All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
11
votes
1answer
131 views

Allecto's cerulean hair in *Æneid* VII.346-7

In VII.346-7 of the Æneid, when Juno sics Allecto on Amata, we have Hic dea cæruleís únum dé crínibus anguem Conjicit inque sinum præcordia ad intima subdit. Allecto's … blue hair? Hunh?...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

What's the difference between nam and enim?

Both nam and enim are generally defined as meaning "for," the only difference between them being that nam comes first in a clause and that enim is postpositive (i.e., it comes second). Is there a ...
20
votes
1answer
581 views

Did ancient Romans raise the intonation of their voices when asking questions?

I understand that in Classical Latin, when someone asks a question, the -ne causes stress patterns for some words to be modified, so that both the -ne and the new stress pattern indicates that the ...
10
votes
1answer
482 views

“Factum est vesperE et mane”

Genesim 1:13 Hieronymus sic traduxit: Et factum est vespere et mane, dies tertius. Cur “vespere”, non “vesper”? Puto id in casu nominativo esse debere, sed nonne “vespere” in casu ablativo est? Si ...
10
votes
1answer
155 views

Apicius' “sp[h]ondyli vel fonduli”

Apicius' de re coquinaria (Roman recipe book believed to have been compiled in the 4th/5th century CE) contains, in the book 3 "cepuros" on vegetables, a paragraph (XX, recipes 115 to 121) entitled "...
28
votes
2answers
524 views

How to say “every fourth year” in Latin?

My intuition says that "every fourth year" would translate to Latin as "quarto quoque anno". I read the comic Asterix Olympius in Latin, and on page 11 the druid describes the Olympic games like this: ...
6
votes
1answer
64 views

What underlying semantic notions connect 'strēnuus' to stiffness and rigidity?

[Wiktionary :] From Proto-Indo-European *ster- ‎(“stiff”). [...] Etymonline's entry for 'strenuous' (adj.) references Etymonline's entry for 'stern' (adj.) which states the same PIE root as above. ...
7
votes
1answer
103 views

How does the prefix 're-' connect with the semantic shift of 'recredere'?

[Etymonline:] Old French recreant "defeated, vanquished, yielding, giving; weak, exhausted; cowardly," present participle adjective from recroire "to yield in a trial by combat, surrender allegiance," ...
11
votes
1answer
187 views

Prefixes in verbs that appear redundant or meaningless: do they really mean anything?

appellere from ad- "to" + pellere "to beat, drive" (see pulse (n.1)) resolvere "to loosen, loose, unyoke, undo; explain; relax; set free; make void, dispel," from re-, perhaps intensive, or "...
8
votes
1answer
117 views

What governed or influenced or selected which prefix is used to intensify a verb?

In addition to their (usual) meanings as prepositions, many common prefixes ad-, com-, de-, ex-, re-, etc... serve as intensive prefixes; but for a given verb, what governed or influenced or ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

When did scriptio continua and interpuncts give way to spaces between words in Latin?

From this overview of punctuation in Classical Latin, I understand that word spacing as we know it didn't really exist at that time: either an interpunct was used to separate words, or there was no ...
9
votes
3answers
878 views

Instances of the future passive infinitive

Throughout my time studying Latin in school, one grammatical construction in particular has always intrigued me to an extent — the future passive infinitive (eg. amatum iri). Whenever it came up (...
7
votes
2answers
122 views

Why is “quī” used immediately following a plural accusative noun?

In Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, chapter 6, exercise 5.8, I see the sentence: Dominus verberat servōs ____ nōn pārent. Since servōs is accusative, I put quōs in the blank. But the answer key ...
12
votes
2answers
213 views

Why would avoiding olive oil be a negative thing?

In Horace's Odes 1.8, Horace criticizes his ex's new boyfriend by saying, among other things, that: ...olivum sanguine viperino cautius vitat... which, roughly, means He avoids olive oil more ...
10
votes
3answers
151 views

“To shed blood” – profundere or effundere?

In a 1957 encyclical titled Invicti Athletae, Pope Pius XII wrote: ... non solum profuso sanguine fidei nostrae testimonium Deo praebetur ... which the official translation renders ... not only ...
12
votes
3answers
452 views

What nuances distinguish sed/vērō/vērum as words for “but”?

