VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

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Re: VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

Postby Lucius Livius Seneca » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:31 am

L. Livius mag. omnibus sociis sal.

It's been over a month since I've been able to present a new verbum hebdomadale, but now that things have settled down for the moment, we can take another dive into the pages of Lewis & Short!

laetĭtĭa, ae, f. [laetus], joy, esp. unrestrained joyfulness, gladness, pleasure, delight (cf.: gaudium, hilaritas). I. Lit. ... II. Transf., pleasing appearance, beauty, grace: membrorum, Stat. Th. 6, 571.—Luxuriance, fertility, of plants: trunci, Col. 4, 24, 12: pabuli, plenty, abundance, Just. 44, 4, 14.3—Of a fruitful soil: loci, Col. 4, 21, 2.—Of speech, sweetness, grace: laetitia et pulcritudo orationis, Tac. Or. 20.

Today we have come across a word very common across all eras of the Latin language. It means intense happiness or joy, and the literal meaning of the word heavily preponderates over the handful of minor, secondary associations listed in the dictionary entry above.

Like many positive abstractions, the Romans eventually personified laetita as a goddess, often associated with the ludi saeculares. She is mentioned in passing by Ovid in his Metamorphoses (12.60), but otherwise only seems to appear on coins of emperors invoking her blessing upon their reign.

Image
Fig. 1. The reverse of this silver antonianus depicts LAETITA AVG. N. (Laetita Augusti nostri) or "Joy of our Emperor." She is holding a garland (for fertility and revelry) in one hand, and an anchor (for stability and fortune) in the other.

Laetita, as one might expect, had much currency in later Christian Latin, and is quite common throughout St. Jerome's Latin translation of the Old Testament. Surprisingly enough, however, the word appears only twice in the New Testament (Acts 14:16, and 1 Peter 1:8).

To finish today's reflection, I leave you with one definition of laetita taken from the Attic Nights of the second-century A.D. grammarian Aulus Gellius. In it, Gellius quotes his contemporary, the rhetorician Titus Castricius, as saying:

Noctes Atticae, 2, 27, 3 wrote:Laetitia dicitur exsultatio quaedam animi gaudio efferventior eventu rerum expetitarum.

"Joy is said to be a certain exultation of the spirit, which abounds all the more with delight from the realization of things desired."

Valete.
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Re: VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

Postby Lucius Livius Seneca » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:50 am

L. Livius mag. omnibus sociis sal.

I must apologize for my inattentiveness to this project. Nearly another month has passed without some new vocabulary! Today, at last, I have the following from the pages of Lewis & Short:

haedus (less correctly hoedus, and archaic aedus or ēdus; cf. Quint. 1, 5, 19, and see the letter H; Sabine, fedus, like fircus for hircus, cf. Varr. L. L. 5, § 97 Müll., and see the letter F), i, m. [Sascr. huda, ram; O. H. Germ. Geiz; cf. Gr. χίμαρος], a young goat, a kid (cf.: hircus, caper). I. Lit. Varr. R. R. 2, 3, 4; 8; Cic. de Sen. 16, 56; Verg. G. 4, 10; Hor. C. 3, 18, 5; id. Epod. 2, 60; Mart. 10, 87, 17.—As a fig. for wantonness: tenero lascivior haedo, Ov. M. 13, 791; as a fig. of weakness, Lucr. 3, 7.—II. Transf., plur.: Haedi, a small double star in the hand of the Waggoner (Auriga), Cic. poët. N. D. 2, 43, 110; so in plur., Varr. R. R. 2, 1, 8; Col. 11, 2, 73: pluviales Haedi, Verg. A. 9, 668; cf. nimbosi, Ov. Tr. 1, 11, 13.—In sing.: purus et Orion, purus et Haedus erit, Prop. 2, 26 (3, 22), 56.

