Questions tagged [latin-language]

For questions pertaining to the Latin language, as used by the Romans originally and after them by the Catholic Church as well as a lingua franca in Medieval Europe.

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Why are Spanish cultures labeled as 'Latin' today, but Italian and eastern Europe cultures aren't?

Based on my limited understanding, I'm just wondering what had to have happened to make the area of the largest Latin speaking civilization (ancient Rome) no longer be later attributed to being 'Latin'...
hamstar's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
524 views

Were the names of the 10 months in the ancient Roman Calendar originally named after ordinal numbers?

I was wondering what the original names of the months in Latin? The earliest one that I can find is from TimeAndDate:Roman Calendar: Months in the Republican Calendar Month Names Number of Days ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 139
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What place was called [in Latin] Audomaropolitanus?

I came across an old image of one of my wife's ancestors from the late 16th century, and below it is written Jacobus Pamelius, Episcopus Audomaropolitanus designatus which in English is Jacobus ...
Chris Rogers's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
230 views

When did Russian officially replace Old Slavonic?

When was Russian adopted as the official language of Russia? Background: Well into the XVIII-th (or even XIX-th) century Russian co-existed in a state of diglossia with Old Church Slavonic, based on a ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 3,757
3 votes
0 answers
247 views

Why did Latin language stop being in use in the 18th century?

Why did Latin language fall? According to Wikipedia, in the 18th century the Latin language stopped to be the language in academia and politics. It is written there in the wiki article that Latin was ...
Mike B.'s user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
115 views

What is the origin of the Roman hand-laying ritual which the word "assert" traces back to?

According to the OED 2nd edition (and OED 1913, L&S, and Gaffiot) the earliest known attestation of the word assert is a Roman hand-laying ritual: assert, v. (əˈsɜːt)[f. L. assert- ppl. stem of ...
Michael's user avatar
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35 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why is this Latin text black but the Latin numerals are red?

There is a Latin inscription on the Old Town Square in Prague. It is located on a copy of the Marian Column. Photo: (click to enlarge) Every letter there has black color except for the Latin numerals ...
Jane B.'s user avatar
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39 votes
2 answers
13k views

What language did Gaius Julius Caesar speak with Cleopatra?

What language did Gaius Julius Caesar (GJC) speak with Cleopatra? My thoughts: GJC spoke Latin. Cleopatra spoke many languages, including Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Egyptian, Greek. Or did they need a ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 447
50 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why is AD in Latin and BC is in English?

Why does one abbreviation for designating time come from Latin (AD: anno Domini), but the other corresponding to the time before that from English (BC: before Christ)? BC = before Christ AD = anno ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 501
17 votes
1 answer
865 views

Is 'quartodecimo omnium sanctorum' the same as 'Nov XIV' on this Latin grave inscription?

I have been translating the Latin inscription on a 19th century tomb in the parish churchyard, Mitcham, south west London, UK. I'm using a Latin dictionary and a 'Latin Made Simple' book I bought many ...
Wade B's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
934 views

What was the first college in an English-speaking country to use Latin in their motto?

I have looked at many universities and seen how in English speaking countries, their mottoes tend to be written in Latin. What was the first college/university in an English-speaking nation-state (...
Tyler Mc's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
132 views

What was the real name of Bishop Contumeliosus of Riez?

History has recorded the name of an allegedly badly-behaved bishop of Riez as Bishop "Contumeliosus of Riez" (he was later absolved of his accusations). Now, Contumeliosus is definitely not the real ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 2,049
18 votes
4 answers
8k views

Did average church-goers understand mass in Latin?

Since around the 4th century AD, Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church. As such, most of this period, the official language of the Mass was Latin (there has been exceptions). A key ...
luchonacho's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
187 views

How and when did the surname "Apibus" become "de Apapis"?

The Maltese surname Apap derives from "De Apapis", and the family crest features bees. Family lore tells that the surname originates from a person who kept bees. In Latin, Apis is bee, and the most ...
Charlie's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
183 views

Can anyone render this passage from Lorenzo Valla's original Latin translation of Herodotus into modern text?

