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little Latin question: frumentum & corn

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    little Latin question: frumentum & corn

    I am just wondering ... our TFL book, in lesson 7, mentions that in the singular "frumentum" can mean grain or corn (plural means crop). I'm wondering if the "corn" part of that definition is a holdover from British usage, in which corn means grain generally, because since corn is a New World grain it is pretty much the one category of grain ancient Romans would never have been talking about.

    Essentially, I'd usually have the child translate it as either grain or "wheat" (an imprecise translation, but covering some of the species Romans might have eaten) but if the history of Latin translation is such that corn is the standard I imagine it makes sense to stick with that.
    Ana, mama to
    ds A, 15 yo
    ds N, 10 yo

    #2
    Re: little Latin question: frumentum & corn

    Ana,
    Ha! That is such an interesting observation! Good catch!

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
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    DD, 7
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      #3
      Re: little Latin question: frumentum & corn

      Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
      Ana,
      Ha! That is such an interesting observation! Good catch!

      AMDG,
      Sarah


      I'm sort of avoiding my Serious Thinking Responsibilities right now ... It is fun to have a neat little puzzle with no Major Ramifications at all!
      Ana, mama to
      ds A, 15 yo
      ds N, 10 yo

      Comment


        #4
        Re: little Latin question: frumentum & corn

        You are correct that frumentum means grain and that "corn" is a term that the British traditionally have used for grain in general. Hence you have British translators of Caesar's Gallic War writing of the "corn" in Gaul, whereas Americans would say "grain."

        Of course the grain in Gaul (France) was wheat, and perhaps some barley, but definitely not maize. But "corn" persists because of the many translations and commentaries about The Gallic War by so many British scholars, including (my favorite) T. Rice Holmes, often cited in the Henle text.

        I love this question!
        Bonnie
        Last edited by Bonnie; 11-05-2017, 09:32 PM.

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          #5
          Re: little Latin question: frumentum & corn

          I love this thread! It reminds me of another "misleading" translation that is surprisingly common in older texts: car for currus. That translation always make me imagine men in togas driving down some via

          Thanks for the question, Ana!

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            #6
            Re: little Latin question: frumentum & corn

            Thanks, Bonnie and Michael!

            Latin is too cool.
            Ana, mama to
            ds A, 15 yo
            ds N, 10 yo

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