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Latin/translation of text from Newton's Principia

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Question
I will appreciate it if you can provide some guidance on the use of "lubricitatis" in the following text:

Resistentiam, quæ oritur ex defectu lubricitatis partium Fluidi, cæteris paribus, proportionalem esse velocitati, qua partes Fluidi separantur ab invicem.”

Is it lack of "slipperiness"? The modern translation to "lubricity" does not make sense in this context.

Thank you.

Answer
Hello,

first of all I have to point out that the feminine noun “lubricitas” whose genitive case is just “lubricitatis” does not exist in classical Latin where there is the adjective “lūbrĭcus” meaning exactly “slippery”.

So, the word “lubricitas”, which derives from the adjective “lūbrĭcus”, belongs to  late Latin and means “degree of slipperiness “/“slipperiness”, just as you say.

To sum up, the hypothesis that we read in Newton's Principia Mathematica,book II, section IX:”Resistentiam, quæ oritur ex defectu lubricitatis partium Fluidi, cæteris paribus, proportionalem esse velocitati, qua partes Fluidi separantur ab invicem” literally  means:“The resistance, which arises from the lack  of slipperiness of the parts of a Fluid, other conditions being equal, is proportional to the velocity, by which the parts of the Fluid are separated from each other”.

Therefore  the modern translation to "lubricity" does not make sense in this context, if “lubricity” refers to “lewdness”  which has nothing to do with the real meaning of the classical Latin adjective “lubricus”.  

Hope all is clear enough.

All the best,

Maria  

Latin

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Maria

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I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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