Check my Latin...please

OK, so we're starting a new saga, and so far the Hermetic name for the covenant is shaping up to be something related to the frieze of a hunt (IRL neolithic cave art but in Mythic Europe, obviously the product of magic) that lies below the castle and is the source of the covenant aura.

So we're thinking something along the lines of "Gallery/Grotto of the Hunt" and from what I can tell, that equates to crypta 'gallery/grotto/crypt' and venatio 'hunting/hunt/chase'. I don't know Latin, but looking at a simplified grammar book and drawing upon my Russian, I'm guessing venatio is a Third Declension noun of the "increasing" stripe, leaving me to posit crypta venationem as the proper rendition.

Can one of our Latin experts double-check me, please?


Strictly speaking, that is the Grotto of the Hunts. For the singular form, you want crypta venationis. For a few less syllables, you could have crypta venatus, which means the same. That's a long 'u' in venatus (a 4th declension noun), making the pronounciation "vay-NART-oos"


Hey Mark,

Thanks very much. Right before posting, I had been considering 'grotto of the hunters,' and mistakenly carried that over to the genitive plural of venatio, sorry. Good thing I asked!

Of course, now I fully expect the players to change their minds about the name. :slight_smile:

Now, would the first option be pronounced "vay-not-ee-OWN-is"?

Best regards,

Hm, well, my two semesters of Latin are so rusty they look like a PeTe spell, but if anyone wants to aid a player who is working on a credo for their homegrown mystery cult, could you perhaps take a shot at translating "the meek shall inherit the earth. We mighty are the giving hands" into Latin?



I would say "vay-nart-ee-OWN-is", but that is probably because I'm British and we do vowels differently over here.


The quote from Matthew 5:5 is easy:
the meek shall inherit the earth = beati mites quoniam ipsi possidebunt terram

The second bit requires me to use my barely-exercised Latin muscles, so this might hurt:

We mighty are the giving hands = nos pollentes manus munifici summus

"pollens" is generally "powerful, mighty"; if you want to specify Mighty in War or Mighty at Arms, then substitute "armipollentes" or "bellipollentes" respectively. I've used 'nos' reflexively to re-iterate 'pollentes', but this has never been my favourite form of Latin, and am prepared to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable.


Hm, I think the player is thinking that magic makes you mighty. Might be a tough nut to crack. Thanks very much!


Sorry, got that the wrong way around. 'bellipollentes' is Mighty in War.


I would prefer caverna venationis for grotto of the hunt, given the associations of crypta. I would prefer caverna venatorum 'cavern of the hunters' though.

ka-ver-nah veh-nah-tee-oh-nis

I am not sure what sense of 'giving' you want here, and I am not sure what the sentence really means in English, but I would nevertheless suggest: viripotentes manus donantes sumus 'strong giving hands are we.' It could also mean 'we are powerful with respect to the giving hands.' It is not terribly Latinate, but a better translation would require a better sense of the English--what are 'giving hands?'

Note that a more accurate translation of "Beati mites quoniam ipsi possidebunt terram" is "Fortunate [are] the meek, because it's them who will own the earth". "The meek will own the earth" is simply "Mites possidebunt terram" (note that there is no connotation of inheritance or legacy in "possidebunt", although in this particular sentence it's been translated as "inherit" in most modern European languages)

hmm... tricky. We mighty are the giving hands is a very "unlatin" sentence to my ears - in the sense that any literal translation into latin sounds as ... a translation from another language:) However, a couple of notes:

I'd say it's good to make "nos" explicit - it sounds like "it's US who are the giving hands". By the way "we are" is "sumus", not "summus". And it probably sounds more solemn just to omit it - literally "we mighty the giving hands" (see "Beati mites" above). Also, hand (manus) is feminine, so it's munificae, not munifici - otherwise the sentence literally reads as "we, powerful hands, are (the) bringers of (the) gift(s)". Incidentally, munificus/a is an excellent word to use here, because it's not a generic "giving" - it really stresses that you are giving something concrete as a boon, as well as conveying an impression of vast largesse.

"Mighty" is very very tricky to translate accurately. There is no latin word that encompasses all its connotations. Pollentes is a good translation, potentes is another good alternative. There's a very, very small - almost imperceptible - difference between the two: pollentes carries a greater connotation of abstract, more generic worthiness, potentes a greater connotation of actually being capable of doing stuff.

So I'd go for something like: "Nos potentes/pollentes munificae manus" which rings like "It's us, who have the power, who are the hands that give out the boon".

Finally, I'd probably not use crypta for cavern (it's a latinization of a greek word which literally means "that which is hidden", and it describes a dungeon or a cellar as well as a natural cave) - unless of course you want to stress the "hidden" aspect and a vague exotic mysticism. Caverna is better (it emphasizes the fact that it's a "big empty cavity"), as is specus (more tunnel or cave system than cavern).

Finally, venationem is the accusative singular, not the genitive plural (that would be venationum). I find venatus more elegant, as venatio sounds to me more the activity of hunting than the Hunt.