Salve, Sigur!

Gratus aut grata in Vicipaediam Latinam acciperis! Ob contributa tua gratias agimus speramusque te delectari posse et manere velle.

Cum Vicipaedia nostra parva humilisque sit, paucae et exiguae sunt paginae auxilii, a quibus hortamur te ut incipias:

Si plura de moribus et institutis Vicipaedianis scire vis, tibi suademus, roges in nostra Taberna, vel roges unum ex magistratibus directe.

In paginis encyclopaedicis mos noster non est nomen dare, sed in paginis disputationis memento editis tuis nomen subscribere, litteris impressis --~~~~, quibus insertis nomen tuum et dies apparebit. Quamquam vero in paginis ipsis nisi lingua Latina uti non licet, in paginis disputationum qualibet lingua scribi solet. Quodsi quid interrogare velis, vel Taberna vel pagina disputationis mea tibi patebit. Ave! Spero te "Vicipaedianum" aut "Vicipaedianam" fieri velle!

-- Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 09:39, 24 Ianuarii 2019 (UTC)

On inter-language links in the textRecensere

I saw your hidden text at Gladbacum Monachorum. A very good idea to give a clue about a not-yet-existing article, but may I suggest a better way to do this? Hidden text is best kept to a minimum -- and, after all, the next editor could legitimately delete it. But the template {{Creanda|nl|Mederiacum}} producing Mederiacum[nl] helps the reader even more, because one can click straight through to the existing article, which might help to start the relevant article here. An example if you want to link to an article with a different name, and to use an oblique case in our text: {{Creanda|nl|Melick|Mederiacum|Mederiaco}} producing Mederiaco[nl]. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:07, 15 Februarii 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, that's a very valuable tip. However, in this particular case, there remains a doubt: The reason I didn't simply write "vulgo Melick" was that the Wikidata item for Melick ( is different from the one for Mederiacum ( My first reflex would also be to equate Melick and Mederiacum, and the second Wikidata item could become something like "Archeological site of Melick". But I kind of wanted to leave that open... Sigur (disputatio) 19:39, 15 Februarii 2019 (UTC)
Yes, you have the choice. Assuming you don't intend to create both articles yourself, probably it's slightly better to link to the Wikidata for Melick, which connects to more languages. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 21:17, 20 Februarii 2019 (UTC)


Without knowing more, my guess is that the article from which you copied used an infobox formula that was once independent, but has meanwhile been merged into the Wikidata formula. I recognise that this can be timewasting, and (in case I was the one that did the merge, which is likely) I apologise. I do it tentatively, leaving time for others to say "No, leave the old box active!" -- but if there's no such response, I then need to ask a bot to delete the unwanted parameters from affected pages, so as not to confuse later editors.

The overall aim, as you'll understand, is that we should be able to (a) spend time adding text rather than filling in parameters, (b) be confident that our infoboxes are as up-to-date as Wikidata. Wikidata is far from perfect, but its information is in general much better updated than independent infoboxes on small wikis such as ours. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 09:49, 12 Martii 2019 (UTC)


Thanks very much for your response at Disputatio:Universitas Libera Bruxellensis. I didn't want to go off at a tangent there, but your comment on seals struck me as odd. Isn't that exactly what a seal does? Admittedly names are abbreviated on seals, sometimes, as also on coins, but I can't think of any reason for rejecting the evidence of a seal as "not official".

In this particular very unusual case, my guess would be that both universities inherited the already-fixed Latin name and neither of them cared to change it. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:41, 16 Maii 2019 (UTC)

Actually, this "seal" isn't really a seal. It's from this century and the university has absolutely no legal standing to have a seal. It's a marketing emblem, and you could as well translate "a Brussels university". But, as I said: It's probably as close as you can get. Sigur (disputatio) 14:11, 16 Maii 2019 (UTC)
Well, fair enough, and I don't know anything about this image (except that the university apparently has copyrighted it), or this university, or the legal status of universities in Belgium -- but in the world at large one of the things universities do, and have the legal standing to do, is to dish out degrees. In most countries the university's seal, in some form, has to appear on its diplomas and certificates -- and quite often the name on the seal will be in Latin; quite often the text of the diploma will be in Latin. In difficult cases we sometimes trace the official Latin names of academic institutions by finding images of old diplomas for sale on Ebay. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:58, 16 Maii 2019 (UTC)
Good point. I just checked a diploma from a public Belgian university, and there was indeed something that looks like a seal from the university, but then it only became valid with another seal, from a ministry. The same would go for the ULB. Sigur (disputatio) 17:00, 16 Maii 2019 (UTC)


