Royal Titles

What are some translations for the following: His/Her (Royal) Highness, Prince, and Princess. Emperor (Régs) and Empress (Régína) seem straight forward because the Greeks and Romans who discovered Pandora, probably, wouldn't have had a direct translations for Emperor and Empress based on the Roman Empire coming into existence some eighty years after Pandora's discovery. His/Her Imperial Majesty is a bit problematic because Augustus/a wouldn't have had the proper connotations at the time.
 

aegor

magister
rex and regina are "king" and "queen," not Emperor and Empress. The latter would loosely be imperator and imperatrix, although those are technically military titles mainly.

The problem here seems to be of cultural translation.

Prince and Princess come from princeps, which the emperor assumed as a title (and technical position) to avoid monarchical overtones.

Trying to come up with a Latin translation for titles that evolved in different and subsequent cultures seems to be a difficult if not impossible task.


As an aside, Elizabeth II's full Latin title in the UK is as follows:

Elizabeth II, Dei Gratia Britanniarum Regnorumque Suorum Ceterorum Regina, Consortionis Populorum Princeps, Fidei Defensor
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
There are a few instances in later Latin of clementia tua meaning "your grace" as a title for an emperor or ruler. There's also mansuetudo tua (your clemency/your grace).

I don't know any other titles like that, but someone with more experience in medieval Latin might.
 

Terry S.

Quaestor
Staff member
Contents of Letter & Translation:
Illustrissime Princeps et re(verendissi)me (?) d(omi)ne, d(omi)ne mi colen(dissi)me humilem commendatione(m). Venit ad ex(cellentissimam) vestram Magnificus dominus Antonius de Bracellis : qui hic apud nos versatus est cu(m) sum(m)a gratia et amore summi Pontificis erga se, et totius Romanae Curiae. qui omnibus et prudenter et laudatissime se gessit. Is, Illustrissime D(omine) V(ester), servitutem meam totam exponit, qui certe nihil aliud desidero quod mandatis eius obtemperare et declarare re ipsa fide(m)
et devotionem meam erga Excellentissimam Vestram, quam altissimus diu felicissimam custodire dignetur, eiusque humiliter me commendo. Rom(ae) die nono Martii 1471.

Excellentissime Illustrissime Domine Vester,
Servitor F(ranciscus) Car(dina)lis S(an)cti Pet(ri) ad Vin(cu)la.
Translation:
Most Illustrious Prince and Reverend Lord, Milord most-to-be-cultivated, my humble recommendation. His Excellency Lord Antonio de’Bracelli has come to your excellency who has resided here among us with the highest good will and love for our Supreme Pontiff toward himself, and that of the entire Roman Curia, (and) who has conducted himself prudently and in praiseworthy fashion to everyone. Your illustrious Lordship, he explains my wholehearted service, and I certainly desire nothing else but to carry out his instructions and by that very fact to make clear my devotion toward Your Excellency (May the Most High deign to protect you happily for a long time) and of whom I humbly commend myself.
Rome, 9 March 1471.
Your servant, Francesco Cardinal of Saint Peter in Chains.
There might be some things to quarry from this fifteenth century ecclesiastical letter.
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
Wow, colendissime. I've never seen gerundives with comparatives or superlatives!
 

aegor

magister
The following phrases also occur in Pliny's letters to Trajan:

indulgentissime imperator
imperator sanctissime
imperator optime
domine
 
Thanks for the help guys. However, aegor, the Romans who found Pandora spoke Old Latin (didn't use x to represent gs/ks), not Classical Latin, and would have only been familiar with the military connotations of imperátor and imperátrix. While Pandoran has condensed ks into ξ (ksi), it keeps gs as a digraph.

For the record, Pandora was found by a group of 800 or so Greeks and Romans in 107 BCE. Thus, there are Greek influences on Pandoran, such as the alphabet—as seen above.
 

aegor

magister
Thanks for the help guys. However, aegor, the Romans who found Pandora spoke Old Latin (didn't use x to represent gs/ks), not Classical Latin, and would have only been familiar with the military connotations of imperátor and imperátrix. While Pandoran has condensed ks into ξ (ksi), it keeps gs as a digraph.
Okay. That seems a little odd, because as far as I am aware, there was no actual difference in pronunciation between -gs and -cs (although Old Latin orthography was hardly a one-to-one mapping of velar consonants).

