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  5. "Quintus miles horologium non…

"Quintus miles horologium non habet."

Translation:The fifth soldier does not have a clock.

August 31, 2019



"The fifth soldier doesn't have a watch." was marked as wrong. While I'm sure wristwatches didn't exist during the Roman Empire, I'm sure New York, Boston, the Euro, etc didn't either.


he could buy a watch from Novum Eboracum


Horologium would be a clock and not a watch. If like to know what kind of clock carried the soldiers? It could be a sand clock to know how much time to wait, for instance, before coordinating an attack. The sand watch can tell how much time has passed since you turn it, as to coordinate. A sun watch can tell, if not the hour, at least the moment of the day, you can know when the sun has not yet pass your own meridian (AM, ante meridian) or already passed, (PM), but is not precise if soldiers are in different regions of the imperium, midday occurs first in Greece, then in Rome and later in Hispania.


But they don't say "carry", so he just have a clock at home, maybe.

Sand clock would be "clepsydra" (hourglass).


The actual expressions are ante meridiem (before midday) and post meridiem (after midday). Meridiānus "meridian" is a slightly later concept, dating to Pythagoras's invention of latitude and longitude measures based on a spherical-Earth model.


As for new York and California. Don't forget catholics used Latin for their mass as late as mud twentieth centuries, so the church had to use the names of places of the New World. I guess York is Eboraci because of England's York, and they added the new or Nova. I don't know if there's a new word for watch, or worst clock, or internet. But it could be possible. In Vatican city people speak mostly Italian among them, Latin is more only for liturgical puposed, and maybe old fashioned documents. But if course new York existed when Latin was still used for religion and science. And California was settled by catholic missionaries who did speak Latin and and an older version of modern Spanish. I'm not American, but it's OK for me that the course includes these places. It would be better to if they include cities from the empire and newer cities from everywhere and not just the united States. But remember this course is a beta version. If I'm to learn Toletum, id also would like to say Madrid, Sydney, Moscow or Buenos Aires. I'm not against including American cities, but there should be other modern cities, and, if course, those that existed in the empire and have a Latin name.


I agree with you, but, in other courses, as French>Italian or Italian>French, the use on DuoLingo is to avoid the translation of first and second name, and name of the cities. :)


I love the fact that it can be both "Quintus, the soldier" and "The fifth soldier" :-)


he was the fifth baby and the parents ran out of names.


Or, more likely, an ancestor of his may have been "the fifth" something, and the name was passed down from father to son and came to him that way.


Quintus, Sextus, Septimus, Octavius; all common Roman names...


Yes; the first 3 that you mention were used as praenōmina (the 'first names' that were given to boys at birth, to be added to their family name or names); so far as I know, Octāvius is a nōmen . The man who became the emperor Augustus was born Cāius Octāvius ; when adopted by his great-uncle, Julius Caesar, he took his new "father's" name and added the adjectival form of his birth nōmen : he became Cāius Iūlius Caesar Octāviānus .

Another common praenōmen was Decimus , "tenth".


So into LLPSI that I thought this was Quintus, a soldier.

As in "Soldier Quintus does not have a clock."


Wow, I looked that up. Looks fascinating. Plus, the author has a surname very similar to my father's, so (according to A. J. Jacobs) he is probably my great uncle, eight times removed, or something like that. =D


Judging by your language achievements on this platform, that is probably true!



-> French Horloge.
(wall clock, not a watch)

-> Italian Orologio.
(a watch)

-> Portuguese Relógio
(a watch)


Spanish Reloj

Catalan Rellotge

Occitan Relòtge

Galician Reloxo


Meantime, in Romania:







Romanian has orologiu for a grandfather clock and ceas for a wrist watch. Also orologerie for a watch repair shop.


Is that C like Ch in "church"? Probably got it from some Slavic neighbours if it is...


In Portuguese, we use "relógio" for "watch" and for "clock". So when we learm English, for exemple, we must also learn the difference between these two words in this language.


Technically, a (wrist-)watch is a "relógio de pulso" in Portuguese, but when the meaning is obvious we save the syllables.


I suggest the word "timepiece" be allowed as a translation. In English, a clock is something one would hardly ever carry around.


And an hourglass is "clepsydra".


Of course the Romans had no clocks, and in classical times horologium would have meant a sundial. In medieval Latin it was used for clock.


What exactly was an Horologium?


Didn't the Romans use specially marked candles to mark the hours during the night?
I thought that they also had sundials as well. And that the sundials marked off the hours during the day.


