The Rationale for the Translation of Peculiar Latin Terms


Used in the English Translation




Master Peter Lombard’s


First Books of Sentences


and of


St. Bonaventure’s Commentaria
on the same


by Br. Alexis Bugnolo,
Editor & Publisher

© 2006,2010




English Term Used

Latin Term

Rational for use of English Term

How to Render Specific Forms of the Latin term(s)

or specific Latin idiomatic usages of the term








in the abstract,

abstract (ed), withdrawn


to remove, to withdraw, to abstract


in abstracto

abstractus, -a, -um



Abstraction is a technical term of Medieval Logic for that form of expression which is composed in abstract terms, as in the saying:  « Deity is superior to humanity » and « Generation presupposes existence ».  It is opposed to Concretion (q. v.)


In its root meaning abstraho, -ere means “to draw away”, “to withdraw” “to remove”, “to abstract”.  The sense must be rendered according to the context, “to abstract” in reference to logical acts, “to withdraw” or “to remove” or “to draw away” in reference to the alteration of meaning, signification, of propositions, or in other general senses.


Likewise abstractus, -a,-um is rendered variously as “abstract, “abstracted”, “withdrawn”, removed etc., according to context: e.g. use “abstracted” rather than “abstract”, when the noun modified is followed by a prepositional phrase such as « from its general sense » [de sensu generali].


in abstractoin the abstract — when referring to the general manner of formulating a verbal or logical statement; in an abstract (statement) — when it refers to the use in an actual statement.


in abstractionein abstraction





The Latin term arbitrium means that whereby a thing is chosen, judged or decided.  As such it can be rendered as choice, judgment or decision. Though, Neil Lewis in his article on Grosseteste, says:


“Like most medieval thinkers Grosseteste typically uses the term ‘free decision’ (Liberum arbitrium) rather than ‘free will’ (libera voluntas).  This notion involves a duality, the term ‘free’ pointing to the will and ‘decision’ to some kind of rational judgment,”


the proper distinction appears in this, that arbitrium refers to that whereby a thing is chosen, judged or decided, in deed, where as choice, judgment and decision, per se, are acts of the intellect distinguishing in an intellectual act between two or more beings or acts.


In addition, in English there is a long tradition of rendering liberum arbitrium as “free will” rather than as “free judgment”, “free decision” or “free choice”.  This is seemingly because in Latin libera voluntas signifies properly in the real order (“a free will”) rather than in the genus of qualities of power (“free will”).


This tradition runs counter to that of the Scholastics, who as Master Peter Lombard indicates (Sent. II, d. 25, ch. 1) understood liberum arbitrium as the “free judgment of the will” [liberm de voluntate iudicium].


Yes, this tradition in English has its roots seemingly in Medieval Scholasticism, as is evidenced by what St. Bonaventure writes in Sent, Bk. I, d. 11, dubium 4, p. 218


Item quaeritur de hoc quod dicit:  Non sine me et sine meo et Patris arbitrio etc.  Videtur male dicere, quia qui habet arbitrium super aliquem habet dominium super illum:1  ergo videtur secundum hoc, quod Spiritus sanctus sit inferior Filio.  Si tu dicas, quod arbitrium dicat voluntatem; hoc nihil est, quia2 similiter cum una voluntas sit trium, similiter Filius non loquitur sine arbitrio Spiritus sancti, et Pater similiter; quod non dicitur proprie.

Is likewise asked of this which he says:  not without Me and without My judgment [arbitrio] and (that) of the Father etc..  It seems that he speaks badly, because he who has judgment [arbitrium] over anyone has dominion over him:1  therefore it seems according to this, that the Holy Spirit is inferior to the Son.  If you say, that “judgment” (here) means “will”; this is nothing, because2 similarly since the one Will belongs to the Three, similarly the Son does not speak without the judgment of the Holy Spirit, and the Father similarly; because it is not said properly (of any one Person).


The Seraphic Doctor also uses the term liberum arbitium in Sent. Bk. I, d. 17, p. II. a. sole, q. 3, in reply to nn 1 and 2, p. 315, as a supposit for a free will (libera voluntas).  This is seemingly because, being that the will is an active power, any genus of its acts is the same according to substance with the power itself.


Finally, that arbitrium pertains to the will, rather than the intellect, is taught by St. Augustine himself, as the Quaracchi Editors themselves note in Sent. Bk. II, d. 42, a. sole, q. 2, p. 748, footnote 8, where having cited Augustine’s de Libero arbitrio they write:


Loquens enim S. August., ibi libr. III. c. 5. n. 16, de animabus peccatricibus ait:  cum et tales adhuc meliores sint eis, quae, quoniam nullum habent rationale ac liberum voluntatis arbitrium, peccare non possunt.

For speaking of sinful souls, (St.) Augustine says there (Bk. III, ch. 5, n. 16):  “since such are still better than those, which, since they have no rational and free judgment of will, they cannot sin.”


Indeed, according to St. Bonaventure, liberum arbitrium is properly not of the will alone, but following St. Bernard is the faculty of reason and will (Sent. II, d. 25, q. 4) and a habit of each (ibid., qq. 4 and 5.), though it is principally in the will (ibid., q. 5).  Yet, according to the Seraphic Doctor, it ought rather be termed the “free judgment” than the “free will” (q. v., ibid, q. 6, in the body of the Response, at the end).


Thus to walk along in the common tradition of Latin and English Scholasticism, liberum arbitrium will be rendered as “free will”; and to distinguish this from libera voluntas, the latter will always be rendered with a definite or indefinite article (“a free will”, “the free wills”, etc.); even though this presents a small obstruction to the authentic understanding of thought of St. Bonaventure, if one does not keep these distinctions in mind.


Indeed, each expression, that in Latin and that in English, can be understood as a short hand for the free judgment of the will, in that the Latin liberum arbitrium can be understood as liberum arbitrium (de voluntate) and the English free will can be understood as the free (judgment of the) will.


By itself the term arbitrium will be rendered according to context, as either “judgment” or “decision”; “choice” being omitted because of its unduly generic signification in modern English.  Thus libertas arbitrii will be rendered “liberty of judgment”.


liberum arbitriumfree will


libertas arbitrii:  the liberty of judgment, the liberty of decision (according to context)


arbitraria potestas:  arbitrary power


arbitratio:  arbitration.


assignation, impression;

to assign, to impress

assignatio, assignare

The Latin term assignare can be rendered into English either in respect to a formative act or a logical act:  It thus has two senses:


1) “to impress” something upon something else:  e.g. « On the second impression of the image » [De secunda assignatione imaginis].  This sense is taken from the literal sense of the Latin verb, which means “to set a seal upon”.


In this manner it is be used to refer to the divinely determined location of the image, which is the thing created on account of the likeness with which God ordained it to be and have.