Though a Latinist today might have few occassions to speak about goats, for the ancients—far more agriculturally-minded than we moderns—this was likely a familiar word. From the citations in our dictionary entry, we find it in the writings of a host of worthy Latin authors: Cicero, Vergil, Lucretius, Ovid, Martial, etc.

In addition to it's literal significance, we also see its figurative usage to describe either a lively libido (which is still idiomatic in English, i.e., "horny as a goat"), or weakness. The "Haedi" also refer to a binary star system in the constellation Auriga, known today by its official scientific designations, Eta and Zeta Auriga.

Image
Fig. 1. Eta (η) Auriga with its companion Zeta (ζ) Auriga (unlabeled), i.e., the two Haedi.

To finish, let us look at some lines from one of Martial's epigrams, in this case, some verse he wrote to mark the birthday of his friend, Restitutus:

Ep. 10.87 wrote:Venator leporem, colonus haedum,
Piscator ferat aequorum rapinas.
Si mittit sua quisque, quid poetam
Missurum tibi, Restitute, credis?

"Let the hunter bring a hare; the farmer, a goat-kid;
the fisherman, the spoils of the sea.
If each one sends what is his own, what
do you think, Restitutus, a poet will send you?"

Valete.
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Re: VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

Postby Lucius Livius Seneca » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:41 pm

L. Livius v. c. et mag. omnibus sociis sal.

Una hebdomas exacte!

The pages of Lewis & Short have supplied the following, easily the most common word we have yet to encounter in our random explorations of this dictionary:

tempus, ŏris (abl. temp. tempori or temperi; v. infra), n. [etym. dub.; perh. root tem-; Gr. τέμνω; prop. a section; hence, in partic. of time]. I. Lit., a portion or period of time, a time: tempus diei, daytime, Ter. Heaut. 1, 2, 38 ... matutina tempora, morning hours, Cic. Fam. 7, 1, 1: anni tempora, the seasons, Lucr. 2, 33; ... 2. Esp. of the time intervening between two events, etc., an interval, period, time ... B. Transf., time, in general. 1. Lit. a. In gen. ... b. In partic., the time, i.e. the fitting or appointed time, the right season, proper period, opportunity, = καιρός : nunc occasio est et tempus, Plaut. Ps. 4, 2, 3 ... (β) tempŏra, um (less freq. in the sing. tempus), after the Gr. τὰ καίρια (prop. the right place, the fatal spot), the temples of the head; ... Poet., transf. the face, visage in gen., Prop. 2, 24 (3, 18), 3; 2, 18, 32 (3, 11, 10).—The head: jacuit pulsus tria tempora ramo Cacus, upon his three heads, Prop. 4 (5), 9, 15 ... 2. Transf. a. The time in its moral aspects; the state of the times, position, state, condition; in plur., the times, circumstances (esp. freq. of dangerous or disrespectful circumstances): si ad tuum tempus perducitur, facilis gubernatio est, time of administration, consulship, Cic. Fam. 10, 1, 2 ... eae (res) contra nos faciunt in hoc tempore, at the present time, under the present circumstances, Cic. Quint. 1, 1; ... b. Time in poetry and rhetoric, i.e. measure, quantity: idem facit in trochaeo, qui temporibus et intervallis est par iambo, Cic. Or. 57, 194; ... II. Adverb. phrases. A. tempŏrē, and more freq. in adverb. form, tempŏrī or tempĕrī, at the right time or fitting time, at the appointed time, in time, betimes, timely, seasonably, satisne tempori opera sient confecta, Cato, R. R. 2, 1; 3, 4; ... B. Form tempore, in time, with the progress of time, gradually ... C. Ad tempus. 1. At the right time or appointed time, in time: ad tempus redire, Cic. Att. 13, 45, 2 ... 2. For some time, for the time being, for a while, for the moment ... D. Ante tempus, before the right time, too soon ... E. Ex tempore, instantaneously, forthwith, on the spur of the moment, extempore ... F. In tempore, at the right, proper, or appropriate time, in time: in tempore ad eam veni, Ter. Heaut. 2, 3, 123: in ipso tempore eccum ipsum, in the nick of time, i. And. 3, 2, 52 ... G. In tempus, for a time, temporarily ... H. Per tempus, at the right time, in time ... K. Pro tempore, according to circumstances.