Sigur, thanks for starting on those 10,000 pages! I've been doing as many as I could,* but several thousand more are waiting for someone to love them, so please keep at it! I'd have done more, but I hate to post 300-character hiccups, and writing longer articles takes time. We get two points for the merest of stubs, one more point for text greater than 8,000 characters, and one more point for text greater than 16,000. So look here for the 8K and 16K levels (color coded!), where in some cases the addition of a bibliographical item or an illustration can get us one more point. For example, until April (when I took action), Regnum Novum Aegypti was only 86 characters short. Anne Mahoney hasn't updated her summaries in a while, so you may need to check page histories to see whether I've already boosted a page on the cusp. Of course with new articles, everything is gravy, so to speak. Btw, if you don't know, the monthly comparisons of the wikis at Meta are here. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 20:20, 28 Iunii 2019 (UTC)


A splendid phrase. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 18:40, 5 Iulii 2019 (UTC)

Belgian politiciansRecensere

When you make a comment about a political navbox, you get asked questions like this in return:

I see we have a navbox Formula:Ministri praesides Valloniae, but nothing corresponding to it for Flanders. Nor do we have biography pages about Gulielmus Borsus or his opposite number Elisabetha Homans. You wouldn't care to fill in the gaps, would you?

Have a good weekend, in any case! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:26, 6 Iulii 2019 (UTC)

The navboxes are all done. As to the rest of the gaps, that will take more time, I'll see... Sigur (disputatio) 19:24, 6 Iulii 2019 (UTC)
Great! You have already done more than I expected: it is really good to have pages on all these current politicians. I will link the new navboxes to the "Primi ministri Belgicae" navbox. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:53, 7 Iulii 2019 (UTC)
I've done that now, and linked them to one another as well. Feel free to alter my choice of links and wording. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 11:51, 7 Iulii 2019 (UTC)
The current meta:Translation of the week happens to be the article on the en:Belgian government in exile, maybe you would like to create this article on Vicipaedia? Greetings, --UV (disputatio) 23:17, 12 Iulii 2019 (UTC)
OK, I think I will be able to come up with a decent stub. Started here: Rectio Belgica Londinii. Sigur (disputatio) 10:04, 13 Iulii 2019 (UTC)
Perfect! Greetings, --UV (disputatio) 18:38, 13 Iulii 2019 (UTC)

De parentelaRecensere

Mi Sigur, I've already explained it in the taberna, but I wrote the perhaps-overly technical descriptions of the various degrees of kinship in familia. I thought I was helping, but I am now wondering if I've made more of a mess. You've been far more active with these pages (I began them long ago, but soon gave up), so I wanted to let you know!--Xaverius 19:07, 14 Augusti 2019 (UTC)

