I'm curious to see so many Greek language questions on the main page. Has this site changed from "Latin Language SE" to "Classical Languages SE" and if so why hasn't this been reflected in the site title, banner and URL.

Also what sort of classical languages are on topic? Could I ask about classical Arabic, Hebrew and Sanskrit as well?

  • You can read the posts tagged with "greek" to get an idea of some of the background
    – Asteroides
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 5:22
  • Ditto. There's a history of interest in Attic Greek on this forum. Eventually, the interest won out, as the idea became more popular than not. As for your question, I don't think I am qualified to answer. I'll leave it for others to say.
    – ktm5124
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 7:08
  • 2
    On a side note, it's very difficult to change the name etc. of the site, if not impossible. And I have a feeling our allowing Greek is not definitive: if too many people decide that they hate it, perhaps one day there'll be a proposal on Meta to disallow Greek (the scope of sites on SE often changes (though not radically)).
    – Cerberus Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 14:28
  • 2
    Note that there is a proposal for a Greek language stackexchange (covering all temporal stages of Greek) here area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/101509/greek-language – it is going better than the last time, but still needs more support to advance to the next stage. Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 15:33
  • Update: The Greek proposal has successfully passed the definition phase and is now in the commitment phase. Great news! Commented May 13, 2017 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


The name of the site is still only Latin, and I see that our main topic is and will be Latin. Some other languages are included on the side.

Greek is special. It is so closely related to Latin, that it made sense to include it at our site. We have discussed the matter extensively under the meta tag , and we concluded that Greek is allowed, but only up to the end of classical antiquity and excluding New Testament Greek. (I have a feeling that we might expand to include New Testament Greek at some point, but that should not be discussed here.) The crucial restriction is that modern Greek is not allowed. Older forms of Greek had a lot of interaction with Latin, and knowing the basics of Greek is useful for understanding Latin deeply.

There is a similar cultural connection with Etruscan, so it makes sense to allow questions about .

Small languages closely related to Latin are also allowed. They are small and will not produce a flood of questions (or their own SE site), and anyone who studies them is extremely likely to be knowledgeable in Latin as well. This reasoning includes Oscan, Faliscan, and Umbrian. (Do I forget something?)

So, we allow questions about any of these languages: Latin, Greek, Etruscan, Oscan, Faliscan, Umbrian. You can ask about Faliscan without any connection to the Latin language. Any language whatsoever can be discussed in a question, but if it's not on the above list (or approved at meta), the question has to relate to one of the listed languages. For example, translation questions from French to Latin are on-topic, but questions about French only are off-topic.

Other classical languages like Arabic, Hebrew and Sanskrit are off-topic. (Of course, their relations to Latin are a welcome topic.) Their connection to Latin is narrower and a somewhat different subset of people study them. Some of the cultural connection between Latin, Greek and Etruscan is in the way we study languages in the modern world, but much of the connection is ancient.

  • Excellent explanation of a position you were originally reluctant about!
    – Cerberus Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 14:26
  • @Cerberus Thanks! I am still personally unsure if allowing Greek is a good idea, but I will act according to the community decision and I tried to summarize the current consensus.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 14:30
  • I know! (I'm still not at all sure I'd call it a consensus, though...)
    – Cerberus Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 14:58
  • @Cerberus It's the closest thing to a consensus one can have at a site like this, so I call it that. There haven't been any real complaints. Perhaps "the policy chosen by the community" instead of "consensus".
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 15:27
  • Yeah, the majority opinion. "Consensus" to me means "almost everbody agrees"?
    – Cerberus Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 15:56
  • I had the same question as the OP and just read the answer, even if it's from a long time ago. This part: "[Greek] It is so closely related to Latin" is complete nonsense. There is indeed some relation to Latin but not even close to "so closely". Would you put Dutch and German under the same StackExchange website? Downvoting.
    – Arkoudinos
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 8:41
  • 2
    @Arkoudinos I didn't mean "very close as a language" but "very close as a field of study". There is a significant enough overlap between Latin and Greek scholars for this to make sense. The similarity between the languages themselves is indeed not enough to warrant the inclusion of Greek on this site.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 10:44

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