As per the suggestion from Joonas Ilmavirta, I have chosen to create this question, with the intention of having this as a one-stop shop for updated information on what is relevant for Latin SE and suggestions for new topics that might be of interest for the site.
This question does not discuss what the name of this SE should or should not be; the questions discussed below cover this. This question’s only concern, is to cover what aspects are covered by this SE and nothing else.
Several questions have been asked in Latin SE, both by new askers to the site on the regular SE, as well as in Meta, in order to get an idea of what is covered and not. I will list the most prevalent below.
Other relevant questions include: Answering off-topic questions, Could this question on Latin's transformation into Romance languages be narrowed and made in-scope?, Why are there questions about the Greek language on here?, How would the Latin.SE community feel about opening the site up to further classic languages?, What should we do with low-quality etymology questions?
What should be our scope? (2016)
This question was asked by JoonasIlmavirta on the 9th of March 2016. He opened by mentioning the help pages discussing what is on- and off-topic, and then asked three key questions: What is on and what is off topic, and what would be ‘a good concise description of our scope?’
There was one answer with several comments, and the answer was updated based on the comments. In summary, the answer listed the following:
- The scope: Latin in all its aspects, both linguistically, culturally and historically. Experts and students are all welcome, but we will remain a StackExchange site, not a service/help centre.
- Latin in and of itself and its relation to other languages.
- History/culture as from the viewpoint of Latin.
- Questions in English and Latin are both welcome, though English summaries are requested if the latter.
- Basic questions as well. Our doors should be ‘[…] wide open and appear inviting to anyone.’ (Answer to the Meta question of 2020.)
- Translation requests where no effort is shown.
- Too broad questions; references and summaries are preferred here.
- Homework help unless effort is shown.
This question was asked by NNOX Apps on the 20th of August 2019. The asker made a point of the fact that Etruscan, Ancient Greek, and other Italic languages all fall within the same main sphere of interests. There were three arguments put forth, which may be summarised as such:
- Joonas Ilmavirta’s perspective:
- We should keep the name; simplicity is good, and it allows ease of communication.
- Interpreting ‘Latin Language SE’ as including closely related topics allows redefining our scope as needed.
- Latin is our main focus; other related topics (stressing Greek) is included conditionally.
- Rebranding to ‘Classical SE’ might deter mediaevalists and the Living Latin crowd. The name ‘Latin and Classics SE’ avoids this.
- Draconis’s answer:
- Suggested ‘Classical Languages SE’ and ‘Classics SE’ to encompass all related languages, but exclude post-classical Greek and Romance languages.
This question was asked by Canned Man on the 7th of January 2021. It stressed the fact that Ancient Greek already was included. It further focused on the problems of defining the field of Classics; the positive aspect of how this would include several other Classical languages from smaller fields; and requested a thorough definition of what the scope of such a rebranded site should and could be.
There is one answer, by JoonasIlmavirta, with a good discussion in the comments. In summary:
- The term ‘Classics’ will more easily be misunderstood than ‘Latin’.
- Classical languages is already a poorly defined term.
- Including Greek in the name is misleading; it does not define the site’s focus.
- It is more important that the site’s scope is clear for the occasional visitor, not just for the core user base.
- We should maintain our ‘wide open doors’ policy; a scholarly site name could negate that.
Suggested format for this question site
Presently, there are several question sites to navigate to get an overview of what is and what isn’t within the scope of this site. Having this single question page – which could be linked to in the welcome tutorial – as a one-stop shop for answering all questions about what is on topic, would make it easier both for new users and for your average lurker who stops by the site just now and then.
Suggestions for new topics could be added as comments to existing answers or this question. These could be discussed on their own meta question pages, and when a community consensus is reached, be added to this page.
I suggest that as replies to this question are posted a set of answers which define the following aspects:
- Linguistic aspects (ɔ: ‘languages’) covered by Latin SE
- Archaeological aspects covered by Latin SE
- Cultural aspects covered by Latin SE
- Epigraphical aspects covered by Latin SE
- Historical aspects covered by Latin SE
- Religious aspects covered by Latin SE
- Other subjects covered by Latin SE, such as historical anthropology
- A general overview of what kind of questions are and are not on topic.
This first post (ɔ: the question) should be updated with a complete list of all the topical answers provided, linking to each of them. This entire question should be considered a discussion, with posts being updated to reflect the wishes of the community, moderators and administrators on how this site should be run and what it should be. Due to this page’s nature, no answers would be chosen as the selected answers. It would be beneficial for the community for the administrators and moderators to heavily moderate this question page.