No issue. The blood kinship terminology in Latin is even messier than the one for affinity, so I will keep it short and be all to happy to link to your list. Sigur (disputatio) 19:15, 14 Augusti 2019 (UTC)
I have more terms, but cannot find/think of Latin equivalents. Just for fun:
--Xaverius 19:56, 14 Augusti 2019 (UTC)
Hmm. Families are messy in just any language I guess... A step-parent isn't "adoptive", once they have adopted, they aren't a step-parent anymore (but simply a parent). Of course, they often do, which explains the confusion. Parens adfinis? A frater uterinus/agnatus is a half-brother (half-sibling: Wikidata), not a step-brother. A step-sibling (Wikidata) isn't even technically an affinity relationship, because the marriage occurs in the middle, not at the end: If A and B are step-siblings, then A is a child of Pa who is married to Pb who is a parent of B. In French, they have "quasi-sœur" (Wikidata) and "quasi-frère" (Wikidata) for this, and one could say that "quasi frater et soror sunt", but that would not be very precise, either. OK, enough of the mess; I'll be happy if we can finish the "Familia, affinitas" list, beyond that, it's never going to be complete, it's even getting worse, just look at footnote 2 here. Sigur (disputatio) 20:47, 14 Augusti 2019 (UTC)
What's all this verbiage about? Latin has noverca, privignus (privigna), vitricus, and of course filius (or filia) novercae (or vitrici), not to mention socer and socrus. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 20:55, 14 Augusti 2019 (UTC)
OK, so step-sibling is filia filiusve vitrici novercaeve. I do hope that this will never make it onto that 10 000-article list. Sigur (disputatio) 21:11, 14 Augusti 2019 (UTC)
"Verbiage" is the mot juste. Surely nobody would ever look for those redlink titles above, or understand them if they found them. Are those titles really proposed? Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:31, 15 Augusti 2019 (UTC)
I raised this issue also in the taberna. Maybe it was not useful to turn them into red links, but it was a way I thought of bringing all the different terms that Latin has for one type of relative (e.g. uncle/aunt with amita, avunculus, etc, which vary according to the way they individually relate to ego) via re-directs to a single page without having to favour one over (like patruus) over the rest.--Xaverius 09:21, 15 Augusti 2019 (UTC)
Well, I think Xaverius has a point, and that is due to the way the things we do here trickle through on Wikidata: E.g. "uncle" there now has the Latin label "patruus", also known as "avunculus". I think it should be "avunculus/patruus" as the label, perhaps with a disambiguation under "description" (I've done something like that with "nepos/neptis", but that was more straightforward, because there are statements "male form of label" and "female form of label"). In turn, this then begs the question if we shouldn't adapt the titles here (generic masculine, fine, but for anything else, we should have all the words). Sigur (disputatio) 14:30, 15 Augusti 2019 (UTC)
I don't intend to be negative. I'll read anything: I'm just waiting to see what there will be to read :) Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 20:13, 15 Augusti 2019 (UTC)
So, read it on Wikidata: avunculus/patruus, avunculus, patruus. That's the way I think it should be (I kept it alphabetic to be as neutral as possible). Question is: Do we move our page as well? Sigur (disputatio) 20:32, 15 Augusti 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, I never saw this last response till now. As things are, the Wikidata label is accurate (because our current one-line article tries to cover both terms), but "patruus/avunculus" isn't a suitable heading for an article in a Latin encyclopedia. All languages map the world, and they all do it differently. An encyclopedia in any language describes the world in the terms of that language. (No objection, of course, to mentioning and contrasting what other languages do: their speakers are part of the world.) If, in Latin, a mother's brother and a father's brother are different concepts, our encyclopedia will have different articles about them. If the consensus of anthropologists says "the speakers of Latin are wrong! All uncles are demonstrably uncles!" we may also have to have an article "uncle", carefully sourced to anthropological textbooks that demonstrate the wrongness of Latin here and the scientific oneness of the uncle. But I doubt it. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:12, 12 Novembris 2019 (UTC)
The thing is, our page "patruus" still links to the Wikidata item "uncle" while nothing here links to the Wikidata items "avunculus" and "patruus". There is a good practical reason for this, as far as I'm concerned, because otherwise someone reading, say, the German article "Onkel" and looking at the interwiki links, would get the impression that there is nothing corresponding here, which is not really accurate. We could have three pages for uncles of course, but for the time being the one with the title "patruus" really is about all kinds of uncles (same for aunts), and I wouldn't want to move it to a different Wikidata item. Sigur (disputatio) 16:39, 12 Novembris 2019 (UTC)
For avunculus, it might be useful to note what German does with Oheim, an old Germanic term, for which modern English (had the word survived) would be something like eme. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 19:14, 12 Novembris 2019 (UTC)
Oh dear... Wikidata is a complete mess on this: There is an item "maternal uncle" (Q4120409), but "avunculus" and "Oheim" both have their own item linked to one page each. I was going to tidy up, but I'll finally leave that to someone braver. Sigur (disputatio) 20:04, 12 Novembris 2019 (UTC)

However ...Recensere

I came here not to write the above but to suggest that you no longer modestly head your pages with "Latinitas -2". No reason for it. We all benefit from others' comments, but your Latin is fine. I stopped heading my articles with {{L}} because nobody else seemed to be doing it ... but if you use {{L}}, I'll use it as well. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:16, 12 Novembris 2019 (UTC)

I, too, have sometimes (though rarely) marked my articles "Latinitas –2," but I've usually left them unmarked. Are you suggesting we mark all our articles {{fn|L}}? IacobusAmor (disputatio) 13:40, 12 Novembris 2019 (UTC)
It's not a new suggestion. It was the idea, long, long ago -- see the guideline obscurely placed as the very last sentence of De Latinitate -- but probably hardly anyone ever saw that! Sigur evidently saw it and chose "L-2". But in truth both of you are far too good at Latin to make your articles "L-2". Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:54, 12 Novembris 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment. Yes, I was just following the guideline, but I'll stop doing it then. I can emotionally cope with not putting anything, but I just couldn't make myself put something higher than L-2. I was pretty good at Latin at school, but you have to add 30 years of complete lack of practice to that and you will see where I'm coming from. Difference between "dubia esse" and "dubia habere" I guess... The truth is that I know that I sometimes write things that I'm absolutely not sure of; e.g. there are quite some ablatives lingering around here that "felt" right, but which I simply couldn't nail down in any grammar book. Most of them are probably perfectly correct, but some will not be. So, it's difficult not to "dubia habere". Sigur (disputatio) 16:51, 12 Novembris 2019 (UTC)