2) “to assign” something to something else, e.g. « In St. Augustine’s theology, the image of God is assigned to the soul according to the reckoning of its three powers » [In theologia S. Augustino imago Dei assignatur animae ratione potentiarum trium.]


In this manner it is used in regard to the rational determination by some human author of the locus of the image of the Trinity in a created thing.


Conclusion:  Since both St. Augustine and St. Bonaventure consider the first sense on account of the second, the former manner of translating this term ( impression, to impress ) will be used throughout in titles of discussions; whereas the latter manner ( assignation, to assign ) will be employed in particular references to these discussions, wherein one speaks of how human authors use terms.  All the derivatives of these two verbs are to be used for all the derivatives of the Latin verb, respectively.















Casuale is a technical term of Medieval Latin grammar for those words which follow a preposition, which, with the preposition, form the phrase which it introduces:  e.g. in the sentence, « God The Father works through God the Son » [Deus Pater operator per Deum Filium], “through God the Son” [per Deum Filium] is a prepositional phrase, begun by the preposition “through” [per], in which phrase Deum Filium is the casuale of the phrase, that is, that word or name which is in the case [casus, -us] introduced by the preposition.


In Latin casuale is the neuter singular of the adjective casualis, -e, because it is understood that it stands for the name [nomen] or phrase [verbum] which follows the preposition.



cum suo casualiwith what accompanies it in its phrase


to cognize, cognition,

cognizable, etc.

cognoscere, cognition,

cognoscibilis etc.

The Latin verb cognoscere and its derivatives, which is very often translated into English by “to know”, has the specific meaning among Scholastics of « to know in that manner in which a knower knows not through another but by means of its own power to know ».


It is therefore a form of knowing distinct from scientific knowledge [scire, scientia], general knowledge [noscere, notitia],and thought [cogitare, cogitatio]; capable of being had by non-intellective powers, such as the senses [cf. St. Bonaventure’s, Itinerarium mentis in Deum] and which does not preclude these other forms of knowing, so long as they originate through the power of the knower knowing the object known; though presupposing the presence of the object known to the knowing power, but not its being comprehended.


Since cognoscere has many equivalent cognates in English, to retain the standard usage of the Latin term(s), even the rarer forms of these such as cognizable, cognizability, cognizant, cognizance, cognizing, cognition, cognitive etc. must be employed.  Only rarely, outside of the context of manners of knowing, that is in passing remarks or idiomatic expressions, such as “to know a person [conoscere personam] can it be rendered as “to know, to recognize.”  The English forms which use an -s- for the -z- are not to be employed.


cognoscereto cognize




cognoscibilitas: cognizability


cognoscens. cognizant


cognitivus, -a. –um: cognitive


cognitio(the) cognition


ad cognoscendum: to cognize


ratio cognoscendi: the reckoning of cognizing or, the reason for cognizing




in the concrete,



in concreto,

concretus, -a, -um

Concretion is a technical term of Medieval Logic, in which a proposition is composed from concrete terms, as in the saying:  « God generates a Son » or « Paul is a man from London » .  It is opposed to Abstraction (q.v.).



in concretoin the concrete — when it refers to the general manner of formulating a verbal or logical statement;  in a concrete (statement) — when it refers to the use in an actual statement.


in concretionein concretion


concretus, -a, -umconcrete — in all senses; however rarely as co-created.







to define,

to delimit


The Latin verb definire in nearly all its forms is to be rendered in English normally by its cognate “to define”.


However, in the sense that a thing is defined by a place or in a place, the sense of the Latin de- -finire, is that a thing bounds another, by confining it by boundaries, and thus in this usage definire in all its forms an derivatives is to be rendered by the English “to delimit” in all its forms and derivatives, even those which are not normally found.


definitive: definitively or in regard to dimensions and places delimitively




Discretion in the common sense, has the same sense in Latin and English.


However the Latin discretio, has another sense, that is, “a division made by means of a dividing line” [discrimen].


In technical Scholastic terms, this second sense of discretion is distinguished from a separation and a distinction.  


A distinction, from the Latin distinguere, to mark off, is any difference that does not suppose a division, nor a disparity.  A discretion is a difference which supposes a division, but not necessarily a disparity.  A separation is a difference which supposes a division and some disparity, at least in quality. 


Thus properly speaking the Divine Persons are distinct, not discrete nor separated; men are distinct and discrete and separate persons; and the members of the human body are distinct and discrete, but not separate according to their existence (Cf. especially Sent. Bk. I, d. 25, a. 1, q. 1, Scholium I, 1).


In this regard it is useful to review what St. Bonaventure says regarding separation, discretion and distinction, in Sent. Bk. I, d. 24, notes on the text of Master Peter:


Ratio autem huius est, quia separatio supponit divisionem, divisio multiplicitatem, multiplicitas diversitatem, diversitas autem ponit formae vel naturae distinctionem.  Et quia in divinis est naturae omnimoda unitas, ideo, cum non recipiatur diversitas, nec aliquod istorum quatuor.  E contra discretio praesupponit distinctionem, distinctio pluralitatem, pluralitas alietaem.  Alietas autem non tantum attenditur quantum ad formam, sed etiam quantum ad suppositum; et quia sunt plures hypostases, ideo praedicta quatuor in divinis recipiuntur.

Moreover the reason for this is, that separation supposes a division, division a multiplicity, multiplicity a diversity, but diversity posits a distinction of form and/or of nature.  And because among the divine there is an omnimodal unity of Nature, for that reason, since a diversity (of Nature) is not received, neither (are) any of those four.  On the contrary discretion presupposes a distinction, distinction a plurality, plurality an otherness.  But otherness is not only attained as much as regards form, but also as much as regards supposit; and because the Hypostases are many, for that reason the aforesaid four are received among the divine.




act of being disordered,


act of disordering



Due to the use of the Latin participle form -tio, the verbal noun deordinatio must be rendered into English in a variety of verbal forms according to the context.


As a technical term for that act whereby a thing is removed from its proper order, deordinatio will be rendered as deordination.


Otherwise, when used for that relation of disorder, it will be rendered simply as disorder; when used in reference to the act whereby this disorder arises, (act of) disordering or simply disordering in the active sense, and (act of) being disordered in the passive sense; ‘being disordered’ when used in reference to this latter act as an ontological state.

ratio deordinandireason for being disordered


ratio disordinationis:  reckoning of disorder


deordinare: (as transitive verb) to disorder; (as intransitive verb) to cause disorder


deordinatus, -a, -um: disordered








‘to be’, ‘being’;

a being, being;

of being, to be, of the act of being





The Latin verb sum means “I am”.  Its present infinite is esse (“to be”), its present participle in medieval Latin is ens, entis (“being”).  However, whereas In Latin the present infinite is also the gerund; in English the gerund is also the present participle.  Finally, in Latin the gerundive is essendus, -a, -um.


