Questions tagged [definitions]

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4 votes
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how 'nunc' is used as a correlative?

I came across this sentence in Jerome's letter to Innocentius: "Nunc mihi ēuānēscentibus terrīs ‘caelum undique et undique pontus’ nunc unda tenebrīs horrēscēns et caecā nocte nimbōrum spūmeī ...
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5 votes
1 answer
272 views

What does the word "numquid" literally mean?

I have come across this word a few times in more later Latin texts. Would this word be merely synonymous with 'num' and 'quid' or is there a different shade of meaning that can be explained through a ...
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4 votes
2 answers
587 views

What is the difference in meaning between `nil` and `non` in "Primum non nocere"?

The wikipedia entry for "Primum non nocere" mentions that it's sometimes written as "Primum nil nocere". I realize the shade of difference is probably pretty fine, but is one of ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Meaning of "condition-ut-extremis" in Dune

Excerpt From: Frank Herbert, Dune “The wisdom of seeding the known universe with a prophecy pattern for the protection of B.G. personnel has long been appreciated, but never have we seen a condition-...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the connection between figs and pride in the word Caprificus?

I have seen the definitions of caprificus (caper + ficus = goat + fig) include both pride and fig trees /goat-figs. Are goats considered particularly prideful? I would think they would be more ...
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1 vote
2 answers
17k views

What is the origin for the act of "sex" and definition?

What is the origin for the word "sex" in its various grammatical forms (the noun "sex" and the verb "sex")? What is the historical definition of this word? How has it morphed into the definition of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
172 views

What can "dicere" mean in the context of a musical instrument?

Apuleius, Metamorphoses VI.24.3: scaena sibi sic concinnata ut Musae quidem chorum canerent, tibias inflaret Saturus, et Paniscus ad fistulam diceret. This is from the Loeb edition, which ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Is Pluto a planet(a)?

Judging by Lewis and Short (and other sources), planeta means a wandering star and was borrowed from Greek. Apparently the word is post-classical, and the classical expression is stellae errantes/...
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can "Quae" Be "Which"?

Before I knew much of any Latin, I watched the lyrics to Keith Massey's cover of Hello and studied the lyrics. Then, I didn't understand how tu could be tibi and ego can be me. In fact, I think the ...
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7 votes
1 answer
212 views

How does "jus" distinguish between "duty" and "right"

Lewis & Short defines jus, juris with a number of concepts that are related but distinct: that which is binding or obligatory; that which is binding by its nature, right, justice, duty I am ...
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8 votes
1 answer
207 views

Did the Romans have a definition for a species of organism?

In today's taxonomy animals, plants and other organisms are organized in species. Defining a species is no simple task for modern biologists, but we have a fair understanding of what a species ...
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19 votes
3 answers
291 views

What is the meaning of "suffragio" at the time of Calvin?

In the 1559 edition of Calvin's Institutes, he writes: Quare dum illam recipit, ac suffragio suo obsignat, non ex dubia aut alioqui controversa authenticam reddit Ford L. Battles renders it this ...
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11 votes
6 answers
58k views

What does memento mori actually mean?

I'm wondering what memento mori actually means. From Wikipedia, I see the meaning is "you must die" but that makes it sound like a threat. Legend said that one of the war prisoner use the word for ...
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12 votes
1 answer
286 views

Difference between "hiems" and "hībernum"

The two words both translate to "winter" in English.1,2 Although information on Wikipedia is sparse, I gather that hiems is most commonly used as a noun, while hibernum is the noun form of the more ...
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