Nomina flandricaRecensere

Omnino non intelligo quid evenerit, enim solum nomen Biliforte in "Vilvordia" mutavi, extitne quoddam bug ???? Quis alia nomina mutaverit omnino nescio. Salve.--Viator (disputatio) 20:57, 15 Decembris 2019 (UTC)

De magistraturaRecensere

Sicut in pagina Vicipaedia:Petitio magistratus videbis, magistratus electus es! Iam apud grapheocratam nostrum en:User:Adam Bishop augmentum privilegiorum tuorum postulavi. Si de aliqua re incertus es, ne haesiteas: mihi aut aliis magistratibus quaestiones pone. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 21:18, 10 Ianuarii 2020 (UTC)

Ratko JanevRecensere

I'm glad you did this. I added the fact that he was an alumnus of Belgrade Univ. but didn't add a category: I don't, usually, double the category if someone ends up teaching at their "alma mater". One could, but the single category already links him with the institution. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 09:39, 15 Februarii 2020 (UTC)

Professors at Harvard, if they're not already alumni, are granted an honorary master's degree at the time of their hiring. We may therefore assume that all professors there are alumni, but that assumption wouldn't be true of professors at most other universities, so I'd prefer to maintain both categories. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 15:29, 15 Februarii 2020 (UTC)
Fair enough, the Vicipaedian is surely free to choose, as in much else!
Oddly enough, what you say of Harvard happens at Cambridge. Also to professional librarians: I ended up putting books on shelves at my alma mater, and I had an M.A., but my colleagues who had come from elsewhere were given honorary M.A.s (hence M.A. gowns, votes in the Senate, all that stuff). Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 17:25, 15 Februarii 2020 (UTC)
We may have a slight difference here then, in that, if memory serves and the times haven't changed, professors at Harvard, though alumni (honorary or not), may not vote for candidates for the highest governing body, the Honorable and Reverend the Board of Overseers. It's pithier in the Latin, as diplomas say consentientibus honorandis et reverendis Inspectoribus. Or is the Senate a lower-order institution? IacobusAmor (disputatio) 14:01, 10 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)

Translation requestRecensere


Can you create and upload the articles en:Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater and en:List of statues in Baku in Latin Wikipedia? They should not be long.

Yours sincerely, Karalainza (disputatio) 08:21, 27 Martii 2020 (UTC)

See Theatrum operaticum ballationisque academicum publicum Atropatenicum. I'm not planning to do the second. Sigur (disputatio) 12:13, 29 Martii 2020 (UTC)

Austronesius, -a, -um &cRecensere

Paene ab initio, exemplar usitatum non est -nesiensis, sed -nesius, -a, -um (suffixum adiectivis geographicis generalibusque datum) et -nesianus, -a, -um (linguis hodiernis datum) atque aliquando -nesicus, -a, -um (linguis parentalibus datum), Iustino Mucioque suadentibus. Similiter Melanesius, Micronesius, Polynesius. Lege de "Maorica ~ Maoriana?" in Disputatio:Lingua Maoriana et alibi. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 13:45, 10 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)

