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14
votes
2answers
490 views

“If and only if”

In mathematical literature "if and only if" (sometimes abbreviated as "iff"1) is a relatively common phrase. Saying "A if and only if B" means that A and B are equivalent logical statements. This is ...
14
votes
1answer
594 views

Omnia vincit amor: vincere or vincire?

The phrase omnia vincit amor (from Vergilius' tenth Ecloga; see full text in Latin and English) is typically translated as "love conquers everything". However, vincit can come from either vincere (to ...
14
votes
1answer
240 views

Greek pronunciation, invisible aspirations

Is there any evidence that aspirations that are as a result of composition no longer orthographically marked were still pronounced? Or to the contrary? I mean was προαίρησις pronounced proairesis or ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “ac” (or “atque”) and “et”?

What is the difference between ac (or atque) and et? And how do I know when to use atque instead of just ac? It seems that ac "binds more tightly" than et. Is this true? Or is the difference between ...
14
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
469 views

What is the optative?

Some conjunctive forms end in -im (and -is, -it, -imus, -itis, -int), but this is rare. The examples I recall are sim, possim, velim, nolim, malim, and duim (alternative to dem). These forms are ...
14
votes
2answers
401 views

Is there a semantic difference between the two perfect tenses in medieval Latin?

In medieval Latin active perfect forms started to use the auxiliary verb habere with perfect participle. Thus amavi would be replaced with amatum habeo. These two constructions must have coexisted for ...
14
votes
1answer
833 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?
14
votes
1answer
615 views

Did Romans distinguish between black and blue?

Did the Romans distinguish between black and blue? Or, more generally, what do we know about their color system? I was wondering because many of the modern Roman languages use either Arabic or ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Pulvis aut Favillae in 'Dust and Ashes' in the Book of Job?

The famous phrase "Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes" does not come from the Bible but from the English Burial Service of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, reading: "we therefore commit his body to the ...
14
votes
1answer
783 views

On the etymology of “violin” and “vitula”

Several English etymological sources say violin is from Latin vitula. A vitula/vitulus is a calf. But why was the instrument named after a calf? But some sources say this vitula may be from vitulari "...
14
votes
1answer
146 views

Research or other reliable statistics about Latin proficiency today

I would like to know how many people understand Latin fluently. To that end, I would like to find research or statistics concerning Latin proficiency. I am not asking how many people have studied ...
14
votes
1answer
140 views

Is there a Latinism for “under fire”/“in combat”/“under duress”?

This question is partially open ended. I'm looking for a Latin idiom or euphemism or phrase that expresses something being from or related to practice as opposed to being related to theory. ...
14
votes
2answers
184 views

When did Caesar's works begin to be used to teach Latin to non-native speakers?

Eleanor Dickey, a professor of Classics, responded recently to a question about the works read by those learning Latin as a second language in the Greek-speaking ancient world: [Students in the ...
14
votes
1answer
426 views

Bullying vocabulary

I am not familiar with any mentions of bullying in Roman literature, so I would like to ask for good words for the phenomenon in classical Latin. I would like something that is suitable for bullying ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

Feminine case 3rd-person version of “Veni, vidi, vici”

How does the famous saying: Veni, vidi, vici. have to be changed so that it describes a female person, such as in English: She came, she saw, she conquered. Reversing Google Translate gives ...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

How to correctly say Star Wars in Latin?

I know that the nouns are stella and bellum, but I think the translation should in spirit be closer to stellar wars or something similar.
13
votes
5answers
7k views

Learn Ancient Greek or Latin first?

I am in the beginning stages of thinking about learning both Ancient Greek and Latin. During my initial research, I have encountered some people saying that learning Latin first is what is commonly ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

How does one say “the will to live” in Latin?

Obviously, I don't trust Google translate, or I wouldn't be here. Just to clarify: By "The will", I mean "a deliberate or fixed desire or intention".
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Translation needed for 130 years old church document

I found this record of my great grandfather in a local church in Malaysia. Today, nobody use Latin anymore in this country. I should be much grateful if someone can help my family translating this ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is there no future perfect subjunctive in Latin?

Why is there no future perfect subjunctive verb form in classical Latin? I can't think of a time it would be used, but I can think of an English translation: "if subject were to have verbed, then ...
13
votes
3answers
7k views

Why doesn't Latin have words for “Yes” and “No”?

I mean, it seems like pretty elementary words that can occur in different type of situations. Why wouldn't they exist ?
13
votes
5answers
682 views

Causatives in Latin

Many languages I know of have a way of making causative constructions. For example, English uses "make" or "have": I make you do something or have you do something, or even cause you to do something. ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How does ‘pontifex’ connect to the significance of bridge building as pious work?

From the Online Etymology Dictionary: pontifex (n.) member of the supreme college of priests in ancient Rome, 1570s, from Latin pontifex "high priest, chief of the priests," probably from ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

What do animals say in classical Latin?