The above is a highly abbreviated version of Lewis & Short's original entry, which takes up an entire page unto itself. As most students of Latin will know, tempus means "time." For the novice Latinist it can be a tricky vocabulary entry, however, as it is a rare noun of the third declension ending in -us, and is neuter besides! As an aid to my own memory, I always think of Cicero's famous quip whenever declining this word: "O tempora, o mores!" (from his First Oration against Catiline), which reminds me not to mistake this word for a second or even fourth declension noun.

Having gone through the entire dictionary entry while typing this out, I was surprised by how many usages of tempus are for "appropriate" or "fitting" times. Of the adverbial phrases given (II.A–K), half of them have something to do with "the right time." It would seem that the Romans were very concerned with doing things "comme il faut," as the French would say!

To finish today's vocabulary, we might as well examine Cicero's well-known speech that I mentioned above:

In Catilinam, 1.1 wrote:Image
Fig. 1. Cicero Denounces Catiline, by C. Maccari (1888).

O tempora, o mores! Senatus haec intellegit. Consul videt; hic tamen vivit. Vivit! immo vero etiam in senatum venit, fit publici consilii particeps, notat et designat oculis ad caedem unum quemque nostrum. Nos autem fortes viri satisfacere rei publicae videmur, si istius furorem ac tela vitemus. Ad mortem te, Catilina, duci iussu consulis iam pridem oportebat, in te conferri pestem, quam tu in nos [omnes iam diu] machinaris.

"What times, what morals! The Senate is aware of these things. The consul sees them, and yet this man lives. He lives! He has even come to the Senate, takes part in our public deliberations, takes note with his eyes and picks out each one of us for the slaughter. And we brave men think that we are satisfying our duty to the Republic if we but keep free of his knives and fury. You should have been put to death by the consuls ages ago, Catiline, brought to the ruination which you now plot for us!"

Wow! No wonder Cicero is considered the gold-standard of Latin rhetoric!

Valete.
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Re: VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

Postby Lucia Horatia Adamas » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:02 am



L. Horatia Adamas L. Livio Senecæ omnibusque fautoribus linguæ Latinæ S.P.D.

Ut videtur, munus verborum hebdomadalium praebendorum ad me transiit. However, there is a very apt Latin word which comes to mind at this time of year: bruma, -æ, f., meaning 'winter solstice,' the shortest day of the year, or the period near the time of the winter solstice, that is, midwinter. By extension, this word comes to mean winter in general, or cold, wintry weather, and is also used in expressing someone's age, as in 'Marcus is six winters old.' (There are, however, other ways of doing the latter in Latin).

Several Roman authors use this word, including classical ones; Cato writes 'ubi solstitium fuerat ad brumam,' Cicero notes 'eas [litteras] mihi post brumam reddiderunt,' Horatius has 'tepidas…præbet Juppiter brumas,' and there are a good many other citations from Cæsar, Columella, Ovid, Terence, Propertius, Lucretius, Vergil, Pliny, and several others.

By derivation, 'bruma' is a contraction of the superlative degree of the adjective 'brevis,' i.e., 'brevima,' which may have been mispronounced much as we English speakers do with the vernacular versions of 'give me' and 'forget about it,' so 'bruma' rather than 'brevima' actually is the correct form of this word. Despite a fair number of classical citations, 'bruma' is sufficiently rare in Latin textbooks that not even Latin teachers may have seen it, so Latin students might like to ask their teachers if they know what this means.

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Re: VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

Postby Lucius Livius Seneca » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:29 pm

L. Livius v. c. et mag. Horatiae Adamanti mag. sal.

Verbum "bruma" scio vero, sed formam superlativam "brevis" esse nesciebam. Ob hanc doctrinam tuam gratias tibi ago, magistra!

