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Postby Anthony Appleyard » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:30 am

As is well known, "camp" in Latin is castra, neuter plural decl2. This also means "forts" and is often found referring to Roman army camps.

(1) Is it the only word usable when referring to a few travellers making an ordinary unfortified night camp?

(2) In postclassical and mediaeval Latin, how often is the wrong form castram, castrae found? Some people have likely made that mistake, because castra got into the Anglo-Saxon language as sēo ceaster = "the (Roman) town", feminine singular, from which "-chester" and similar at the ends of some English placenames.
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Re: Camp

Postby Qimmik » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:40 pm

Castra is only used in a military context. It implies fortifications.


You're undoubtedly right about the transgendering of castra, as evidenced by Anglo-Saxon. In fact, Lewis and Short cite an instance of feminine castra, -ae in a fragment of the tragedian L. Accius (or Attius), whose dates are 170 - cir. 85 BCE (according to the Oxford Latin Dictionary). So this was already happening in the pre-classical period, and may well have been widespread in popular speech at an early date.

You might consult the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, if you have access to a large reference library.


Otherwise, if you're really, really curious about this, you could buy the letter C fascicule. In the US, it's a bargain at USD $99.

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Re: Camp

Postby Anthony Appleyard » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:42 pm

But, if e.g. some boys went on a camping holiday with tents, and afterwards at school were called on to describe it in Latin, likely many boys here have trusted their Latin textbook's vocabulary list and called their (unfortified) camp castra. But what would the correct Latin word be here?
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Re: Camp

Postby Interaxus » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:31 am

Preview: Re: Camp
Traupman gives aestiva, -orum (summer camp) as opposed to hiberna, -orum (winter camp/quarters). Both neuter plurals like castra. But you'd be converting an ancient military term to modern civil usage ('conflabunt gladios suos in vomeres' - they will beat their swords into plowshares). :)

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Re: Camp

Postby adrianus » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:59 am

campus in Morgan http://facweb.furman.edu/~dmorgan/lexicon/silva.htm

.camp campground / campus tentorius (LRL)
.camp camping / tentoria n. pl. [Acta Apost. Sedis, s.20] | camp, go camping in tentorio commorari [Bacci] | campsite, campground campus tentorius [Bacci]; area tentoriorum [Latham] (HELF.)
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Camp

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:06 pm


The publisher's Dorling Kindersley's "Visuelles Wörterbuch Latein-Deutsch" (that is, Visual Dictionary Latin-German) gives the following words:

  • camping = pernoctatio in tabernaculo
  • to camp = in tentorio pernoctare
  • to pitch a tent = tentorium ponere
  • campsite = campus tentorius
  • tent = tentorium

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Sperate miseri, cavete felices.
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