When the verb sum or any of its forms are used without reference to the category of being, ideally or really, they will be rendered into English with their normal equivalents without any special notation.



The ontological signification of esse and ens.


However, in medieval Scholastic philosophy the very act by which a thing exists, its ‘to be’, is rendered esse, and the general notion whereby a thing is what it is, is likewise its esse; but a individual thing which is, a being, is an ens; and yet, this present participle is also used as a supposit for the notion:  being.


Thus in respect to the terminology, there is an inherent equivocation in both languages; and in addition in medieval Scholasticism there is a further inherent equivocation regarding the terms for being.


To make it quite clear to the reader, and to leave it to scholars to determine more exactly the meaning of the texts in Latin, the following method is employed throughout, to render these two Latin terms, in each of their senses into English, in an unequivocal manner:


For clarity sake the real thing, which is always signified in Latin through the word ens, in the singular or plural, will be rendered in English as, « a/the being », without quotes of any kind, in the singular with an article, or in the plural as « beings »; the act whereby a thing exists, its ‘to be’, will be rendered in English as « ‘to be’ », within single quotes; the general notion of being, when represented in Latin by esse, wherein it is used as a gerund, will be rendered in English as « ‘being’ », within single quotation marks, with or without the article, and rarely in the plural (cf. Sent. I, d. 23, a. 2, q. 2, 4. arg. ad opp. and ad 4.); and the general notion of being, when represented in Latin by ens, in the neuter single, will be rendered in English as « being » without any article, and always in the singular.  


However, it must be noted that there is not always intended a notional distinction in the English translation by the diverse terms ‘to be’ and ‘being’, for some stylistic requirements of the English translation may at times require switching between these, as is done with other infinitives, used as gerunds.


The gerundive essendi, which in Latin always is used in these texts for the act whereby a thing exists will be rendered « of being », « for being » or « to be » according to the grammatical context.


Finally, since it is the custom of this translation to indicate words used as terms, within double quotes; and since to do this, with the above English terms would make it difficult to discern ‘being’ or ‘to be’, when bracketed additionally with double quotes, when esse or ens are used in this manner they will not normally, be rendered into English, but will appear in the English text in their Latin forms, without quotes, but underlined, as is the custom in English for quoting Latin words.

ratio essendireason to be, or reckoning of being


ratio entis: reckoning of a being, or reason for the being, or reckoning of being (in the general sense of being)


esse primumthe first act of being


esse secundumthe second act of being


bene essewell-being


quid entis:  something of a being (a circumlocution generally used for substance)


non esse:  ‘not being’ (in the sense of non-existing)


non-esse:  ‘not-being’ (in the sense of the general notion of what is privative of being:  the hyphenation of the Quaracchi Edition is to be retained) or ‘not-to-be’ (in the sense of not existing)


non ensa non-being or one not being (in the sense of a being which is not)


non-ens:  a non-being (in the general notional sense:  the hyphenation of the Quaracchi edition is to be retained)


in essendo:  in being


privation essendia privation of the act of being













to set (oneself) off from (ones) surroundings; to set (oneself) off in (a) place.

facere distantiam, (sive circumstantiam sive in loco)

The Latin idiom facere distantiam expresses a view of measuring very different from that which is commonly used today.  Literally, the Latin idiom says that something causes distance, or according to the root of distantia, causes a standing away or apart.  The idiom therefore means to say that something causes the surroundings to stand at a distance, that is, is a cause of such that the surroundings can be measured as distant or as standing separately.


This concept of a cause of measure, is formal, that is it is according to the reckoning of distance, measured from two termini, the thing and the surroundings, but speaks of this distance only in reference to the surroundings.


In English today, though we speak of distance to places as so many feet, miles, kilometers, etc. from here, we do not speak of things causing others to be distant, but of things being distant from other things.  Therefore it seems more clear today to express a logical equivalent of this idiom, rather than the metaphor it employs, and thus to translate it as: to set (oneself) off from (ones) surroundings, or to set (oneself) off in (a) place, since by being set off from one’s surroundings, or by being set off according to place, a thing becomes a terminus from which the distance to its surroundings can be measured. “Being set off from” retains the notion of distantia, while the active form of the verb, to set off, retains the active sense of facere. Cf. Master Peter Lombard’s Book of Sentences, Bk. I, d. 37, p. II, throughout.




















to understand,






The Latin term intellectus can be two different words, a supine of the verb intelligere, “to understand”:  intellectus, -us; and the adjective, meaning “understood”: intellectus, -a, -um.  The adjective is easily translated, and will not be discussed here.


The supine has two different senses in English.


1) « the intellect »: the intellectual faculty of a rational being. The supine should be rendered by « intellect » only when there is an explicit reference to the intellectual faculty of a rational being.


2) « understanding »: an act of the intellect, or that which results from this act, namely the comprehension of an intelligible being. In the former sense it can be rendered as « understanding » or as « (act of) understanding » with or without an article; in the latter sense, that of the consequence of the act of the intellect, it is rendered always as « understanding ».


However, the Latin verb intelligere is often used in the infinitive form for the act of the intellectual faculty; thus it is it is rendered as « understanding », or « (act of) understanding ».


And the Latin noun intelligentia is used in a twofold sense: for the intellectual faculty, « the intelligence », and for the consequence of an act of this faculty, when reckoned as something had, rather than a having, that is as knowledge;  and thus is rendered as « understanding »


It is not always easy to understand the precise sense in which the supine is being used; whether as regards the faculty, or an act of the faculty or the result of an act of the faculty.


A good example of this ambiguity in the use of the supine is found in St. Bonaventure’s Commentary on Book I, d. 28. (q.v.)  In question 3, St. Bonaventure speaks of intellectu apprehendente, and he explains this further in Dubium 1 of the same Distinction.  In that Dubium, it is not until the fourth paragraph of the Response, wherein St. Bonaventure writes: « Secundum hunc triplicem intellectum de comparatione Patris et Ingeniti » etc.. that it becomes clear that he is speaking not of the faculty, nor of its act, but of the consequence of an act of this faculty, namely an “understanding” of the terms in question.


intellectus terminithe understanding of a term


intellectu: frequently as by understanding, in the sense of a supine.


ad intelligentiamfor an understanding.






The Latin term intentio has two senses, based on its classical meaning of a “stretching out or towards”, or the “straining or stretching” of the mind.


It has two technical senses which will both be rendered by its English cognate « intention »


1) the Logical:  in this sense, intention is a technical term of Medieval Logic for the meaning of any term.


