Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.

Liberation Philology Apps for Latin and Greek

Saturday, July 14, 2012, 18:26 - Ancient Greek Language, Latin Language
Posted by Administrator

Greek and Latin apps for iOS are often somewhat disappointing. "Liberation Philology" apps don't promise much, but they certainly deliver. They actually make several apps for a number of languages, all based on the same engine. Even Old Norse can now be studied on an iPad. For our purposes, Latin and Greek are sufficient. The design of the apps is very simple. You can choose to study Vocabulary, Nouns or Verbs. There are also paradigms that you can review. The app has a nice flow to it (I tested the Greek version). You don't have to make too many selections while using it. I did not see any errors, although at first I missed the fact that there are two types of questions for verb parsing. Sometimes you have to identify a form and sometimes you are asked to pick the form that corresponds to a specific morphological description.

Liberation philology apps easily get lost when you simply search the AppStore for Latin or Greek. So, if this is something that you might be interested in, check them out. They are not free, but still not expensive ($2.99).

SPQR - Latin app for iPhone & iPad (Review)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 01:26 - Latin Language, Software
Posted by Administrator
I recently decided to purchase an iPhone app called SPQR. The program is supposed to be a reader for popular Latin texts with English translations, along with Lewis & Short and Whitaker's Words, as well as some other tools. Based on the reviews published on I fully expected my experience to be equally positive. However, I am saddened to report that most, if not all, expectations for the app have not been met. On the whole, the relatively high price ($5.99) creates a false assumption that the program is both rich in features and these features are well implemented. Perhaps the mere number of features is satisfactory, but as far as implementation goes, there are too many problems. In my opinion, the program is still in beta version. I shall explain.

1. The dictionaries are not integrated with the reader part of the app. I have several decent readers for iOS that allow one to select a word and get its definition, as long as there is a suitable dictionary file. With SPQR one might as well carry a paper dictionary, because there isn't even a way to go back and forth between the reader and any other part of the app.

2. No bookmarks. One must physically scroll down to get to where they were.

3. The translations are not line by line. Instead, if one clicks on the "Translate" button the program displays the very beginning of the section. Lets say, one is reading Aeneid 1.459 and wants to see the translation. Good news, the first line of the translation is just a click away! Worst of all, if you click on the same button again to return to Latin you will discover that you have now lost your place in the book. It's going to be Arma virumque ad nauseam.

4. The texts used for the app appear to be substandard. Virgil failed my usual test for classroom usability. Eclogue 9.39 reads "Huc ades, o Galarea" instead of "huc ades, o Galatea." This text is not what students ever see in their OCT, Teubner, Loeb -- what have you. It is simply one of those texts that float around on the Internet. The need to seriously address the lack of good public domain texts has so far prevented me personally from compiling a library of portable Latin classics.

5. It is impossible to import books in ePub or any other format.

6. In my personal opinion, Latin texts are best displayed in a format that resembles Bible readers. Classicists like to look up lines and verses.

As it stands now, I have payed six dollars for an app that is not even usable. I could simply download a bunch of public domain ePubs on my iPhone and get all the benefits of well designed free book readers (I already have a L&S app). It would be great to find out that a new version of the program will be released soon, and that all necessary features will have been implemented, and then some. So far, it looks like this time around the Romans really did go home. If you intend to help out the developer of SPQR, go ahead, but if you are saving your lunch money for a quality app, I would not recommend this one.

Toyota Prius goes plural and goes wrong?

Saturday, February 12, 2011, 13:53 - Bad Latin Quote Alerts, Latin Language
Posted by Administrator

Toyota has people voting on the plural form of Prius.

The options include prius, priuses, prii, prium and prien. Sic!, Sic! and Sic!

Oddly, the actual correct Latin masc. and fem. plural for prius - priores is not even in the running!

Shouldn't corporate hijacking of Latin grammar cause some sort of public outrage?

"Spartacus: Blood and Sand" - word of caution regarding the "Fugitivus" tattoo

Saturday, January 29, 2011, 12:11 - Latin Language, Popular Latin Phrases, Mottos, Slogans
Posted by Administrator

According to the makers of the Starz series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" they employ two historical consultants. Perhaps one of them should have noticed that the tattoo gracing the forehead of the gladiator named Kerza is quite anachronistic. "Fugitivus" is indeed a Latin word for "runaway". Sadly though, the distinction between V and U would have seemed very strange to Romans. The two letters that we all know and love were used in Ancient Rome interchangeably and were never distinguished.Using V for a consonant and U for a vowel is a practice that only began in earnest during Renaissance times. (Wikipedia cites 1386 as the first occurrence, in a Gothic alphabet). As a result the correct way of spelling Fugitivus on poor Kerza's bold forehead would have been FVGITIVVS or FUGITIUUS. Folks, be advised as you decide to adorn your own foreheads with this one-word movie quote!

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