Vale.
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Re: VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

Postby Lucia Horatia Adamas » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:39 am



L. Horatia Adamas L. Livio Senecæ omnibusque S.P.D.

Flocci est! Non omnes magistri linguæ Latinæ hocc vocabulum noverunt; uni quidem id docui, et suspicor nonnullos hocc nescire. De 'brevima,' autem, nonnulli nostrum aliter dicere solent 'brevissima,' nam hæc est forma superlativa solita adjectivi 'brevis.' ;-))) Ut videtur, soni serpentini evanuerunt. ;-)

I thought that this was a very apt word for this time of year, and its rarity in spite of that made it even more welcome as a vocabulary addition. Then there is that truncated form 'brevima,' whereas the normal form of the superlative of 'brevis' is 'brevissima.' All told, interesting to the lover of Latin.

Another apt phrase, found in Livy, is 'nivem / nives fodere,' which we would translate as 'shovel snow,' although the Latin literally says 'dig snow.' Maximopere malim adjutorem qui nives cottidianas pro me fodere queat.

Vale, et valete!
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Re: VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

Postby Lucius Livius Seneca » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:25 am

L. Livius mag. omnibus sociis s.p.d.

Lewis & Short has another personal figure for us today, so we'll be doing a little less grammar and a little more mythology:

Ĕtĕōclēs, is and ĕos, m., = Ἐτεοκλῆς, son of Oedipus and Jocasta, brother of Polynices; he was the cause of the Theban war, described by the Roman poet Statius in the Thebais, Cic. Off. 3, 21, 82; Hyg. Fab. 76; gen. Eteoclis, Stat. Th. 3, 214: Eteocleos, id. ib. 12, 421; acc. Eteoclea, id. ib. 7, 688.—Hence, II. Ĕtĕōclēus, a, um, adj. of Eteocles: contentiones, App. M. 10, p. 245, 30.

The name Eteocles is a compound of two Greek words: ἐτεός (eteos) meaning "true", and κλέος (kleos) meaning "glory" or "fame". As you can see, the dictionary entry is mostly concerned with how to decline this Hellenic loanword.

Most are familiar with the disturbing tale of Oedipus, the King of Thebes, who was exiled after it was discovered that he had inadvertently killed his father and married his own mother. In the wake of his expulsion, his two sons, Eteocles and Polynices (who were unfortunately also his half-brothers :oops:), assumed rulership of Thebes.

The exiled Oedipus, however, ends up cursing his sons to die by one another's hands for failing to show him the paternal respect he believed he is due. The two brothers, naturally, bicker over the particularities of their co-regency and go to war with one another: Eteocles supported by the local Thebans, and Polynices with the support of the Argives. During the final battle for the crown, the curse is fulfilled and the two brothers slay one another.

With both sons of Oedipus dead, Creon, Oedipus' maternal uncle (and brother-in-law ... yeesh!), ultimately succeeds to the throne of Thebes.

Image
Fig. 1. Eteocles and Polynices slay one another (from an Etruscan cinerary urn).

Although Eteocles, Oedipus, and the whole Theban Cycle of stories is generally considered to be mythological, a bronze-age letter was discovered which appears to mention a royal Greek brother named Tawagalawa—a Hittite rendition of "Eteocles". This is an intruiging, though utterly tenuous, piece of evidence for some possible historicity to the Oedipal legend.

The most significant Latin source concerning Eteocles is the Thebaid, an epic poem by P. Papinius Statius (c. 45–c. 96 A.D.). In the following verses, the citizens of Thebes have wandered out into the night in search of the bodies of their dead kinsmen, led to slaughter by the proud folly of their king, Eteocles. Amidst the dismembered corpses, a Theban elder named Aletes cries out against their tyrannical monarch:

Thebaid, 3.214 wrote:... senior multumque nefas Eteoclis aceruat
crudelem infandumque vocans poenasque daturum.
Unde ea libertas? Iuxta illi finis et aetas
Tota retro, seraeque decus velit addere morti.