2) the Intellectual: in this sense, intention is a proposal of the mind to undertake or posit some act.





interemptio, interimere

Interemptio is a technical term of Medieval Logic for that form of rebuttal which disproves the major and minor of the opposing argument: the use of the Latin term is taken from St. Severinus Boethius’ translation of the term in Aristotle’s Elenchae.  The Quaracchi Editors give this definition of Interemption, tom. I, p. 87, footnote 4:


4  Petrus Hispan., Summula, tract. de Syll. soph. seu de Fallaciis, in fine de fall. aequivocationis ait:  Recta solutio est manifestatio syllogismi falsi et propter quid est falsus.  Et contingit dupliciter, scil. vel distinguendo vel aliam praemissarum interimendo; et hoc secundo modo respondendum est ad omnes preccants in mattera (i. e. propositiones falsa).  Aristot., II. Elench. c. 3. (c. 18.) duplicem hanc solutionis speciem proponendo usus est verbis diairein et anairein, quae Boethius lingua latina reddidit per verba dintinguere et interimere (i. e. negando auferre.).

4  Peter of Spain, Summula., tract "On sophistic Syllogisms or on Fallacies", at the end of the (discussion on) the fallacy of equivocation says:  The right solution is a manifestation of the false syllogism and that on account of which it is false.  And this happens in a two fold manner, that is by distinguishing and/or by interemption; and in this second manner one must respond to everything sinning in the matter (i. e. the false propositions).  Aristotle, Lists of Sophistic Errors., Bk. II, ch. 3 (ch. 18), when proposing this twofold species of solution used the words diairein and anairein, which (St. Severinus) Boethius rendered in the Latin tongue by the words distinguere and interimere (i.e. to take away by negating).


Conclusion:  This term must be retained to reflect the Scholastic categories of argumentation. And therefore will be rendered by its English cognate « interemption ».

interimendo: by interemption — when referring to this form of rebuttal; by denying — when followed by a term for an argument or some part of an argument, as is interimendo conclusionemby denying the conclusion.


N.B.: in some uses interimere in any form of the verb, may retain its normal, non technical use, even speaking about forms or argument or classification; in such instances it is to be rendered as to take away (by negating) or to deny.








to/of a place,


in a place



in loco

This Latin adjective localis –e, has the meaning of “local”, “of a place”; thus in constructions when combined with forms of the verb “to be” [esse], it has the sense of “belonging to a place [esse locale; est localis].


It is in this sense that it seems best to render the adjective in regard to things being in a place; because in English to say that something is local, does not signify that it is in a place, per se, but rather that it pertains to a place or is native to a place; whereas to say “it belongs to a place” is to say both that it is “circumscribable to or by a place”; which is the sense esse locale has according to the Quaracchi Editors in Bonaventure’s Commentaria, Bk. I, d. 37, p. II, a. 1. q. 1, p. 652, footnote 2; and to say that it is under the laws of a place, that is governed by the conditions of a place, as St. Bonaventure says esse locale means loc. cit., p. 653, in the body of the Response.


Thus to distinguish the differing terms:  esse locale, locatum, in loco, in English these are to be rendered respectively, with or without demonstrative adjectives, as « to belong to a place », « the one placed », and « in a place ».


Derivatives of localis, such as localitas, locabilitas, illocalitas are to be translated similarly according to the standard rules of derivation, and so respectively be rendered, as  « quality of belonging to a place », « ability to belong to a place », « quality of not belonging to a place ».

est localis: belongs to a place

locatum: the one placed (when used as a substantive)

















to order,

to ordain; 









The Latin verb ordinare means “to order”, “to put in order”.


Consequently its perfect passive participle or adjective ordinatus means properly “that which has been ordered” that is “placed in order”; and because in English we can also say that something has been “ordained” to another, that is “ordered” to it, the Latin participle can also be rendered in this manner, and the verb likewise, that is as “to ordain”.


But since what has been ordered to another, is no longer out of an order, nor disordered, it is consequently, both in Latin and English, something “ordinate”.  St. Bonaventure himself uses these allied senses of the term in Sent. Bk. I, d. 43, dubium 7, p. 778, where he speaks first of God’s ordained power [potentia ordinata], and then contradistinguishes its manner of acting against what is done inordinately [inordinate]:


RESPONDEO:  Aliqui distinguunt hic potentiam Dei dupliciter, dicentes, Deum posse aut de potentia abosluta, et sic potest Iudam salvare et Petrum damnare; aut de potentia ordinata, et sic non potest.  —  Sed haec distinctio non videtur esse conveniens, quia nihil potest Deus, quod non possit ordinate.  Posse enim inordinate facere est non posse, sicut posse peccare et posse mentiri.  Unde nec potentia absoluta nec ordinata potest mentiri.

I RESPOND:   Some distinguish here God’s Power in a twofold manner, saying, that God can either from (His) absolute Power, and thus He can save Judas and damn (St.) Peter; or (that He can) from (His) ordained Power, and thus He cannot.  —  But this distinction does not seem to be fitting, because God can (do) nothing, which He cannot do ordinately.  For to be able to do (something) inordinately is not a ‘to be able’, just as ‘to be able to sin’ and ‘to be able to lie’.  Wherefore neither by (His) absolute nor (His) ordinate Power can He lie.


Hence according to context, ordinatus must be rendered as “ordained” or “ordinate”; for clarity sake it will not normally be rendered “ordered”, since in English this can be confounded with “ordered” [mandatum], that is “commanded”.


It thus will be rendered “ordained” when it refers to the application of one thing to another; and “ordinate” when refers to the consequent quality of that which has been thus ordained (cf. Sent., Bk. I, d. 17, dubium 2, p. 1318:  « and in a similar manner does (St.) Bernard accept (it), when he says, that virtue is an ordinate affection [et similiter accipit Bernardus, cum dicit, quod virtus est affectio ordinata.] ».


ordinateordinately or in an ordinate manner (when used in reference to the quality of the manner in which a thing is done or is); in an ordered manner (when referring to the order in which things are placed).


ordinate ad finemin a manner ordained to (an/the) end; (similarly with other nouns other than finem).







by means of presence,

the quality of being present, of presence or according to presence




This adverb, praesentialiter, derived from the Latin adjective, praesentialis, -e, meaning of or belong to a presence, has the peculiar meaning of in a manner of being present to.  This same adjective is the root of the archaic English cognate presentiality, which is the quality of being present.  Since the concept is not easily conveyed except with an awkward circumlocution, the cognates presentially, presentiality, and presential will be rendered more directly according to their logical equivalents, respectively, as by means of presence, the quality of being present, and of presence or according to presence (regarding the specific context, these will have definite or indefinite articles and implied possessive adjectives, as in the phrases:  by means of His presence, the quality of their being present, according to His presence.


In English we commonly say presently, but this is more often understood of time, than of place, and so presently will not be employed to avoid confounding these terms.


Nota bene:  when praesentialiter is followed by other adverbs, such as essentialiter or potentialiter these are similarly translated in the same way, as part of the same construction, as in the phrase:  God is everywhere in all creatures by means of His Essence, presence, and power [Deus ubique in omni creatura essentialiter, praesentialiter, potentialiter est.]: Master Peter Lombard, First Book of Sentences, D. XXXVII, ch. 1, at the end.