They used sundials a lot. (so, for hours, and imprecise measure of minutes)

I don't think they were interested in monitoring the time at night. What would be the use? They weren't time-obsessed like we are.

The candle clocks did exist:
But I really don't understand why they would use it, except monitoring a special process that have to take a determined amount of time, like a baker letting the dough rest. I have no idea of that, I only try to be a little deductive: I don't see why they would use, every night, a clock candle as we have night clocks on our bedside tables. They didn't to wake up on a fixed time, because no office hours or abusive bosses at this time!

Horologium, I believe it's everything that is used to measure time. Including observatory building.


The Solarium Augusti (also called Horologium Augusti) was an ancient Roman monument in the Campus Martius constructed during the reign of Augustus. It functioned as a giant solar marker, according to various interpretations serving either as a simple meridian line or as a sundial.

Globally horologium = sundial.
But as this course is modernized, it is taken for "clock", that didn't exist, of course, at this time.

Except clepsydra = "water" clock.
And hourglass = "sand" clock.

Note: Horologium gave:

  • Horloge (French). (but meaning only a wall clock, not a watch)
  • Orologio (Italian)
  • Reloj (Spanish)

Of course, it comes from "hora". And, very likely, it was only a kind of sundial (including a building) in ancient Rome, and started to mean a clock, when the clock was invented.

Nobody knows when the first mechanical clock was invented, and who made it, as the tests are ambiguous using "horologium" for water clock, or for mechanical clock.

The Arabo-Andalusian Ibn Khalaf al-Muradi, invented a very ingenious water clock, but it's still far from the mechanical clock, it's more like a very advanced clepsydra.


I don't think they were interested in monitoring the time at night. What would be the use?


Say, for watch keeping.



Yes, the night was divided into watches (vigiliae), prīma, secunda, tertia, quārta, so, each was roughly 3 hours long.


So, they did use clepsydra, because their sundials were out of order.

3 hours long, only in winter. A 12 hour long night in summer, it's scarce.

It was conserved in old French, as in modern French, a guard or a nurse says "prendre le quart" to mean they will be night watching, or "to come on watch".


Nunc coqui hic militem vehementer pulsant.


(If they hit this soldier: Nunc coquī hunc mīlitem vehementer pulsant .)

[deactivated user]

    Quintus is a first name in old Rome. I think it can't be translated as the number fifth


    According to my Latin teacher, there were a couple of naming conventions within Ancient Rome.
    The first child (especially the first son) was given the same first name as their father (feminized in the case of daughters). They would give meaningful names to the next couple. But by the time, the fifth or sixth rolled around, they would just name them the nth: i.e. Quintus (fifth), Sextus (sixth)...
    Quintus legitimately meant fifth, as in the fifth son or fifth child.
    However, if you were the first born son of Quintus, you would also be named Quintus, thus it was simply a name that happened also to mean "fifth".
    Quintus is so well known of a first name because of the Roman writer Quintus Horatius Flaccus.
    Hence the confusion.
    But I think, in general, scholars agree that quintus is an adjective of numerical placement first and a proper name second.
    Again, that's according to my Latin teacher, whom I have no reason to doubt without some additional evidence.
    Does anyone else have information about this?


    Only males had first names (praenomina) like Quīntus "Fifth," Quārtus "Fourth", Sextus "Sixth," Marcus, Pūblius, Gaius, Decimus "Tenth". I gather that some of these names became popular in families and no longer had the 'number' reference.

    Girls had the feminine form of their father's nomen (surname or family name): so, Gaius Iūlius Caesar had a daughter named Iūlia; Marcus Tullius Cicerō had a daughter named Tullia; a man called Antōnius (for his family name) had a daughter named Antōnia, and so forth.

    (Girls 'technically' or officially were called Antōnia Maior and Antōnia Minor, if there were two sisters; or Antōnia Prīma / Secunda / Tertia etc. if there were more than two. Probably within the family circle and the friend circle, they had nicknames they were known by; that's not the kind of thing that necessarily comes down to us.)


    it actually did translate as the number fifth and it usually meant that the person was the fifth child


    First name = praenomen (gave French "prénom") = Christian name, as opposed with the family name.

    It gave the French name Quentin, and the Italian Quintino.
    From the diminutive Latin form " Quintinus"



    Quintus (lat)/Quentin (fr)/Quintino (it) = the 5th.