"The elderly man ... railed much against the abominations of Eteocles,
calling him cruel, unspeakable, and destined for punishment.
Whence this candour? He was close to the end, his life
entirely behind him, and would gladly end his long life with some pride."

Valete.
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Re: VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

Postby Lucius Livius Seneca » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:30 am

L. Livius mag. omnibus sociis sal.

Our word for this week:

lŭes, is (nom. lŭis, Prud. Hamart.; id. Psych. 508; old acc. lueruem, i.e. luerem for luem, Carm. Frat. Arv.), f. [akin to λοιμός; Sanscr. root lû, to cut; cf. λυτήρ, solvo], a plague, pestilence. I. Lit., Carm Frat. Arv.: dira lues quondam Latias vitiaverat auras, Ov. M. 15, 626: lues et pestifer annus, Verg. A. 3, 139; Mart. 1, 79, 2; Luc. 2, 199; Licin. Macer. ap. Non. 52, 10.—II. Transf. A. Any spreading evil, common calamity or misfortune; of war: immensa belli lues, Tac. H. 3, 15; of an earthquake, id. A. 2, 47; of a tempest, Sen. Hippol. 1117.—B. As a term of abuse, of whatever has a blighting influence, a plague, a pest, Cic. Harusp. Resp. 12: saeva Thebarum lues, i.e. the Sphinx, Sen. Phoen. 131: illa horrida lues, of Hannibal, Sil. 10, 603: dira illa lues, id. 16, 622: pellere saevam Quondam fata luem dederunt Aquilone creatis, i.e. the Harpies, Val. Fl. 4, 431.—C. Decay, corruption: morum, Plin. 29, 1, 8, §27.

The root of the word lues has to do with cutting or setting something loose. Lewis & Short points out several related words: e.g., the Greek λύω, and the Latin soluo. In fact, the English "loose" is also part of this family of words. As such, lues came to mean something which breaks apart a whole—e.g., disease, disaster, plague, etc.

It has barely survived in the English language as an archaic medical term for venereal disease, especially syphilis.

Given that many to whom I've spoken consider 2017 to have been something of an annus horribilis and are hoping for a much improved 2018 in the days to come, I thought we might conclude with the following lines from Vergil's Aeneid:

... subito cum tabida membris,
corrupto caeli tractu, miserandaque venit
arboribusque satisque lues et letifer annus.

"Suddenly, upon our limbs, and orchards, and crops,
from some corrupt part of the sky, came an awful,
wasting plague and a year of death."

Valete.
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Re: VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

Postby Lucius Livius Seneca » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:30 am

L. Livius mag. omnibus sociis sal.

Today we have an adjective—a part of speech we haven't seen since popinales! This one, however, is perhaps a little more interesting ...

trux, ŭcis (abl. usually truci, but truce in Cic. Agr. 2, 25; Ov. Tr. 4, 7, 14), adj. [perh. τρύξ, new, unfermented wine; hence, trop.], wild, rough, hard, harsh, savage, fierce, ferocious, grim, stern (mostly poet.; cf.: truculentus, torvus). I. Of living beings: horridus ac trux tribunus plebis, Cic. Agr. 2, 25, 65 ... *(β) With inf.: trux audere, bold, daring, Sil. 13, 220.—II. Of things concrete and abstract ... Comp. and sup. given without examples in Rhemn. Palaem. p. 1369 P.—Hence, trŭcĭter, adv., fiercely (late Lat.), Aldh. Laud. Virg. 35.

This adjective is a very well-rounded one for describing anything lacking refinement. It covers all sorts of possibilities from mere primitiveness to all-out savagery. It describes not only people and animals, but also facial expressions (vultus trux), the environment (pelagus trux), ideas (sententia trux), and even textures (trux tactu)!