Similarly:  when praesentialitas is used in conjunction with terms connoting temporal relations it will be translated as « being present », as in the sentence:  « since the same thing is now truly cognized under a reckoning of being future [ratione futuritionis], now under a reckoning of being past [ratione praeteritionis], now under a reckoning of being present [ratione praesentialitatis] »:  St. Bonanventure, Sent., Bk. I, d. 41, a. 2, q. 1, 4 arg. ad opp..




through the prior; through the posterior


through (a consideration of what is) prior; through (a consideation of what is) posterior

per prius,

per posterius

The pithy Latin phrase, per prius, composed from the preposition per (“through”) and the neuter form of the adjective prius (“before”) is used when speaking of anything under the consideration or according to a reckoning of a before vis-à-vis an after.


In some usages it is used simply, in the sense of “through a before”, “through (something) prior”, etc..


However, sometimes its use in the Commentaria of St. Bonaventure is idiomatic, and must therefore be rendered according to its exact logical sense, rather than a more directly verbal equivalent, since in English there is none.


Therefore, this phrase will always be translated thus:


through (a consideration of what is) prior


which English translation must include all the words, even those within parentheses as well as the parentheses.  Here the parentheses, which are used generally throughout the English Translation of both Lombard and Bonaventure, to signify words which must be added to clarify the context or which are implicit in the context, are used to notify the reader that the sense of this Latin phrase is much more than its verbal equivalent, and yet at the same time to indicate that the English translation here is taking a liberty which it does not normally do, by rendering this prepositional Latin phrase with a more complex syntactical structure.


The sense in which this Latin phrase is understood by St. Bonaventure is most manifest in Sent., Bk. I, d. 29, dubium 4, at the end, where he says:


Et sic patet, de qua acceptione hoc nomen principium dicitur per prius secundum diversas comparationes.

And thus it is clear, concerning which acceptation this name “principle” is said per prius according to diverse comparisons


For by saying “according to diverse comparisons”, he shows that per prius is said according to the reckoning or consideration of a before vis-à-vis an after.


Similarly, the equivalent expression  per posterius is to be rendered,


through (a consideration of what is) posterior


Note:  In philosophical texts these two phrases are often understood as “in a prior sense” and “in a posterior sense”; however, this manner of translation is apt to induce the reader to understand that it is only in the sense of the words which follow and not according to an objective reckoning, that that which is said is said.  Hence, this manner of rendering the two phrases will not be employed.


See the right column, for how to render each phrase with quam.  Also note, that after prius or posterius, there can be any number of comparative adjectives in the neuter singular, all of which would likewise join the construction; e.g. through a consideration of what is prior, more noble, and more unchanging [per prius, nobilius, et immobilius.]


per prius . . . quam . . .: through (a consideration of what is) prior . . . rather than . . .. or through (a consideration of what is) prior to .  . .





The Latin principium means both “beginning” and  principle”.


The manner in which this term is rendered into English will follow the rationale taught by St. Bonaventure in Sent., Bk. I, d. 29, a. 1, q. 1, ad 1:


Quoniam ergo principium principaliter importat originem, et prius ordinem; ideo simpliciter recipitur intentio principii, intentio vero prioris minus proprie et cum determinatione; intentio autem principii, prout privat anterius, propriisime recipitur in Deo, maxime quantum ad personam Patris.  

Therefore, since principium conveys principally an origin, and “prior” an order; for that reason there is simply received the intention of a principle, but the intention of a prior (is received) less properly and with a determination; but the intention of a beginning, insofar as it deprives an anterior, is most properly received in God, most of all as much as regards the Person of the Father.



Hence, when the Latin principium is used


1) in reference to an origin, it will be rendered in English as principle, since every origin of something is its principle, but not necessarily its beginning.


2) in reference to that which has nothing before it, it will be rendered as a beginning, since everything which has nothing before it is a beginning, but not necessarily a principle. Yet, St. Bonaventure argues ibid. ad 4, that a Divine Person can be said to be the “beginning” of another, inasmuch as He is a co-equal. And so when principium means the negation of something anterior and something greater in goodness, it is to be rendered as beginning, since a “principle”, contrariwise, can be both anterior and greater.


Accordingly, in reference to God, it is said that in the order of existence God is the beginning of creatures, and in the order of essence their principle, since existing has a point in time of initiation, but the essential cause of essences and their being caused in the essential order are atemporal.


Likewise it is more common to say that the Father is the principle of the Son and Holy Spirit, than Their beginning, since the latter might imply to some that They are not eternal.  Similarly, if God be said to be the beginning of creatures, this might lead some to think that God, as a beginning, is part of creation.

in principio:  in the beginning — when used in reference to time


principaliterprincipally, or in a principle manner 












reason, reckoning


This one Latin term is rendered by two similar English terms: reason and reckoning.


The Latin term ratio is derived from the Latin deponent verb reor, reri, ratus (to think or judge):  ratus, -a, -um, is defined by Cassel’s as determined or settled; and the phrase ratum facere as to ratify, confirm or make valid. And hence a ratio is a reckoning, an account, a calculation, a consideration.  It thus has the sense of an “explanation”, as one says in English, “how do you reckon, he did that?”, as in the sense of “to render account of”. And hence ratio takes on the meaning of a reason, cause, motive or explanation by which a thing is understood or under which aspect it is recognized as having a certain formality.


In Scholastic philosophy and theology ratio takes on specific technical usages:


1) the reason:  considered as an intellective power or act, whereby the mind gives an explanation of something.  This usage is nearly always confined to discussions of theories of knowledge or the powers of the soul, and rendering ratio as the reason should only be done when the context explicitly requires this attribution.


2) reckoning:  by far the most common translation to be employed for the term ratio, when it is used to show the explanation or cause for the attribution of another term, especially when followed by a genitive term, such as a gerundive, as in the phrases a reckoning of understanding [ratio intelligendi], a reckoning of cognizing [ratio cognoscendi], or in phrases in which it is followed by a noun, in the genitive case, a reckoning of similitude [ratio simlitudinis].  


Note: that when the phrase is used in a general sense, without reference to some previously mentioned ratio, then it is to be rendered into English with the indefinite article a, as here above.  But when it refers to some specific previous mentioned ratio, or, to an ideal standard, then it is to be rendered with the definite article the.  When to use one or the other article must be determined by the entire sense of the context and argument, often by that of the entire Question or Article in which it is used, and the final determination must be based on a philosophical and theological consideration of its use, rather than on a merely linguistic one.


