Questions tagged [classical-latin]

Questions concerning Latin of the classical era, approximately 75 BCE to 300 CE

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Hi omnes lingua: Why lingua is put in singular?

The 2th sentence in De Bello Gallico Liber I. Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. The word lingua is put Ablative Singular. Why? I am not a native speaker of Indo-European ...
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2 votes
2 answers
161 views

Satyricon 136.7-8

..... post lectum occisum anserem mitto vulnusque cruris haud altum aceto diluo. Is "vulnus" a 4th declension plural accusative noun? If so, why is it modified by "altum", which is ...
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Did individuus refer to individual persons in Ancient Rome?

Did individuus refer to individual persons in Ancient Rome?
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1 answer
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Does -que get appended to adjectives?

For example in the following sentence should the adjective 'magnus' also take 'que' to agree with the noun 'puer'? Puella puerque magnus.
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I'm looking for a stable English to Latin translation for the below quote

I did some research about the Greek Gods associated with language and communication and found that the best approximation is the Greek God: Hermes. I'm writing a research paper about communications, ...
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7 votes
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Is "Ave Dominus Nox" the correct translation for "Hail to the Lord of Night"?

In the Warhammer 40K universe, the Night Lords (scary stealthy dudes) use the battle cry "Ave Dominus Nox." This isn't meant to be in Latin, but in High Gothic, a made-up language for the ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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What is the modern day pronunciation of v in Latin as in van or as a w? And is the c soft as in cellar or hard as in cat?

What is the modern day pronunciation of v in Latin (as in van) or as a w sound? And is the c soft as in cellar or hard as in cat?
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In Satyricon 135.4

"detrahentem", though a present partiple and therefore active, (it seems to me) is used passively (like the past participle "detractum". .... Something like "She stuck the ...
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Determine length of vowel

How to determine the length of a vowel without dictionary or any stripes above letters? Thanks.
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What is the name of this website

About a year ago I saw a list on some wiki site that listed all of the websites that are doing a computer analysis of Latin. I've done a lot of googling but cannot find the site. I don't think it ...
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doodle (verb & noun) scribble absent-mindedly/ a rough drawing made absent-mindedly

What might the Latin be for this word. I first thought that the Plautine has litteras gallina scripsit might be modified but eventually went for ‘inter otia aninmi formas scribere’ and ‘formae inter ...
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Ex + sisto preposition choice

Why is it exsisto instead of subsisto? Between the verbs sisto and ἵστημι there seems to be an almost perfect correspondence in meaning but the prepositions switch from exsisto to ὑφίστημι (which ...
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How do we get around the fact that 'extera' appears rarely as masculine

In the OLD it says that 'exter' is rare as a nom sing masc adjective but in the LASLA database it does not appear at all as a masc positive adjective in any case. As a superlative the masculine '...
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Can magna be a noun or an adverb?

In this passage from Ars Poetica we find: Ī́ncēptī́s grăuĭbū́s plērū́mque‿ēt mā́gnă prŏfḗssis Pū́rpŭrĕū́s, lātḗ quī splḗndĕăt, ū́nŭs ĕt ā́lter Ā́dsŭĭtū́r pānnū́s I can't figure out if 'magna' is an ...
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What word does 'iucunda' modify in this sentence from Cicero?

I am reading a letter fom Cicero to his friend Atticus and can't quite pinpoint exactly how the word iucunda functions thereof: "Nam mihi omnia, quae iūcunda ex hūmānitāte alterius et mōribus ...
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7 votes
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Origin and actual quote of the proverb "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion"

While searching for the Latin quote of the proverb "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion", I was a bit surprised because the form that I know of that proverb was "It's not enough for ...
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‘like hell!’ as a strong negative

I try to conduct all my conversations in Latin with my close friends and am trying to find a good Latin equivalent for ‘like hell!’ as a strong negative. Would minime gentium be a good response’ when ...
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Translation of a exhortatory phrase of encouragement to remain cheerful in difficult circumstances

The trans phrase I am looking for a colloquial translation of is ‘keep your chin up!’I received a birthday card from an in-law with the phrase sursum mentum—-I have been waiting a long time for a knee ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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ille sequatur Opis

In the following passage from Tibullus 1.4.68 Ā́t quī nṓn āudī́t Mūsā́s, quī uḗndĭt ămṓrem, Ī́dǣǣ́ cūrrū́s ī́llĕ sĕquā́tŭr Ŏpís From the context we know that Tibullus is outlining consequences for ...
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Has the word 'focus' ever meant 'fire' in Latin literature?

I ask this because in virtually all the Romance languages, the respective descendants simply mean fire, yet when I come across the term in classical literature specifically, it usually meant 'hearth'. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Recommended editions the Aeneid and the Gallic Wars (for AP Latin)

I am looking for recommended editions of the Aeneid and the Gallic Wars, suitable for (highly motivated) high school students. (I will be working on the AP Latin curriculum with my sons, but I'm not ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Corrections/review of a verse translation

I'm translating a Tennyson verse (Sir Galahad) and had it went over by a couple of folks with some corrections. I would like you guys to give it a final pass if you would be so kind. I searched and ...
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Was Classical Latin spoken fast like in the Romance languages or slow like in English?

Was Classical Latin spoken fast like in the Romance languages or slow like in English? In all the Nuntii Latini episodes, Classical Latin is spoken fast like in the Romance languages, https://areena....
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6 votes
1 answer
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Why is ū long in "Vitruvius"?

Lewis & Short and Gaffiot's dictionaries both mark long ū in the name Vitrūvius. How do we know this, and do we know the reason for it? In my experience, most words with the sequence -uvi- + vowel ...
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3 votes
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How to say or spell "for the many"?

