38 votes
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What punctuation was used in Classical Latin?

We should first recognize that there was not one system of punctuation in use during Classical times. However, all of modern punctuation, including commas, periods, colons, semicolons, etc. are more ...
cmw's user avatar
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33 votes
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Why did Roman authors never feel a need for word spacing?

Why did Roman authors never feel a need for word spacing? An interesting question because the Romans certainly accepted the notion of word division, at least until about 100 AD, at which point Romans ...
Penelope's user avatar
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26 votes

What punctuation was used in Classical Latin?

(The following is based on Wallace 2011, The Latin alphabet and orthography and Edmondson 2015, Inscribing Roman Texts: Officinae, Layout, and Carving Techniques) Wallace observes that Most Latin ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
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16 votes

What punctuation was used in Classical Latin?

After the great answers here, I would like to share the contents of a paper I found on this topic Hodgman, A.W., "Latin equivalents of punctuation marks", The Classical Journal, 19 (7), 403–...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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13 votes

What is the name of the separator dots between the words?

It is called the interpunct. Empty space to separate words as we do now is not a universal phenomenon. Just as well the Romans might ask why we leave space between words instead of putting a dot in ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
12 votes
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Ancient guides or descriptions of punctuation

The first thing to note when looking at passages and remarks by Romans about “punctuation” is that it is not always clear at first glance whether they are discussing elements of oral delivery or ...
Penelope's user avatar
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12 votes
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Did the Romans have a "question mark"?

According to scholars, the earliest written sign ever argued to play the role of an interrogation mark comes from a VI century Syriac manuscript, and passed later into Latin. My intuition is that, in ...
Rafael's user avatar
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9 votes
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When did scriptio continua and interpuncts give way to spaces between words in Latin?

Roland Hinterhölzl (2009) Information Structure and Language Change p. 177 (via Google Books): Roman scribes would usually operate by "copying texts in scriptio continua – that is, without ...
fpsvogel's user avatar
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9 votes

Do different truncation signs have different connotations?

Cappelli is the most reliable source in the field of Latin palaeography. What he says in the description of the signs of truncation also matches my experience. So there are hardly any different ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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9 votes
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What did Ancient Greek plays look like?

There are two punctuation marks, the paragraphos and the dicolon, which are sometimes used to indicate change of speaker in both papyri and manuscripts. But they aren't always used, and when they are ...
TKR's user avatar
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8 votes

Is there such a thing as "word-[space-comma-space]-word" punctuation in Latin?

As we all know, the Romans did not have punctuation. Modern (and not so modern) editions of Latin books generally follow the typographic norms of the country where they are printed. For example, Latin ...
fdb's user avatar
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7 votes

What are New Latin's comma rules?

While I don't know about the history of proponents and critics of this punctuation style who have explicitly discussed it, like you and others here I've also noticed it has been very common to use ...
Renato Montes's user avatar
5 votes

Were comma splices avoided in Modern Latin?

This doesn't quite make the 1900 cutoff, but: Arcadius Avellanus, born Mogyoróssy Arkád in 1851 Hungary, is said to have been the last native speaker of Latin. In 1878 he emigrated to the US, where ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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5 votes
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Pyramus et Thisbe: did their parents forbid what they could not? Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.61

Hmm. I find your analysis elegant and alluring, but I wonder whether it's simpler than that—could it be working from two slightly different senses of vetāre? You're far more versed in the lexicon here ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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4 votes

Pyramus et Thisbe: did their parents forbid what they could not? Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.61

Prosody suggests punctuation before the quod. The line scanned looks like this: sēd vĕtŭ|ērĕ pă|trēs quōd | nōn pǒtŭ|ērĕ vĕ|tārē Clearly the principal caesura is between patres and quod, and that ...
cmw's user avatar
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4 votes

Is there such a thing as "word-[space-comma-space]-word" punctuation in Latin?

The typesetter just used extra space before some of the commas to help get the text block properly justified on the right edge. So [space],[space] is completely equivalent to [no space],[space]. You ...
cnread's user avatar
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4 votes
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Cicero about paragraph marks

While this was answered on Philosophy.SE, that answer doesn't provide an English translation. So let's add one here. This comes from Cicero's Orator (note: not his more famous De Oratore), section 228:...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes

Which quotation marks should I use when writing Latin?

Hic inveniri possunt explicationes illorum "" vel «» in operibus Latine editis usque ad tempora recentiora: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3288661
Michael Stephanus Tranquillus's user avatar
3 votes

Pyramus et Thisbe: did their parents forbid what they could not? Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.61

It seems to me that there's a strong reason to take quod non potuere vetare with the following line, namely, that their parents could and did forbid it! The whole point of the story is that their ...
TKR's user avatar
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2 votes

What punctuation was used in Classical Latin?

It is probable that most written text were not punctuated at all. The main punctuation used in inscriptions (on monuments, sculptures, etc.) was a central point · or interpunct, by opposition ...
ogerard's user avatar
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1 vote

Pyramus et Thisbe: did their parents forbid what they could not? Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.61

The problem, here, may be one of flow. The separation of the "sed" & "quod" clauses works: hard truth: (another) hard truth; it's punchy, driving the story forward; consequently, the "quod" clause ...
tony's user avatar
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