It is well known that the way animals "speak" is amusingly different in different languages. (See lion below.) This makes it hard to guess what kinds of words the Romans would have put in the mouths ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

French and Latin “s'il te/vous plaît”

The phrases si tibi placet and si vobis placet can be found in Latin literature, but they are not particularly common. At least superficially they correspond to the French "s'il te plaît" and "s'il ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Does liberi only refer to free children?

This issue came up in an answer and comments to this earlier question about comparing liberi and filii, and I think it's important enough to be treated in a separate question. Also, the answer to this ...
13
votes
6answers
16k views

How did the Romans wish good birthday?

I know how to wish a happy birthday in Latin: Bonum diem natalem! (There are other options as well.) It just occurred to me that I do not recall coming across any ancient birthday congratulations. Do ...
13
votes
2answers
275 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" ...
13
votes
3answers
568 views

Why is suus in the accusative feminine singular in this sentence?

I'm a very new Latin learner - I'm using Lingua Latina as my primary text to become fluent in reading (with the 'college' supplement and other texts for additional clarification). I'm on chapter 6 (...
13
votes
2answers
3k 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, ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Do plural names referring to a singular thing require a plural verb?

Another question related to my geography of the Roman Empire which I am writing has arisen: during the time of Trajan, 117 AD, there were several provinces which had names in the plural, especially ...
13
votes
3answers
582 views

A Dios rogando y con el mazo dando

tl;dr I want a Latin motto conveying the idea that you have to ask God for something while at the same time pursuing it. I have two Spanish sayings that work pretty well I have a couple of Latin ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Origins of the word “hodie”

Hodie is a Latin adverb meaning "today" or "at the present time". I am rather curious as to how this word developed. Was it originally a compound of hōc and diē, which would be translated as "on this ...
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
258 views

Translation of a Jodocus Hondius map inscription

Could anyone help me understand the meaning of the Latin in this Jodocus Hondius map from the early 1600s? Exquisita & magno aliquot mensium periculo lustrata et iam retecta Freti Magellanici ...
13
votes
1answer
932 views

Were voiceless stops (p, t, c, qu) aspirated in Classical Latin?

In English, the voiceless stops/plosives (p, t, k, "hard" c) are aspirated, particularly when beginning a word. That is, speakers release a burst of air when saying pop, tea, kaluha, or coffee (put ...
13
votes
2answers
221 views

Why were some medieval maps made in Latin?

Documents in Medieval Latin states that (page 18) Large numbers of maps, from small areas such as the English counties to world maps, were published from the early 16th century onwards. Many ...
13
votes
2answers
848 views

When and how was “bombax!” used?

I found the exclamation bombax! in Plautus' Pseudolus (Pl. Ps. 1.3.131), where note 19 specifies it is a Greek loanword (βομβάξ in fact) used as an interjection of contempt. This agrees with what is ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the name of the separator dots between the words?

Consider the following photo of the Westminster Cathedral: What are those separator-dots called? I see them on many inscriptions. Why is it there?
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Saying “thank you”

I have only ever been taught one Latin translation for "thank you", and it is gratias agere (conjugated in a suitable way). I just checked in L&S that this is indeed an attested use of gratia, ...
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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
10k views

Ars gratia artis

I would like to know the meaning of the following Latin expression, as well as a grammatical analysis of the individual words in this context: ARS GRATIA ARTIS as it appears in the following logo ...
13
votes
1answer
648 views

Was elision specific to verse in classical Latin?

The rigid poetic meters used by ancient poets strongly indicate that elision is done (almost) every time one word ends in a vowel and the next one begins with another — with the usual exceptions ...
13
votes
1answer
140 views

Is fessus a participle?

The adjective fessus (wearied, tired, fatigued, worn out, weak, feeble, infirm) sounds and looks like it could well be a participle. If there is a verb, I would assume it to mean something in the ...
13
votes
3answers
641 views

Is qsd an abbreviation for a Latin phrase?

This is a bit cheeky, but I'm trying to find out the meaning of what may be an 18th century abbreviation of a Latin phrase (for an answer to a question in EL&U.SE). Since I have no Latin, I've ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Does anyone learn Latin as a native language?

I am interested in finding out if any Latin enthusiasts speak Latin to their children, so that the children grow up with Latin as one of their native languages. If yes, can any description of their ...
13
votes
1answer
337 views

Use of ß (“eszett”) in Latin text

I am translating a medical text from the late 16th century. The author is Swiss. The text uses the ß character (like the German eszett). Example: toti amplißimo conseßui Is this character being ...
13
votes
1answer
364 views

Wordplay with “Vox Populi” (populus, m vs. populus, f)

Say I want to mock up the idiom "Vox Populi" using not "populus" (m, people) but "populus" (f, poplar tree). Meaning something like "the sound of the poplar leaves rustling". Do I have a way to ...

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