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3
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1answer
61 views

Is the prefix 'in-' redundant in 'instruere'?

This inspired this question; I should verify whether the prefix really means something. instruere "arrange, prepare, set in order; inform, teach," literally "to build, erect," from in-² "on" + ...
5
votes
1answer
367 views

What (if anything) does the prefix 'de-' mean in *defallere?

This inspired this question; I should verify whether the prefix really means something. *defallere from Latin de- "away" + fallere "to deceive, to cheat; to put wrong, to lead astray, cause to be ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What (if anything) does the prefix 'op-' mean in 'operīre'?

This question inspired the following: I should verify whether the prefix really means something. I quoted the French version of Wiktionary because the English version does not state the Latin etymons (...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

Accurate pronunciation of Luther's 86th thesis

I'm working on a short elocution piece that will involve quoting Luther's 86th thesis in the original Latin: Cur Papa, cuius opes hodie sunt opulentissimis Crassis crassiores, non de suis pecuniis ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

What does “quidem” REALLY mean?

The Lewis Elementary Latin Dictionary (via latinlexicon.org) gives the following definitions: quidem [expressing emphasis or assurance] assuredly, certainly, in fact, indeed [in answers] certainly, ...
12
votes
1answer
294 views

How would a servus publicus be named - using the nominative or the genitive?

I was reading this encyclopedia entry on Roman naming, and it discusses the naming of Roman slaves. Originally, slave's name was the name of his master + "puer". During the age of the Roman Republic, ...
16
votes
1answer
337 views

Meaning and etymology of ūrīnor and ūrīna: “to dive” comes from “pee”?

Starting from a Bart Simpson prank call, I looked for "urinator" in Wiktionary, and suddenly found myself faced with the Latin meaning of the word, that is, ūrīnātor meaning "diver"...
13
votes
1answer
247 views

When did Latin lose the locative? [duplicate]

Latin has, depending on who you ask, 6 or 7 cases. The 7th case is the locative – the Cambridge Latin Course (which I study) does not have it, rather it just lists words like 'domi' as 'at home' – not ...
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. ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Contracted perfect and historical infinitive

The present infinitive is sometimes used as a predicate in a past tense sentence. The use context is similar to praesens historicum. My grammar gives two examples: Nihil Galli respondere, sed in ...
8
votes
1answer
157 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
736 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
223 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
347 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
90 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
8k 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
3k 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
5k 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
438 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
884 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
942 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
2k 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
141 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
356 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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
129 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
137 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
1k 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
73 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
95 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
84 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
142 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
779 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
509 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
159 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
580 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
106 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
198 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
123 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
1k 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
147 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
229 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
165 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
611 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
86 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 ...

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