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Why is it "Gaudeamus igitur, *iuvenes dum* sumus!" rather than "Gaudeamus igitur, *dum iuvenes* sumus!"?

Because dum iúvenes súmus does not fit the metre. The verse is stress-based, and iuvenes is stressed on the first syllable. Not sure what to make of the objection that the same word order “sounds very ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
16 votes
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Homo Novus vs Novus Homo

While it's true that it's "standard" for the adjective to follow the noun, Latin word order is VERY flexible, and a noun following an adjective is not at all unusual. A quick search of the corpus at ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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16 votes

"Tu quoque, Brutus, mi fili?" Grammar question

I suspect that your friend misremembered the phrase. Concerning the actual phrase that Julius Caesar said, the biographers offer conflicting evidence. Suetonius tells us that Caesar died in silence, ...
brianpck's user avatar
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15 votes
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Does Latin have a mechanism to disambiguate possessive pronouns of the same gender referring to distinct persons?

Two key mechanisms of disambiguation come to mind: Using hic (latter) and ille (former) is one way. Simple example: "A and B meet. The former eats, the latter drinks." — A et B conveniunt. Ille ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
15 votes
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Could we say "dies mirabilis" as we say "annus mirabilis"?

Yes, dies mirabilis is perfectly valid! You can use the adjective mirabilis with any noun. You have to use the correct form, but that is fortunately easy. In masculine and feminine it's mirabilis, in ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
13 votes

Word order in Virgil's Aeneid - why so scrambled?

I suspect that any reply to this broad a question will always be rife with conjecture, but the reason for the convoluted word order is always a combination of the metrical cadence, and the effect that ...
blagae's user avatar
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13 votes
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Word order in Virgil's Aeneid - why so scrambled?

I think you're still assuming that English-style word order is in some sense natural or default, despite your correct disclaimer that "sentences that appear 'scrambled' in English might not be ...
TKR's user avatar
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12 votes
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How do you show an infinitive for reason?

In Latin, the infinitive is not used to introduce a reason, or "purpose clause" as a Latin grammar would put it. Here are some other options, which I will gear toward the (very broad) use ...
brianpck's user avatar
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12 votes
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How do you say "Heroes are never forgotten." in Latin?

Simple and sweet: Heroes numquam oblitterabuntur. If I had to guess, I would say the idea behind the claim is that oblivisci (to forget) is a deponent verb and has no (semantically) passive forms, ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
11 votes
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What's the logic behind "eritque Israel in proverbium" (Vulgate bible)

In Hebrew, we often find the verb הָיָה (hāyâ) followed by the preposition ל prefixed to a noun used to indicate that something was made into something (i.q. Latin est factum quiddam in quiddam). On ...
Der Übermensch's user avatar
11 votes
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How to make a deponent passive in meaning?

Good question! I am not aware of a possibility of passivizing such a structure. Instead, I suggest two ways around this: Use a different verb. Depending on context, perhaps comitare, haerere, or ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
11 votes

"Tu quoque, Brutus, mi fili?" Grammar question

It should indeed be Brute, not Brutus, and the vocative form seems to be far more common if you make an internet search. The person who told that the last words came with Brutus appears to be slightly ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
11 votes
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In Vulgate, Matthaeus 4:23, it says "et prædicans Evangelium regni". Shouldn't it be "regno" (dative) rather than "regni" (genitive)?

The Latin is a pretty literal translation of the Greek: καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας "τῆς βασιλείας" (tēs basileias) is genitive, not dative. He is preaching the Gospel of the ...
brianpck's user avatar
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11 votes

Is "necesse" an adjective or an adverb

Lewis & Short, Gaffiot, Georges and Forcellini agree that it is an adjective. Oxford appears to be alone with its opinion that it is an adverb, and I wonder if the entry itself has anything to say ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
11 votes
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Why is there no case agreement between "magni" and "poetae"?

