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17
votes
2answers
577 views

Why is the passive participle in Matthew 10:1 rendered as active in English?

I'm a little confused by the clause that begins Matthew 10: 10:1 Et convocatis duodecim discipulis suis, dedit illis potestatem spirituum immundorum, ut ejicerent eos, et curarent omnem languorem,...
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
591 views

What are the relative frequencies of cases in Latin?

Latin has seven cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative, vocative, locative. What are their relative frequencies in classical Latin? I suppose an answer would have to be based on ...
17
votes
1answer
5k views

Why are the words for “children” (liberi) and “book” (libri) so similar?

While working in class, I came across this. They have a similar spelling, yet mean completely different things. Is this just random or does it have an actual purpose in the Latin language? Book = ...
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 ...
17
votes
2answers
589 views

What is the logic behind the order of the cases

Most English books of Latin use the order used by Charles E. Bennett: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Vocative, Ablative. But most French books use the following order: Nominative, ...
17
votes
1answer
272 views

What have we learned about Latin in the last century?

I have studied Latin, but in none of the courses I have taken has there been discussion about any progress in understanding Latin. I do believe — and hope — that classically oriented ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

In Classical Latin, what was the geographic extent of “Asia”?

On the first page of Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, students review a map of the Roman Empire, which is marked with the names of three continents and several smaller regions. The borders of the ...
17
votes
1answer
558 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Is Nietzsche's proposed etymology of “bonus” (good) correct?

In the first treatise of On the Genealogy of Morality, §5, Nietzsche proposes the following derivation of bonus (good): I believe I may interpret the Latin bonus as "the warrior": assuing that ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Examples of species whose Latin and scientific names are different

Biologists have given scientific names to many species, and these names are in Latin. A fraction of all named species was also known in ancient Rome (and medieval Europe), and they had a Latin name as ...
17
votes
1answer
731 views

When did the latin alphabet become bicameral?

The simultaneous use of uppercase and lowercase letters is a feature of the Latin alphabet used today. The uppercase and lowercase letterforms evolve from different styles of writing. Originally, the ...
17
votes
1answer
365 views

What is the origin of the -a in words like “collega, advena”?

There are a couple of masculine (or common) nouns of the first declension. Some are from masculine Greek -ês, like poeta, nauta. But others, like collega, advena, parricida, scriba, incola, agricola, ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I use “quippe” properly?

Lewis & Short gives the following definition: surely, certainly, to be sure, by all means, indeed, in fact certainly, indeed, forsooth for, for in fact for, because, inasmuch as for ...
17
votes
1answer
483 views

Was “mendicus” a term for the impotent or idle poor?

I came across the term mendicus in a 16th century English parish register. According to Lewis & Short it means: "beggarly, needy, in want, indigent". I understand the word derives from menda ...
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
186 views

Dating the penult rule

When did initial-syllable stress give way to the penult rule? W.S. Allen suggests that the former persisted "until around Plautus's time", and provides metrical evidence from Plautus and Terence that ...
16
votes
5answers
5k views

What is a Latin version of Inshallah?

Anyone who served in the military in Iraq (and probably anyone who has done business in the Gulf) in the last 15 years is familiar with the term 'Inshallah.' I suppose it means 'God willing,' as in, "...
16
votes
6answers
9k views

Is Cola “probably the best-known” Latin word in the world? If not, which might it be?

I found this in an ecological park: Cola is actually a Latin word (a scientific one, referring to the plant), albeit its etymology is African. I am curious about whether it is "probably" the best-...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

What is “Winter is Coming” in Latin?

I'm an avid follower of the TV-show "Game of Thrones", and wonder what a Latin translation of the Stark's families motto — "Winter is Coming" — would be? It's used in the form of a ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Can “ee” appear in Latin?

There are a few instances in Latin where words are spelled with two vowels next to each other, in hiatus: filii "sons", metuunt "they fear". Now, the last words of the Emperor Julian II are normally ...
16
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the meaning of “Ex Lux”, the name of Lucifer Morningstar's new bar?

I've been a fan of Mike Carey's Lucifer comic series, for its believable portrait of a fallen angel. The series spun off from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, which established this incarnation of Lucifer ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Latin plural of Curriculum Vitae?

Curriculum vitae (often abbreviated CV) is a common Latin locution present in a high number of languages, including English. In English, as in other languages, how to pluralize these foreign locutions ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Is any animal neuter in Latin?

The word animal itself is neuter in Latin, but at least all of the common animal species seem to be masculine or feminine (or common gender): canis, feles, equus, pardus, leo/leaena, lupus/lupa, ursus/...
16
votes
2answers
812 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
781 views

Why is the “u” in “nuntius” and “nuntiare” long by exception?

First of all, a warm hello to all the users here! I was recently thinking about the pronunciation of nūntius and nūntiāre along with its derivatives (such as prōnūntiāre). According to "Latin for ...
16
votes
3answers
802 views

Did the Romans use dictionaries to check what words mean?

