"World leaders"

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
or maybe mundi gubernatores
?
I think it would have to be something...creative, since one is using the word-stock of a language to express an idea, really several ideas, which did not exist while that language was spoken and was evolving. There are basically three concepts within the idea: (1) the political leader(s), (2) of the nation(s)/states(s), (3) of the world. As @Callaina has noted, the last of these ideas, "of the world", expressed using a genitive can lead to the confusion of the hearer thinking that these are the leaders of the entire world, as well as of their own nations (?). In English, we can say "leaders of the nations of the world", using a double genitive without ambiguity, since the word order makes it clear that "of the world" refers to "nations" rather than "leaders". However, in Latin, with it's synthetic nature, there is ambiguity in so doing. Perhaps that ambiguity might be removed through use of an adjectival to express this particular idea "of the world"? Maybe something like saecularis,(even though the sense of this as "pertaining to the world" is very Ecclesiastical...almost dependently Ecclesiastical, but it is the best adjectival I can come up with) the plural of which is, of course, saeculares? That leaves one free to use a genitive to express the idea "of the nations". To my mind, the best Latin term available for expressing "a nation state" is politia (which, though it is Late Latin, not Classical, at least it's not Medieval), the genitive plural of which is politiarum. That leaves the somewhat difficult concept of "political leaders" to express. All of the obvious terms have been suggested: dux, ductor, princeps, and even the collective senatus. Dux can be "leader", and princeps can be "head". This is tough...kind of a toss-up, unless someone comes up with a better term. Until then, we have, by my thinking, either Politiarum Duces Saeculares or Politiarum Principes Saeculares...
 
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EstQuodFulmineIungo

Auditor et Discipulus
Paul of Tarsus, in the Vulgate, has "mundi rectores" (quoniam non est nobis colluctatio adversus carnem et sanguinem, sed adversus principes et postestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world ) and I almost suggested that, but "mundus" has a variety of meanings that are beyond the word: "world".

What do you think @Matthaeus
 
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Michael Zwingli

Active Member
I have another suggestion for "heads of state": capita politiarum, or capita politiarum omnium, if it is used all- inclusively. Alternatively, capa politiarum (omnium), with capum, as opposed to caput. In this, I'm thinking of the tropic way that the Italian capo is used in the phrase "capo di capi".
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
Haha, in this day and age, that could be construed as meaning "nursing home of the world"!
Senatus is like a council, after all...
Yes, certainly. I was making a joke based upon the etymological meaning of senatus. Since the derivational suffix -atus creates adjectives with the sense "having (the indicated thing or quality)", we have: senatus = senex + -atus ("having"/"composed of"); ∆ = "(a body) having/composed of elders", sometimes given as "chamber of elders". Kind of an adequate description of a nursing home as well...
 

EstQuodFulmineIungo

Auditor et Discipulus
Yes, it shares this structure with other fourth declension's names:
peditatus =pedes -atus
equitatus =eques -atus
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
I've become quite interested in this little problem, which I am beginning to feel is unsolveable given the Latin wordstock and grammatical convention. One might have to resort to the I.E. roots to develop a proper Latin term for expression of this meaning. @Callaina cannot possibly be satisfied with any of the suggestions thus far, but she seems to have abandoned the thread, as she has given no feedback. Perhaps @Cinefactus' suggestion is best:
...which in addition to describing most politicians (I agree, by the way), also adequately describes most of the suggestions thus far. Callaina seems right about using a genitive for "world" in the term "world leaders", it appears to render a false meaning in Latin. My suggestion of using the adjective "saecularis" as a workaround for that is crap; saecularis means "worldly"/"profane", much as does mundanus, and so cannot take the meaning "of the world"/"global", so there appears to be no adjectival to adequately render "world" in the term "world leaders". One can say "leaders of the nations" and "heads of state" with duces politiarum and principes politiarum, respectively. But an adequate rendering of the English idiom "world leaders" seems elusive.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Paul of Tarsus, in the Vulgate, has "mundi rectores" (quoniam non est nobis colluctatio adversus carnem et sanguinem, sed adversus principes et postestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world ) and I almost suggested that, but "mundus" has a variety of meanings that are beyond the word: "world".

What do you think @Matthaeus
sounds fine by me
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
sounds fine by me
But, as Callaina has noted, this type of construction seems in Latin to mean "rulers of the world", as if one we're describing a council which collectively rules the entire earth. At the very least, it introduces semantic ambiguity, at worst, a false meaning. It might adopt the meaning we desire by convention, as indeed English "world leaders" has, but in Latin I don't know that to be true. English grammar, syntax, and semantics seem much more flexible than those of Latin. I could be wrong (I remember that I was wrong about something once, but that was years ago...;)).
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
@Callaina cannot possibly be satisfied with any of the suggestions thus far, but she seems to have abandoned the thread, as she has given no feedback.
I just haven't looked in detail at the later suggestions yet (of which there are many), since this was for a composition assignment which I have already submitted ;). I will say that I'm not familiar with capum -- where are you getting that from?
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
I do like the alliteration of praefecti/principes politiarum, but politia seems pretty rare in Classical Latin.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I will say that I'm not familiar with capum -- where are you getting that from?
It's a Late Vulgar Latin corruption of caput.
 

EstQuodFulmineIungo

Auditor et Discipulus
But, as Callaina has noted, this type of construction seems in Latin to mean "rulers of the world", as if one we're describing a council which collectively rules the entire earth. At the very least, it introduces semantic ambiguity, at worst, a false meaning. It might adopt the meaning we desire by convention, as indeed English "world leaders" has, but in Latin I don't know that to be true. English grammar, syntax, and semantics seem much more flexible than those of Latin. I could be wrong (I remember that I was wrong about something once, but that was years ago...;)).
That's why I suggested this phrase I took from
my dictonary, that has:
summae potestates
used in that sense,
and gives this reference:
Suet. Ner. 36 1
Nec minore saevitia foris et in exteros grassatus est. Stella crinita, quae summis potestatibus exitium portendere vulgo putatur, per continuas noctes oriri coeperat
 
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