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"Photograph" - The ancient world of Greece and Rome

About "Photograph"

Previous Entry "Photograph" May. 23rd, 2006 @ 04:14 pm Next Entry
A friend and I are having a discussion on what would be the most accurate Latin gloss of "photography" (and related words: photographer, photograph). To follow the Greek, it's the equivalent of "light writing." I think the graph part is fairly straightforward: script, scribe, scription. Correct me if I'm wrong. But the photo...

1) lumen or lux? Does one have more to do with natural vs artifical light? Is one more appropriate for photography than the other (might be a matter of interpretation, I suppose). Does photo have any such association?
2) Whichever one, what should the conjugation be? I seem to remember photos is oblique; don't know how that converts to Latin.

lumenscript, luminiscript, luxiscript, something completely different?

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Date:May 23rd, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
Luminiscriptio would follow normal Latin word-formation patters.

But i would argue that photographia is probably the best way to render it in Latin. The Romans already had a long-standing tradition of borrowing scientific/artistic words from Greeks, and (someone correct me if i'm wrong), i believe that photographia is the standard Latin word employed by the Vatican, which maintains a catalogue of Latin neologisms.
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Date:May 24th, 2006 01:21 am (UTC)
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Date:May 24th, 2006 08:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, interesting to know about the Greek borrowings.

Sorry if this is an elementary question--I'm assuming that luminiscriptio/photographia would be for "photograph". What would the conjugations be for -er and -y?
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Date:May 24th, 2006 09:03 pm (UTC)
you mean "declensions" - "conjugations" is just for verbs.

so with the invented word it would be
luminiscriptio, luminiscriptionis, fem. (photograph/photography)
luminiscriptor, luminiscriptoris, masc./fem. (photographer)

with the real word it would be
photographia, photographiae (photograph/photography)
photographarius, photographarii (photographer ~ this is purely a guess - the "arius" ending usually denotes a profession, but there might be a real word for photographer that is different.
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