Skip to main content
26 votes
Accepted

Why did scientists abandon Latin in their publications?

This answer has been percolating in my head for a couple of months now. Given that there haven't been any other attempts to answer it, I've posted it but realise its limitations in providing a clear ...
Penelope's user avatar
  • 8,711
15 votes

How to read mathematics out loud?

For basic mathematics, I’ve found some answers in the Institutiones Physicæ by Floriani Dalham, published in 1752: 1+2 = 3 would be read unus plus duo sunt tres Additio est duorum, vel plurium ...
Luc's user avatar
  • 2,332
14 votes
Accepted

How would you say "body" as in when stating a law of physics?

Yes, corpus is correct for "body" in the sense used in physics. That is the word Newton used in his laws of motion: Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
13 votes

What are the Greek or Latin words for these SI prefixes?

From an article on the adoption of the newest prefixes (Q, R, q, r) in 2022: "The only letters that were not used for other units or other symbols were R and Q," Brown said. Convention ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

How should "Haec Fracastorius." be translated?

Haec is neuter plural, and there is an implied dicit: Haec dicit Fracastorius, "F. says these things". I don't read "So much for Fracastoro" as necessarily dismissive: it's just a ...
TKR's user avatar
  • 31.3k
11 votes
Accepted

"With respect to" in mathematics

There is one word that seems to fit the bill: quoad. Although this word has a temporal ("as long as") and spatial ("as far as") meaning, Lewis and Short also gives the following meaning: B.3: With ...
brianpck's user avatar
  • 41.5k
11 votes
Accepted

What is the history of scientific Latin?

19th Century Scientific Latin An example: Gauss From G. Waldo Dunnington's 2004 biography of Gauss, Carl Friedrich Gauss: Titan of Science, p. 37-8: … Of unusual interest is the part which Meyerhoff⁶ ...
Geremia's user avatar
  • 3,694
10 votes
Accepted

Rupes Recta, The Straight Wall, Correct Translation

Yes, depending on the type of wall. Rūpēs, -is is a third-declension feminine noun derived from rumpō "break, split". It means a rock which is split apart or has a smooth face; I've seen it ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.6k
10 votes
Accepted

Difficult sentence from Leibniz's Historia Inventionis Phosphori?

The relatio is further qualified as discedens and hausta. Specifically, it is “in not a few places” (iisque capitalibus, “and the main ones”) a re gesta discedens (deviating from the history), ex ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
9 votes

Why do translators translate Newton's 2nd law as though it referred to "force" when it does not mention force?

As you mention, the phrase corresponding to "force" here is vī mōtrici, the ablative of vīs mōtrix. Vīs is a fairly standard word for "power" or "strength", while mōtrix ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Colors of the rainbow

Since a rainbow is a gradient, there's still no way of knowing which hue a color word refers to. At best we can approximate. Earl Anderson's Folk-Taxonomies in Early English has a good discussion if ...
cmw's user avatar
  • 55.4k
8 votes

What are the Greek or Latin words for these SI prefixes?

As you note, the tera- prefix comes from the Greek word for monster. But it also happens to be quite similar to tetra-, which is of course the Greek-derived prefix for four. The next step up from ...
BenM's user avatar
  • 181
7 votes
Accepted

How should particle names ending in -on be treated in Latin?

It is correct that ἤλεκτρον means “gold-silver alloy”, and then “amber”, and that it is the source of modern words like electricity, electric, electromagnetism etc. But I do not think you can say that ...
fdb's user avatar
  • 17.9k
6 votes
Accepted

Did the Romans have a definition for a species of organism?

As Aristotle is generally considered as the father of biology — Darwin wrote: “Linnaeus and Cuvier have been my two gods… but they were mere school-boys to old Aristotle.” (in a letter to W. Ogle, ...
Luc's user avatar
  • 2,332
6 votes

How to read mathematics out loud?

