with two objects with respect to either one?

If I have a transitive verb with one object, passivizing an active sentence is straightforward. For example, "te amo" becomes "(a me) amaris". But how to passivize a verb that has two objects? For ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the distinction between gaudium and laetitia when both denote “joy”?

Both gaudium and laetitia denote joy, but appear to be used differently depending on the circumstances. What is the distinction between the two (or more) Latin words for joy?
16
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the best “worst” translation of Latin from Google Translate?

It's well-known on this community that you can't trust any Latin translation from Google Translate. A comment about translating goatherd with Google Translate got me thinking, though. What is the most ...
14
votes
1answer
719 views

Why is Jesus inflected in such a way?

The name Iesus is declined in a very peculiar way in Latin, and no other word seems to follow similar declensions. Why is this so? Is there a way to put this broader declension in context to make some ...
14
votes
2answers
751 views

Where did pluralis-ut-singularis come from in Latin?

Anyone who reads Cicero's letters cannot fail to notice that he quite frequently uses nos and noster to mean ego and meus. Earlier I heard a paper where nos in Lucretius' proem was meant singularly (...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Why might “Philosophiae Doctor” (the source of “Ph.D.”) have been preferred over “Doctor Philosophiae”?

The English abbreviation Ph.D. comes from the Latin for Doctor of Philosophy, which I understand would be either Philosophiae Doctor or Doctor Philosophiae. I know word order is flexible in Latin, ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the definitive definition of rem?

The word rem seems to mean all sorts of things depending on the context — sometimes it means "the thing", sometimes "it", and sometimes rem can be entirely omitted from the English translation. ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

If arm is 'arma', why is unarmed 'inermis' and not 'inarmis'?

I came across the Spanish word 'inerme', which comes from Latin inermis and means unarmed. Since the Latin word for arm is 'arma' and the preffix 'in' indicates negation, it is clear that the form '...
12
votes
1answer
407 views

Parsing “quod Deus optime vertat”

I want to understand a diploma text: DIPLOMA QVOD DEVS OPTIME VERTAT EX LEGIBVS VNIVERSITATIS JYVÄSKYLÄENSIS ATQVE EX DECRETO FACVLTATIS (…) If I consider Diploma as a ...
12
votes
2answers
495 views

Is there an exclusive word for octopus in Ancient Greek?

I was having the great "octopuses vs. octopi" debate with a scientist friend the other day, and decided to check the lexicon. The only entry I could find relates the word to measurement, either of ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Which animal names have grammatical gender, and which have common gender?

In Allen & Greenough, §34, I see a short discussion on the gender of animal names: Many nouns may be either masculine or feminine, according to the sex of the object. These are said to be of ...
11
votes
1answer
452 views

Did the Romans ever distinguish long vowels in writing?

In most modern writing of Latin, long vowels are distinguished from short vowels by using macrons (e.g, āēīōū). As far as I know, however, ancient authors rarely, if ever, distinguished long vowels ...
11
votes
1answer
152 views

What underlying semantic notions explain the meaning of 'against' for the preposition 'in'?

[Wiktionary :] 1. (governs the ablative) in, at, on (space)  [quotations ▼] 2. (governs the dative) within (time) 3. (governs the accusative) into, to  [quotations ▼] 4. (governs the ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the Latin word for “jade”?

I'm trying to write a short thing about a jade statuette that my family has had for roughly forever, but when I looked up "jade", I found... nothing. Well, I found plenty of results, but there was ...
11
votes
1answer
317 views

Why do some 2nd decl. “-er” adjectives and nouns drop the “e” in the stem?

Is there any rule explaining why certain second-declension nouns and adjectives with a nominative -er ending drop the e when declined (e.g. ager, liber, pulcher), and why others keep it (e.g. puer, ...
10
votes
2answers
317 views

Is it “bene videtur” or “bonum videtur”? Adjective or adverb with verbs/copulae meaning “seem”

With verbs like "seem, appear", one sometimes uses an adverb to express how something appears ("she looked well"), at other times an adjective ("he seemed angry"). How did the Romans do it, ...
10
votes
1answer
312 views

Interpretation of circumflex in a poem from 1621

A poem from 1621 contains one ô and one â. The ô is the interjection ô and the â is in the relative pronoun quâ. No circumflexes are used elsewhere in the poem. Does the circumflex (or caret or ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between Spiritus and Anima?

Both spiritus and anima seem to have the definition of soul, but it is mentioned on numerous sites that they are different from one another. What is the difference?
10
votes
1answer
694 views

Difference between Vocative and Accusative usage

What is the grammatical difference between saying something like Bonam Fortunam (in the accusative) and Bona Fortuna (in the vocative) to another person? I have always heard the former, and I do not ...
9
votes
1answer
199 views

Hexametric Greek names

A number of Greek names encountered in hexameter follow the syllable length pattern -vv-; consider for example Penelope, Telemachos, Calliope, Terpsichore. The pattern -v-- is absent as the metric ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What is “vocabulary” in Latin?

Having read the recent meta discussion concerning the tag vocabulary and remembering that we prefer to have our tags in Latin, I started to wonder how one might translate the word "vocabulary" in ...
9
votes
1answer
124 views

Is angulus a diminutive?

The word angulus (angle or corner) looks like a diminutive. Was it derived from some other word or stem using the diminutive -ulus suffix, or is looking like a diminutive coincidental? It looks like ...

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