You are here:

Latin/'To' and 'From' in Latin

Advertisement


Question
Hello Maria,

Could you please tell me what 'to' and 'from' would be if you were writing a personal letter to a close friend or relative in Latin ("To [name]" & "from [name]")? Thank you!

Answer
Hello,

Please note that any  letter to a close friend or relative, i.e "To [name]" & "from [name]" had to begin in Latin with the following words:

1)the name of the sender in the Nominative case

2)the abbreviation S.P.D. (Salutem Plurimam Dicit) or S.D. (Salutem Dicit) meaning  “cordially greets ” or “greets” respectively.

3)the name of the recipient in the Dative case

See for example: M. CICERO S. P. D.  P.LENTVLO ("M.Cicero Salutem Plurimam Dicit P.Lentulo"), as we read at the beginning of some Cicero's letters.

Note that in M. CICERO S. P. D.  P.LENTVLO meaning:" “Marcus Cicero  cordially greets Publius Lentulus”:

1)M.CICERO (Nominative case) is the name of the sender Marcus Cicero.

2)S.P.D. is the abbreviation of  “Salutem Plurimam  Dicit” meaning “ cordially greets".

3)P.LENTULO (Dative case)  is the name of the recipient Publius Lentulus.


Also, at the end of a letter the Romans used to write “Cura, ut valeas” (“Take care of your health”) or simply “Vale” [in the imperative of VALEO, 2nd.person singular]  as well as “Valeas” [in the hortatory subjunctive, 2nd.person singular] both meaning “Take care”.


For example, in a letter that  a certain Mark is writing  to a certain Lavinia  we could read at the beginning:

-"Marcus Laviniae  salutem dicit " or  "Marcus Laviniae  salutem plurimam dicit"
[Mark greets Lavinia” or “Mark  cordially greets Lavinia", i.e "Dear Lavinia" in English.

At the end of the same letter we could read:

-"Vale" or "Cura ut valeas" as well as "Valeas" (literally, "Take care")corresponding to "Best regards" in English.

Hope all is clear enough.

Have a nice day,

Maria

Latin

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

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

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.