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5
votes
1answer
721 views

ergo vs. itaque

As I understand it, both ergo and itaque mean therefore, thus, so, accordingly, etc. When should one be preferred over the other? Does it depend on context, or do they mean slightly different things?
9
votes
1answer
920 views

How to translate “the Force” from Star Wars?

In Star Wars movies — and other media — there is an important concept called the Force. It is a magical energy field surrounding everything and giving special abilities for those who ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Latinitas for other languages

Latinitas could be described as high quality Latin. If I want to refer to the same thing for other languages, can I use nouns like Graecitas, Anglicitas or Finnicitas? (I am not sure if Anglitas and ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

How did 'in-' + 'putare' compound to mean 'to attribute, credit to, impute'?

impute (v.): early 15c., from Old French imputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

In Classical Latin, did the prefix 'de-' in 'deputare' mean anything semantically?

deputy (n.)     c. 1400, "one given the full power of an officer without holding the office," from Anglo-French deputé, noun use of past participle of Middle French députer "appoint, assign" (14c.), ...
10
votes
2answers
562 views

“Non possunt dari” translation

Please could someone explain what I am missing here? In Spinoza's The Ethics, Proposition V is said: PROPOSITIO V: In rerum natura non possunt dari duæ aut plures substantiæ ejusdem naturæ sive ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

How to Practice Speaking Latin

How does one go about learning to speak Latin fluently? I am considering three options. Translation Based Method - Doing many translations (from Latin to English) would increase my vocabulary in ...
7
votes
1answer
243 views

What is “idiom” in classical Latin?

What would be an idiomatic way to say "idiom" and "idiomatic" in classical Latin? One could perhaps use the Greek loan word idiōma (neuter), but I feel there should be a more Latin way of ...
12
votes
2answers
335 views

Can a supine verb have arguments?

Consider the following line from the Aeneid, Book VI: nec credere quivi hunc tantum tibi me discessu ferre dolorem. Context: Aeneas has traveled into the underworld, and bumps into Dido, who he ...
3
votes
2answers
104 views

How did 'ad-' + 'rogare' compound to mean <to claim for oneself, assume>?

[ Etymonline : ] arrogance (n.) c. 1300, from Old French arrogance (12c.), from Latin arrogantia, from arrogantem (nominative arrogans) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," present ...
6
votes
2answers
210 views

Mons Mensae pronunciation

How to pronounce Mons Mensae? Could you write it in international phonetic alphabet? I think that will be [Mʌns Mensæ]... Is that right? P.S. I intended the constellation known as Mons Mensae.
6
votes
1answer
79 views

Most relevant word for numerical “order”

What word in latin would be the best representation of the 'order' or 'cardinality' of a mathematical 'group' or 'set' respectively. I'm looking to translate "Finite Simple Group of Order 2[/Two]" ...
12
votes
2answers
868 views

The lowest form of humor

Many Ancient Greek jokes are preserved in the Philogelos, ranging from wordplay to stereotypical foreigners to utter nonsense. And certain epigrams from Lucillius and Argentarius contain excellent/...
9
votes
1answer
131 views

Aut *celer* aut *vēlōx*?

Celer and vēlōx are often treated as synonymous. I feel certain that I learned the technical distinction between them once: that celer was potential speed, while vēlōx was actual speed. So Usain Bolt ...
9
votes
4answers
646 views

Forms of 2nd Declension Neuter Nouns ending in -ium

The 2nd Declension Neuter endings are: Singular Nom: -um Gen: -ī Dat: -ō Acc: -um Abl: -ō Plural Nom: -a Gen: -ōrum Dat: -īs Acc: -a Abl: -īs With a word such as auxilium (meaning help, aid), which ...
17
votes
1answer
543 views

What did the Romans consider the “basic” form of a verb?

Many of us are used to using the (active present) infinitive form of a verb as a "label" or "basic form" or "representative" of the verb. By this I refer to uses like dictionary entries or grammatical ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

What Latin words describe greatness, godlike powers, or holiness?

What are the best Latin words to describe greatness, godlike powers and something holy? I'll use those words as character name for some MMORPG. Here are some examples, along with their translations ...
12
votes
1answer
646 views

Comparing ius sacrum and fas

I would like clarification on two related divine and legal terms: ius sacrum and fas. They can both be translated as "divine law", but I do not think they are the same thing. I have an idea of what ...
8
votes
1answer
167 views

Translating “Hic fortissimus, primus inter pares” into English

I am currently studying Latin in high school (third year), so I do have a mild understanding of how the language works. But I would like to know whether this translation is correct. For various ...
6
votes
2answers
403 views

How did mille get so weird?

The word mille is weird. In singular it is — or can be considered — an indeclinable adjective, and the main word is declined according to the grammatical role. In plural it is a declinable ...
9
votes
1answer
301 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
148 views

Confusion re the naming of Roman freedman

I asked this on the HistorySE site, without much luck, so thought I'd try here. If it's inappropriate for this forum, please let me know and I'll delete it. I have just been reading this which is ...
1
vote
0answers
318 views

List of false friends

Is there a short list of the most common false friends for translating Latin into English?
5
votes
1answer
192 views

Why did Romans think of novissimus as last?

In the letter of Plinius to Tacitus about his and his mother's flight, there is the following sentence: multi ad deos manus tollere, plures usquam iam deos ullos aeternamque illam et novissimam ...
7
votes
2answers
714 views

What is father's day in Latin?