    Sixtus (lat) (Sometimes sextus) /Sixte (fr), Sixtine (fr, female name), Sistina (It) = the 6th.

    Septimus (lat) = Septime (French, very rare), the 7th.

    Octavus (lat): Octavio/Octavia(Spanish, Italian), Octave (French)/Octavie (female) = the 8th.

    Nonus (lat) = the 9th. Names? Maybe "Nona" but I never heard.


    Interestingly enough, nōna hōra , the 9th hour, is the ancestor of English "noon" (for midday). Nōna [hōra] means "the ninth hour after sunrise," and in the early Middle Ages referred to what we call 3 PM, when a particular service of prayers was said in the Christian Church. The prayer service was called nōnae (presumably with understood precēs , f. pl., "prayers" ?) or "nones."

    Not sure when and where "noon" was transferred to the middle of the day. (The information above is from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.)


    Since I realized the absence of this question word in the English language in the Hungarian English course: Is there a question word in Latin that would be something like "Howmanieth"?

    Q: Howmanieth soldier has a clock?
    A: The fifth.

    Or would it just be an unspectacular
    Which soldier has a clock?
    Quotus miles horologium habet? (??!)


    I believe your Quotus question means "How many a soldier has a clock?" (in effect, 'the soldier who has a clock is one out of how many'?)

    The "Which soldier?" question would be: Quī mīles hōrologium habet? , using the "interrogative adjective" (quī, quae, quod--identical to the relative pronoun).

    Occasionally you do see the interrogative pronoun (quis? , "who") coupled with a noun: Quis mīles hōrologium habet?


    Wiktionary disagrees with you on quotus.
    I think "How many a soldier has a clock." would be Quot mīles hōrologium habet?
    Unless I am misunderstanding you through the vagaries of things difficultly expressible in the English language.


    If you think about it for a minute, the word quot, which means "how many," needs to accompany a plural noun; and all of the examples I can find in a quick perusal of the Oxford Latin Dictionary are, indeed, plural.

    The line of Terence's, Quot hominēs, tot sententiae is a good illustration ("How[ever] many people [are present], [there are] so many opinions").

    "How many soldiers" would be possible, though, using the plural: Quot mīlitēs hōrologium habent? , "How many SOLDIERS have a clock?"


    True, I missed that.
    But I don't really get how you intend "How many a soldier has a clock?" to differ from "How many soldiers have a clock?".

    The closest I can get to a grammatical expression of the idea of howmanieth is:
    "What is the ordinality of the soldier having a clock?"
    or "...that has a clock?"


    Yup, I think you've got it: the quotus, a, um question is asking for the ordinality; and can be used with a singular (since it exists in singular forms itself).

    I don't intend anything here, except to try to get as close as I can to understanding the actual Latin examples we have.

    • 1319

    "howmanieth?" OMG! :-) but not bad.


    Interestingly Dutch has a word for this: hoeveelste formed from 'how' (hoe) + 'many' (veel) (making hoeveel, 'how many') and -ste, '-th'.
    It works a bit differently from other question words in that it is usually preceded by the definite article de:
    De hoeveelste soldaat heeft een klok?
    The how manyth soldier has a clock?
    It's not really surprising that Dutch has a word for this, as it can form question words from almost all preposition.

    Does Hungarian have a word for this? What is it?

    • 1319

    "Hányadik?" (hány=mennyi, but "mennyiedik" not in use.


    The Romans used sundials, so all he needed was the sun and a stick.


    They are correcting my mistakes in English. Is not a course of English..., but a course of Latin.


    This one messed me up at first because I took Quintus as a name, but the sentence doesn't really make sense that way.


    It would probably also work if you thought of him as "Quintus the soldier," but yes, they seem to be using quīntus as the adjective that means "the fifth".


    That is just what I wrote


    Why wouldnt "quintus" follow "miles" since it is describing the soldier?


    It's my impression that the "counting" (or ordinal) adjectives often precede the noun:

    sexta hōra est , "It's the 6th hour." sextā hōrā aderit , "He'll be here at the 6th hour."

    Other adjectives that tend to precede the noun are quantity ones, like: Multī hominēs adsunt , "Many people are here," Omnēs puellae in hortō lūdunt , "All the girls are playing in the garden."

    Admittedly, these are tendencies, not hard-and-fast "rules."

    • 1319

    In the Soviet Army. :-(

    • 1744

    I got this as a listening exercise - and both normal and slow pace have the same sound. I've sent a report, but there is no "slow motion audio is missing" option to be chosen.

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