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23 votes
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What should the corona virus be called in Latin?

A Latin professor in a classical highschool in Italy adopted the translation virus coronarium that appeared on this article of Ephemeris, an online newspaper in Latin, published on February 22. The ...
Vincenzo Oliva's user avatar
14 votes
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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
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What exactly is brevis brevians?

For reference: iambus: light + heavy pyrrhicus: light + light creticus: heavy + light + heavy dactylus: heavy + light + light Brevis Brevians is a tendency in early Latin, first attested in early ...
blagae's user avatar
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11 votes
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Exactly what is a declension?

Good question! "Declension" (like "conjugation") is a word that means two different things. In the abstract sense, "declension" is the abstract process of changing a noun or adjective's ending to ...
Draconis's user avatar
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11 votes
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Changing tones (?) in Classical Latin

What you seem to be hearing is likely this particular speaker's idea of pitch accent. Pitch accent is a feature of certain languages in which the word accent is not marked by stress (as it is in ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
10 votes
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Did the Romans have a Latin name for their domestic peristylia?

"The early Italian house consisted only of the atrium and the surrounding rooms, with, in most cases, a small garden at the back.... Out of the small plot at the back of the early house developed the ...
TheHonRose's user avatar
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10 votes
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Why do we call a case a casus? And why rectus, obliquus?

Here's a short answer so far - no one knows. Brandenburg 2013 writes that "In non-technical contexts, ptôsis refers among other things to the ‘falling of dice’ (Pl. Resp. 10,604c6; Aristot. Eth. ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
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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
  • 8,911
9 votes

What should the corona virus be called in Latin?

One option is to turn the determiner "corona" into an adjective. That would lead to something like virus coronatum, "a crowned virus". I think it makes sense to keep the word virus ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
9 votes

Is there a poetic term for breaking up a phrase, rather than a word?

I believe this is called an anastrophe or a hyperbaton. For Wikipedia, a hyperbaton is a phrase being interrupted by the insertion of words not belonging to the phrase. Your example would meet this ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
8 votes

Why was the subjunctive mood 'so called because the Greek subjunctive mood is used almost exclusively in subordinate clauses'?

Can someone please expound and enlarge on this sentence? Why was the subjunctive mood 'regarded as specially appropriate to ‘subjoined’ or subordinate clauses'? Perhaps you are looking at it the ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes

Caeteris paribus

The third part of Descartes's Principia Philosophiae (pg. 78 of this edition) contains a more literal translation of "all things unchanged": Si autem caeteris immutatis, contingat ut minuatur illa ...
brianpck's user avatar
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7 votes
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What is the difference between a roman ("novel") and a "Milesiae fabula"?

(A partial answer, on which I hope others will expand:) There was an original collection of Milesian Tales (Μιλησικά), written in Greek by Aristides of Miletus in the second century BC. These have ...
TKR's user avatar
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6 votes
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Meaning of Spiritus Lenis

"Smooth breathing." When a word in ancient Greek began with a vowel, ancient scholars gave it one of two breathing marks. The spiritus lenis (Gk. ψιλὸν πνεῦμα) meant it was not aspirated, while the ...
cmw's user avatar
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6 votes

Why do we call a case a casus? And why rectus, obliquus?

It appears that you are correct that a casus is seen as a kind of metaphor for a noun "falling into place." Maurus Servius Honoratus (4-5th century AD) has an important quote that makes two ...
brianpck's user avatar
  • 41.5k
6 votes

What is the "economy principle" in papyrology exactly?

Here’s my original suggestion - once again, this is my guess, and it can be wrong. Economy might stand here for the most efficient use of space/materials/other resources at the disposal of the scribe ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
  • 11.7k
6 votes

Grammatical terminology

I'm not aware of a book about this specifically, but almost all of our grammar terminology, at least when it comes to Greek and Latin specifically, is due to a (short!) work ascribed to Dionysius ...
Cairnarvon's user avatar
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6 votes
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Pronunciation in medical terminology

As far as I can tell, there are no classical precedents for the specific form of the ending -oideus. It ultimately comes from Ancient Greek -οειδής, an ending found mostly on third-declension ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.3k
5 votes

Why did the Romans link Autumn with earth and melancholy, Spring with air and sanguine, and Winter with water and phelgm?

The (Pseudo-)Hippocratean treatise “On the nature of man” proposes the theory of the four humours (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and the imaginary black bile) as an explanation not only for diseases, ...
fdb's user avatar
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5 votes
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What does 'iure civili' mean in Apuleius VI.23, when Cupid and Psyche get married?

This one seems pretty straightforward to me? The notion is of a proper jus civile marriage, as opposed to the commonlawish jus gentium. It's a sort of joke, right in Apuleius' wheelhouse. Jus civile ...
Bill Thayer - LacusCurtius's user avatar
5 votes
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General term for each inflected form of a lexeme

I would simply say: "Illi is an inflected form of ille. Illi is the singular dative masculine form of ille." (I am not sure what the role of "declension" in your example is. I found it more natural to ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes

Please briefly define "futurum instans"

Futurum instans literally means "immediate/imminent future." ("Instant" comes from this word but has a different flavor in English now.) Futurum instans seems to be a term ...
brianpck's user avatar
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5 votes
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How does the gerund 'bear' or 'carry'?

First, while gerere can mean "to bear, carry", it also can simply mean "to do*, as in the res gestae, not "things carried," but "things done." This stems from a meaning close to English usage, where ...
cmw's user avatar
  • 55.2k
5 votes

Does ancient Greek have its own terms for grammar?

Yes indeed! There were definitely pre-modern Greek grammarians who described the grammar of their language in Greek; Dionysius Thrax, quoted by Colin Fine, is one of the more reputable ones. These ...
Draconis's user avatar
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5 votes
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Does ancient Greek have its own terms for grammar?

You can see the text of Dionesius Thrax' Τέχνη Γραμματική in Wikisource. Section 14, ΠΕΡΙ ΟΝΟΜΑΤΟΣ says "Γένη μὲν οὖν εἰσι τρία· ἀρσενικόν, θηλυκόν, οὐδέτερον" and "Πτώσεις ὀνομάτων εἰσὶ ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
5 votes
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Is there a Latin equivalent to ἐπίκοινος?

Priscian would probably have called it genus promiscuum or genus epicoenum: Diomedes adds: “Latini promiscuum vel subcommune vocant”
Alex B.'s user avatar
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5 votes
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How do you talk about set theory in Latin? Specifically, how do you say "set" as opposed to "union"?

I am an assistant professor of mathematics, and I am quite familiar with the issues of translating mathematical concepts between languages. A main difficulty is that there are so many concepts of a ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
4 votes

in order of temporal proximity

The answer given by Joonas is good, and exactly along the lines that you suggest. However, this concept can often seem rather awkward to express in Latin, so I think it worthwhile to expound more ...
Tom Cotton's user avatar
  • 18.1k
4 votes

in order of temporal proximity

One Latin word for "proximity" is proximitas and "temporal" can be translated as temporalis. Therefore I would translate "in order of temporal proximity" as in ordine proximitatis temporalis. This is ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
4 votes

Does ancient Greek have its own terms for grammar?

The answer is yes. A good introductory reference is Ancient Greek Scholarship by Eleanor Dickey (OUP, 2007). The relevant section is 4.2: Technical Vocabularies, pp. 123-128. There is also quite a ...
Graham Asher's user avatar

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