It is good to have badges for important authors. At the moment we have the tag , but I created the tag today when I asked about the same poet. This is because I strongly prefer using original Roman forms of the names of authors instead of the English ones — that is why I write Horatius instead of Horace.

Whether or not we decide to have our tags in Latin, I think the author tags should be in Latin. Some authors have different names in different languages (Horatius, Horace, Orazio…) so some users may be unaware of the English version. On the other hand, everyone who knows an author should know them by their original name. For me it took a considerable amount of time to figure out who Horace, Virgil and Homer are, although I had learned about Horatius, Vergilius and Homeros.

I propose a policy to have all author tags in their original form. Do you agree we should do this? It might make sense to keep the English versions as well but make them synonyms to the main tag. Another option is to edit all such tags to the classical form. What would be a good way to go about this?

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    What about non-Roman authors, like Calvin and Luther? Use their name in their native language, Latin, or English? Mar 4, 2016 at 13:54
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    @Nathaniel, good question. I suppose it would be best to always use the native version (whether that is Latin or not). Latin and English versions could always exist as tag synonyms if it is too much trouble to keep editing the tags.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Mar 4, 2016 at 14:00
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    I certainly think that classical author tags should be in Latin /Greek (probably transliterated in the latter case), we have to get rid of these ruddy anglicisms. When studying Renaissance literature, took me ages to realise that "Tully" was - er - M Tullius Cicero! And much better for those whose first language is not English.
    – TheHonRose
    Mar 16, 2016 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


My preference would be that we simply use Latin names for as many people tags as possible. A few points:

  • This keeps things consistent with the general direction of using Latin for all tags.
  • Because of the variety of countries of origin of Latin-writing authors, I'm not sure that it makes sense to rely on original names. For example, Aquinas seems preferable to d'Aquino. Similarly, Anselmus rather than Anselmo.
    • This proves especially valuable for popes from different countries: Ioannes Paulus instead of Polish Jan Paweł
  • A strict interpretation of this would mean latinizing the names of contemporary authors, like Orberg, C. S. Lewis, Traupman, and others who write in Latin. Instead, here I'd make an exception: for those who do not have an attested Latin spelling for their names, use the birth name instead.
    • This is apparently the policy of the Latin Wikipedia: C. S. Lewis

Of course, each author would have the English version(s) of his or her name as tag synonyms pointing to the Latin tag. Other languages could be added as well, as needed.

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    Additionally, this could make things marginally easier for people who don't speak English as their first language, or at all. This is probably another use for synonyms; English version -> Latin version.
    – user11
    Mar 4, 2016 at 20:58
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    This sounds good to me, and we should indeed have tag synonyms for alternative spellings as needed. We can't really make tag synonyms yet, so we'll have to wait and see how things develop, but this policy (or perhaps more properly a guideline) is a reasonable goal for now at least.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Mar 4, 2016 at 21:53

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