Some other topics (Etruscan, older Greek, other ancient Italic languages) support Latin and share the same enthusiasts. We are happy to include them, but not unconditionally.

  1. I first propounded renaming to 'Greek and Latin SE', but moderator expounded why not.

  2. What of Draconis's proposal?

  • The current votes seem to suggest that the name stays as it is. Keeping it has the most support and requires no action. If there is a substantial change in these scores later on, perhaps we should have a new meta question on the topic.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 14:01

3 Answers 3


This is a good question! I will post my view here, but I would be glad to hear others as well. As always, I'm happy to go forward with a community decision, whether I agree with it or not.

My suggestion is to keep the site name as it is for the following reasons:

  • Latin is the main topic of the site, and anything having to do with Latin is on topic. (This may be overly simplified, but this is my starting point to our scope.)
  • Simplicity is good, and the current site name is simple and informative.
  • We allow some Greek, not all Greek. If we Greek were to be added to the title, then we might want to add some qualifiers. "Latin and Ancient Greek Stack Exchange" might work. The key words in your quote are "but not unconditionally". I am pretty sure our community does not want modern Greek.
  • As on many SE sites, we can implicitly understand "Latin Language SE" to mean "Latin Language and Closely Related Topics SE". I prefer this level of specificity, so that we are free to redefine our scope.
  • What about other languages? Should we add other Italic languages to the title as well? The name can't be a full description of the scope.
  • I don't think we can change names often. If a good Greek site arises, perhaps many of our users might feel that Greek questions should be directed there in the future.

Please take these as thoughts in favor of the current name, not as hard facts. My main argument is that Latin is included unconditionally, Greek only conditionally.

  • 2
    +1, AND Classical Languages could be interpreted as including Sanskrit, Arabic, etc., which is not bad per se, but would be a major shift.
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 16:54
  • @Rafael I fully agree.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 2:42

For the sake of clarity of interpreting votes, let me post a second answer addressing "Classics" as a name.

I do not want to change the name to "Classical Languages SE" or "Classics SE". The reason is that in my opinion (and vision) all things Latin should be on topic. A name focused on the classical aspects may scare away medievalists or living Latin folks.

I will not try to hide that my interests are mainly in Latin and not other languages regarded as classical. (I might not be able to afford such a narrow interest if I was professionally engaged with Latin, but my field of scholarship is something unrelated and Latin is mostly a hobby.)

However, a combination like "Latin and Classics SE" would avoid this pitfall. Perhaps that could be a reasonable name? It is not immediately clear what is included in "Classics". But names don't have to be definitive; we can specify the details elsewhere.

Even just adding "Classics" to the title is a major change in my opinion. It shifts the focus somewhat from what we started with, and I find that significant. It is not just a matter of names, but a redefinition of purpose. Therefore I am against hasty movements, but not against all movement. If this suggestion gains significant support and very little opposition, I am ready to go forward and discuss such changes with SE staff. I can't tell what the next steps could be without such consultation.

Personally, I am slightly against this idea, but I could live with it. This is the most reasonable way to change the name I could think of, so I am posting it for others to judge.

  • 2
    I see 2 issues with 'Classics' as a name. First, since – at least in the US – 'classics' as the name of a field isn't widely known, I suspect we'd start getting questions about non-Latin/Greek literary classics such as the works of Austen, Cervantes, Dante, the Brontës, etc. Second, the field of Classics is about so much more than the languages: history, literature, philosophy, art, architecture, archaeology, social history, etc.; so for people who do know the term, the new name would invite questions that have nothing to do with the languages and would represent a major expansion of scope.
    – cnread
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 21:04
  • @cnread Those are indeed significant issues. I would actually be happy if you voted this answer down because of them so that the votes in both directions reflect support and concern or objection. I will certainly not take any such votes personally.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 3:33

For the sake of discussion, I'm going to post an alternative answer, though I do agree with everything Joonas said.

How about changing the name to Classical Languages SE or Classics SE? That neatly encompasses Latin, Ancient Greek, Etruscan, Sabellic, and the various lesser-known languages that get discussed here, while excluding post-classical Greek and the Romance languages.

  • +1. Great suggestion. Now added to my post.
    – user37
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 5:21
  • 2
    I'd be concerned that those names (especially "Classical Languages") don't make it very obvious that we exclude languages like Sanskrit, Arabic and Hebrew (which have varieties that people occasionally apply the label "Classical" to, even if they aren't usually part of a Classics degree).
    – Asteroides
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 19:01
  • 2
    I see an issue with calling the site "Classics" or something similar. It appears to exclude later forms of Latin, and I would strongly prefer to keep all things Latin within our scope. Of course, the site name is never a full description of our scope, but I would hate to scare away medievalists or living Latin folks by a name. A combination like "Latin and Classics" doesn't have this pitfall.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 18:51
  • 2
    @JoonasIlmavirta I have no objection to "Latin and Classics", if you'd like to make a new answer for it.
    – Draconis Mod
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 19:01
  • @Draconis I wrote up a new answer.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 19:28
  • @Asteroides One of the things I find difficult, is whether or not one should consider this to be a languages only site. I think we need to reach a communal understanding of how we define Classics: Ancient studies as seen through the lense of the Graeco-Roman world’s languages, or ancient studies of the Graeco-Roman world as a whole.
    – Canned Man
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 13:39

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