Well, you know how it is around here, it's all about sources. I'v actually found some tiny little sources for "Polynesianus" (including in biological Latin: nl:Jugatovaria polynesiana) now, so I'm really not against (after all I chose "Maorianus" over "Maoriensis", when I found it). I can't find a decent source for "austronesianus", though (this one is an unsourced entry), and I haven't tried the others. Do you have any? Alternatively, if you manage to build a consensus around -ianus/-iana/-ianum even without sources, that will be fine with me as well; personally, I'm receptive to analogies (because they serve consistency), but I understand that's not really the current policy here. I think that "Melanesius, Micronesius, Polynesius" should be avoided, however, because their feminine corresponds to the names of the regions. Sigur (disputatio) 14:08, 10 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
P.S. There are several examples of "melanesianus" and "micronesianus" in biological Latin (e.g. Neoxantholinus melanesianus, Scirtes micronesianus). For "austronesianus", I haven't found anything in Latin context, but there is a series of publications called "Austronesiana" which is pretty evidently meant to be a Latin neuter plural (see here). For me that is good enough to move all the pages I moved to the corresponding -ianus versions. There are sources for -icus as well, though (e.g. Proceratium austronesicum, Cyrtomaia polynesica, Holophygdon melanesica (redlink on page)), so we can use those as well. Sigur (disputatio) 13:52, 11 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
Yes, but with languages at least, the aptest choice isn't random: the Latin will cause the least confusion if it accommodates a common linguistic distinction, reserving -anus for daughter languages and -icus for parental or protolanguages, as with the distinction between Italiana (Italian) & Italica (Italic) and again with Samoana (Samoan) and Samoica (Samoic). IacobusAmor (disputatio) 14:08, 11 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
OK, but do you think we should use polynesicus, melanesicus and austronesicus in general then, to keep it simple? At the linguistic level, that would be the right choice, and not wrong elsewhere, right? Sigur (disputatio) 14:31, 11 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
Linguistically, it'd be the right choice for parental or protolanguages. Iustinus & Mucius, if I recall their comments right, suggested that the general (geographic, cultural) terms should be Austronesius, Melanesius, Micronesius, Polynesius. Could someone try to draw them back into the conversation? IacobusAmor (disputatio) 16:07, 11 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
It's seductive to make general rules about the naming of things, but Wikipedians have to leave others to do it. If the system is published elsewhere, and is implemented in the sources outside Wikipedia, then following it will "cause the least confusion" as Iacobus says. There is, thank heaven, a system of that kind for biological names. My readings in linguistic literature suggest that systems have been proposed but they haven't gained wide acceptance. But I haven't read much on Austronesian: maybe in that area a system is widely accepted. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 14:49, 11 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
I don't know whether the system proposed exists elsewhere. In my searches I don't remember having seen a lot of Latin sources on those languages. So we would just pick some attested adjective for the (macro-)languages anyhow, wouldn't we? As those with -icus are attested, we can use them, then. So, why not pick those anyhow? Whether the system exists or not, it seems justified either way. Sigur (disputatio) 15:30, 11 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
No, I don't suppose it would exist in Latin, but if it exists in other languages, that could be cited as support for choosing the form of adjective we favoured anyway ... which would help to keep the pagename stable ... Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:57, 11 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
Clearly, if there is some kind of system (in other languages) that is more widespread than others, it would be good for stability not to choose adjectives that don't align with that. On the other hand, if there isn't, then there isn't anything either to withhold me (the culprit who created the recent instability...) to team up with Iacobus on this one. Sigur (disputatio) 16:14, 11 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
I wasn't even hinting at recent instability -- it hadn't even struck me that there was any! I meant that everything on the Wikipedias is forever unstable. Anyway, it seems to me that a collaboration is sure to help. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 17:37, 11 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)

My effort to attract Iustinus and Mucius to this discussion having been vain, and without further input, my conclusion is that the least bad approach for the moment is to move all the pages I have moved to pages with the -iensis suffix (which has attracted criticism) to the corresponding versions with the -icus suffix, which are definitely all attested and seem to be less prone to criticism (at least for these four adjectives, which never designate daughter languages). Sigur (disputatio) 21:25, 14 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)

Mucius hasn't appeared on any of the Wikipedias for several years (at least, that was true when I last looked). Iustinus does show up here fairly frequently, but I know he's often busy with other things!
As regards language names in general, I would have said that although the -ensis suffix is often seen and there's nothing wrong with it, -icus is more common and some Latinists find it especially appropriate for language names. Are we talking about just four pages, or more? I haven't checked. You're perhaps right to consider moving them back. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:18, 15 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
It's more than four pages, but it's those four adjectives. And the original names weren't necessarily on -icus, I in particular remember Linguae Polynesiae, where "Polynesiae" was supposed to be an adjective, but I think such versions really should be avoided due to the homonymy with the noun (the apparently uncontroversial -icus forms being all attested). Sigur (disputatio) 12:58, 15 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
For a Latin-based enterprise, the pattern of suffixes seen in lingua Italiana and linguae Italicae is surely pertinent? IacobusAmor (disputatio) 13:24, 15 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's a system, but I agree that whenever we have the choice, it can't harm to follow that pattern (which is what I was planning to do here). Sigur (disputatio) 13:27, 15 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)
No, it isn't really a system: those two words were chosen to make a specific distinction that somehow had to be made. It caused bitter dispute for some time afterwards, but no one (so far as I remember) suggested another solution, so there it remains. There are (or were) vanishingly few Latin sources for "Italianus -a -um". Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:45, 15 Aprilis 2020 (UTC)