Can anyone render this passage from Lorenzo Valla's original Latin translation of Herodotus into modern text? I'm not looking for a translation, rather, I need to have the typographics normalized. ...
peter hodges's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
217 views

Where can I find an online version of Lorenzo Valla’s latin translation of Histories by Herodotus?

Where can I find an online version of Lorenzo Valla’s latin translation of The Histories by Herodotus? I want to read Valla's Latin translation, not a translation into English.
peter hodges's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

What do these terms in Caesar's Gallic Wars mean?

In his Comentarii de bello Gallico, Caesar writes this on first page: The Belgae rises from the extreme frontier of Gaul, extend to the lower part of the river Rhine; and look toward the north ...
Kutsit's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why isn't there a single trace of Germanic influence in Iberian Languages?

In this question, I would like to make a comparison between two settlements that occurred in the Early Middle Ages in Europe, that seem to be very similar, however they had very distinct outcomes ...
embedded_dev's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
1k views

Which is the earliest surviving inscription of "SPQR"?

I have looked around a bit, and was wondering if there was any information about what could be the earliest surviving and accessible (for public) inscriptions which included the Latin initialism SPQR (...
Gnudiff's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
551 views

When did Latin cease to be an important language for international scholarly communication?

I have the impression that the names Columbus and Copernicus are not the forms actually used on a daily basis by those people, but rather Latin forms used to identify them in in scholarly or academic ...
Chaim's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
250 views

ut and et in the third Dicta Patricii of the Book of Armagh

I am doing research on the motto of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome (Italian: Pontificio Collegio Irlandese) which reads "Ut Christiani Ita et Romani Sitis" (Book of Armagh Folio 9). Most ...
Joseph's user avatar
  • 31
4 votes
1 answer
575 views

What does the abbreviation "adhib." mean in historiography or archival science?

What does the abbreviation adhib. mean in the context of historiography and archival science? Remarks. This question is not about the meaning in medicine. This is easy to look up. Of course, ...
guest's user avatar
  • 213
17 votes
9 answers
6k views

Why did Latin disappear so completely in Britain after the Romans left?

My impression, wholly prone to error, is that despite centuries of Roman occupation, after the Anglo-Saxon invasions, Latin virtually became a dead language in Britain. Other parts of the Roman ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
3k views

Constantine the Great created the Chi-Rho from the Greek word for "Christ". Why choose Greek over Latin, even though he was Roman?

Upon emerging victorious after the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Constantine the Great created the Chi-Rho from the first two letters of the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ meaning "Christ". Given that ...
paracetamol's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
409 views

Did Romans create dictionaries?

Did the Romans make any efforts to catalogue foreign languages? Or their own? Or none at all? I'm sure none have survived, but were dictionaries as a concept known to their general populace?
Alexander Hallonblad's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
826 views

What does GEORGIUS III·D:G·BRITANNIARUM REX·FIDEI DEF·& c·mean? [closed]

I recently came across this medal created to commemorate the preservation of George III from an assassination attempt in 1800: (the image was taken by me) The inscription reads GEORGIUS III·D:G·...
terminex9's user avatar
  • 1,374
8 votes
2 answers
894 views

How long did Latin survive in Bavaria?

After my question What happened north of the Alps after the romans "left"?, I read through the sources given by the comments and answers. One paragraph in this post was especially interesting to me: ...
Matthias Schreiber's user avatar
30 votes
7 answers
12k views

Why does Romanian culture have Latin influences?

Romania is located between Bulgaria, Serbia on one side and Ukraine/many Slavic countries on the other. Romanian is however a Romance (Latin) language, and not Slavic. They don't use the Cyrillic ...
cvr's user avatar
  • 495
2 votes
2 answers
424 views

How many words were written before Gutenberg [closed]

Suppose there was a library containing all books ever written before Gutenberg. I exclude books that have been lost, but include books that have survived only in copy. How many total words were in ...
Lancel's user avatar
  • 129
8 votes
1 answer
4k views

Polite forms of address in Ancient Rome

My Latin dictionary only lists ere for sir, which is how a slave would address his/her master. But how would a lower status Roman address a person of higher status - for instance, a wage-labourer to ...
TheHonRose's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
593 views

Did the passage from Latin to English, in England, help science flourish?

