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14

You should use a distributive. Cicero, ad Atticum, 5. 3: ibi mihi tuae litterae binae redditae sunt tertio abs te die This works for all such plural nouns, but you should take care over the case and gender. As with some larger cardinal numbers, it's a common mistake to forget that. [Additional clarification] Unae litterae is not necessarily as wrong as ...


13

Lustrum has several meanings, but that which applies here is the period of five years which elapsed from census to census. The phrase is actually lustris ante tribus, or 'three lustra ago'. A good dictionary will give further explanation, if you require it.


13

The gist of Au101's answer is confirmed by de Vaan's Etymological Dictionary. First, regarding sex, in Proto-Italic and Proto-Indo-European, he gives: PIt. *seks 'six', *seks-to- 'sixth' PIE *(s)ueks 'six', *uks-ó- 'sixth'. He notes: The PIt. form *seks has analogically dropped *-w- from *sweks by analogy with *septm '...


11

No, I don't think so, and for this I can actually rely on etymonline which is a fine resource, even if linguistics students are discouraged from using it for their homework. The entry for the English word 'six' is complete enough: Old English siex, six, sex, from Proto-Germanic *sekhs (source also of Old Saxon and Danish seks, Old Norse, Swedish, and Old ...


9

My old Latin teacher jokingly taught that it's all based on hands. I for a single finger; V for the shape of the space between the thumb and the fingers when a palm is put up; and X for the shape of two hands crossing. It's a cute theory, but really the numerals come from Etruscan. The standard article is Paul Keyser's 1988 article "The Origin of the Latin ...


8

I suggest numerus pravus for 'incorrect' and numerus nimius for 'too large'.


8

Well, there's the story from chapter five of Suetonius' life of Galba about how Tiberius cheated Galba out of his inheritance: Observavit ante omnis Liviam Augustam, cujus et vivae gratia plurimum valuit et mortuae testamento paene ditatus est; sestertium namque quingenties praecipuum inter legatarios habuit, sed quia notata, non perscripta, erat summa, ...


7

As Eleshar pointed out in a comment, the Roman numeral system is more flexible than many sources let you believe. However, the rigid system usually taught in schools actually does have a kind of positional notation. For example, 43 is XLIII, or 40+3 is XL+III. The decimal in the first position is fully expressed before moving to the next one. For example, ...


6

It might be a type of metathesis: *undecem > *undicem > undecim. This is apparently irregular, but metathesis often is. I don't know for sure, but I was able to find a source that suggests this, although it indicates that we don't have any attestation of the pre-metathesis form *undicem: 12.1.11.1. In Latin 'eleven' to 'seventeen' are all indeclinable ...


6

As you say, the concept of digits is only meaningful if you are using Indian/Arabic numbers. These became known in Latin Europe by the 12th century, and with them the use of “digitus” for the numbers from 0 to 9. This usage is not classical, but it is of respectable antiquity.


6

This is a messy point in Indo-European studies. Most of the many who have written on it think that the internal long ā originated in quadrāgintā and then spread by analogy to sexāgintā etc. The -rā- in quadrāgintā is then explained as the reflex of long syllabic /ṝ/, or as /r/ plus a laryngeal, or something like that. It is discussed in Sihler and de Vaan, ...


6

There is a very common word in Latin that literally means "two and a half": sestertium, -i. This comes from semis + tertius, the idea being (I suppose) that it is "half-way to three [from two]." This usage is antiquated and almost entirely replaced by the current meaning of a "serterce," which according to L&S is: a small silver coin, originally ...


6

The etymology of mille is fairly clear, with cognates in other Indo-European languages. The singular and plural are definitely from the same etymological source. The Proto-Indo-European form would have been something like *smih₂-ĝʰsl-ih₂ "one thousand" (the exact formation is doubtful but the roots in question, "one" and "thousand", are not); cognates ...


5

You've already hit upon all the words I would use except ad as a preposition. For example, Cicero uses ad quadriginta natus esse as a synonym for fere. But in general, circa and circiter both work. To my ears, paene would mean "almost, but not quite" rather than "around that neighborhood." Others are all general idioms for "approximately." I wouldn't, for ...


5

This is a tricky thing to explain, but: Unus is the cardinal 'one', which has plural forms that are used with plural-form nouns such as castra and scopae. In such cases it is proper to write una castra or unae scopae. Singulus is used distributively — 'one for each', and so on — and is not to be confused with singularis, 'single' when an adjectival use is ...


