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Welcome to Latin Language Stack Exchange

Latin Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, teachers, and students wanting to discuss the finer points of the Latin language. It is built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we are working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about Latin language. We also allow questions about Ancient Greek; details can be found below or on this meta page.

Si Anglice non intellegis et hoc situ uti vis, vide hanc paginam Latine scriptam.

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Why is there a Q in SPQR?

up vote 14 down vote favorite

The abbreviation SPQR stands for Senatus PopulusQue Romanus. Why is the Q included, as there are only three words? Why isn't it just SPR? Or does SPQR stand for something else?

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accept

The enclitic -que was treated much like a word. This is most evident in the way Ovid handles quotes, where -que is outside a quote but the word it's attached to is inside. There are few other ancient abbreviations with -que, if any, so it's difficult to compare.

up vote 3 down vote

We definitely know that SPQR refers to senatus populusque Romanus and not something else. This text is inscribed in full in the temple of Saturn and arch of Titus in Rome. It's hard to say whether the abbreviation is systematic or an arbitrary choice that happened to stick.


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Why is there a Q in SPQR?

up vote 14 down vote

The abbreviation SPQR stands for Senatus PopulusQue Romanus. Why is the Q included, as there are only three words? Why isn't it just SPR? Or does SPQR stand for something else?


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up vote 9 down vote

The enclitic -que was treated much like a word. This is most evident in the way Ovid handles quotes, where -que is outside a quote but the word it's attached to is inside. There are few other ancient abbreviations with -que, if any, so it's difficult to compare.

edit

For a concrete example, consider Metamorphoses V.414: "adgnovitque deam 'ne' c 'longius ibitis!' inquit" which uses -c instead of -que. - Nathaniel Nov 13 at 20:35

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