Stilum vertere: How to erase something like a true Roman

Was erasing something so different during Ancient Roman times than from today? Well, yes it was. You even had a special expression for it - to turn the pen or “stilum vertere”. This expression could also be used metaphorically. This article will teach you more about the expression “stilum vertere”, give you an insight to Roman writing practices and learn about Horace's notion about the importance for a poet to follow the instructions of the expression. 

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Latin classes during the Roman empire

Two thousand years ago, when the Romans ruled a vast empire whose inhabitants spoke all sorts of different languages, many of those inhabitants wanted to learn Latin. So they signed up for Latin classes, where they learned using textbooks containing little dialogues about everyday life.

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Mihi aqua haeret: Cicero at a stand

When modern people are at a stand, the Romans would have their water stop. This article discuss the expression mihi aqua haeret and its use and possible origins. It will look at Cicero’s use of it and put the expression in context, i.e. give you an insight to ancient water clocks.

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Ex Antverpia Lux? De conventu quodam didascalico refert Christianus Laes

Die undecimo mensis Februarii anni 2017, cum nives regionem Flandricam leviter tangebant, annuus conventus magistrorum linguarum classicarum lares suos migravit. Moderatores enim locum consuetum in studiorum universitate Lovaniensi mutaverant pro campo studiorum universitatis Antverpiensis ut participes per totum diem non solum acroases audirent de lingua Latina necnon Græca vivo more tractandis, sed etiam ut experirentur quomodo ipsi tales vias ad bonum effectum adhiberent.

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Nemo saltat sobrius: Dancing in Ancient Rome

Nemo saltat sobrius is one of the most famous lines in history, and was uttered by none other than Cicero himself. This Latin expression, or proverb if you will, about drunken dancing and the context in which it was uttered gives away quite a lot about how the Romans viewed dancing.

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Smith & Hall’s English-Latin dictionary now on Latinitium.com

The English-Latin dictionary of Smith & Hall, originally published in 1871 under the title A Copious and Critical English-Latin Dictionary, is widely regarded as the best and most extensive lexicon for translating from English into Latin ever written. It is now available as a digital version on Latinitium.com

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A guide to Dictionaries of Latin synonyms – How to tell the difference

Has this ever happened to you? You're happily reading a Latin text when you come across a word you're not sure about. You open the dictionary, look up the word, learn the definition, go back to reading. A little further down you stumble on another word. Same thing. Look up the word, learn the… and confusion sets in. The two words have basically the same definition. "What's the difference?" "Is there a difference?"  After reading this article you'll know how to solve these age-old questions.

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Cygnea Cantio: The Swan-song

Do swans sing before they die? What did the Romans say about it? And do singing swans have anything to do with the expression swan-song and the Latin version Cygnea cantio? Find out more in this article.

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Auribus teneo lupum: Why Emperor Tiberius and President Thomas Jeffersson both held a wolf by the ears

To hold a wolf by the ears is an old Latin proverb, Auribus teneo lupum, made famous again in modern times as it was used by President Thomas Jeffersson. Learn more about how this expression was used, and what it actually meant to hold a wolf by the ears to the Romans.

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Lupus in Fabula: How to speak of the Devil in Latin

The Latin expression “The wolf in the story” or Lupus in Fabula is well used in Classical Literature and has plenty of modern equivalents. Learn more about the fabled wolf and his expression and when to use it. You’d want to cry wolf like a Roman - with the right expression and at the right time!

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How to ask someone not to do something in Latin

Even before the Aeneid’s “publication,” news had gotten out that Vergil was working on something truly grand. Propertius had heard a few verses, which so moved the Umbrian poet that he broke the secret in one of his elegies.  Now Augustus wanted to hear the epic: not just scraps, but a proper book, or three. The Mantuan bard obliged – did he have a choice? The VIP audience assembled for a private recitation, and 

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Hastas abicere

If you ever feel like giving up, but want to express that in Latin, you should turn to Cicero and his expression about spears. Find out more about Cicero’s defence for Lucius Murena, why you shouldn’t throw a spear and maybe a little something about William Blake. 

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Runarum origo. Pars II de litteris Vikingorum

Cur res prorsus barbaricas in sede Latina tractem, fortasse requiritis; nec iniuria. Quaenam causa sit, brevi aperietur, namque in animo est docere qua via runae originem ex litteris Latinis duxerint. Quo ut perveniam, ex diversis scriptoribus Latinis, velut Tacito et Venantio Fortunato, eruta non ingrata proferam in lucem.

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BlogVictor Frans
How to Ask Politely in Latin

Latinists have recently been studying these things with interesting results. We now know more about linguistic accommodation in Latin, or how the status or identity of the addressee and speaker affected what a Roman said, we understand better Cicero’s letter writing practice, specifically, what kinds of scripts were available to him in making certain kinds of weighty requests, and how…

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