Ennius has lux, produxisti, rex, ilex, and others. He was well before 107 B.C. I do not know whether the fragments were edited by later authors, which would support your orthographical account. If they were not, then x is attested before 107 B.C.

In the Pseudolus, Plautus has faxo, lex, vox, dux, carnufex. His Miles Gloriosus has rex, celox, conciliatrix. It is true that there is consensus that Plautus' spelling in some cases was modernized, however.

Do you have a source for the orthographic changes from -gs to -x? I am curious about older Latin spellings.


For the record, Pandora was found by a group of 800 or so Greeks and Romans in 107 BCE. Thus, there are Greek influences on Pandoran, such as the alphabet—as seen above.

basileus would then be an obvious choice for a royal title.
 

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
Do you have a source for the orthographic changes from -gs to -x? I am curious about older Latin spellings.

It says so on Wikipedia under 'Old Latin', but doesn't cite any inscriptions (and I can't find an example in any of the Old Latin inscriptions it does give).

Also, past a certain point in the past there was no phonetic distinction between c/g/q; they were used in a pattern which depends on the 'ckq' convention (but not very dependably): see the Wikipedia page and the Sihler passage it cites.
 

aegor

magister
It says so on Wikipedia under 'Old Latin', but doesn't cite any inscriptions (and I can't find an example in any of the Old Latin inscriptions it does give).

Indeed. 107 B.C. though is much closer to Classical Latin than the oldest known inscription, so the question of when 'x' replaces 'gs' and 'cs' becomes more salient.
 

aegor

magister
Until we get a year for -gs to -x in Latin, as it was already happening to all stops in Greek, I plan on keeping the distinction.



Uhm, Wikipedia is wrong. First, it provides no direct citation for its statement about -gs/-cs instead of -x. I looked into the cited texts around the issue of alphabet and spelling, and I could not find anyone stating that -gs for -x extended that far back. You can look at the Buck Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin and De Forest Allen's Remnants of Early Latin. Buck states that in both Latin and Greek the gutturals + s change into the familiar consonants, and Allen says nothing about -gs and -cs at all, even though he starts his book with an extended discussion of orthographic and phonological characteristics of Old Latin.

Remnants of Early Latin also has Aiax, faxit, faxeis, ioudex, lexs, dixerunt, lexque, rex (inscription 213), nox, paelex, vindex, lux, and others.

I am sorry; Wikipedia is wrong here. I have spent literal hours digging into this orthographic quibble, but the case is closed, as far as I am concerned -- in 107 B.C., -cs and -gs would have been written -x. We even have the textual evidence at this point.
 

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
, rex (inscription 213)
I'm not sure how reliable the orthography is in that book, as the note to number 213 states that it has been reconstructed based on later poetry. The other examples are all stems in -c, not -g. That said, I think that you're right. <gs> seems never to have been used, let alone pronounced.
Stems in -g tend to be quite elusive, but I found an inscription with Hercolei maxsume from ~150BC, suggesting that the g (root mag- : magnus, magis etc) had been assimilated by then.
Look here under section 4 (X), with cross references to the CIL. <cs> was apparently used in Etruscan, so is presumably the original way of writing the sound adopted into Latin; but by the early 2nd century BC various combinations with x were in use.
While Pandoran has condensed ks into ξ (ksi), it keeps gs as a digraph.
Thus Pandoran cannot have kept gs, since presumably it did not have it in the first place.
 

aegor

magister
I'm not sure how reliable the orthography is in that book, as the note to number 213 states that it has been reconstructed based on later poetry. The other examples are all stems in -c, not -g. That said, I think that you're right. <gs> seems never to have been used, let alone pronounced.

I noticed that immediately with the footnotes as well, and I was frustrated that no indication was made of which parts were exactly reconstructed. That being said, I have not found any definitive spellings in any work that consistently eschew the use of -x. That being said, the fact that obviously archaic orthography is employed throughout suggests that the author is not indiscriminately replacing -cs and -gs with -x.
 
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