famulus, minister, servus

Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
What are the distinctions, subtle though they may be, between these words? All of them have similar meanings according to Lewis and/or Short:

servus: slave, servant
minister: attendant, servant
famulus: servant, attendant

I have the sense (from somewhere) that a famulus is a family or household servant, and a minister might be someone who helps out in a more official, maybe government, role.

It would be ideal if I could find a way of tweaking the English versions of these sentences so that it would be clearer which Latin word to use for "attendant".

123. The farmer wounded the attendant with a very big sword, when he attacked him in the nearest dining-room.
Colonus ministrum, quum se in proximo triclinio oppugnaret, maximo gladio vulneravit.

125. Since the slave had wounded the master in his bedroom, the attendant, being thoroughly frightened, rode to ask for help.
Quum servus in cubiculo dominum vulneravisset, minister maxime perterritus equitavit auxilium rogaturus.

143. And yet it is necessary that in the absence of the doctor the attendant should carry thee to the neighbour's at dawn.
Atqui necesse est ut medico absente famulus te diluculo ad vicini portet.

-- The Mastery Series. Latin. By Thomas Prendergast. Fourth edition, 1880. Retrieved Jan. 1, 2021.
 

EstQuodFulmineIungo

Auditor et Discipulus
I'd like to point out, as you probably already know, that "minister" is the opposite of "magister"; That's because the first comes from "minus", while the second stemmed from "magis".

I think "famulus" (italian = famiglio) is similar to "manservant". I guess for sentence number 143 you could use that.
 

Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
Dictionaries of synonyms.
P.S. Döderlein about servus, minister, famulus.
What a wonderful collection of resources, multas gratias tibi ago!

In exploring some of this, I've found that GoldenDict is the program, or at least a program, that makes these downloadable dictionaries usable. However, at least in my installation (Linux Mint 19.3), the recommended "Slob" format did not work at all. Fortunately, the Stardict format works quite well, and maybe some of the others would as well, but I haven't tried them.

I'd like to point out, as you probably already know, that "minister" is the opposite of "magister"; That's because the first comes from "minus", while the second stemmed from "magis".
I did not know that, but in retrospect it seems very clear.

I think "famulus" (italian = famiglio) is similar to "manservant". I guess for sentence number 143 you could use that.
That is useful. Thanks!
 
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