3) reason:  considered as the motive or cause of something or of some attribution.  Since ratio as all –io derivative nouns in Latin is normally considered an action, but is properly passive in sense, it can have the sense of reckoning (passive) or of the reason (active) for which or by which something is done or attributed.  When it has this sense (which can often occur in the same phrases of the same passage where it has the sense of reckoning), it is rendered as reason, as for example when followed by gerundive in the genitive: « the reason for understanding [ratio intelligendi]», « the reason for speaking [ratio loquendi] », « the reason for cognizing [ratio cognoscendi] »; and when followed by nouns in the genitive, as in  « one reason for the similitude » [una ratio similitudinis] etc..


These English translations of the second and third sense of ratio are confirmed by what the Quaracchi Editors say in Sent. Bk. I, d. 35, Scholium, II, second paragraph, regarding the two sense of ratio cognoscendi:


Notandum autem, quod proprie loquendo ratio cognosendi accipitur potius ex parte potentiae ut dispositio, qua ipsa reditur expedita ad intelligentiam, sive est id quo cognoscitur. 

However, it must be noted, that properly speaking a ratio cognoscendi is accepted rather on the part of the power as a disposition, by which it is rendered equipped for understanding, or is that according to which (the object) is cognized.


For that disposition by which it is equipped for understanding is its “reason for understanding”, and that according to which the object is cognized is the “reckoning of understanding”.


Conclusion:  Translators without a background in Scholastic philosophy should seek and take counsel on how to render this term in every instance it appears; in nearly all cases, the final decision will be made by an Editor. However, the idiomatic usages, as cited in the column right of this one, can be always rendered thus when they are used idiomatically, and not in reference to a specific instance of ratio which precedes.


Other idiomatic usages are:


eadem ratione: for the same reason  — when used to introduce another an argument based on the same explanation or cause: but not when referring to a specific, preceding use of ratio


pari rationefor an equal reason  —  when used to introduce an argument based on an equivalent explanation or cause: but not when referring to a specific, preceding use of ratio


liable, liability

reus, -a, -um; reatus

While this term is often inaccurately translated guilty and guilt, respectively, this English translation follows the precision of Master Peter Lombard, who in Book II, d. XXX, ch. 6 specifies that it is rather to be rendered liable and liability:


Quidam enim putant, originale peccatum esse reatum poenae pro peccato primo hominis, id est debitum vel obnoxietatem, qua obnoxii et addicti sumus poenae temporali et aeternae pro primi hominis actuali peccato:  quia pro illo, ut aiunt, omnibus debetur poena aeterna, nisi per gratiam liberentur.

For certain ones think, that original sin is the liability for punishment [reatum poenae] for the first sin of man, that is the debt and/or liability [obnoxietatem], by which we are liable [obnoxii] and doomed [addicit] to temporal and eternal punishment for the actual sin of the first man:  because for that, as they say, eternal punishment is owed to all, unless they are liberated through grace.


Great difficulties and problems of interpretation have resulted in theology by rendering this term as guilty and guilty, not the least of which is that of explaining how an infinitely just God can hold someone guilty of punishment, when he is only liable on account of the sin of Adam.


This interpretation of reatus, is supported by what Du Cange says in his Glossarium mediae et infimiae latinitatis:


¶ 2. REATUS, Crimen, Christianis scriptoribus atque recentioribus Jurisconsultis.  Hos castigat Budaeus, applaudente Vossio lib. 1. de Vitiis sermonis cap. 32. ubi Reatum exponit per obligationem ad poenam, ut inter crimen et poenam medius sit Reatus.  Antiquis proprie habitus erat atque conditio reorum sive accusatorum, ut recte dicitur lib. 2. selectarum de Lingua Latina Observationum in hac voce.

¶ 2. REATUS, Crime, according to Christian writers and more recent experts in law.  These Budaeus castigates, with the approval of Vossius, de Vitiis sermonis, Bk. I, ch. 32, where he expound Reatum as by means of the obligation for punishment, so that between the crime and the punishment there is an intermediary reatus.  According to the ancients it was property a habit and condition of the reorum or accused, as is rightly said de Lingua Latina Observationum, Bk. II, on this term.


This is confirmed by what the Quaracchi Editors say in on Sent., Bk. II, d. 35, a. 1, q. 1, Scholium II, n. 3, p. 824:


Culpam autem hanc recentiores theologi cum. S. Augustino vocant reatum culpae, ut distinguatur a culpa actuali.  Antiqui autem Scholastici utramque nomine culpae exprimebant, vocem autem reatus reservabat pro reatu poenae sive obligatione ad poenam sustinendum (cfr. infra d. 42. dub. 1.).

But this fault more recent theologians, together with St. Augustine, call the crime of the fault [reatum culpae], to distinguish it from the actual fault.  But the ancient Scholastics expressed each with the name of “fault” [culpae], but reserved the term reatus for the liability for punishment [reatu poenae] or the obligation to sustain the punishment (cf. below d. 42, Doubt 1).


On the other hand, guilt or the state of being guilty [sons, or sceleratus] or at fault, is a habitual quality in the moral order, respecting the sinner’s deviation from order of justice, which quality arises from the fault and is distinguished from the deformity in the will, resulting from such a fault.  Consequent to which quality is an obligation or liability to sustain punishment on the part of the sinner.  The knowledge that one has this quality, is called remorse by St. Bonaventure (cf. Sent., Bk. II, d. 36, a. 2, q. 1, in corp.).


This distinction becomes clearer when one considers that he who commits a mortal sin is both guilty and liable for eternal and temporal punishments; but he who is forgiven such a sin, is no longer guilty nor is he liable for the eternal punishment; yet, on account of an imperfect habit of charity, he might still be liable for some temporal punishment, even though he is no longer guilty of the sin itself.  Likewise, he who does that, which he in no way knows to be a sin, inflicts upon himself the same moral deformity, formally speaking, according to habit, as if he did know this, and to some extent is liable for temporal punishment on that account; but he is not guilty of the sin and consequently senses no remorse.




respect, looking-back


The Latin respectus means “a looking-back”; that is a “regard”, or backward glance. The Latin word has two senses, and  has two grammatical structures for its use.


In some senses, it refers to an active relation, and is to be rendered as “looking-back”, as in the phrase: « It is in the Son’s looking-back to the Father that there is found the whole reckoning of His Name [In Filii respectu ad Patrem invenitur tota ratio sui nominis] » In others senses it has a passive sense, as in the phrase:  « In respect of which reckoning is He said to be a “son”?  [In respectu qualis rationis dicatur filius].».


Here there must be distinguished the two different grammatical structures which follows the Latin term respectus:


1) « in respect of » [v. g. in respectu illius]:  when followed by a genitive, the precise signification is that of a relation emanating from a principle, as in the phrase:  « In respect of a beginning the Father is said to be the Author of the Divine Nature [In respectu principii Pater dicitur auctorem divinae naturae] ».


2) « in respect to » [v. g. in respectu ad illum]:  when followed by the preposition to [ad], the precise signification is that of a relation extended toward a terminus, as in the phrase:  « In respect to the Father the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity is said to be the Son [In respectu ad Patrem secunda persona sanctae Trinitatis dicitur Filius] ».


