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12
votes
2answers
224 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
161 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
566 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
84 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
168 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
173 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
925 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
17k 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
137 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
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
363 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
156 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
268 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
742 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
512 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
176 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
305 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
10k 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
7k 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
899 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
516 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
105 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
199 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
251 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
2k 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
2k 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
545 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
110 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
534 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
205 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
406 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?
17
votes
3answers
470 views

Would it be good Classical Latin style to always use the preposition “ab” and never “ā”?

I understand from Lingua Latina per se Illustrata (chap. 6) that the prepositions ā and ab are equivalent, except that ā is used only before words beginning with consonants, while ab can be used ...
13
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, ...
13
votes
2answers
307 views

“Dies unus”—non primus?

Genese 1:5 Hieronymus traduxit: Appellavitque lucem Diem, et tenebras Noctem: factumque est vespere et mane, dies unus. Cur "unus", non "primus"? Nonne numerum ordinalem significat? Nonne "unus" ...
10
votes
1answer
180 views

“Ignis solis propinqui”

Linguā Latīnā Per Sē Illūstrātā Ioānnis Ørbergī pāginā 207 scrīptum est: Ignis sōlis propinquī cēram, quā pennae iūnctae et fīxae erant, mollīvit et pennās ussit. Cur nōn "propinquus" dīcit?
12
votes
6answers
51k views

What does memento mori actually mean?

I'm wondering what memento mori actually means. From Wikipedia, I see the meaning is "you must die" but that makes it sound like a threat. Legend said that one of the war prisoner use the word for ...
25
votes
1answer
426 views

Are there any recorded classical Roman abbreviations of “et cetera”?

Today, there are many different abbreviations for the phrase "et cetera", including etc. &c. &ct. As far as I know, the phrase was used in the classical period - in other words, it's not ...
-1
votes
1answer
274 views

When and why did Latin mutate into Italian, French and Spanish? [closed]

At which point in history was the language spoken not anymore called Latin but any of the succeeding languages like Italian, French or Spanish? What are the characteristics which made them different ...
9
votes
1answer
210 views

Difference between “hiems” and “hībernum”

The two words both translate to "winter" in English.1,2 Although information on Wikipedia is sparse, I gather that hiems is most commonly used as a noun, while hibernum is the noun form of the more ...
14
votes
1answer
118 views

When and where was the non-deponent form of verb “miror” used?

I've heard that deponent verb "miror" also had a non-deponent form. As far as I know it was in medieval Latin. So is it true? When exactly was the verb "mirare" used? Was it used everywhere, or was it ...
34
votes
3answers
9k views

How do we know how the Romans pronounced Latin?

A quick Google Search says plenty of things about Roman Latin pronunciation, and since it's an edu domain I'm inclined to believe it. However, the closest to citing a source it gets is saying "we know ...
18
votes
1answer
628 views

Why are verbs often listed under their first person singular form and not under infinitive as in many other languages?

The natural way of listing verbs in dictionaries is by infinitive, but this is not the case in many Latin dictionaries. Why? Were there some of the first Latin dictionaries using first person singular ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there examples of passive imperative forms of non-deponent verbs in ancient literature?

Imperative forms and deponent verbs are quite common ancient Latin literature, and imperative forms of deponent verbs also occur. But are there examples of passive imperative forms of non-deponent ...
15
votes
1answer
330 views

Were mnemonics used to teach Classical Latin?

Latin has quite a complex grammar and many mnemonics have been used in the past as a memory aid. A famous example is the rhytmic "rosa rosa rosam" which is used to teach the first declension. It was ...

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