There is agreement, in fact! Both of these words are masculine genitive singular. The trick is that poēta is a masculine noun, despite being in the first declension. So the genitive singular is -ae, ...
Draconis's user avatar
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11 votes
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Can habeo introduce a relative clause of purpose?

There is an implied aliquem, which is the antecedent of the purpose qui clause. In my translations, I use an infinitive rather than a relative clause to represent purpose, which is appropriate for ...
Kingshorsey's user avatar
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11 votes
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How would you say "The older a rabbit gets, the more it behaves like a dog."?

"The ... the ..." is quo ... eo, hoc or tanto (see also this older answer). Thus we can say: Quo quique cuniculus est senior, eo magis in modum canis se agit. I think plus can also be used ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
11 votes
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About the nominative on "dimitte nobis debita nostra"

It's not nominative. It's accusative plural. With neuters, the nominative and the accusative look exactly the same, both ending in -a in the plural. Also, regarding nobis, it's dative of separation ...
cmw's user avatar
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10 votes
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Latin for English "has been" + adjective?

I'd say you want the present tense. A&G 466, "Present with iam diu etc.": The Present with expressions of duration of time (especially iam diu, iam dudum) denotes an action continuing in the ...
TKR's user avatar
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10 votes

How do you show an infinitive for reason?

The answer above is pretty comprehensive! I don't yet have the reputation points to make this into a comment, rather than a full answer, but there are a few things worth adding. First, In the case ...
Max 's user avatar
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10 votes
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Jenney's First Year Latin, Lesson 37, comparatives with "quam"

I think I understand the root of your confusion, and the simple answer to your question: Why don't both sides of the quam agree? Is this: They do agree. I am more like you than he. A first point ...
brianpck's user avatar
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10 votes

What's the logic behind "eritque Israel in proverbium" (Vulgate bible)

There are a lot of Hebraisms in Latin and Greek translations of the Old Testament, and I'm guessing this is one of them. The Hebrew reads (diacritics omitted) we-haya Yisrael le-mashal u-le-shnina be-...
TKR's user avatar
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10 votes

Can esse be used with a present participle?

My first instinct was that this is, at the very least, not common in classical Latin, and should only happen with participles that are basically adjectives and have lost some of their verbal semantics,...
blagae's user avatar
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10 votes
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Are there instances of free indirect discourse in Latin or Greek?

I found an Oxford doctoral dissertation, Modes of Reporting Speech in Latin Fictional Narrative (Laird 1992) (PDF) that includes an extensive discussion of direct and indirect speech in the first two ...
brianpck's user avatar
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10 votes

Walking "hand in hand"

Manibus coniunctis makes me think of holding one's hands together in prayer. I'd translate this as "manibus nexis". See location 745 in Metamorphoses by Ovid. There it is used in the context of ...
loading...'s user avatar
10 votes
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how to tell when to use cum temporal and when cum circumstantial

Proposal: Stop trying to classify all subordinate clauses. Subordinate clauses with cum can express a number of different things, and they often overlap. Reason, circumstance, and time are very ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
10 votes

What is the term for extremely loose Latin word order?

If Latin prose had an "extremely loose word order", which is (generally) not the case, the appropriate linguistic term involved would be "non-configurationality". However, rather than being vaguely ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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10 votes

Scope of negation with absolute constructions

What follows is not an answer but just some initial thoughts related to your question. My first impression/intuition is like the one you express at the end of your post. I'd be surprised to find ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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10 votes
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Short form for "collige, virgo, rosas"

Sure. Collige, virgo, rosas means "gather roses, maiden", collige rosas means "gather roses". Collige is the active 2nd person singular present imperative of colligo 'to gather'. ...
Cairnarvon's user avatar
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10 votes

Can -que be used with adverbs?

Sure! Pretty much anything can be conjoined with -que. Here are some PHI searches: saepeque, semperque, beneque, maleque.
TKR's user avatar
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