I've seen sed, vērō, and vērum described as "but, butter, buttest," but the descriptions in e.g. Gildersleeve, Bennett—even Zumpt—leave me scratching my head.
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the Phrase “Sola Dea Fatum Novit” Proper Latin?

I have seen this sentence translated as both "Only the Goddess knows fate" and "Only the Goddess knows their fate". That aside, I remember someone telling me that this was not correct Latin, and it ...
7
votes
1answer
82 views

Could 'com-' function as a causative prefix?

Preface: Etymonline does not answer this question. I (but please tell me if I should not) quote the definitions for the English verbs (Loan words from Latin then Old French) because they did not ...
18
votes
3answers
9k views

Latin word for “code” or “program” (the verb)

As part of a(nother) assignment for my Latin class, we have to write a description of how we spend our free time. I'm trying to translate this: After my homework is done, I like to program. So far,...
10
votes
3answers
161 views

“FactUM est vespere et mane”: Cur singulare?

Genesim 1:8 Hieronymus traducit ita: Vocavitque Deus firmamentum, Cælum: et factum est vespere et mane, dies secundus. Cur “factum”, non “facta”? Nonne subiectum est "vespere et mane", et nonne ...
12
votes
1answer
169 views

Do different truncation signs have different connotations?

I'm continuing reading Cappelli's The elements of abbreviation in medieval Latin paleography, and early on he discusses medieval truncation signs. There are three types used: An interpunct (first ...
14
votes
3answers
864 views

How should I pronounce 'ait'?

I'm interested in the proper Classical pronunciation of the word 'ait'. I've been pronouncing it as 'ate', /eɪt/. Should it instead be pronounced as /a.it/ or even /aɪ.it/? What evidence is there ...
13
votes
2answers
15k views

What did the Romans use to close their letters?

As anyone who's written a proper letter knows, one begins with a salutation and ends with a valediction (or, in normal English, opens with "hello" and ends with "goodbye"). Right ...
12
votes
1answer
132 views

'Quae pars anterior quae posterior jure habeatur in toto genere non liquet': taxonomical description of Antarctissa denticulata (Ehrenberg 1844)

In one of his 1844 manuscripts, C. G. Ehrenberg described the radiolarian species Lithobotrys(?) denticulata (now known as Antarctissa denticulata) and, as it was customary at the time, did so in ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

In vitro, in vivo, in situ, in simulacris mathematicis? Any good alternatives to the latter?

There is a series of Latin and pseudo-Latin phrases used in a scientific context (mostly in the life sciences) describing how and where a study was carried out (sorted by frequency): in vitro – in a ...
17
votes
1answer
953 views

Are there feminine and neuter versions of “professor”?

From many verbs one can derive an agent noun for each gender: computare > computator (m), computatrix (f), computatrum (n) scribere > scriptor, scriptrix, scriptrum Some of these derivatives are ...
9
votes
2answers
312 views

Is “ergo” an appropriate word for this context?

I'm translating this sentence into Latin: You said that I could do anything, so I went to the strip club. (It's for a late Valentine's card for my girlfriend.) So far, I have the first and second ...
7
votes
1answer
147 views

What is the difference between cēvēre and crīsāre?

According to Wikipedia, cēvēre loosely means the actions of a female during intercourse, whereas crīsāre is the same but with anal sex. It later states however that cēvēre refers only to the actions ...
19
votes
3answers
255 views

What is the meaning of “suffragio” at the time of Calvin?

In the 1559 edition of Calvin's Institutes, he writes: Quare dum illam recipit, ac suffragio suo obsignat, non ex dubia aut alioqui controversa authenticam reddit Ford L. Battles renders it this ...
18
votes
1answer
691 views

What were used as “filler” words in Classical Latin?

Do scholars have any idea what "words" were used as filler words in Classical Latin, similar to uh and um in English? Surely Cicero and other great orators instructed their pupils to never, ever say &...
21
votes
2answers
488 views

How often were medieval scribal abbreviations used?

In the preface to The elements of abbreviation in medieval Latin paleography, Adriano Cappelli writes Take a foreign language, write it in an unfamiliar script, abbreviating every third word, and ...
14
votes
1answer
151 views

Can I put multiple words in a list, with “-que” on the last one?

