Unknown Occupations in Latin

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by nhtim, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. nhtim New Member

    I am working on translating some church records written in Latin. In my attempt to translate the Church records from the 1670s in Gniewkowo, Poland; I have come across what I believe are occupations that I can not find translations for. I am sure that these are occupations, because they are places within each record where the Surname &/or Occupation has shown up in other records. Many people did not have last names, and the occupations were listed. These and some other questions were posted to another Latin Forum, but not all the mysteries were solved, so I thought I would also post them here in order to get more input.

    1: Cameratoru - The only reference I found for "Camerator" is ... vault, vaulted room, small boat .... How would this correlate to an occupation if this is in fact a correct translation of the word. One person had found a definition referring to a judges chambers. I don't think that this relates in any way to a Judge... because these people would be higher up in the community and would have Surnames. People referred to by occupation only were from the lower class.

    2: Ouilator / Ouillarij - these 2 words are in 2 different records they look similar so I thought they mean the same thing... I have not found anything to give me a clue as to what they mean. One person thought it could come from ovile meaning sheepfold indicating the profession of shepherd, It is interesting that shepherd comes up for this word because I also have the occupation "opilionis" which I understand as shepherd,

    3: Cmetori - NO CLUE but it is mentioned in more than just one record. This is baffling anyone who encounters it.
    some comments: Cmetori - could be related to metor meaning measure off meaning a surveyor? An explanation for my speculations toward the meaning of Cmetori cm is not a combination of consonants usually used in Latin so it probably is an abbreviation of cum which just means with. Therefore the root of the word is either metori or etori etori did not turn anything up but metor means means to measure off. The only other word I have that it could be related to is meto which means to fear, but I don't think coward is a profession. One other thought is that it was related to Cmentarz in Polish which means cemetery. maybe somehow the priest latinized a word?????? "Polatin" .

    4: Inguiliri - I have no idea & nobody else did either.

    5: Bratatoris - this is in a number of records, & I could not find anything to help me. I thought that maybe it was "brewer" but I dont think this is correct. There is a Surname in one of the records that is Bratoszewski, which is of course similar. Bratatoris would not be a last name in Poland as written here, so I can only assume that it is an occupation.

    6: Fabri filig - ?weaver?

    I greatly appreciate any comments or questions that may lead to solving these mysteries. If anyone would like to see copies of the original records.. I will be happy to email them, maybe someone will see something that I did not.
  2. demalaga Member

    España castellano
    Camera means room, and cameratoru could mean perhaps the personal assistent that helps somebody inside their own home.Even nowadays in Spanish "camarero" means waiter.
    Bratatoris could be the person who works with their arms, bratia in Latin.So maybe an unskilled worker.In Spanish we have "bracero"
    I have no idea about the other words.
  3. nhtim New Member


    Thanks for your input on those occupations. From your explanation it sounds very plausible. Anyone else have an opinion? :)
  4. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Could ouilator be someone who shears sheep? I don't know. It was the first image that came to my mind when I read it.
  5. nhtim New Member

    Good food for thought Jazyk, thank you.

    I am beginning to wonder if the 3 words I have listed there for sheep, may actually be 3 different jobs related to sheep, i.e. sheep herder, sheep shearer, sheep owner. For those words, if I just recognize them as shepherd with no specific distinction, that may be enough for me to help recognize the different people as I encounter them again in records further on in time. Eventually all people will adopt Surnames no matter their class, the trick is going to be making sure I keep accurate information from all these early records to be able to distinguish everyone.
  6. nhtim New Member

    I have an updated to my search. Camerator = chamberlain

    1. an official charged with the management of the living quarters of a sovereign or member of the nobility.
    2. an official who receives rents and revenues, as of a municipal corporation; treasurer.
    3. the high steward or factor of a member of the nobility.
    4. a high official of a royal court.

    Because no Surname is used, I would venture to guess that it would not be definitions 3 & 4, and more than likely definition #1
  7. nhtim New Member

    I have posted the images of the records in question to a page on my website for those that would like to take a look at the actual documents. firkowski.com/ latin.html

    I look forward to your input. Thanks for all the help.
  8. Toma Member


    It is highly possible that I may be wrong, but I tend to think that the records you are talkign about include words which are not Latin.
    To me they sound more like Romanian, especially with these endings.

    Kmet is the Bulgarian word for mayor and I think that it was used until the 17th c. in other languages too.

    Maybe you should try the Romanian forum too.

  9. nhtim New Member


    Thanks for the insight. Did you take a look at the actual documents that I put on my site? I will investigate the unknown words I still have under other languages and see what I can find out. In the period of time we are talking about... it was the area of Prussia, and may have lithuanian influence in that time. Bratatoris has been solved, is was actually braxatoris and that occupation is "brewer"

    So those that are left to solve are:

    1: Ouilator / Ouillarij - which have strong suggestions that this is in some way related to sheepherding.
    2: Cmetori
    3: Inguiliri

    Fabri filig is the son of a smith
  10. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    I found in the DuCange dictionary the following definition for "cmeto, cmetonis"
    (are you sure it is not an N ?) :
    "apud Polonos homo rusticus seu servilis conditionis".

