Latin/Looking for a quote
Hello, as in the subject, I'm trying to remember a Latin quote that once my teacher said at school. Unfortunately I can't meet this teacher anymore to ask him. I remember that this teacher was a researcher in the field of medieval philosophy (mostly Scholasticism), so I suppose that his quote must be from that period. He used this sentence to explain the importance of definitions. The general idea of the quote was that before starting any reasoning it is necessary to come to an agreement about the meaning of the words which are going to be used. Can you please help me, at least giving me some clues about where and how to look for? Thank you in advance.
“Nomina sunt consequentia rerum” could be the medieval Latin quote you are looking for.
The general idea of this quote, which literally means “Names are the consequence of things”, is just that “before starting any reasoning it is necessary to come to an agreement about the meaning of the words which are going to be used”, as you say.
Such a quote comes from Justinian’s Insitutiones(book II, 7,3) which is part of the Codex Justinianus (534) and is an outline of legal institutions for the use of law students.
I really hope that this is the quote that your teacher used to say to explain the importance of definitions.
-NOMINA (nominative plural of the neuter NOMEN, 3rd declension)= names
-SUNT (3rd person plural, present indicative of SUM) = are
-CONSEQUENTIA (nominative case, feminine noun, 1st declension) =the consequence
-RERUM (genitive plural of the noun RES, 5th declension)= of things