Latin words for magic spells in a book to be published

Jodi Nicholls

New Member
Hello,

I am writing a book (isn't everyone?!) that uses lots of latin phrases for spells etc. In fact, my book is called Evalesco ('ones with power' - right?!) It's not massively complicated stuff, just a few words for spells. The only thing is, I can't work out if I'm using them in the right context and nothing on Google seems to help!

For example:
accendo -cendere -cendi -censum, to kindle, set alight, set on fire. Transf., to fire, inflame, excite.

I format the spells in my book like: "Dicio, Incendium, Accendo"
Dicio - A word of power to ignite the magic in their blood.
Incendium - Their Mage name (Otherwise Fulgor (Lightning), Aqua (Water), Glacies (Ice) and Anima (Air). - If anyone thinks these are wrong, please tell me - also looking for a cooler name for water than 'Aqua'. (LOL!)

If I wanted to format a spell using the above as an example, could I use: "Dicio, Incendium, Accendo censum"? What would this make the spell?

Any help would be soooooo appreciated, I am absolutely hopeless but adore latin, and if I had the brain would study it!

Many thanks,

Jodi. :no-clue:
 

Avarus

Active Member
What does Harry Potter think of what you're doing?? I personally like the word "aqua," and I ask for it often. Why say "water?" It's soo bland. If you'd like to "sex" it up a little, how bout saying "madidus!" -- which means wet (at least that's what it says in my book.) Who cares what it is, just as long as it's weTttt. Don't forget to accentuate the "t." But with "madidus," just shout it. All those Romans should get a kick out of it, or wizards that is, in your world.

Mane madida feraque! :thumb-up:
 

scrabulista

Consul
Staff member
accendo -cendere -cendi -censum - The 4 parts of the verb are 1st person singular present, infinitive, perfect stem, and past participle.
accendo = "I set on fire," accendere = "to set on fire," accendi = "I have set on fire" and accensum = "the thing set on fire."
So your evalesco is "I grow strong." Apparently there is no attested 4th part for this verb. There is a related word, valeo, which has the 4th part of valitus.
So evalesco, if it had a 4th part, would be evalitus. (for 4th parts, -us = masculine, -um = neuter, -a = feminine. It's a lot more complicated that that but that's the short answer.) So you could possibly get away with evaliti (this would be masculine plural or a mixed group), but it might be safer to use the present participle = evalescentes = "those growing strong." (this one refers to either masculine or feminine plural).

But you want the ones that already have power, no? The -esco particle is to "grow" or "become," even in English. Consider senescence, convalescence, obsolescence. So maybe potentes? Wait for other opinions.

Your word dicio = "dominion, sovereignty, authority, rule, sway, power" is a fairly rare word.
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member

Nikolaos

schmikolaos
Staff member
Evalesco probably means "I am recovering very well", or something like that. Just a heads-up :p

For the title, what kind of power do you want to refer to? Magical power?

Edit: I didn't see that Scrabulista addressed this. Never mind.
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
You can't just cobble together words from the dictionary.
Unfortunately Cinefactus this is what a certain english female writer did while writing her Harry Saga.... the result is obvious to any person who had any experience with latin language.... Expecto Patronum.... I await my Sponsor/Mafia Godfather(1) (BTW more proper would have to be Exspecto, but this is just my opinion)

(1) Patronus
Patronage (clientela) was the distinctive relationship in ancient Roman society between the patronus (plural patroni, "patron") and his client (cliens, plural clientes). The relationship was hierarchical, but obligations were mutual. The patronus was the protector, sponsor, and benefactor of the client; the technical term for this protection was patrocinium. Although typically the client was of inferior social class,[2] a patron and client might even hold the same social rank, but the former would possess greater wealth, power, or prestige that enabled him to help or do favors for the client. Almost every patronus was rich.

Benefits a patron might confer include legal representation in court, loans of money, influencing business deals or marriages, and supporting a client's candidacy for political office or a priesthood. In return, the client was expected to offer his services to his patron as needed. A freedman became the client of his former master. A patronage relationship might also exist between a general and his soldiers, a founder and colonists, and a conqueror and a dependent foreign community.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patronage_in_ancient_Rome
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
Unfortunately Cinefactus this is what a certain english female writer did
Yes, although I would argue that she is consistent and most grammatical in her approach.