How might one accurately state "for the many" in classical/common Latin ?
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the function of "persona" in Satyricon 120, line 72?

The only meaning of "persona" I can find anywhere is "mask, character, part, person", etc. In all translations I have found, "persona" seems to be ignored and uncommented-...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Wolves or foxes in Latin literature? [closed]

I'm doing a research project and I'm examining comparisons between animals in different aspects of classical Latin literature. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for examples of wolves and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
148 views

Sources for Roman graffiti of Pompeii and Herculaneum

I'm beginning to learn about vulgar latin and I came across the following verses which is one of the graffiti preserved by the lava. Quisquis ama valia, peria qui nosci amare. Bis tanti peria ...
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4 votes
2 answers
389 views

Littera Canina in Classical Latin and Old Latin

Ancient Romans called the letter R littera canina as the R in Classical Latin was trilled to sound like a growling dog! Was the letter R trilled to sound like a growling dog when the ancient Romans ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Intonation pattern in Classical Latin that is the same intonation pattern Dora Marquez of Dora the Explorer does at times when she is speaking English

Listening to Classical Latin literature I have noticed that Thomas Bervoets launches into the same intonation pattern that Dora Marquez of Dora the Explorer does when she is speaking English at times! ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Declining caput, capitis (3rd decl., neuter) as a starting student

Can somebody please point me in the correct direction so that I can understand why the following declension is done that way? The neutral noun "caput" came up in a correspondence course I am ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
2k views

How did Caesar pronounce Latin overlined vowels?

I am a beginner with Latin and am confused about the overlined vowels. The textbook I have explains these via vowels of English words, but I think that is unsatisfactory, because when learning other ...
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12 votes
1 answer
167 views

When have we last lost an ancient Latin text?

Alex B's answer to a recent question mentions that we have no extant texts from Ovid before the high middle ages. As books are perishable on the timescale of centuries, having extant material today ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Does Latin "sexus" also mean "6" in English?

I started learning Latin (self-learning), I used Oxford and online Latin-English dictionary but on translating the word "sexus" online dictionary it gives sex and six but the book gives only ...
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4 votes
1 answer
313 views

What type of Latin should I learn?

I want to study Latin. I read that there are three types of Latin: Classical Latin, Vulgar Latin, and Ecclesiastical Latin. Which one do you recommend to learn? Are the differences between the three ...
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Examples of the unnecessary prefix "pre/prae"

I think that Fowler's Modern English Usage takes issue with the practice of needlessly inserting "pre" before words which already contain the idea, as in "pre-alerts" that patients ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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The meaning of common terms used in monolingual Latin dictionaries

I'm studying Latin with the book Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata. I'm currently in chapter XLIII. When I have a doubt about some word, I can look at the indeces (which is a separate book) to find in ...
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3 votes
2 answers
188 views

Potestne nōmen «Kayla» Latīnē reddī?

Quōmodo optimē nōmen «Kayla» Latīnē reddī potest, duābus tantum syllabīs? Nōmina hactenus quae cōnsīderābam: Caela, Kaela, Katja.
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1 answer
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how would you say “i killed death”?

i used to know but can’t recall the exact translation i wanted.
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8 votes
2 answers
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Which would be the best word for "abyss" in classical Latin?

In Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, he has the following well-known line: Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, ...
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7 votes
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Is this use of elliptical neuter superlatives un-Ciceronian?

This may be an oddly specific question, but I've run across comments online that suggest the following usages found in Pliny the Elder's Natural History would not be valid in the Latin of Cicero: Ad ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How do you say "It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most." in Latin?

A tad nuance is fine, as long as the original meaning is there. Would appreciate it if someone took time to do this. Don't be obliged though..
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7 votes
1 answer
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Question regarding a Cicero excerpt

Context : Pamphillus has to bring two vases (scyphos) to the praetor Verres who is advised by two corrupted connoisseurs with which Pamphillus has negotiated a sum of money in exchange for Pamphillus ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Why do I find it hard not to palatalize the /g/ in digitus?

In latin words such as digitus, I found it hard to pronounce correctly the consonants /k/ or /g/ followed by /i/. I think that this happens especially if these sounds are in the same syllabe. Is it ...
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8 votes
2 answers
341 views

Hearing vs hearing that

The English sentence 'I heard you play the flute' can have three distinct meanings: At some point in the past, you played the flute while I was within earshot. Someone told me that you are able to ...
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2 votes
2 answers
177 views

What's the cool killer app of Latin?

I'm about halfway through an introductory course on Latin, and I'm not particularly enjoying it. The problem I'm having is that it's coming across as a very generic, fussy language that's similar to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Songs being sung in Classical Latin literature

Listening to Classical Latin literature I have noticed what sounds like songs being sung! For example the Lydia Dic part in Lydia Dic Per Omnes and the probās vocārī, Seu Genitālis part of Phoebe ...
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7 votes
2 answers
113 views

For what copulative verbs is the nominative case used in addition to est?

I'm a real beginner, but I was reading that a noun is declined as nominative for the predicative nominative, so: cattus est canis, the cat is a dog both cat and dog would be declined in the nominative ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Amar vs encantar in Latin

As I've understood it, in Spanish there's a difference between using amar for people and encantar for things. Is there a similar difference in Latin? This page describes the difference: https://...
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  • 131
5 votes
1 answer
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"Litus Saxonicum", or "Litus Saxonicus"

Well I have found the Saxon Shore written, in some sites, as "Litus Saxonicus", It seems OK, but I have found as well Litus Saxonicum. Source: Notitia dignitatum.
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