I was not, I was, I am not, I do not care

Greg Janes

New Member
Hello,

I am confident that the correct translation of this phrase is "non fui, fui, non sum, non curo" based on by experience with latin and its widespread use. Confirmation would be appreciated anyway.
My questions concern punctuation and the alphabet. I want to know how this phrase would have appeared on Roman tombstones.
Would it be in all capital letters?
Would there be a dot in between words?
Would there be spaces in between words?
Would the letter U or V be used?
Is it written correctly in the picture?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Attachments

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
The picture you attached is correct.
 

Greg Janes

New Member
Thanks. I've seen the dot between every word in a lot of the examples I've looked up but here it seems to be used more like a comma. Is one way more correct?
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
No, it is being used as a space. There is one missing between non and curo.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
No, it is being used as a space. There is one missing between non and curo.
I think it can also be sometimes used separating more like "semantic groups" than individual words. Otherwise there would be one missing between non and fui as well. Where does that image come from? If it's from an authentic inscription we can rest assured of the correctness.
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
I think it can also be sometimes used separating more like "semantic groups" than individual words. Otherwise there would be one missing between non and fui as well.
Mea culpa. I saw what I expected to see. I can't recall seeing the interpunct used as a comma, although I am not an expert at epigraphy.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I am not an expert at epigraphy.
I'm not either. I just said what I seemed to recall, but I may be wrong. Perhaps Imber Ranae had good reasons to say it was correct, though. Let's wait for what he has to say. Otherwise it will always be correct if you put a dot between all words.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
I didn't notice the missing interpuncts in the picture, as it's somewhat low quality. Honestly, I don't know any better than Cinefactus whether that's something the ancient Romans would have done.

If you're aiming for absolute authenticity, I'd suggest using them between every word. There are a number of pictures of ancient Roman tombstone inscriptions that you can see online with a simple Google image search, so you can see for yourself what they look like.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Found something on some other uses of interpuncts here. I didn't completely dream what I seemed to remember. They don't seem to mention inscriptions though.
 

Greg Janes

New Member
Ok, so it seems like everyone agrees that the most correct way to write the phrase is: NON·FUI·FUI·NON·SUM·NON·CURO
Right?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
In Roman style, all U's should be V's in caps.

NON·FVI·FVI·NON·SVM·NON·CVRO
 

Greg Janes

New Member
Not thinking. You're totally right. If it gets broken up into two lines, would it look like this with the interpunct at the end?
NON·FVI·FVI·
NON·SVM·NON·CVRO
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
I don't think you'd use an interpunct at the margin like that.
 

Greg Janes

New Member
Most of the inscriptions I've looked up omit the interpunct at the margins but a few do use it there. Can anyone else weigh in on this?
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
What is it exactly that you want them to weigh in on?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
About whether to put an interpunct at the margin or not I guess. Well I think that no, but I'm no specialist.
 
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