My suggestion to the OP is to first clearly define a syntax for spells in English, and then ask for translations for specific incantations.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
accendo -cendere -cendi -censum - The 4 parts of the verb are 1st person singular present, infinitive, perfect stem, and past participle.
accendo = "I set on fire," accendere = "to set on fire," accendi = "I have set on fire" and accensum = "the thing set on fire."
So your evalesco is "I grow strong." Apparently there is no attested 4th part for this verb. There is a related word, valeo, which has the 4th part of valitus.
So evalesco, if it had a 4th part, would be evalitus. (for 4th parts, -us = masculine, -um = neuter, -a = feminine. It's a lot more complicated that that but that's the short answer.) So you could possibly get away with evaliti (this would be masculine plural or a mixed group), but it might be safer to use the present participle = evalescentes = "those growing strong." (this one refers to either masculine or feminine plural).
I don't see the point in offering all this information when the OP surely won't understand it. But anyway (for your benefit rather than hers), the perfect participles of non-deponent intransitive verbs are rarely to never used, on account of them being passive participles, not active. Hence "fallen" is never *cāsus,-a,-um, but lapsus,-a,-um, from the deponent verb lābor,-ī.

The fourth principal part of valēre is listed in lexicons merely to supply the supine stem, from which the future active participle is formed (and theoretically the supine, though I doubt it is found with this word). Exceptions occur with a few verbs, usually because the verb is sometimes used transitively, or at one time was used transitively, e.g. adolescere, for which adultus,-a,-um is probably derived from the transitive verb adolēre that originally meant "to magnify" but later had only this meaning in the figurative sense of "to worship". The participles pransus and pōtus are two other examples, both of which can be either active or passive in sense. Sometimes also the neuter PPP occurs to supply the periphrastic forms of the impersonal passive with verbs of motion, e.g. abitum est, but these cannot be used like true participles.
 

Summus Mus

Member
Jodi,

Here's my suggestions for the watery parts (and by extension any other element) though, cavere, this may complicate matters.

The Romans viewed the world in a very syncretic way, which was often taken a little farther by the poets. It isn't uncommon for elements to be referred to by their mythological counterparts (e.g. Lympha in lieu of "fresh water"). Now, if you wanted to conjure up ideas of magic alongside the words which you are using to cast any given spell, then this is the route I would take.

N.B.

1) These choices have inescapable connotations and you must be familiar with the Padora's box which you are opening.
2) As these are proper names, grammatical construction will become more tricky (e.g. the awareness of agency in grammatical construction).
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
If I were a wizard all my spells would channel Bacchus through the elemental ebrio acino.
And what sort of role model would you be for the kids reading books with you as the good character;)

I did some google book research on the "arcana occulta", "de occulta philosophia" and some other titles about witchcraft and magic in late medieval and renaissance. What I was able to understand from the medieval and baroque ecclesiastical latin is that the spells had a form of long and boring incantations like "let the pure flames of ... bestow me with...":confused: , "I invoke thy name o godess of the forest, bring forth thy might...":confused: "I summon thy name o lord of the darkness...":eek:

EDIT: And here is a cherry on top... I will propably be flamed for it...
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
There is some discussion of the principles of magic on another nameless site... The Romans had specific ideas about the requirements for a successful spell, for example Aeneid IV - everything must be perfectly performed, nothing must be bound etc.
 

Summus Mus

Member
And what sort of role model would you be for the kids reading books with you as the good character;)

I did some google book research on the "arcana occulta", "de occulta philosophia" and some other titles about witchcraft and magic in late medieval and renaissance. What I was able to understand from the medieval and baroque ecclesiastical latin is that the spells had a form of long and boring incantations like "let the pure flames of ... bestove me with...":confused: , "I invoke thy name o godess of the forest, bring forth thy might...":confused: "I summon thy name o lord of the darkness...":eek:

EDIT: And here is a cherry on top... I will propably be flamed for it...
(Waves arms about in the air) "Hadrianum incendo!" (Adrian has been flamed.)
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
There is some discussion of the principles of magic on another nameless site... The Romans had specific ideas about the requirements for a successful spell, for example Aeneid IV - everything must be perfectly performed, nothing must be bound etc.
Yes, you are right about the ritual demands Cinefactus. I just took a peek inside this book (I recommend pages 227-244;))
Daniel Ogden, Magic, witchcraft, and ghosts in the greek and roman worlds
http://lucite.org/lucite/archive/history_-_witchcraft/oxford university press magic, witchcraft, and ghosts in the greek and roman worlds.pdf
Contains a lot of information about spells, ghosts, witches and charms in ancient Rome and Greece.
 

