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8
votes
1answer
144 views

When is/was *vesper* second declension, and when third?

I've seen both, so obviously both were used, but are there circumstances that determine which option to use? Or is it something that changed over time?
12
votes
1answer
3k views

The many forms of William?

In my genealogical research in England I have come across many different spellings of the name William in Latin documents: Gulielmus, Guglielmus, Wilhelmus, Willelmus, to name just a few. I know that ...
17
votes
1answer
568 views

How can I say “undo” in Latin?

The question of how to express my username, Undo, in Latin recently came up in chat. As Ben Kovitz notes, Latin seems to lack the word 'defacio' or similar. How can I say my name, the verb "undo", in ...
10
votes
1answer
195 views

Quando “a fortiori” ortum est?

Quando vocabulum a fortiori (sive a fortiore) ortum est ut nomen artis legis logicæve? In quo opere scripto primum apparuit? Volo intellegere eius rationem originis verificareque verbum elisum "...
18
votes
2answers
289 views

How would a Roman refer to a great-great-great- . . . -great-grandparent?

Referring to progressively more distance ancestors, I would list my Pater (father) Avus (grandfather) After this point, it gets a bit shaky. This, for example, gives past ancestors as Proavus (...
8
votes
1answer
88 views

Quid significat “-amen”?

Quid suffixum -amen significat, ut foramen, putamen, calceamen, regimen, æquamen, vocamen, etc.? -amen suffixo in dictionariis interretialibus non invenio, neque perspicuam significationem communem ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Happy Birthday and the accusative of exclamation

I'd like to say "Happy Birthday [to you]!" in Latin. I see two possibilities in Traupman's Conversational Latin: Fēlīx nātālis tibi! Fēlīcem nātālem [tibi exoptō]! The first is used in ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

The best way to say *interesting* in Latin

It's sometimes difficult to convey some meaning in such an old language as Latin. I have trouble with the word interesting. I've heard someone say iucundus in this meaning, but it's not an accurate ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

The word *quick* in Latin

There are many words, which are translated as quick. My initial search showed celer: swift , quick, rapid; in a bad sense, hasty, rash celox: swift , quick; f. as subst. a swift vessel, yacht citus: ...
24
votes
2answers
393 views

Why does the ablative case also include the locative?

In Latin we have the ablative case. Its common uses can be described as instrumental and locative (ablativus loci). But in Slavonic languages we have a distinct locative case. Did the instrumental ...
16
votes
2answers
818 views

What colours did different colour words mean, exactly?

There are many different words for colours in Latin, but it's not easy to tell what kind of colour was exactly meant by each word. Do we know what different colour words meant? In particular, is there ...
14
votes
1answer
852 views

Examples of the use of Claudian letters (Ⅎ, Ↄ, Ⱶ)

Emperor Claudius introduced three additional letters to the Latin alphabet: Ⅎ, Ↄ, and Ⱶ. What are some examples of the words in which these letters were used?
18
votes
1answer
791 views

What is an overview of the differences between Classical and Ecclesiastical Latin?

I'm aware of some of the differences in pronunciation between the two, and perhaps this can be covered in greater detail elsewhere, but are there also any other key areas of differences (with perhaps ...
9
votes
2answers
130 views

How is “quod” operating in this sentence of Hyginus?

The first sentence of Hyginus' Prometheus is: Hominés anteá ab immortálibus ignem petébant neque in perpetuum serváre sciébant; quod posteá Prometheus in ferulá détulit in terrás, hominibusque ...
9
votes
1answer
283 views

Evolution of the meaning of Tollere?

One of my favorite Latin words is Tollere because it means both "to raise" as in to lift off the ground, as well as (more poetically) "to raze" or destroy/take away. Are there any commentaries on how ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

When does caesura occur in a dactylic hexameter?

Wikipaedia says this: In dactylic hexameter, a caesura occurs any time the ending of a word does not coincide with the beginning or the end of a metrical foot; in modern prosody, however, it is ...
9
votes
1answer
116 views

How do I know when there is synizesis in a verse?

Synizesis is the rare phenomenon where two vowels within a word that normally do not form a diphthong are nevertheless pronounced as such, and hence count as a single syllable in the metre. Under ...
10
votes
1answer
127 views

Interpreting symbol at the end of entries in Latin probate act book?

While transcribing entries in a 16th century Latin probate act book, I have come across a symbol that commonly appears at the end of entries, and sometimes within entries: What does it represent? Is ...
15
votes
2answers
873 views

Why did Medieval Latin use “ad” with the accusative instead of just using the dative?

Part of Documents of Medieval Latin (page 14) states several differences between Classical Latin and Medieval Latin. One is an increased use of prepositions where Classical Latin used a simple ...
8
votes
1answer
68 views

What nuances distinguish “minor” and “ínstó” when they mean “threaten”?

The prefix of ínstó seems to suggest pressure or movement in a way that minor doesn't, but is that suggestion borne out in their actual use? Quí minátur quasi fíxus est, quí ínstat in aliquem movet?
13
votes
1answer
94 views

Why “impressa” in Æneid IV.659–60?

So Dido's almost finished her long, drawn-out suicide scene, and we get the lines Dīxit, et ōs impressa torō, "Moriēmur inultae, sed moriāmur," ait. It seems like impressa is being used here as ...
8
votes
1answer
74 views

How do I understand “victís” and “imperitátum” in this sentence from Livy XXI?

In Róma Æterna (second volume of Lingua Latína per sé illustráta), p. 209, in a discussion of Hannibal adapted from Livy book XXI, contains the following sentence: Odiís etiam prope májóribus ...
11
votes
1answer
134 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
588 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
484 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
157 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
535 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
104 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
188 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
935 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
124 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
215 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
155 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
478 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
10k 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
162 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
170 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
873 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
16k 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
978 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
323 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
149 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 ...

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