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On the birth of Latin language

Well, the simple answer is that its predecessors weren't "more basic". Latin has actually lost several noun cases and regularized its verbs significantly from the way Proto-Indo-European ...
Draconis's user avatar
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21 votes
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Descriptive example of Cicero's style

The first example that comes to my mind is the beginning of the Second Catilinarian: Tandem aliquando, Quirites, L. Catilinam furentem audacia, scelus anhelantem, pestem patriae nefarie molientem, ...
TKR's user avatar
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14 votes
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Why is Cicero considered the best Latin prose author?

One of the best and earliest extant comments about Cicero's eloquence is found in Quintilian's Institutiones Oratoriae. Therein, he delivers a defense of the claim that Cicero bests any other Latin ...
cmw's user avatar
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13 votes
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Why are *De Bello Africo* and *Hispaniensi* not believed to have been written by Julius Caesar or Hirtius?

As you note from the Wikpedia articles, the scholarly consensus is that Caesar did not write these works. The Loeb Classic Library edition to these works and one other (Alexandrian War. African War. ...
brianpck's user avatar
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12 votes
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Help translating an Estee Lauder quotation to Latin

It's not even close. Of the words, only numquam is the right word. As good as Google Translate is for other languages, it's not good at all for Latin. A quick and dirty translation would go something ...
cmw's user avatar
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11 votes
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Are all of Cicero's writings considered models?

When stylists claim to use Cicero as a model, they are chiefly talking about his orations, and his orations are what he is originally known for. Long before he penned philosophy, he was lauded as an ...
cmw's user avatar
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10 votes

Descriptive example of Cicero's style

Hic enim dies vobis, patres conscripti, inluxit, haec potestas data est, ut, quantum virtutis, quantum constantiae, quantum gravitatis in huius ordinis consilio esset, populo Romano declarare possetis....
Tom Cotton's user avatar
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9 votes

Would it be good Classical Latin style to always use the preposition "ab" and never "ā"?

Lewis and Short provide some guidance on the limitations of the pre-consonant use of ab: [ab] has become the principal form and the one most generally used through all periods—and indeed the only ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
8 votes

Would it be good Classical Latin style to always use the preposition "ab" and never "ā"?

Here is a relevant passage from the second-century (CE) grammarian Velius Longus: antiquos scimus et abs te dixisse: nos contenti sumus a te dicere. scimus ipsos et ab Lucio dixisse: nos observamus ...
TKR's user avatar
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7 votes
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tense fluctuation in Latin narrative

The only guidelines I've seen that are related to this issue in any way aren't really about the switch to historic present per se. (Every discussion I've ever seen is in agreement that the historic ...
cnread's user avatar
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6 votes
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Stereotypical Foreign-ness

Similar things do occur in Latin literature, though I know of none that were part of a general tendency of the kind in which you are interested. There are well-known illustrations of snobbery, some ...
Tom Cotton's user avatar
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How is Hyginus's Latin problematic?

H. J. Rose points to two characteristics of Hyginus's Latin that are considered substandard: "Overworked" relative pronouns Poor translations from Greek Rose gives one example of the "monotonous use"...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
6 votes
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About Spinoza's Latin

That's quite a leap in logic there. First, people learned Latin in Latin schools, so their style would take after their teacher's, not necessarily the zeitgeist. Second, just because something is ...
cmw's user avatar
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6 votes

Was Classical Latin syntax complex on purpose?

I have no hard evidence to support this answer, but I guess that is somewhat inevitable as the question itself feels soft. But it is nevertheless a perfectly valid question, and I hope this answer can ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes
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"Once upon a time"

The embedded story in Apuleius, Metamorphoses IV.28–VI.24 (the so-called 'Tale of Cupid and Psyche') has elements of a fairy tale. It's referred to as belonging to the category of narrationes lepidae ...
cnread's user avatar
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5 votes

Use of the chiasmus in Latin

Chiasms are mostly used in poetry and high rhetoric, for dramatic or or playful effect. What they do is emphasise the words that seem inverted, draw the reader or listener's attention. I would say the ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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5 votes
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Omitting a verb when it is the same for both parts of the sentence

Others can maybe add answers with more nuance, but I'll put it simply: You can repeat the verb, so avoiding repetition is not mandatory. Omitting a repeated word — verb or other — is a common ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes
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Usage of nihil and nihilum

The distinction between nihil and nihilum is a very fine one which, no doubt, the Romans learned to apply instinctively. It causes hardly any difficulty in translating from Latin, but in writing ...
Tom Cotton's user avatar
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5 votes
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Should you repeat the same verb twice in a ὁ μὲν ... ὁ δέ construction?

There are several unrelated grammatical points here, which I'll take in the order in which they occur in your Greek sentence. Position of αὐτούς. The pronoun αὐτ- in its non-emphatic third-person use ...
TKR's user avatar
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5 votes

How is Hyginus's Latin problematic?

Well, as I read more of Hyginus, I'm beginning to get a sense of at least some places where the Latin feels inelegant. For example, in "Parerga [Herculis]," he writes [Achelous] cum Hercule propter ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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5 votes

To what extent is Seneca's style in "De Ira" clumsy?

Probably, your quote from Diguet's Précis de Littérature Latine can be related to the abundant repetitions found in Seneca's De Ira. The doctoral dissertation by R. Pfennig (1887). De librorum quos ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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5 votes
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Translation of "Qua de causa"

In Latin, unlike English, you can start a sentence with a relative pronoun that refers to the whole previous sentence or thought. A more natural translation than "which" is "that" ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
4 votes

Conflict between form and content in ancient literature

Aestuans intrinsecus... is a set of fifty couplets by a medieval (1160) poet which purports to be a heart-felt confession but is in fact a boast to his patron. (Is he asking for forgiveness or ...
Hugh's user avatar
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4 votes

Omitting a verb when it is the same for both parts of the sentence

I agree with the answer given by Joonas Ilmavirta, but want to add that as you begin to read texts, it is very common to confront very compressed syntax where verbs are shared with many different ...
Vegawatcher's user avatar
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4 votes
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A representative work of Ovid

So much the hardest part of your question lies in trying to select something representative of Ovid that I was tempted to reply 'everything and nothing'. Ovid was something of a poet's poet, which is ...
Tom Cotton's user avatar
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4 votes

Garden path sentences in classical Latin

REGINAM NOLITE OCCIDERE TIMERE BONUM EST SI OMNES CONSENTIUNT EGO NON CONTRADICO - though that one is less about multiple meanings in one word, and more about multiple possible locations for a comma, ...
bukwyrm's user avatar
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3 votes

Was Classical Latin syntax complex on purpose?

I offer three small additions to an excellent answer. First, Latin is like most Indo-European languages in that its syntax allows sentences with multiple subordinate clauses. Many other language ...
Pomponius's user avatar
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3 votes

Can "si etiam" have the same meaning as "etiam si"?

I could find one example from the Vulgata: 1st book of Samuel, 23:23 (Regum I in Vulgata) Vulgata: Considerate et videte omnia latibula ejus, in quibus absconditur : et revertimini ad me ad rem ...
luchonacho's user avatar
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3 votes

How does the Latin of these two translations of The Little Prince compare?

Regarding the issue of repetition of intellegit in your third point: There are several terms in Rhetoric for word repetition known to the ancients; the most general is Anaphora. Epizeuxis refers to ...
Des Coutinho's user avatar

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