Jodi Nicholls

New Member
Wow, thank-you for all the responses, this is really helpful! :) (Although makes me realise I could never learn Latin... o_O

I am no J K Rowling, and would never claim to be! The world I've created is very different from hers and much darker. Although of course there are elements that correlate, as there are in His Dark Materials and Sabriel by Garth Nix etc. (We all take our inspiration from somewhere!)

Anyway, I digress. I guess what I want is a more intelligent way of saying a spell. As correctly pointed out, I've looked at a dictionary and picked words I liked the sound of, then used them to create a consistent way of saying an incantation.

In English, I guess I want the spell to be formatted like this:

"Ignite my power - Elemental Clan name - fire or kindle a flame/bolt/whirlwind/tornado/stream of water/ blow a gail/fire a firbolt/strike with lightning... etc.

Obviously if there is no easy/intelligent way of doing this, then I'll stick with my made up names and hope I can get away with it like JKR!

Again, thank-you so much for your help, if I could send cookies to you all, I would!

xxx
 

scrabulista

Consul
Staff member
omnis advoca vires et artes - "summon all powers and arts" - Seneca, Medea, l. 562-63.

Peracta vis est omnis - "all power is marshalled." - Ibid., l. 843


vis (pl. vires) is far more common than dicio.
More later...wait for other opinions.
 

Jodi Nicholls

New Member
UPDATE:

Obviously I understand a degree of artistic licence needs to be used here, but I’d like to use the right syntax when it comes to the adjective word of my spells.

Also, as my Mages are elemental Mages, I try and incorporate their unique element/s in their spells. So the following table is what I have in my first book as far as latin words are concerned (not including the first parts of Dicio, [Mage name], ???). Any help to aid their grammatical sense would be fabulous!

(NB. My series is called ‘The Secret Chronicles.’ The first book is called Evalesco).

What I have
What I would like – (An action, relative meaning etc…)
Dissolvo
Release something/someone from a binding/promise.
Cresco crescere crevi cretum
Be born, rise up, grow, come into existence…
Igniculus
Spark/create flame.
Evincio
Send away, release into heaven, free a spirit.
Torqueo torquere torsi tortum
Violent winds, create a tornado.
Aqua et igni interdicere homini
Banish, outlaw.
Inardesco
Small flame/light, warming presence.
Deresco, durescere, durui
What does this even mean?!
Deflagro
Incinerate.
Flabra
Create a blast of air.
Aura
Lift upwards (perhaps on a gust of air?)
Zephyrus
Bring forth a warm west wind.
Aduro
Create a slight nippy wind.
Equito
Rush of air/wind.
Auster, Concido
Bring about a south wind to subside an enemy.
Caminus
Of fire – here the spell is a rope of fire an Incendium Mage uses as a whip.
Fulgor
A Mage with the magical properties of Lightning.
Glacies
A Mage with magical properties of Ice.
Incendium
A Mage with the magical properties of Fire.
Anima
A Mage with the magical properties of Wind/Air.
Aqua
A Mage with the magical properties of Water.
Cento
Shield – of fire (an actual shield made of fire).
Concido
Release (to release a spell).
Amburo
Engulf in flame.
Succendo
Set on fire – (from below).
Elementum
One who can control all the elements.
Evalesco
Mages – ones with power.
[…]Becoming
Become/reach potential.
[…]Awakening
Ignite/awaken power within.
Inferus Malus
Deepest Evil/Devil/etc.
Prester
Whirlpool/maelstrom.
Circumplico
Wind, fold together.
Exanimis
Dead, lifeless, low.
[…]
A resurrector/someone who can bring the dead back to life.
 
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