20 votes
Accepted

Did ancient Romans develop cryptography for Latin?

Yes. We know that Caesar was famous for using a cipher, which is still named for him: Some letters of his to the senate are also preserved, and he seems to have been the first to reduce such ...
user avatar
  • 38.9k
18 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "S. P. D." in letters

SPD is likely an acronym for Salutem Plurimam Dicit. When used in the phrase [Person X] salutem plurimam dicit [Person Y] it literally becomes Person X sends many greetings to Person Y Person ...
user avatar
  • 2,472
17 votes
Accepted

What did the Romans use to close their letters?

If you have a look at Cicero's letters, many of them do not have any valediction at all. In a pair of letters exchanged between Q. Metellus and Cicero (Cic. Fam. 5.1-5.2), the two men simply stop and ...
user avatar
  • 38.9k
16 votes

Meaning of "S. P. D." in letters

I'll just expand slightly on @HDE226868's excellent and correct answer and say that the literal translation of salutem plurimam dicit is "says very much health." Another version you're likely to see ...
user avatar
12 votes

How do you say "How is the weather"?

You could say: Qualis tempestas est? This usage appears in Historia Ecclesiae Gandershemensis: …ut audirent [...] qualis tempestas esset …that they might hear how the weather was. However, ...
user avatar
11 votes

How do you say "How is the weather"?

One option worth considering is: Quale est caelum? Literally: "What is the sky/weather/air like?" Aulus Cornelius Celsus writes in De Medicina 3.4: Refert enim qualis morbus sit, quale ...
user avatar
11 votes

Does the "re" in emails have an ancient origin?

Yes, it does have an ancient origin. See RFC 5332 (3.6.5): When used in a reply, the field body MAY start with the string "Re: " (an abbreviation of the Latin "in re", meaning &...
user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Where did pluralis-ut-singularis come from in Latin?

There are three commonly recognized types of nosism, in which the plural first-person pronoun is used rather than the singular: the pluralis societatis ("social plural"), pluralis modestiae ("plural ...
user avatar
7 votes

Where did pluralis-ut-singularis come from in Latin?

In addition to Nathaniel's excellent answer, we offer this quotation from Ennius: Liber VII Ennii de Naevio sententia: scripsere alii rem 231 Versibus quos olim Faunei ...
user avatar
  • 18.3k
7 votes
Accepted

Clarifications regarding translation of the phrase "Id agendum est ut satis vixerimus"

Id agendum est… This is a construction called the gerundive of obligation. Literally, this means "it must be done" or "it should be done"; the "it" here is somewhat ...
user avatar
  • 50.6k
7 votes
Accepted

Are there any surviving Ancient Greek letters (epistolary)?

There are, plenty. This article contains a very comprehensive reference lists regarding Greek Epistolary research, including references to letters and collections of letters. Unfortunately, you need a ...
user avatar
7 votes

Are there any surviving Ancient Greek letters (epistolary)?

There is a collection of Plato’s letters, some, if not all, of which are generally considered to be authentic. There are also the letters of Xenophon, again of contested authenticity. But these both ...
user avatar
  • 15.7k
6 votes
Accepted

Latin phrases in 1787 letter from Danish bishop

istud vero profecto = but this in fact sic autem in fatis est = but/now as fate would have it // but/now it was fated that // but such was my fate
user avatar
  • 4,551
6 votes
Accepted

Why did Cicero switch from "abs te" to "a te" in his later works?

It seems to be a case of simple regularization. As L&S point out, abs is rarely used before a word other than te; a Packard search yields only ten such cases vs. 277 of abs te (and two of the ten ...
user avatar
  • 27.9k
6 votes
Accepted

How to say "I look forward to hearing from you" in Latin?

Would something as simple as Té (vós) summé præstolámur. or Scító (-óte) té (vós) valde exspectátum (-ós). do the trick? (I'm going with your real meaning rather than the specific sentence you ...
user avatar
6 votes

Does the "re" in emails have an ancient origin?

Re was certainly used with the same meaning, as stendarr points out in another answer, but it was not used in the same manner. For example, Cicero did not start his letters with it, although there ...
user avatar
5 votes

How to break up in classical Latin?

There are plenty of books by various authorities (Balsdon, Nicolet, Cowell, Dupont . . . ) about life at Rome, covering circumstances of almost every kind imaginable, but I can't recall reading ...
user avatar
  • 17.5k
5 votes
Accepted

How to break up in classical Latin?

In poems 24 and 25 of book 3 (which some editors see as together comprising one poem), Propertius breaks up with Cynthia. He states this most clearly in this excerpt: quinque tibi potui servire ...
user avatar
  • 7,971
5 votes

Are there any surviving Ancient Greek letters (epistolary)?

From Poster, C. 2007. A conversation halved: Epistolary theory in Greco-Roman antiquity. In Letter-writing manuals and instruction from antiquity to the present. Edited by C. Poster and L. C. Mitchell,...
user avatar
4 votes

Latin terms in (medical) clinical letters - UK

I'm in Australia, not the UK, but I've never encountered a GP who uses Latin either. I am, however, an ex-nurse, and I can assure you that while English is considered best practice, some Latin is ...
user avatar
  • 7,971
4 votes

How is this Quote from Cicero's "ad Atticum 15.20.3" to be Translated?

Illi mortuo goes together as dative, "that dead man". There are two verbs elided in this sentence -- what the gods should do to the dead man, and what the dead man did to Buthrotum. The ...
user avatar
  • 27.9k
4 votes

How to break up in classical Latin?

Perhaps this would qualify as a breakup letter. By skipping a couple of lines of the second half of Ovid's Amores 3.9a we get a decent breakup note. The rest of the poem is not addressed to the soon-...
user avatar
4 votes

How to break up in classical Latin?

FWIW, in societies where people marry young there is almost no courtship or status of "boyfriend and girlfriend", so I assume you also mean a breakup between married/engaged couples? NVG Mt 1,19 uses ...
user avatar
  • 10.1k
3 votes

Meaning of "S. P. D." in letters

SPD can also represent Salutem Plurimam Dat which has the same meaning as those mentioned above.
user avatar
  • 181
3 votes
Accepted

How do the different numbering systems for Ambrose’s letters relate to each other?

I have found the answer, and hereby provide a table for everyone’s benefit. Zel =  Zelzer; BnM = Benedictine–Maurist; Bey = Beyenka. Cross-reference table for the enumeration of the letters of ...
user avatar
  • 3,007
3 votes

How is this Quote from Cicero's "ad Atticum 15.20.3" to be Translated?

The relevant rethorical figure involved in the OP's fragment di illi mortuo qui umquam Buthrotum! is that of ἀποσιώπησις or reticentia, which is defined by the Hispanic rhetorician Quintilian as ...
user avatar
  • 6,442
2 votes
Accepted

How is this Quote from Cicero's "ad Atticum 15.20.3" to be Translated?

TKR is right about the verbal elision, but more context is needed to understand the passage. From Wiki: In the next century, it became a part of a province of Macedonia. In 44 BC, Caesar designated ...
user avatar
  • 38.9k
2 votes

What did the Romans use to close their letters?

I know this: Si tu vales bene est, ego valeo. Usually written with 1 letter: SVBEEV or STVBEEV. Which means: If you are healthy (well) is good, I am healthy (fine) and is equivalent to Hello.
user avatar
  • 129

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible