Skip to main content
92 votes

What language did Gaius Julius Caesar speak with Cleopatra?

Most likely Greek. This is the only language which we know they definitely had in common, and both were highly proficient in it. High-born Romans learnt Greek and Julius Caesar was no exception: ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
50 votes
Accepted

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

The present day structure (Marian column (Prague)) is intended to be a very precise reconstruction of the original one built in 1650 that was torn down in 1918, when the original inscription was ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
41 votes

Why is AD in Latin and BC is in English?

The third answer at Guardian is perhaps useful: Anno Domini was first used by the church in England in the seventh century and came to be used in secular legal documents at a time when they, like ...
MCW's user avatar
  • 33.8k
31 votes
Accepted

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

(Note that there are definitively many traces of Germanic influence on Spanish/Portuguese. For example, as @AlbertYago's pointed out, the Iberian vocabulary contains several Germanic imports; ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
28 votes
Accepted

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

This is a simple case of meaning that was lost in translation. Latin America translates as "América Latina" in both Portuguese and Spanish. It's the region of the American continent where ...
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,448
27 votes
Accepted

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

The short answer is, of course, that Latin didn't completely disappear from Britain at the end of the Romano-British period. However, the use of Latin did decline much more in Britain than it did in ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.4k
25 votes
Accepted

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

The short answer is that Constantine didn't create the Chi-Rho Christogram. There is evidence that it was already being used before Constantine, but he certainly raised the symbol's prominence after ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.4k
21 votes

Did average church-goers understand mass in Latin?

Literate people can carry dual-language missals. My father did first communion in the old rite. Even as a child/young teen, he could follow the gestures, context and more or less the Latin sound/text, ...
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,448
20 votes
Accepted

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

It is, perhaps easier to understand when compared with a map: image source Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0 Now, Caesar's meaning should be a little more clear. When he says: "The Belgae rises from the ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.4k
20 votes
Accepted

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

The oldest universities in today's English-speaking world are Oxford and Cambridge, having mottoes Dominus illuminatio mea, "The Lord is my light", and Hinc lucem et pocula sacra, "From here, light ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
20 votes
Accepted

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

It does seem a coincidence that they all died in November, but this coincidence has been made into something of a joke. In the first place the reverend gentleman himself died on November 1st which is ...
davidlol's user avatar
  • 1,579
18 votes
Accepted

Which is the earliest surviving inscription of "SPQR"?

Whether or not there are any surviving SPQR initials inscriptions from the time of the Roman Republic is unclear. For inscriptions, the earliest use of these initials seems to have been on coins from ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

What place was called [in Latin] Audomaropolitanus?

Audomaropolitanus is actually the adjectival form, and it means "of Audomaropolis." So you'd want to look for that. Latin Wikipedia identifies it as Saint-Omer, in northern France.
Meir's user avatar
  • 1,275
15 votes

Why is AD in Latin and BC is in English?

It remains unclear at the moment exactly how and why, nor even exactly when, the dating system was named popularly in English language and then kept that way while the years after the year 1 in the ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
12 votes

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

Why are Spanish cultures labeled as 'Latin' today, but Italian and eastern Europe cultures aren't? All Spanish cultures are labeled as latin, but not "latino". The difference in these two ...
James's user avatar
  • 2,701
11 votes
Accepted

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

It is short for adhibendum. I think the English equivalent would be something along the lines of "annex" or "appendix". As in, "Appendix B, Vol II, Proceedings of the School Conference of 1891". I ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
11 votes

Did average church-goers understand mass in Latin?

It varied in degree depending on the period and the location. As explained in this podcast on the emergence of Romance languages from Patrick Wyman's Tides of History, the line between Latin and the ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
10 votes

Polite forms of address in Ancient Rome

Since posting this question, I've begun reading Latin Forms of Address from Plautus to Apuleius by Eleanor Dickey OUP 2002,and the question is considerably more complex than I ever dreamt! For ...
TheHonRose's user avatar
  • 7,929
10 votes

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

(This answer is intended as a complement to Sempaiscuba's.) The British experience is not as unique as you may think, as there were many other places where Vulgar Latin died out after the collapse of ...
J. Siebeneichler's user avatar
9 votes

How long did Latin survive in Bavaria?

There were two Roman provinces that encompassed part of modern Bavaria: Raetia and Noricum. In both the ancient population primarily were herders and loggers, not farmers. So they weren't ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 120k
9 votes

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

To expand the answer of b.Lorenz with few examples: it was a slow process, and the speed in various areas was very different. Some examples. Proceedings of St. Petersburg Academy (mid 18th century) ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.8k
6 votes

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

It come about at different times in different subjects, for example Latin names of conditions and anatomical objects are still used in medical science. It generally happened in the 18th and 19th ...
b.Lorenz's user avatar
  • 4,354
6 votes

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

The accepted answer is very good at giving context and explaining the difference of the Iberian languages with England (where a Germanic language replaced previous romance and Celtic languages) and ...
Pere's user avatar
  • 3,871
6 votes

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

Aegyptios autem, qua p(er)suasum habent ignem animatam beluam esse, et o(mn)ia quae nascuntur (nanciscitur) de uorare (devorare): et post(quam) deuorando (devorando) fuerit expleta, una cum ipsa re ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
4 votes

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

It had to do with the way that "Britain" was settled by the Anglo-Saxons. The general idea was that they "swamped" the locals, but there are at least two variations on the theme. Variation one is ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
4 votes

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

The term "Latin America" arose because there was an attitude that the United States and Canada are distinct from the rest of the Americas. The term, like most terms, doesn't fully capture ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
3 votes

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

The title of the question is excessive - given that there are Germanic (not necessarily Gothic) words in both Spanish/Castilian and Portuguese, as well as Catalan, as said in the other answer. But the ...
cipricus's user avatar
  • 2,304
3 votes

The manuscript Summa Logicae (William of Ockham)

The Logicmuseum site lists Summa Logica: Bruges, Bibl. de la Ville 498 (an. 1340); Avignon, Bibl. Mun. 1086 (1343) meaning there is (or was) a manuscript in the Bruges municipal library (MS 498) ...
kimchi lover's user avatar
  • 5,952
3 votes

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

Bishop Asser tells the story of how as a child Alfred [the Great of England] won as a prize a book of Saxon poems, offered by his mother to the first of her children able to memorize it.[1] https:...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible