pridie kalendas ianuarias anno Domini MMXX

voltape

Senior Member
Peruvian Spanish/USA English
I have a diploma in latin with the date: “pridie kalendas ianuarias anno Domini MMXX” - It is December 31, 2019. Will you please confirm it is so? Thank you very much
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    A literal translation: The day before the first day of January, the year of the Lord [traditionally, 'the year of our Lord'] 2020.

    It's 2020 because this tells you the date of the first day of January that December 31, 2019 precedes.
    In classical Latin, dates are generally given in terms that count back from an important point in the calendar. For instance
    Kalendae is the first day of a month, and Ides is approximately the middle of the month.

    'Kalendas' is the form used to designate a day.
    'Ianuarias is an adjective and has an ending to agree with Kalendas.

    I think they should have capitalized Kalendas and Ianuarias: pridie Kalendas Ianuarias anno Domini MMXX”
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Your diploma combines the classical dating (pridie kalendas ianuarias) with the mediaeval dating to years of the Christian era (anno domini MMXX). If both formulas refer to the same event, then they ought to mean "on the 31 of December in the year 2020".
     

    voltape

    Senior Member
    Peruvian Spanish/USA English
    Thank you very much - then I'll write 31st December 2020 - So it was a combination of classical dates with the Christian era.
     
    Last edited:

    voltape

    Senior Member
    Peruvian Spanish/USA English
    Me parecía 2019. Es un diploma de la Universidad de Rhode Island - y han anexado la traducción al inglés. en la que dice December 31, 2020 - además, por los certificados de estudio que ha presentado, se colige que es 2020 - parece que es como dice Cagey, forma que yo no conocía, o como dice Fdb, que han hecho una mezcla de clásico con medieval del latín. Gracias por la corrección del 31st - primera vez que pongo algo así - saludos. Maybe there will be more replies, to help clarify this matter.
     
    Last edited:

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    I don't understand how "the day before the first day of year X" can be interpreted to mean "the last day of that same year X", or what the calendar used has to do with it. Surely we aren't stuck in the looping 2020 forever? :)

    Here's what I've just found in a Google search, in a chronicle:

    zC6WdDp.png


    From this it's evident that the p.K.J.a.1688 in the old style corresponds to 31 December 1687 in the new style. Of course this doesn't exclude the possibility that the editors of the diploma confused the two usages.
     
    Last edited:

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    I don't understand how "the day before the first day of year X" can be interpreted to mean "the last day of that same year X", or what the calendar used has to do with it. Surely we aren't stuck in the looping 2020 forever? :)

    Here's what I've just found in a Google search, in a chronicle:

    View attachment 58663

    From this it's evident that the p.K.J.a.1688 in the old style corresponds to 31 December 1687 in the new style. Of course this doesn't exclude the possibility that the editors of the diploma confused the two usages.
    This is a different issue. The marginal note says that the date of this event is 31 Dec. (16)87 OLD STYLE (styli vet.), while the body of the text says it was pridie kal. ian. 1688. Both are the same date, so it is obvious that both are Old Style (Julian).
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    This is a different issue. The marginal note says that the date of this event is 31 Dec. (16)87 OLD STYLE (styli vet.), while the body of the text says it was pridie kal. ian. 1688. Both are the same date, so it is obvious that both are Old Style (Julian).
    31. Dec. 87 is the new, modern style of writing the date; pridie kal. ian. 1688 is the old style of writing the same date. The old style counts backwards from the next month, which is in the next year. This appears to be independent from the calendar used (Julian, Gregorian).
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    31. Dec. 87 is the new, modern style of writing the date;
    It does say very clearly "31 Dec. 87 styli vet."

    But, to return to the original question: usage triumphs over logic. "pridie kalendas ianuarias anno Domini MMXX” means December 31, 2019. I retract what I wrote in no. 3.
     
    Last edited:

    voltape

    Senior Member
    Peruvian Spanish/USA English
    Actually, the diploma is not mine, and the graduate insisted that the year was 2020. So I just wrote 2020 - The annexed university translation says:
    1625091592415.png
     
    Top