Note: the active sense of the Latin term can only belong to a principle of which (usage # 1), yet it can be found in the second usage, when the principle to which it belongs is implied.








suppose, supposition, etc.



The Latin supponere means “to place under”, “to substitute”, “to subject”.


The verb, and all its derivates in Latin, has two senses:  first, the normal or idiomatic, as in to place something under something [supponere aliquid sub aliquo], or as in the phrase: « with the nature of the soul supposed, one can understand why it is said to be immortal [natura animae supposita, etc.] » In this latter idiomatic sense, it is used as supposed is used in modern English, in that rare sense, in which it is equivalent to presuppose.


Second, the technical Scholastic one, which is defined by the Quaracchi Editors in d. 4, a. 1, q. 1, in the Scholium, p. 98 ff.


1.  Aliud est significatio, aliud suppositio alicuius termini.  Significatio est repraesentatio rei per vocem et convenit omnibus vocabulis tam substantivis quam reliquis, sive in propositione, sive extra propositionem.

1.  Signification is one thing, the supposition of any term, another.  Signification is the representation of a thing through the voice and it befits all words both substantive and otherwise, whether in a proposition, or outside a proposition.


Suppositio, ut vult Petrus Hisp., tract de suppositione, « est acceptio termini substantivi pro aliquo », intellige, de quo / vel de quibus huiusmodi terminus in aliqua propositione verificatur.  Sic terminus homo potest supponere vel pro homine in communi, ut in propositione:  homo est species; vel pro suis inferioribus sub hac specie comprehensis, v.  g.  homo currit.  Suppositionum alia est communis, alia discreta; illa fit per terminum communem, ut homo est mortalis; haec per terminum discretum (concretum), ut Socrates, vel per communem, sed determinatum per pronomen demonstrativum, ut iste homo.

Supposition, as Peter of Spain would have it in his “Tract on Supposition”, « is the acceptance of a substantive term on behalf of something », concerning which and/or which (things) a term of this kind in any proposition is verified.  Thus the term “man” can substitute [supponere] for man in common, as in the proposition:  “man is a species”; and/or for his inferiors comprehended under this species, v.  g.  “a man runs”.  Of suppositions one is common, the other discrete; the former is done through a common term, such as “man is mortal”; the latter is through a discrete (concrete) term, such as “Socrates”, and/or through a common one, but determined through the demonstrative pronoun, as (in) “that man” [iste homo]. 


The English cognate to suppose has this same technical sense only in a rare usage (cf. Webster’s Third International Dictionary, 1964). For this reason rendering supponere and its derivatives with suppose and its derivative will give the English reader cause for misunderstanding, if he has not first read this Rationale.  However, substituting another English term for supponere would greatly reduce the coherency of the Translation with the Scholastic terminology.


The other common translation of supponere in this technical sense, “to supposit for” will not be employed, because it confounds a supposit (q.v.), which is what is substituted, with the subject of the verb, which does the substitution.


When in the context of the interpretation of a term in a proposition it is rendered as substitute, as is done in the citation of the Scholium above, it is rightfully criticized as being able to be understood as transferring the context of the argument from one wherein a term stands for a real thing, to one in which a term is replaced by another term.  For in the phrase from the Nicene Creed:  “God from God” [Deo de Deo], the first instance of “God” is said to suppose God the Son [supponit Deum Filium], rather than to substitute for “God the Son”, for properly speaking one word or term is substituted by another word or term, not by that which is meant by another word or term.


The technical Scholastic use of supponere is founded on the metaphor of its innate meaning of placing something under something else.  In English we have the same simile in the use of the verb “to under-stand”, because in the phrase from the Nicene Creed:  “God from God”, the first instance of “God” is under-stood to be, according to that which it is intended to mean, God the Son. Likewise, this word “God” supposes the Son of God according to the same reckoning, that is, that which is intended to be meant by its usage in that phase from the Creed is the Son of God, so that when there is said that  « “God” supposes God the Son », what is meant is, « the word “God” supposes, in the order of meaning, the same which is meant by the words “God the Son”, that is, God the Son. Thus supposition is not an immediate form of reference, but a terminal or final or ultimate form of reference, in which a word stands for something (rather than for another word) other than that which the word in its normal sense would stand for. 


The implicit theory of signification in the Scholastic notion of supposition is based on the ancient Catholic notion of signification, defined in the Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second of Nicea, in 757 A.D., wherein it taught that the latria offered to an icon of Christ passes to its Prototype, and hence there is rightly and in a catholic manner said of an icon of Christ Pantocrator, “That is Christ!”, even though what is signified by this statement is not that the icon, or the imagine it contains, is Christ, but rather that that which the icon represents is Christ.  Just so, the first instance of the word “God” in that verse of the Nicene Creed, “God from God”, is understood to be the Son of God, because it stands for and represents the Son of God in the manner in which it is being used therein.


Rendering supponere in this fashion (as “under-stood to be ”) would perhaps be more  metaphorically accurate in English; but would create problems of comprehension for non-native English speakers who would be reading the English Translation; it would also confound in English the senses of the Latin intelligere and supponere.


Conclusion:  To preserve the understanding of the Scholastic logical term, supponere will be translated with the English cognates of « to suppose », except where it is used in Latin for the normal sense of placing something under, substituting or subjecting. In the first such instance of this usage, the reader should be notified of its technical sense, by a reference in the Footnotes, according to the standard notion [Trans. note:  ….], that he should refer to this Rationale for the proper understanding of the term. Such a reference should read similar to this:  [Trans. note:  Regarding the technical term supponit, see the Rationale for the Translation of Peculiar Latin Terms, in the Introduction to this English Translation].


supponere proto suppose on behalf of  —  never to suppose for since this is less clear.


suppositohaving supposed, or with … supposed — in ablative absolutes


supponereto substitute  — only in Scholia, when the concept of supposition is being explained in reference to the understanding of propositions, in all other cases, is to be rendered as to suppose, except in normal usages, where it retains its original sense of to place under, etc..




A suppositum is what has been supposed (q.v.).  


It is most often used as the technical equivalent term for the Greek hypostasis, that is, as an individual of a species or a nature.  


However, it can be used as the neuter singular form of the adjective, as a substantive, in the general sense of anything supposed, such as a supposed term, wherein the term is supposed not in the technical sense of supposition (q.v.), but in the general sense of substitution, as in the phrase “Thomas is a man”, one can suppose “rational animal” for “man” and say equivalently, “Thomas is a rational animal”; and thus “rational animal” would be the supposed term for “man”.


Conclusion: While the Latin term can be used unchanged in English, « supposit » will be used as the standard English translation of the ontological term, equivalent to the Greek hypostasis; but in the general sense it is to be render as « supposed » when used as a substantive, e.g. referring to a term or noun, which substitutes for another.



to undertake or to take up; suscipient etc.