Partial answer! As far as I can tell, most mathematical discourse would be done in Greek. Latin was used for engineering purposes, but speaking unambiguously about mathematics became rather awkward. ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.6k
6 votes

What is the history of scientific Latin?

The earliest writings on what might be called ‘real science’ begin in the seventeenth century. They were in Latin because it was a lingua franca, widely understood across Europe. Among the greatest ...
Tom Cotton's user avatar
  • 18.1k
6 votes
Accepted

Descriptions of aurora borealis

The best search terms I've found are trabs, -is and chasma, -atis. Literally meaning a wooden beam, trabs was applied by both Pliny and Seneca to something which might be the aurora (though L&S ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.6k
6 votes

Is Pluto a planet(a)?

In the context of ancient astronomical theory a “planet” or “wandering star” is any heavenly body that changes its apparent location in relation to the other stars, as opposed to “fixed stars”, which ...
fdb's user avatar
  • 17.9k
6 votes

What is the gender and singular declension of the scientific Latin suffix -idae?

I think it is the patronymic -ides, which is in the first declension in Latin. The plural forms are regular, so bovidae 'sons of a cow' would be bovides in the singular. It would be a masculine noun. ...
Tuomo Sipola's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What does 'spatio pollicarir emotius' mean in Otto von Guericke's Experimenta Nova?

I believe pollicarir to be a typographical error, as spatio pollicari (from pollicaris) would mean "by a thumbsbreadth." This exact collocation isn't classical, as far as I can tell, but ...
Kingshorsey's user avatar
  • 6,668
5 votes
Accepted

Is Kant's "De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis" available online in its Latin original?

Is Kant's "De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis" available online in its Latin original? Hard to answer with a sound "no", as I might end up being proved wrong. However, I ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 12.4k
5 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "pro temperiei diversitate" in Guericke's Experimenta Nova

Pro means “in proportion to” (L&S II.B.6), temperies in later Latin can refer to atmospheric conditions (DMLBS), and diversitas simply means “variety, diversity”. The parenthetical pro phrase ...
Kingshorsey's user avatar
  • 6,668
5 votes

Is the inflection of the Latin words in today's science similar to that of classical Latin, or English?

Words used in a Latin context are inflected as Latin, and words used in an English context are inflected as English. While people might pluralize "nucleus" as "nuclei", nobody says ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.6k
4 votes

How to translate machine learning?

First, let's just note that the English phrase "machine learning" does not unambiguously communicate its meaning. If you had no context for it, you wouldn't know if it meant using a machine to learn, ...
Kingshorsey's user avatar
  • 6,668
4 votes

How should particle names ending in -on be treated in Latin?

My understanding is that the mother of all -on scientific terms is the ion, which is a Greek neuter participle (I'm told). Later -on coinings seem to be a play on the already understood word ion. Its ...
Figulus's user avatar
  • 4,599
4 votes

How should particle names ending in -on be treated in Latin?

To add another voice to this conversation, I would like to show the entries given for various particles in the Morgan and Silva Furman University Lexicon: electron- electron, -onis; electronium, -i ...
Sam K's user avatar
  • 3,998
3 votes

How to describe collaboration?

collaboro or conlaboro is also in L/S, with the same unique reference to the early Christian author Tertullian (who writes fairly decent classicising Latin). It is a correctly formed prefixed verb ...
fdb's user avatar
  • 17.9k
3 votes
Accepted

How to describe collaboration?

For referring to a collaborator, have you thought of socius or adiutor? The latter does not necessarily imply a subordinate role and can quite well be used of equals in a partnership. Each has a wide ...
Tom Cotton's user avatar
  • 18.1k
3 votes
Accepted

Translating Scientific Latin

Had you considered Adelard of Bath? His translation of Euclid (from Arabic) and his treatise on the Astrolabe (written for William II) are both significant. "Various questions" is a bit long-winded ...
Hugh's user avatar
  • 8,693

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