5

I would suggest: In case the numeral is incorrect (e.g., IVI) numerus falsus ... or is too large numerus magnus nimis Perhaps you can also add error: or erratum: at the beginning of the message (albeit the latter is commonly found in printed books for correcting printer errors, so not sure it fits in the context).


4

Fractions were written, as you might expect, using Roman numerals. This wasn't particularly elegant for anything more complex than adding and subtracting, but it worked great for commerce, and that was where it was most often used. The units worked sort of like this: I = 1 (as) [vertical line] S = 1/2 (semis) [letter S] 𐆑 (or •) = 1/12 (uncia = ounce) [...


4

Cardinal numbers in Latin have some very peculiar rules. As you say, unus, duo and tres are inflected, but beyond those, from quattuor, four, to centum, hundred, they are indeclinable. The cardinals from 200 (ducenti) to 900 (nongenti) are declined like the plural of adjectives such as bonus, agreeing in number and gender with the noun — sescenti, sescentae,...


4

The etymologically expected form is -iens, but since the vowel preceding the ns was regularly lengthened, the pronunciation would be [ie:ns], in which the vowel was secondarily nasalized to [iẽ:ns]. This would naturally lead to sometimes omitting the [n] altogether, i.e. [iẽ:s]* (still probably phonemically /iens/), and possibly denasalized to [ie:s]**. ...


4

It appears that the noun can be singular or plural but the ordinals should be singular. That is, you'd need capitulum or capitula with primum et secundum. If you go with capitula prima et secunda, it sounds like there are several first chapters and several second chapters as in a collection of books. (At least I found no evidence to support this possibility ...


4

I think that it is just a matter of irregular spelling, or possibly inaccurate transcription from different sources, some of which are hard to decipher, rather than anything really weird. At Livy XXV.9 we find Cornelius lustrum condidit : censa sunt civium capita centum quadraginta tria millia septingenta quatuor. Livy appears to use either milia or millia ...


4

As a part-time computer scientist, I've tried to come up with different ways of analyzing the Roman numeral system so that the rules can be formulated in as general a way as possible, with no special cases per glyph. The one that satisifes me the most, for the time being, is one in which we analyze the seven glyphs as four sets that each have a multiplier — ...


3

Contemporary Latin does not have a single body issuing punctuation guidelines. Therefore, what's used is typically defined by the writer's own country's conventions. However, a large number (no pun intended) of modern Latin writers use Roman numerals. Ephemeris is a good example of both principles. Some articles (like this one) use 9.000 for the American 9,...


3

It's hard to disagree with fdb's response that decimam decimae should mean "a tenth of a tenth", but that doesn't apparently reflect the meaning of the passage. I think the problem arises with misunderstanding the Hebrew, which is: עִשָּׂרוֹן עִשָּׂרוֹן לַכֶּבֶשׂ הָאֶחָד לְשִׁעַת הַכְּבָשִּׂים This get translated in the LXX quite literally as: δέκατον ...


3

It's because of the grammar of the Roman numerals (It's not the same as natural language grammar, but it's still grammar). I does not combine with all characters. I combines on the left of V or X to mean -1. (Just like X combines on the left of L or C to mean -10, but combinations like XM does not work). So the problem with MMMIM is that IM is invalid and ...


2

decimus is "tenth" (ordinal number) decima (pars) is "one tenth" (fraction) decima decimae is "a tenth of a tenth".


2

It would be convenient to have all the licence plates (roughly) equally many characters long. Since the Roman numerals mostly use letters of the alphabet, mixing numbers with letters adds nothing. In the common alphanumeric plates it is not important to have numbers ranging from zero to 999, but to have strings of three digits. Therefore my suggestion is ...


2

De Vaan writes, s.v. "decem": In -decim, the i is not well explained. It is often believed to be due to a metathesis of *-dicem > *-decim, but a metathesis of two vowels is extremely rare in IE languages, and hence unlikely. The numerals in decim probably have -dec- from decern 'ten' and -im on the model of the ordinal numbers in -decimus. The ...


2

This doesn't answer your question (Tom Cotton's answer does that), but it's an interesting datum and way too long for a comment. Here is an (in-)famous sentence from the papal bull Dum Diversas by Pope Nicholas V, issued in 1452. Good luck finding the main verb: Nos igitur considerantes, quod contra Catholicam fidem insurgentibus, Christianamque ...


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