It's etymology is rather uncertain. Lewis & Short suggest that it might be related to the Greek homophone for new wine (τρύξ), but others link it to the Indo-European *twerḱ- meaning "to cut." It has made a minor appearance in the English language via the inkhorn term "truculent."

For our literary example, I wanted to look at Lewis & Short's first citation, as it deals with a "trux tribunus plebis"—an accusation familiar to those who have been following the conflicts within Roman restorationism over the last few years. It comes from Cicero's second speech against the agrarian reform proposed by P. Servilius Rullus.

De lege agraria, 2.26 wrote:"Huiusce modi me aliquid ab hoc horrido ac truce tribuno plebis exspectasse confiteor; hanc vero emendi et vendendi quaestuosissimam ac turpissimam mercaturam alienam actione tribunicia, alienam dignitate populi Romani semper putavi."

I admit that I expected something of this sort from this crude and vulgar Tribune of the Plebs; I have always felt that this most profitable and yet shameful business of buying and selling is entirely foreign to the duties of a Tribune, and foreign to the dignity of the Roman people.

Valete.
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Re: VERBVM HEBDOMADALE

Postby Lucius Livius Seneca » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:39 am

L. Livius mag. omnibus sociis sal.

Hodie aliud verbum adiectivum invenimus ...

audītōrĭus, a, um adj. [auditor], relating to a hearer or hearing. I. As adj. only once: cavernae, the auditory passages, Cael. Aur. Tard. 2, 3.—Far more freq., II. Subst.: audītōrĭum, ii, n. A. A hearing of a cause at law, a judicial examination (cf. audio, II.A.3.), Dig. 4, 8, 41.—B. The place where something (a discourse, a lecture) is heard, a lecture-room, hall of justice (not in Cic.; perh. in gen. not before the Aug. period) ... Trop., of the forum: non rudibus dimicantes nec auditorium semper plenum, Tac. Or. 34.—C. A school, in opp. to public life: condicio fori et auditorii, Quint. 10, 1, 36.—D. The assembled hearers themselves, the audience, auditory: nuper adhibito ingenti auditorio, Plin. Ep. 4, 7; so App. Mag. p. 320, 33.

This adjective—having to do with hearing—ultimately comes from audio, the verb meaning "to hear". Consider also the related Latin word for "ear": auris.

Interestingly enough, we only have one example of this word ever being used as an actual adjective, describing the ear canal. This lone usage is from the North African physician, Caelius Aurelianus, in his Latin translation of the Tardae Passiones ("Chronic Diseases") of Soranus of Ephesus:

Tardae Passiones 2.3 wrote:"Sensuales aurium viae, sive auditoriae cavernae, quos Graeci acusticos poros appellant, difficilimis saepe doloribus vexantur ..."

The sensitive passages of the ears, or auditory canals, which the Greeks call "acoustic passages", are often plagued by the most distressing afflictions ...

Far more frequently, however, the word is used as a neutral substantive: auditorium, to mean a place or situation where hearing takes place, e.g., a legal hearing in court, an audience, or a hall for lectures (which meaning it still possesses in the English language). In St. Jerome's Vulgate, for example, the Apostle Paul is brought into just such a place while being examined by the Roman authorities of Judea:

Acts 25:23 wrote:"Altera autem die cum venisset Agrippa et Bernice cum multa ambitione et introissent in auditorium cum tribunis et viris principalibus civitatis et iubente Festo adductus est Paulus."

The next day, however, once Agrippa and Berenice had arrived with much pomp and entered into the audience hall with the tribunes and leading men of the city, Paul was brought in at the command of Festus.

Image
Fig. 1. From left to right: Herod Agrippa II, King of Judea; Porcius Festus, Procurator of Judea; Berenice, Queen of Judea; and St. Paul the Apostle. Note the togae praetextae, as well as the lictor bearing the fasces in the background.

Valete.
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