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E Vicipaedia

Don't join together with Filius. Liberi is a special Roman concept that deserves its own page. In particular a liberti is different from a puer and different from a libertus.--Rafaelgarcia 12:23, 28 Augusti 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I don't quite understand your comment, Rafael. "Liberi" (plural only) means "children", doesn't it? If that's so, "filii" and "filiae" are "liberi" and there is an argument for merging the pages. "Libertus" is completely different, and we have a separate article about it. Sorry if I'm misunderstanding something. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:37, 28 Augusti 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Often in medieval times it is used in the mere sense of children (of all ages and sex, including adults). However, in roman days it meant only children born of a free mother, which put the person in a different social class, with different laws and obligations. See the fontes I listed on the puer page. They discuss this with more depth. Liberi is a special sense of the plural of liberus "free".--Rafaelgarcia 12:46, 28 Augusti 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, I see. Thanks. I haven't looked at those texts. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:48, 28 Augusti 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Coming back to this eleven years later, I suppose that "liberi" in classical Latin developed its narrow substantive meaning because the classical Latin "familia" had a broader meaning than (e.g.) English family: it included household slaves and therefore included children of mixed free and slave descent. The two categories of offspring in that kind of "familia" had basic differences in status and rights, easily distinguished by calling one category "liberi", the free ones. If the meaning of "familia" narrowed in later Latin, there would be less need for an everyday narrow term distinguishing the one category of offspring from the other; hence "liberi" -- the obvious, available word -- came to mean children, offspring in general. Would that be right?

I thought this out (whether I'm right or wrong) because the second sentence of our article, which seemed to be trying to say that the change in meaning happened because there were no slaves in medieval Europe, is not wholly true and doesn't feel to me like a convincing explanation. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:33, 24 Decembris 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Me neither, but hey, at least the sentence parses, despite its implication that a continent can own slaves! IacobusAmor (disputatio) 12:54, 24 Decembris 2019 (UTC)[reply]
So you do agree that "Europae" isn't a valid locative! I thought so, because last time I checked it was neither a city nor a small island. The locative is listed in the English Wiktionary, though. Sigur (disputatio) 14:33, 24 Decembris 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Definitely! (But the text wants improvement.) IacobusAmor (disputatio) 14:41, 24 Decembris 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Wiktionary, like all sister projects, is not a reliable source :) Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:21, 24 Decembris 2019 (UTC)[reply]
No, certainly not, but enough to leave a doubt in my poor mind... Sigur (disputatio) 15:23, 24 Decembris 2019 (UTC)[reply]