The Latin verb suscipere means “to take up” in the sense of “to receive”, but is distinguished from this, in that the former is limited to something inferior in some sense to the being of the one receiving, whereas in the latter, what is received is not specified in respect of the one receiving.  Thus a soul is a suscipient of grace, not a recipient, because grace is an accident, but a recipient of being, inasmuch as it is created by God, since what it receives is not inferior to itself.


In English there exists the cognates “susceptible”, “susceptive”, “susception”, but not “suscipient”.  This latter must be employed to render suscipiens in its substantive uses, so as to distinguish it from a recipient, the former will be employed for susceptibilis, susceptivus, susception respectively; where as the verb in all its forms will be rendered more commonly as “to take up”, “to undertake”.








in a time,

in time,

on account of time,

seasons or times

in tempore,

ex tempore,


The first two Latin phrases are idiomatic:


1) in tempore: « in (a) time », that is, in a specific or non specific period of delimited time. To distinguish this from the second sense of ex tempore, it can be rendered with the indefinite article. This sense is defined by the Quaracchi Editors in the Scholium of d. 18, a. sole, q. 2, where they say that being in tempore  means “that something is measured by time, which properly is said of corruptibles” [aliquid mensuari tempore, quod proprie dicitur corruptibilibus]. Cf. Sent., Bk. I, d. 30, dubium II, in the response.


2) ex tempore


a) The proper sense of this Latin phrase is, « on account of time », that is on account of being temporal, originating in time, and hence coming forth from, or out of, time.  This sense of ex tempore is confirmed by St. Bonaventure in Sent., Bk. I, d. 30, a. sole, q. 1, ad 4.


4. Ad illud quod obiicitur, quod illud quod est ex tempore, incipit aliquid esse; dicendum, quod illud non est in Deo propter mutationem aliquam factam in ipso, sed in creatura:  et illud determinatum est supra, distinctione octava.

4. To that which is objected, that that which is ex tempore, begins to be something; it must be said, that that is not in God on account of any change made in Him, but in the creature:  and that has been determined above, in the Eighth Distinction.


For in saying that “it is not in God on account of any change made in him” [non est in Deo propter mutationem aliquam etc.], the Seraphic Doctor manifests that the sense of ex tempore is propter temporem, that is, “on account of time”.


b) And hence, in some senses, the Latin phrase must be rendered « in time », that is, constrained within that existence which has a temporal dimension, but not in any specific delimited period, as in n. 1 above.


An example of both these usages, is found in Lombard’s Book of Sentences, Bk. I, d. 30, ch. 1, paragraph 2.


Sed hic aliquis dicet, quod non ex tempore competit Deo haec appellatio, qua dicitur dominus, quia non est tantum dominus rerum, quae ex tempore coeperunt, sed etiam illius rei, quae non coepit ex tempore, id est ipsius temporis, quod non coepit ex tempore, quia non erat ante3 tempus quam inciperet:  et ideo non coepit esse dominus ex tempore.

But here someone will say, that this appellation, by which He is said (to be) a “lord”, is not due God on account of time, because He is not only a lord of things, which began in time [ex tempore], but even of that thing, which did not begin to be in time [ex tempore], that is, of time itself, which did not begin in time, because there was no time before3 it began:  and for that reason He did not begin to be a lord on account of time.


For in this passage Lombard shows, that if one were to read “which began on account of time”, instead, it might be understood to mean that something can begin on account of time, yet not in time, which the Seraphic Doctor expressly denies by saying “because there was no time before it began”.  This sense is defined by the Quaracchi Editors in the Scholium of d. 18, a. sole, q. 2, where they say that ex tempore  means that a thing’s “being has a start, and is said of all created things”  [ipsum esse habere initium, et dicitur de omnibus creatis].  Cf. Sent., Bk. I, d. 30, dubium II, in the response.


This sense (“in time”) is commonly used of the procession, generation or granting of a Divine Person in time, when it refers to the act of procession, etc., but the former sense (“on account of time”), when referring to the reason for the act.


c) « out of time »:  except in phrases with verbs of motion or the like, where it can be understood as “forth out of time”, this sense is to be avoided, since in popular English it means rather that time available has expired.


The plural form of the noun, tempora, refers to the periods of time as it is measured, and is rendered seasons or times.

ad tempora:  according to (the) seasons, or according to the times.


extra tempusoutside of time


cum temporewith time









one [unum]


The Latin unus, -a, -um, is the numeral adjective “one”.  However it three different uses in the neuter form, unum.


1) The common usage, that is, as an adjective describing a neuter noun. In this sense, it can be rendered with the English « one », without any specification.


2) The specific usage, that is, as the number 1.  In this sense it will be rendered as « ‘one’ », within single quotes, to indicate that it represents there the number 1, or the concept conveyed by the number 1. In this sense, the term signifies the unity of indivision.


3) The idiomatic usage, that is, as representing the unity of two or more beings. In this sense, it shall be rendered as « one [unum] », that is, followed by the Latin term within square brackets.  In this sense the term signifies the unity of conformity.


St. Bonaventure distinguishes the second and third usage of this term in Sent., Bk. I, d. 31, p. II, q. 2, in reply to n. 1:


1. Ad illud quod obiicitur de uno in numero, dicendum, quo duplex est unitas, scilicet indivisionis et conformitatis.  Unitas indivisionis attenditur in uno numero, et haec unitas est simpliciter; unitas vero conformitatis non est in uno numero, sed in his quibus contingit aliis conformari, ut dictum est.

1. To that which is objected concerning one in number, it must be said, that there is a twofold unity, namely, of indivision and of conformity.  The unity of indivision is attained in one in number, and this is a unity simply (speaking); but the unity of conformity is not in one in number, but in those to whom it happens that they are conformed with others, as has been said.



N.B.:  When, as is customary in the English translation, a word is used as a specific denomination, especially, following such phrases as, “is said to be …”, the Latin adjective unus, -a, -um, can like all other words, be enclosed in double quotes, to signify that its use there is in the sense of a verbal denomination, and not just as notional one.  For example, in the phrase,


What do you mean by “one”, when you say that your 3 dogs are “one”?


In the main clause of this sentence, the quotes are employed to signify that the question concerns the usage of the word as a term, and not immediately of any thing or notion that is one.  In the subordinate clause, the quotes are employed to signify that the usage of the word is quoted from the use of the one to whom the speaker is speaking, and represents the term inasmuch as it is quoted.


For this reason, in the 3rd usage of the term unus, when, in addition to this sense, the term is also used as a specific denomination, the double quotes must also be employed, before square brackets and the Latin term unum.  And thus


Quid dicis nomine unum, quando dicis quod canes tui sunt unum?


Is to be rendered in English as:


What you mean by the name “one” [unum], when you say that your dogs are “one” [unum]?