Today happens to be father's day in Finland, and I would like to know how to express that in Latin. My understanding is that ancient Romans did not have a father's day, so the question is about ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Did an internal m nasalize the preceding vowel?

We know that the final m was not a full consonant in classical Latin, but denoted nasalization and elongation of the preceding vowel. See this or this old question for more details. Was this effect ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Does 'noel' really have its origin in Latin?

This arises from the question by @brianpck about the meaning of ‘noe’ in the context of Christmas, which he ended with a speculation about noel/nowell being shortened from the Hebrew emmanuel (God is ...
9
votes
2answers
954 views

How do we know that Kalendae is the first day of a month?

I have been told that Kalendae is the first day of a month. However, the Latin dates — which was discussed in this other question — alone do not make this obvious. Dates are expressed by ...
25
votes
1answer
3k views

Why hippopotamus instead of potamohippus?

Judging by this dictionary entry for hippopotamus, the Romans knew this animal and used the name we currently use in English. This word has an obviously Greek origin: hippos is a horse and potamos is ...
11
votes
2answers
635 views

Jenney's First Year Latin, Lesson 37, comparatives with “quam”

I'd like some clarification on which cases are appropriate during the use of the word "quam" with comparatives. I'm teaching Jenney's First-Year Latin (1990). In Lesson 37 (page 426 of the 1990 ...
10
votes
1answer
111 views

Rupes Recta, The Straight Wall, Correct Translation

Rupes recta is the name given to a feature on the Moon. This feature is also known as the straight wall or straight cliff. Is rupes recta the correct Latin phrase for straight wall or straight cliff? ...
14
votes
1answer
553 views

What is the optative?

Some conjunctive forms end in -im (and -is, -it, -imus, -itis, -int), but this is rare. The examples I recall are sim, possim, velim, nolim, malim, and duim (alternative to dem). These forms are ...
10
votes
1answer
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
190 views

Did the Romans have a definition for a species of organism?

In today's taxonomy animals, plants and other organisms are organized in species. Defining a species is no simple task for modern biologists, but we have a fair understanding of what a species ...
11
votes
2answers
836 views

Why is there no predicate in “in vino veritas”?

The latin aphorism, penned by Alcaeus of Mytilene, in vino veritas does not contain any predicate. I assume that esse is implied but I haven't come across any other aphorisms leaving out verbs. Is ...
6
votes
1answer
209 views

“Us versus them” - opposite of “noster”?

Noster can mean "one of us" in a symbolic way; L&S mentions that noster eris "you will be one of us" was a set expression for welcoming a deserter into the army, for instance. The English ...
6
votes
1answer
109 views

Year in dates near the end of a year

Using the traditional dates of the Roman calendar, December 31 and December 30 would be pridie Kalendas Ianuarias and ante diem tertium Kalendas Ianuarias. The day is expressed in relation to the ...
10
votes
2answers
732 views

What is “express” in Latin?

Express buses, express trains, and express lifts — and maybe some other express things — are vehicles that have unusually few stops and are therefore faster than others. What would be a ...
8
votes
1answer
419 views

Should the phrase “I often saw” use the imperfect or the aorist in Greek?

I'm translating a sentence in my textbook from English to Greek, and that sentence uses the phrase I often saw. For copyright reasons, I'm going to create a new sentence using this phrase. On this ...
19
votes
2answers
10k views

How do you write dates in Latin?

I have read a little about the history of the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Julius Caesar introduced the twelve-month Julian calendar in 46 BC, and Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did scientists abandon Latin in their publications?

Whereas the Latin language was used by almost every scientist until the 18th century, this is a fact that since then the use of Latin in scientific publication has fastly decreased: the best example ...
7
votes
1answer
239 views

Corrupted Line in Daphne and Apollo

Why is Line 546 of Ovid's Daphne and Apollo considered a "corrupted line"? Here's the section in which it is contained: 543 viribus absumptis expalluit illa citaeque 544 victa labore fugae ...
15
votes
2answers
396 views

How to read mathematics out loud?

Reading symbolic mathematical expressions out loud in any language is mainly folklore: everyone in the field knows how to do it but finding explicit written instructions is surprisingly hard. I have ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
83 views

Stereotypical Foreign-ness

In English writing, there are certain conventions for representing foreign accents. For example, a French character could replace all of zeir TH's wiz Z's, while an Italian might-a add-a short-a ...
7
votes
1answer
416 views

What digraphs did the Romans use?

English uses a variety of digraphs to represent sounds which lack their own letters. Some of these (such as "th" and "sh") appear in native words; others (such as "kh") only appear in loanwords. I ...
8
votes
2answers
525 views

A medieval scribal abbreviation missing from Unicode?

Placita de quo Warranto is the 1806 printed transcription of latin legal texts from around 1300 written on vellum. There are many abbreviations. The 1806 document in its preface gives an example ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the first text considered Italian instead of Latin?

What is the earliest text that is considered to be written in Italian (or a predecessor thereof), and what distinguishes it from Latin? I would like to understand the first signs of Latin evolving ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Imperatives of derivatives of facere, dicere and ducere

Three verbs are well known to have an irregular short imperative: fac, dic, duc. Do the imperatives remain short in the presence of a prefix? For example, which ones are correct out of effic/effac/...
7
votes
2answers
494 views

Independence in classical Latin

Next year is the centennial of the independence of Finland, and I would like to learn how to speak of independence of countries in Latin. It seems to me that the Latin words independens and ...

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