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16 votes

What's the most common word in Latin?

Et If we are treating distinct forms as separate words, et (mentioned in a comment by Cairnarvon) seems likely to be the winner, based on brief corpus searches of promising candidates. 198,519 ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.3k
13 votes
Accepted

Why is this Etruscan letter sometimes transliterated as "ch"?

Most of our understanding of Etruscan pronunciation comes from our knowledge of Greek. Back before the Greek alphabet was standardized, there were different varieties used in different areas. And ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.6k
13 votes

What are the Greek or Latin words for these SI prefixes?

From an article on the adoption of the newest prefixes (Q, R, q, r) in 2022: "The only letters that were not used for other units or other symbols were R and Q," Brown said. Convention ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
13 votes

Can someone help translating "one must die for one to live"

One possibility: necesse est alterum mori ut alter vivat. It's necessary that one (of the two) die in order that the other live. A variation: ut alter vivat necesse est ut alter moriatur. In order ...
cnread's user avatar
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10 votes
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Does "laviniaque" from Vergil's Aeneid point to Romance palatalization?

This is a phenomenon called synizesis (συνίζησις), and it happens in both Greek and Latin poetry. For example, at the beginning of the Iliad: μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος To fit in a hexameter, ...
Draconis's user avatar
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10 votes
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References to "coin tossing", "heads or ships", or "navia aut caput"

A corpus search for navi near capit (and variations) doesn't turn up much relevant. But here's what A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities has to say: CAPITA AUT NAVIA head or tail, the name of ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.6k
10 votes

What's difference between a "stagnum" and "lacuna"?

It could be both a lacuna and a stagnum, both words are appropriate. With this kind of question, a dictionary of synonyms will often help. These are dictionaries specialized in laying out the ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
9 votes

Why would an accusative become the subject in Tacitus, Annales 1.28?

The subject is fors ("luck") and the object is noctem ("night"). If you just take the subject, the object and the predicate, you get: Noctem fors lenivit. Luck alleviated the ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
9 votes

Unusual grammar in Ars Amatoria 1.509 f: 'a nulla tempora comptus acu'

Theseus is a nulla tempora comptus acu, whose parts can be understood as follows: Comptus is roughly "tied together". Acu is a normal instrumental ablative, "with a pin". ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Tacitus Germania XIV: Cum ventum in aciem

Here is the complete sentence from Tacitus: Cum ventum in aciem, turpe principi virtute vinci, turpe comitatui virtutem principis non adaequare. (Tac. Germ. XIV, I). 'When come to war, it is a shame ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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8 votes

How to say They came, they saw, they conquered in Latin?

If you want to sound archaic or poetic, say "Venere, videre, vicere.". If you do not, say "Venerunt, viderunt, vicerunt.". Latin, namely, has two endings for perfect 3rd person ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
8 votes
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How does this apposition work?

Sabidi is not the genitive, but the vocative, used to address someone. It is not an apposition, but stands alone, not in agreement with te or anything else (this is indicated by the commata in modern ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
8 votes

How can I avoid ambiguity when using terms with declinations included in phrases?

This is a type of ambiguity that generally can't be avoided, but also generally doesn't cause a problem. Consider "my friend's gas mask" in English. Do you parse this as "(my friend)'s ...
Draconis's user avatar
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8 votes
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Grammar of rogatum auxilium, askee modified instead of asker

The word rogatum is the accusative form of the supine. The supine is a verbal noun (like an infinitive1) rather than a verbal adjective (like a participle), so it need not agree with any other word in ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes

What are the Greek or Latin words for these SI prefixes?

As you note, the tera- prefix comes from the Greek word for monster. But it also happens to be quite similar to tetra-, which is of course the Greek-derived prefix for four. The next step up from ...
BenM's user avatar
  • 181
8 votes

What's the most common word in Latin?

Christopher Francese compiled a frequency list of the most common Latin words and ranks them. This is done by lemma, not forms. The top five are: et sum, esse, fui, futurum qui, quae, quod -que in ...
cmw's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is Vulgar Latin just an artificial or constructed version of Classical Latin?

"Classical Latin" describes the poetry of Vergil and the formal speeches of Cicero, rather than how people actually spoke at any given place and time. The name is generally applied to the ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.6k
7 votes

Have these Greek letters been related to these Latin/English letters?

F and Φ: No. F descends from Greek digamma, a letter that originally represented /w/, which died out in the Greek alphabet shortly after /w/ did. You can still see relics of it in the number system. H ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.6k
7 votes

Can someone help translating "one must die for one to live"

Here's another, more concise option: Alteri moriendum ut alter vivat. This uses a different way of expressing "must" than cnread's translations, but means basically the same thing. You ...
TKR's user avatar
  • 31.3k
6 votes

How do I say "Humanism" in Latin?

English humanism (or more precisely, Italian umanesimo) is effectively a calque of (Cicero's conception of) hūmānitās, which itself is hūmānus (not homō, though the words must be related) +‎ the ...
Cairnarvon's user avatar
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6 votes
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Use of 'suus' in 'ignoranti quem portum petat nullus suus ventus est'

While not its most common usage, suus can also mean something like proprius: "their own" as opposed to anyone else's. This is meaning II.B and II.C in Lewis and Short and was especially ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.6k
6 votes
Accepted

"Non splendeat toga, ne sordeat quidem"

This would fit under definition 6.b for nē in OLD: not...either, neither. Therefore, 'Your toga should not be bright (but) not dingy either.' In fact, the OLD entry cites this passage. Others that ...
cnread's user avatar
  • 20.1k
6 votes
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What is the role of "ipso" in this quote from Cicero?

A couple of miscellaneous points, some iterated from my comments: You used more words to ask your question than strictly logically necessary. Why did you do that? Cicero doesn't use the bare minimum ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
6 votes

How to say 'I miss you' in Latin

There are several ways to say this; what to say exactly depends on context and to a certain extent your mood... They all tend to revolve around the word desiderare or desiderium. The simplest way ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Which form of Latin pronunciation is most widely taught?

In Croatia, we were taught some other system of pronunciation: one without geminate consonants and with a soft 'c' but no soft 'g'. As far as I know, just about every country in Europe has its own ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
6 votes

Is khrysodory Athenaie the accurate way to say Athena's golden spear?

χρυσός does mean 'gold' (as a noun), and δόρυ does mean 'spear', but you can't really productively mash the two together like that (anymore—in attested Greek tatpuruṣa compounds are much more limited ...
Cairnarvon's user avatar
  • 10.2k
5 votes
Accepted

What's the role of the word "scribam" in this Cicero's sentence?

It's an indirect question. This would be a direct question: Quid ad te scribo? "What do I write to you?" An indirect question in Latin always comes with the conjunctive mood (not future ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes

Lepus: "lepusculus". Longus: "longusculus" or "longiculus"

There is the word longulus, "rather long". Whether that is appropriate depends on what you want to mean by the word. I understand "small hare" but "small long" is far ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Sextus Empiricus and Latin

Congratulations on setting for yourself a worthy goal! I think that Duolingo and Lingua Latina are great places to start. Once you graduate from them let me recommend that you dive straight away into ...
Figulus's user avatar
  • 4,579
5 votes

De mortuis nil nisi bene or bonum?

I had 6 years of Latin in an Austrian high school. The only version of this I ever knew was "de mortuis nihil nisi bene". So it seems there was some consensus in the Latin curriculum of my ...
kwaclawek's user avatar

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