Did Romans or other ancient users of Latin have lists of difficult words with explanations in Latin? I mean dictionaries composed entirely in Latin, not dictionaries between Latin and another language....
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of “cum inter nonnullos”

I'm reading The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco, which has a lot of Latin phrases and expressions, since the story is set in the 14th century and the protagonist is a franciscan friar. The expression ...
16
votes
1answer
400 views

What was a language for the Romans?

Defining "language" is not easy, and for many not even necessary. There are many aspects to this, and I'm interested in something more specific: distinguishing a language from a dialect. Where did ...
16
votes
1answer
563 views

Did ancient Romans develop cryptography for Latin?

Did the Romans ever develop any form of cryptography, where either words were replaced with other words or letters were replaced with other letters? Do we have any remaining examples, and if so have ...
16
votes
1answer
830 views

What are the key differences between the main Latin verbs meaning “to kill”?

I'm a student and my class laughs when we learn a new verb for "to kill". Just to list some of them: necare interficere extinguere There are of course many others. What are the key differences ...
16
votes
2answers
323 views

How did “spina” shift semantically from “thorn” or “prickle” to “backbone”?

From the online etymology dictionary (boldface mine): spine (n.) c. 1400, "backbone," later "thornlike part" (early 15c.), from Old French espine "thorn, prickle; backbone, spine" (12c., Modern ...
16
votes
4answers
364 views

Where did the Romans think Latin comes from?

Did the Romans have a theory for the origin of their language? I assume there were several ideas, and it would be great to see a summary of them. No need to go very deep on any individual theory; a ...
16
votes
2answers
778 views

What is the history of scientific Latin?

Scientists up until the mid-19th century (e.g., Gauss) would frequently write scientific works in Latin. What sort of Latin would it be considered? Would Gauss's writings, for example, be considered ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Where to find ancient mathematics in Latin?

I am a professional mathematician and an avid Latinist, and I would like to be able to read and write mathematics in Latin. I prefer classical style, so I would like to read some ancient mathematical ...
16
votes
1answer
719 views

How did Roman babies talk?

Following a chat discussion, I want to know if we have any written record or general indication of how Latin was spoken by young children. Most languages that I know have several distinct ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How did Rome transform from republic to empire in Latin?

I would like to understand how Rome transformed from republic to empire from the point of view of Latin language. I think I already have a sufficient understanding of Roman history to understand the ...
16
votes
1answer
196 views

Quare dicitur “poeta” et non “pœeta”?

"Why is it "poeta" and not "poeeta" in Latin?" This question occurs in the Harvard University Catalogue of 1872-73, but I haven't been able to find the answer. The reason I would expect "pœeta" is ...
16
votes
2answers
147 views

What is the difference in meaning or nuance between 'premō' and 'imprimō' in the sense of 'I press'?

Wiktionary shows that both premō and imprimō can mean (among other things) "I press." Looking at the formation of the latter word, the prefix im-, can negate the root word. How this applies to this ...
16
votes
1answer
209 views

Which Roman Numerals were used to express extremely large numbers in Classical Latin?

According to Wikipedia, there are two notable ways to render large numbers, reaching up to hundreds of thousands and higher: apostrophus and vinculum. The first uses a system of expanding rings, so ...
15
votes
7answers
6k views

Can you say “the” in Latin?

I'm reading Collar and Daniell's First Year in Latin right now and they mention that Latin has no articles such as "a", "an", and "the". Is this true? I have heard the book be inaccurate before.
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Do *Mundi* and *Mundum* mean different things?

I came across this expression in the book: The Invisible Man, (H.G. Wells) Griffin contra mundum...with a vengeance From my very basic knowledge of Latin (I'm a Bio. student) I take it that contra ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

“Deus tu conversus vivificabis nos…”

This verse from Psalm lxxxiv: Deus tu conversus vivificabis nos: et plebs tua laetabitur in te. Appears in the Parvum Officium of the BVM (and other liturgical prayers that currently escape my ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “esse est percipi” grammatical, even with infinitives?

According to the Crash Course Philosophy video today, George Berkeley summarized his empirical philosophy with the phrase "esse est percipi", to be is to be perceived. However, it feels somewhat ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Abbreviations used by Romans in their inscriptions

While watching a documentary, I came across this Roman tombstone of three Jewish freedmen (below is the image): The expanded transcription available online is, L(ucius) Valerius L(uci) l(ibertus) ...
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

In Romans 3:22, why did Jerome prefer to use crēdunt rather than fīdunt?

The Greek text of the Textus Receptus (1550) states, ΚΒʹ δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας καὶ ἐπὶ πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολή TR, 1550 which Jerome ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Where to find an online Latin text corpus and what can I do with it?

Suppose I want to search for a certain word, expression or structure in the Latin literature. What online tools can I use for such purposes? Where can I find a large collection of Latin texts in ...
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 ...

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