Hot answers tagged

18 votes

Does it make sense to display a decimal number such as 12.34 as Roman numerals? If not, how else?

In general, if you're going for authentic Roman numerals, you'd have to convert the decimal portion into one of the fractions that a Roman would use – or a sum of those fractions. Obviously, this is ...
  • 18.3k
15 votes
Accepted

Why was ante tribus translated as "fifteen years ago"?

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 ...
  • 17.8k
15 votes

Is there a Latin word for 225th anniversary?

"Bicentennial" is not actually Latin; it's just English. It doesn't even come from a Latin word. In particular, bicentennial is an Americanism, and the more common word in England was (is ...
  • 44.8k
14 votes
Accepted

How do I specify how many "litterae" or "castra" there are?

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 ...
  • 17.8k
13 votes
Accepted

Are "sex" and "sexus" etymologically related?

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)...
12 votes

What does the "Roman" numeral Ɔ represent?

The most likely reading (which seems consistent with the look of the piece of the book shown and the dates found for other books published by Caspar Beller by a quick Google search) is that the C is ...
  • 2,859
11 votes

Are "sex" and "sexus" etymologically related?

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 ...
  • 313
10 votes
Accepted

Do Roman numerals stand for something?

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 ...
  • 44.8k
9 votes

Which Roman Numerals were used to express extremely large numbers in Classical Latin?

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 ...
  • 16.1k
9 votes
Accepted

How did the Romans pronounce roman numerals?

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 ...
9 votes
Accepted

What is the correct Latin prefix for 'two-and-a-half-times'?

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 ...
  • 37.6k
8 votes
Accepted

An error message in Latin for my programming language

I suggest numerus pravus for 'incorrect' and numerus nimius for 'too large'.
  • 17.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Comparing decem and -decim

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, ...
  • 23.8k
7 votes

1 to at least 200 Latin list cardinal numbers

For numbers between 100 and 1000 you can just take the components out of the Wikipedia table you found. ascendit Simon Petrus et traxit rete in terram plenum magnis piscibus centum quinquaginta ...
7 votes

1 to at least 200 Latin list cardinal numbers

Here is a nice list of Latin cardinal, ordinal, adverbial and distributive numerals going from 1 to 1,000,000 (continuously to 1,000, then with gaps): https://www.arndt-bruenner.de/mathe/scripts/...
7 votes
Accepted

Does Latin have any words for specific numbers apart from the numbers themselves (akin to the English "dozen", for example)

I can think of at least these two: decuria: A group of ten things or people centuria: A group of a hundred people (not things), especially a military unit of 100, later 60 men
7 votes
Accepted

Correct pronunciation of full Latin dates

There is probably no fixed standard, and I am not sure there is any authority that might set one. I believe many Latin speakers do not leave out the anno. However, when Pope Benedict XVI announced his ...
7 votes
Accepted

Is unius an irregular genitive?

Many pronouns have this kind of genitive form Genitives in -ius exist for a fairly small number of Latin words. I'm not sure of the exact amount. I would say that the stems that take this kind of ...
  • 23.8k
7 votes
Accepted

How big is "duas partes decimarum"?

As Allen & Greenough 135e explains, When the denominator is one greater than the numerator, only the numerator is given. duae partēs two-thirds trēs partēs three-fourths, etc. So, duas partes ...
  • 5,722
7 votes
Accepted

How do you use a numeral as a genitive substantive?

One way to express "the nine" is to use one of the number-based nouns borrowed from Greek: mŏnăs dy̆ăs trĭăs tĕtrăs (L&S marks the first vowel long, probably due to the long ...
6 votes
Accepted

Ordinal adjectives for single things modifying plural noun?

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 ...
6 votes
Accepted

What is a digit?

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 ...
  • 16.5k
6 votes
Accepted

The middle A of quadraginta

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- ...
  • 16.5k
6 votes
Accepted

How did mille get so weird?

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 ...
  • 29.5k
6 votes

How were fractions written and pronounced?

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 ...
  • 56.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Adverb for approximate numbers

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. ...
  • 44.8k
5 votes
Accepted

Singulae aut unae scopae?

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 ...
  • 17.8k
5 votes

An error message in Latin for my programming language

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 ...
  • 12.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Why is largest number in Roman Numerals not represented as "MMMIM"?

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 ...

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