On a YouTube video about the origins of English, they said that replacing Latin with English in science was beneficial to the field; scientists were thus able to easily discuss and understand the ...
ahmed's user avatar
  • 505
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

What did the Romans call black people (sub-Saharan)?

What did the Romans call black people (sub-Saharan)? In classic Latin as well as vulgar latin and slang.
d-b's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
2k views

Ancient Roman Slang

Is anyone able to recommend a book or website which lists slang from Ancient Rome? As an example, how would a Roman say the equivalent of "it's screwed up"? There are many ways of saying this in ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 336
11 votes
6 answers
2k views

Who would have a good or fair command of Latin in medieval Western Europe?

This answer to this question states Latin was the language of diplomacy in medieval Western Europe, but this does not imply that royalty or nobility themselves knew Latin: it would suffice that a few ...
Jacinto's user avatar
  • 210
3 votes
2 answers
407 views

What does this symbol in the title page illustration of the "Margarita Philosophica" mean?

The Margarita Philosophica appeared around the year 1500 CE, written by Gregor Reisch of Freiburg. The title page of the manuscript contains the fascinating image below, in which the seven primary ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 131
6 votes
1 answer
596 views

When were both minuscule and majuscule letters used for the first time in the same Latin manuscript?

I understand the first minuscule script appeared in the Latin alphabet in the 3rd century - "New Roman cursive". My question is: when did a script used both minuscule and majuscule letters in the ...
BearCode's user avatar
  • 233
3 votes
0 answers
82 views

Which Canadian universities required Ancient Greek and Latin? From when to when?

I limit this question to universities in Canada. 1. What rough percentage of universities required Ancient Greek and Latin, for admission? 2. Then what about after admission, during university? ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
322 views

What are the modern names of the nations mentioned in Ystoria Mongalorum?

Giovanni Carpini in his Ystoria Mongalorum lists as factions under the dominion of the Mongol Empire: Nations that have been subjugated: Meniti Colona-Thorati Sassi Thoas Sarthi ...
nomadic squirrel's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
506 views

Forms of address of Roman Magistrates under Constantinus

In The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon mentions that Roman magistrates under Constantinus the Great had such titles as; your Sincerity, your Gravity, your Excellency, your ...
amemus's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
7k views

Latin/Greek for assassin

As far as I am aware, assassin comes from the Arabic حشاشين‎ (Ḥashshāshīn). Clearly, the concept of murdering someone for either political or religious reasons was not invented by the Ḥashshāshīn. So,...
Sardathrion - against SE abuse's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
187 views

The manuscript Summa Logicae (William of Ockham)

The Summa Logicae (Latin, in English it's the Sum of Logic) is a textbook on logic by William of Ockham (1323). There are articles about the Summa Logicae in Wikipedia and in Logicmuseum. It was ...
Clever Masha's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
28k views

When was "diablo" first used to refer to the Devil?

I'd curious to know how and when the word diablo came to mean the Devil. In Luc Ferry's A Brief History of Thought, he states: The devil is rather one who, spiritually speaking, does everything in ...
coleopterist's user avatar
  • 6,736
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

Short or long Roman numerals?

TL;DR: Is 1995 correctly written as MVM, or as something more like MCMLVL? MCMVC? MCMLXLV? MCMLXXXXV? From what I recall from my Latin classes (European highschool...), you are not supposed to write ...
Gijs's user avatar
  • 233
18 votes
2 answers
1k views

Language of Franks vs later French

I am reading that before the 8-9th(10th?) century, Franks were a Germanic-speaking nation. How it is possible to explain that in later centuries their language became a totally different Latin-...
Andrei's user avatar
  • 848