ignoscere, to forgive, to pardon

Mister Draken

Senior Member
Castellano (Argentina)
I have recently come to learn that the latin verb ignoscere means to forgive, to pardon. Apparently, there isn't an Italian verb derived from it with the same meaning. Now, the verb is formed by the prefix –in ("not") + (g)nōscō, -ere ("to know").

I fail to grasp how a verb which signifies "not to know" means to forgive. Could any fellow forum user be so kind as to point out where I could possibly find some more information about this latin verb?

Thanks
 
  • Sobakus

    Senior Member
    "[to pretend] not to know > to ignore, not to notice > to willingly overlook, forgive, pardon". There's also the related ignōrāre "not to know, to disregard", which has a descendant in Catalan enyorar "to miss, long for". If you're still looking for more information, I might be able to point you in the right direction if I know what kind of information.
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    how a verb which signifies "not to know" means to forgive
    I think through the meaning ''not to recognize someone's error'' as such. But please wait for experts' replies.

    Apparently, there isn't an Italian verb derived from it with the same meaning.
    No, there isn't. We only have ignoto (unknown) from the past participle of ''ignoscere''.

    --cross-posted--
     

    Mister Draken

    Senior Member
    Castellano (Argentina)
    If you're still looking for more information, I might be able to point you in the right direction if I know what kind of information.
    I would like to know whether ignoscere coexisted with other Latin verb or verbs of the same or similar meaning since ignoscere was, as far as I know, a cultism, or wasn't it?. Besides, I would like to have some historical information: was ignoscere still in used during the Middle Ages and until Latin was less and less talked and written? Thanks for your help
     

    Agró

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Navarre
    ignosco , nōvi, nōtum, 3 (
    I.plqpf. sync. ignosset, Sil. 8, 619; part. fut. ignosciturus, Piso Frugi ap. Prisc. p. 887; Ambros. de Noë, 13, 47; also ignoturus, Cic. ap. Prisc. p. 886), v. a. 2. in-gnosco, nosco; lit., not to wish to know, not to search into; hence, with esp. reference to a fault or crime, to pardon, forgive, excuse, overlook (class.; syn.: parco, indulgeo); constr. alicui (aliquid, quod, si, etc.), with simple aliquid or absol.

    Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    I would like to know whether ignoscere coexisted with other Latin verb or verbs of the same or similar meaning since ignoscere was, as far as I know, a cultism, or wasn't it?. Besides, I would like to have some historical information: was ignoscere still in used during the Middle Ages and until Latin was less and less talked and written? Thanks for your help
    A cultism is a Latin borrowing into a Romance language - there can be no cultisms in Latin. ignōscere is part of the core vocabulary of Latin in every period, and the 742nd most common word classically. It's a word as indispensible to the language as 'forgive' is to English. You should have no qualms about using it.

    I've already mentioned one word of similar make-up and meaning; there's another related expression, veniam dare "to give permission, to allow, to let off", literally "to give leave". The action is noticed, unlike with ignōscere, but nevertheless allowed, excused, indulged etc. The person is allowed to walk away without consequence. For example a boy in class would say dā veniam, magister in order to ask to go to the bathroom.

    excūsāre "to absolve from blame" is also somewhat similar in being used to ask for something like forgiveness. For example you'd say excūsēs rogō when letting someone know you can't come to dinner, or if you've failed to fulfill an obligation - you're asking not to blame you, since you have a reason, an excuse.
     
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    Mister Draken

    Senior Member
    Castellano (Argentina)
    Thank all of you. Indeed cultism was not the right choice of word. I was thinking about a word used by the upper and most cultivated echelons of the Roman society but now @Sobakus has kindly pointed out that ignoscere was part of the common vocabulary throughout the centuries.

    In Spanish there is a similar expression to Veniam dare (dar venia) and excūsēs rogō (rogar que alguien me excuse).
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    In Spanish there is a similar expression to Veniam dare (dar venia) and excūsēs rogō (rogar que alguien me excuse).
    Yep, these really are borrowed cultisms in Spanish, and no connection is felt between venir and venia, excusar and cosa or causar, unlike in Latin, so their meanings and uses are much more cultivated and abstract. That said the meanings that RAE gives are very similar to the original ones.

    edit: huh, actually venia isn't connected with venīre, but with Venus and 'wish'.
     
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