Identifying a letter

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Diadem, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    Pugio Fidei, Paris edition (1651), accessible here.
    I'm on p. 59 on the PDF download (click on Gear icon on right side of page). There is no actual number on the non-PDF version (link below).

    One example is the last word on the third line from the bottom, i.e. notavera. There's a mark over the final letter "a." Is that mark a macron? Same thing on the letter "e" in the third word in the next line, i.e. addiscedæ.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  2. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Here is the text we are discussing, with an accent to represent the mark in question:
    Quae legaram, quae notaverá magnum mihi addiscédae Hebraicae linguae desiderium reliquere.

    In the first part, parallel construction leads me to expect Quae legaram, quae notaveram.

    In the second part, the ending ae indicates that we have a participle based on the present stem of addisco, which would be the gerundive: magnum mihi addiscendae Hebraicae linguae desiderium reliquere.

    Quae legaram, quae notaveram magnum mihi addiscendae Hebraicae linguae desiderium reliquere.

    I suggest that the mark indicates that a letter has been omitted. In other words, its function is similar to that of the apostrophe in I'm or wouldn't.

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  3. CapnPrep Senior Member

    This use of a macron-like symbol over a vowel to represent/replace a following nasal letter was an extremely common scribal practice in medieval manuscripts, and it survived for a while in printed texts. Compared to a normal macron, this mark can be more or less slanted, more or less squiggly, and it may appear a bit to the right of the associated letter. It is the source of the tilde (~) used in Spanish and Portuguese.

    See also these Wikipedia articles: Macron, Tilde.

Share This Page