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28 votes

Why did so many Romans name their children after ordinal numbers?

The origin of ordinal names seems to be unknown, but one theory dating back to Varro is that ordinal praenomen were originally used for children based on the month in which they were born (a custom ...
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26 votes

How do I say Disney World in Latin?

Proper names aren't always translated in common speech. Plenty of Hebrew names were left without endings in the Latin translation of the Bible (and Greek as well, it should be noted). But if you ...
  • 41.7k
20 votes
Accepted

What is the vocative of Gnaeus?

I searched for the vocative form Gnaee in several corpora but did not find any results. A general web search seems to reveal only automatically generated vocatives, which I would not lend much ...
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18 votes
Accepted

Did the Romans derive verbs from names?

I have another entry for this exhibit that answers your question with a resounding yes. Enter Plautus, in the Menaechmi, with three verbs derived from proper names in his prologue: Atque hoc ...
  • 37k
16 votes

What is the difference between Iesus and Jesu?

The phrase you quote has words in the vocative case. Domine Fili unigenite Jesu Christe The vocative case is used for address. That is, O Lord, only begotten son, Jesus Christ The particle O ...
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16 votes

What declension is the name, Aeneas?

It is of the first declension, but not of the most typical kind. I would divide the first declension into four classes: Case (Feminine) A-type Masculine A-type Feminine E-type Masculine E-type ...
14 votes
Accepted

Why is Jesus inflected in such a way?

'Why' isn't usually a good question for these types of things, because the answer is often "just because." The Greek isn't typical, but it does have a parallel with o-contracted words like νοῦς, ...
  • 41.7k
14 votes

Is "Io" accusative case in "Iuppiter, rex deorum, pulchram Io amabat"?

A number of Greek names ending in -ō have both Latin and Greek style declensions. For example:   Greek Latin nom. Dīdō Dīdō acc. Dīdō Dīdōnem gen. Dīdūs Dīdōnis dat. Dīdō Dīdōnī abl. Dīdō Dīdōne ...
13 votes
Accepted

Is there a John or Jane Doe in Latin?

N.N. is still used in Spanish and some other languages. It comes from nomen nescio. Although it is not a name, it is actually used as if it were. Also, according to this, Numerius Negidius was used "...
  • 10.6k
13 votes

Is "Io" accusative case in "Iuppiter, rex deorum, pulchram Io amabat"?

For unfamiliar words, it never hurts to check the dictionary. Here is what Lewis and Short have: Īō, Iūs, and Īōn , Iōnis, f., = Ἰώ, I.a daughter of Inachus, king of Argos, beloved by Jupiter, and ...
  • 41.7k
12 votes

What is the difference between Iesus and Jesu?

Ancient Latin had no separate letter for the the vowel I and the consonant Y (J in German). They were both written as I. In Medieval Latin, though, a development took place that differentiated between ...
  • 41.7k
11 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of Satanas?

It came to Latin from Hebrew (שָּׂטָן satan), through Greek (Σατανᾶς satanas) and means enemy, adversary. In Judaism and Christianity, it is also one of the names given to the devil, a supernatural ...
  • 10.6k
11 votes

Does an irregular word decline regularly if it is used as a proper name?

Latin proper names certainly can be declined in the third declension, like the common noun rēx, rēgis First, a small note on terminology: the noun rēx "king" is not generally considered to ...
  • 22.3k
10 votes

What is the vocative of Gnaeus?

Eureka, as the scientist said. J. L. Vives, 16th century humanist, uses the vocative of Gnæus Pompeius in Pompeius Fugiens (page 136 of the Brill edition of his early writings, volume I). Brill spells ...
10 votes

Mother Earth in Latin - Personification

I see two approaches here: the literal and the historical one. From a semantic point of view, your choice of words is mainly right, but as Joonas points, orbis means primarily something round, and ...
  • 10.6k
10 votes

Which is the logic behind "Aloysius" Latinisation?

It seems there are two possible etymologies for the Occitan name Aloys, whose Latinisation gave rise to the form Aloysius: cognate with German Ludwig, from Germanic (Frankish) name, a compound of (h)...
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10 votes
Accepted

What is the etymology and origin of the name of Dido's sister Anna?

The entry for Anna in Wiktionary certainly states that it derives from the Hebrew Hannah. And this is how Augustine uses it in The City of God against the Pagans, in book 17, when referring to Hannah,...
  • 8,371
10 votes

Latin transliteration of Ιησούς

The consistency of Greek spelling tends to hide the sound changes that happened within the language. Greek originally(*) had three different "o-like" sounds, written ο, ω, ου. Since they had only two "...
  • 53.7k
10 votes
Accepted

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

Plural place names should have plural verbs. A very simple case of this is Athenae, -arum (Athens). Here's an illuminating example from Cicero: in quam cum intueor, maxime mihi occurrunt, Attice, ...
  • 37k
10 votes
Accepted

What did the Greeks and Romans call their pets?

Martial wrote a poem about Publius' dog called Issa. It begins: Issa est passere nequior Catulli, Issa est purior osculo columbae, Issa est blandior omnibus puellis, Issa est carior Indicis ...
  • 8,371
9 votes

What is the difference between Iesus and Jesu?

The other answers are great, but let me try to show it in a slightly different way. In Latin, the word Jesus or Iesus (more on that later) has several different forms, as shown in a declension table ...
9 votes

Mother Earth in Latin - Personification

I agree with Joonas Ilmavirta's answer in that you want to use tellus or terra along with mater. But I am not sure which word order is more idiomatic in Latin. (It's true Latin word order is ...
  • 22.3k
9 votes
Accepted

How would a servus publicus be named - using the nominative or the genitive?

Stephen Wilson's The Means of Naming provides insight into the naming of Roman public slaves. His discussion touches on the sources of personal names and names of slaves owned privately, but also ...
9 votes
Accepted

The many forms of William?

Why do so many forms of this name exist? While modern usage prefers to translate names to an original or etymological form, it was once a more common practice to Latinize names with little change ...
9 votes
Accepted

What is the Latin name for the Romani people?

The relevant entry in Smith's Copious & Critical English-Latin reads "gipsy: Cingarus, Zingarus, f. -a :after their Italian name Zingari, The Gipsies, *Aegypti qui feruntur." That seems quite ...
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9 votes

What did the Greeks and Romans call their pets?

In Petronius, Satyricon 64, Trimalchio's favorite, Croesus, has an 'indecently fat black puppy' (catellam nigram atque indecenter pinguem) named Margarita, which means 'pearl', and Trimalchio himself ...
  • 18k
9 votes

How do I say Disney World in Latin?

"World" is mundus, so "Disney World" would be mundus Disneyi or Disneyi mundus (both mean literally "the World of Disney", the word order doesn't matter). Of course you'd ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Why does Parthenope refer to Naples?

The name Parthenope originally refers to a Siren who killed herself after failing to attract Odysseus/Ulysses and his men with her songs. She threw herself into the sea and drowned, and her body ...
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8 votes

Did the Romans derive verbs from names?

I don’t know how far you want to stretch your definition of classical Latin, but Christianizo is used by Tertullian, and Judaizo in the Vulgata.
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8 votes
Accepted

Does "Sum faber" necessarily mean "I am a craftsman," or can it mean "My name is Faber"?

I actually just spent a week with a bunch of living Latinists one of whom was named Faber, so I can say that with context there's no question. However, "Faber" was not at all a Roman name, and I sort ...

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