As a sort of followup to Are "-que" and "et" equivalent?, I'd like to know if this would be considered a valid construction (in classical-latin): Arma virum navesque cano (...
12
votes
3answers
265 views

What does “angelorum planta agmini” mean?

I at least partially understand all the invocations in Litaniae in omni tribulatione, but one stays mysterious: "Angelórum planta ágmini" It's quite Google-proof, a quoted search for it returned only ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

How do we know how gn was pronounced in Classical Latin?

As far as I am aware, the classical pronunciation of -gn- (as in magnus) is not [gn] but [ŋn]. How do we know that this is in fact how -gn- was pronounced?
12
votes
1answer
8k views

Why does “ut” mean such different things when it has a subjunctive verb vs. an indicative one?

We all know that ut, when paired with a subjunctive, is translated as "in order to" (purpose), "to" (indirect command), and, with some words, "that" (result/fear). However, ut with an indicative ...
17
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the most neutral word for “shield”?

As you know, Latin language has several terms for what we call "shield", namely clipeus, scutum, parma, pelta etc. I'm just wondering which among them is the most "neutral" or "common" word that ...
19
votes
4answers
813 views

Why do fear clauses invert the meaning of ut and ne?

In a fear clause, we'd write something like this: Timeo ne angue necer I fear I will be killed by a dragon As usual, my Latin writing is bad, and I only barely remember passive subjunctive. Please ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

Rhotacism: why?

I know Ancient Latin was subjected to a phenomenon called "rhotacism", which changed some s into r. However, I can't help but ask myself why it happened. Why did rhotacism happen? Did it influence ...
18
votes
2answers
444 views

Nonne “a fortiori, a priori, a posteriori” solecismi sunt?

Are the terms a fortiori, a priori, and a posteriori bad Latin? If so, how and when did they become established? I understand that the dative case never takes a preposition in Latin—a most welcome ...
9
votes
1answer
99 views

Technique to find first principal parts when later parts change spelling? E.g. find 'nanciscor' from 'nactus'

I am tutoring a friend who is preparing for a graduate school translation exam, of the "unseen passage, dictionary allowed, time limit imposed, be accurate" variety. We came across nacti in ...
13
votes
1answer
167 views

Can a verbum deponens go along with an accusativus?

In Plinius I encountered: "Confitentes iterum ac tertio interrogavi supplicium minatus" Is supplicium some sort of accusativus belonging to minatus, which comes from deponens minor? If a form is ...
17
votes
1answer
225 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

On the etymology of “discipulus” and “disciplina”

I am interested in the origin of the words discipulus and disciplina, which have found their way into many modern languages, e.g., in the English words disciple and discipline. Unfortunately, there ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

“Et tu, Brute?”

"Et tu, Brute?" Julius Caesar's last words; according to William Shakespeare's play of the same name. There seems to be a difference of opinion regarding the exact translation and thus, too, ...
14
votes
2answers
493 views

What does “quibus intemptata nites” (Odes 1.5.10–11) mean?

I'm currently reading Horace's Odes 1.5, and on lines 10–11 there's an odd construction: ...Miseri, quibus intemptata nites... Now, as far as I can tell, this literally means "Wretched people, ...
9
votes
1answer
108 views

Quomodo “cochlear” a “cochlea” est ortum?

Cur cochlear a cochlea est ortum? Quomodo connectuntur? In Anglicum liberaliter traductum: What do spoons have to do with snails?
15
votes
2answers
458 views

Why do we say that an ablative absolute has a participle?

An ablative absolute consists of a noun in the ablative and a participle modifying it. Except that that's not really the case. We frequently find the participle replaced with just an adjective (or ...
11
votes
1answer
190 views

Accusativus 'Graecus' pertinetne ullo modo ad accusativum temporis?

Confer exempla haec: Vinctus pedes senator fugere non potuit. Augustus multos annos regnans rem publicam sibi subiecit. Accusativus Graecus a Graecis esse dicitur. Discentes linguam Graecam ...
23
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is 'r' often rolled in modern classical Latin?

During my Latin education (using classical pronunciation), I was taught that 'r' should be 'rolled', making a sort of growling sound. For example, the r's (more the second than the first set) in ...
12
votes
1answer
388 views

Why does Latin not have an instrumental case?

Seeing so many similarities in grammatical structure between Sanskrit and Latin, why is it that Latin does not have an instrumental case as Sanskrit does?

15 30 50 per page