    About "inguiliri", are you sure it could not be "inquilinus" ? (someone who rents his dwelling)
  11. nhtim New Member


    Thank you very much for your input! :)

    I would not rule out the possibility of it being an "n" but looking at the original records at firkowski.com/ latin.html it really does look like an "r"

    what do you think of this possibility for cmetoris - cmetaris = caementaris? : caementor? : ? caementarius = stone-cutter, mason, wall-raiser

    this is what was found for inquilinus

    inquilinus (adjectivum / substantivum) : of foreign birth / immigrant vel non-native person (Joannis Inquilini = [born] of John/Johannes the Foreigner)

    I welcome any input on any of the the questions I posted. I appreciate everyone who has placed their comments here. It has made for an interesting education into old latin for me.
  12. demalaga Member

    España castellano
    In medieval ages some people were not allowed to quite the place where they were living and working.They were not slaves but had not freedom to go to other place.Later the descendants of those people became owner of the land they cultivated and had to pay a little rent to the nobility, since those lands belonged to them in mediaval times.
    This I had read in some internet page, and suppose could be thrue.
    The Latin words for renting are locatio and conductio depending whether we consider the owner or the person who pays.But in some modern languages is used the arabic word Kira, like in Spanish, Turkish and Romanian (inchiriat).Maybe those inguiliri were those people who payed to the descendants of the ancient owners of the land.
    Inquilinus is not Latin, but could be some confusion with the latin word Incola,most incolae should be foreigners
  13. nhtim New Member

    One question that comes to mind is .... Would they actually refer to someone as Foreigner rather than say "John the German"
  14. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    Of course it is. You can find "inquilinus" in Cicero, Suetone, Salluste and others. (Sorry, I do not know the English names of these people)
    The first meaning is "someone who rents his dwelling" (according to Gaffiot), others meanings are derived.
    In modern Italian, "inquilino" also means someones who rents.
  15. nhtim New Member

    So if this particular translation is correct for these records. The person's occupation would be "landlord"?
  16. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member


    Does "Landlord" mean someone who is proprietor of a dwelling and that receives money to let other people live in it ?
    If that is so, then I am sorry for being confusing, it is the converse :
    "inquilinus" is someone who pays money to the proprietor of the house where he lives.
    (it is not really an occupation, though...)
  17. larica Member

    "Inquilinus" sounds very similar to the Portuguese "Inquilino" = tennant.
  18. nhtim New Member


    I thank you for your input! :)

    From all the feedback I have received on Inquilinis, it does sound like renter. The puzzling thing is why would that go in the official record for a description of a person & not the occupation. I would think that if he is renting, he would have to have a job to pay for it! :D hahaha

    Although it sounds like landlord could be listed as an occupation, I guess it does not fit the description of the word. Unless the meaning of this word was a little different in the 1670s.

    I thought of another possibility. Could he have been someone who worked for the landlord, but managed for him? I dont think that would be the case, but I am trying to think of anything.
  19. larica Member

    I found a text in a Brazilian blog that could help.

    «No século XVIII, pelo menos no Reino da Bohemia (e não da boemia!) os assentos de batismo classificavam o povo de forma simples, e em latim: vicinus, inquilinus, hortulanus e rusticus, que eram os naturais de terra, os que tinham vindo de fora, os que viviam nos arredores e cultivavam hortas e os camponeses.
    Os vizinhos, antigos e tradicionais moradores do lugar, tinham o direito de recusar a chegada de alguém de fora. Aceite, seria «inquilino» e só os seus descendentes vizinhos. Vizinhos e inquilinos eram os nobres, funcionários, artesãos, alimentados pelos hortulanus e rusticus.»

    In the eighteenth century, at least in the Kingdom of Bohemia (and not of bohemia!) the baptism record classified the people in a simple way, and in Latin: vicinus, inquilinus, hortulanus and rusticus, which were the natural inhabitants of the land, land, those who had came from other places, those who lived on the outskirts and cultiveted vegetables and the farmers.
    The neighbors (vicinus), old and traditional inhabitants of the place, had the right to refuse the arrival of someone from outside. Accepted, would be «inquilino» (inquilinus) and only their descendants would become vicinus (neighbours). Vicinus and inquilinus were nobleman, clerks, artisans, and where fed by the hortulanus and rusticus.

    Sorry for my bad english.

    P.S.: I do not vouch for the scientific validity of the text above.
  20. nhtim New Member


    Your English is fine! :) no apology is needed!

    Your definition fits the description that I had earlier posted

    inquilinus (adjectivum / substantivum) : of foreign birth / immigrant vel non-native person (Joannis Inquilini = [born] of John/Johannes the Foreigner)

    if this was the case, they could have been foreigners, and therefore would have rented upon arrival.... I am wondering if this is a common point of this word.

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