Talk:Libris Mortis

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Good article Libris Mortis has been listed as one of the Sports and recreation good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
February 28, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on February 24, 2008.


First off, what do you mean 'We don't have an article called "Libris Mortis"'? I just got finished reading it,, and it is severley lacking! What happened to the prestige classes listed here before?

-- I added the Prestige Classes and Monsters as well as other information that people would consider worthwhile about the book.

GA on hold[edit]

  • "is an official supplement for the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game, version 3.5." - you kinda forgot to say that it's a book (it is, right?)...
  • You could mention the illustrations section in the lead
  • Can you give a release date?
    • Nothing more specific than 'October 2004', with a ref, sorry. I'm fairly sure it was the first, but, as I say, no ref. J Milburn (talk) 19:40, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Is the image in the Content section relevant?
    • It shows undead in D&D, and it's free. It's just decoration really- I thought it may help people unfamiliar with D&D understand what the article is talking about- should I remove it? J Milburn (talk) 19:40, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
      • may as well keep it, and become the butt of anti-D&D jokes :D dihydrogen monoxide (H20) 08:27, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
  • "Casey Smith, of D20 Magazine Rack, praised feats" - the commas aren't really helpful here
  • "D20 Magazine Rack writer Casey Smith." - Just Smith. You've mentioned D20 before (probably several times...only need to do it once, I'm just slow)
    • "Kenneth Newquist, writing for Nuketown" - same again...
  • The word "praised" is massively overused....
    •  Done Replaced half with 'commended'. J Milburn (talk) 19:40, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • In the reviews section, simply quoting the scores that Casey Smith gave doesn't really mean...well...much.

And yeah, that's about it. Leave a note on my talk page when done, please. Cheers, dihydrogen monoxide (H20) 07:42, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Passed. dihydrogen monoxide (H20) 08:27, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Liber Mortis[edit]

There's no justification in forbidding a footnote that the Latin is Liber Mortis, simply on the assumption that anyone dumb enough to look at this article won't care. We needn't inflict our ignorance on the Wikipedia reader, so I have restored the discreet footnote. --Wetman (talk) 04:06, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

I have left the following note at User talk:J Milburn: "Since you are an Administrator, I hope you will take a more serious approach. A discreet footnote to the effect that the Latin is Liber Mortis is unexceptionable. If you do think that Latin is "original research", I hope you'll look at WP:OR to get the general idea of what that entails. There's no reason to inflict our own ignorance on the Wikipedia reader, and I assure you I am every bit as ignorant of comic books, Metallica and "Dungeons & Dragons" as you may be of Latin and history all that. Wikipedia is first of all an adult reference."

This article is not on my Watchlist. --Wetman (talk) 04:21, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Linking the book to Latin in any way is original research without a reference. Who are you to say that it is meant to look Latin? Perhaps we should also add a footbote to say that it isn't Swahili for 'book of the dead', while we're at it? J Milburn (talk) 13:45, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Nonsense. WP:OR is not WP:IDONTLIKEIT. The title needs some explanation. Johnbod (talk) 14:14, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
And anything that the article needs should be attributed to reliable sources. Explanation of the title would be wonderful, but only if we can find sources. J Milburn (talk) 16:39, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

If it were 'Liber Mortis', it would mean the Book of Death, not the Book of the Dead. The Book of the Dead would be 'Liber Mortuorum', in the sense of the community of the dead, who are plural. Of course an explanatory footnote is legit. The arguments 'Who are you to say... etc' and 'WP:OR' for the ref in Latin do not, i.m.h.o., amount to a true objection - at all. There are certain things, even in Wikipedia, that are self-evident. LOL!
Liber Vitae, 'The Book of Life', is a term used in mediaeval monastic contexts to refer to a real book in which the names of the saintly people of the community who have died have been written, so that they can be read out at Mass and prayers can be said for them. I can find you a reference for that. Liber Mortis is constructed in the same way, but means the 'Book of Death'. 'Libris' is the latin plural dative or ablative form of liber (a book), meaning to, for, by, with, or from, books. If Libris Mortis is meant to mean 'From the Books of Death' it should be prefixed by 'Ex' or 'E', as in Ex libris, or E libris.
The Book of the Dead - which would be Liber Mortuorum - is the English name usually given to the collection of funeral prayers which has survived in inscriptions and on papyri from the funeral rites of Ancient Egypt. I can reference that too. It has to be said, that 'Libris Mortis' does look as if it is an ignorant blunder for an attempt at a Latin form of 'The Book of the Dead', because that is the equivalent which is printed on the cover. Eebahgum (talk) 16:58, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

It quite obviously is not self evident, if you people are debating the exact translation. I am not opposed to the addition of a comment regarding the proper translation of a title, I am opposed to the lack of a reference. You cannot get around the need for a reliable sources, and you certainly can't argue that it's too obvious to require a reference- the majority of people don't speak Latin, and it seems that even those of you who do can't agree on it. J Milburn (talk) 17:07, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Please address me courteously, I am not 'You People', I am an experienced editor (though not an admin) and I have a perfect right to make a helpful and friendly edit. Please do not merely 'lump' my contribution to this discussion together with everything you don't agree with, but consider it rationally. I have shown what some variant Latin forms might be, and you can see plainly for yourself from them (which I have offered to reference) that 'Libris mortis' does resemble the latin, though inaccurately. This may answer your earlier query to User:Wetman, 'Who are you to say that it is meant to look latin?'. With this information before you, the matter can be discussed. The reference for the latin is as follows: see J.T. White, A Latin-English Dictionary (Longmans, Green & Co., London 1924), p. 388 column 3., Mors, mortis, (noun, feminine): Death, or, a dead body or corpse. The same work, p. 347, col 3, Liber, libri, (noun, masculine) original meaning skin or bark of a tree, usual meaning, a book. For the grammar I have cited, see B. H. Kennedy, The Shorter Latin Primer (Longmans, London 1962 edition), pp 7-8, first and second declension nouns. Hope that helps. Eebahgum (talk) 17:29, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, yes, 'you people' is a little aggressive, I apologise. I meant that yourself and Wetman disagreed on what the exact Latin is. As for the source you cite, that still constitutes original research; take a read of this. Quote- "if the sources cited are not directly related to the subject of the article, then the editor is engaged in original research". In linking the Latin to the name of this English book not about Latin at all, you are engaging in original research. Who are we to say that it is meant to be Latin? Perhaps its deliberately not correct, I have a vague memory of Draconic sounding something like Latin. Perhaps it's just a coincidence- not likely, but we aren't in any position to say what's right without a reference. J Milburn (talk) 17:37, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I have heard the argument, that a translation is original research, advanced before, but I have to say that I think it is not truly a synthesis in the sense meant by WP:OR rules. That's my opinion. You could say on the same basis that any word which has to be looked up in a dictionary, even within one and the same language, is a form of original research, but if we followed that rule there would be no wikipedia at all. The fact is, that if 'Liber Mortis' had appeared on the cover instead of 'Libris mortis', with the words 'The Book of the Dead' underneath it (as does actually appear), then the intended correlation between the English and Latin forms would not be in any doubt by anyone, because they would be recognised as close (if not quite exact) counterparts. I hope you might accept that theoretical premise. But, as you point out, it says not 'Liber mortis' but 'Libris mortis', which almost means something similar in latin but not quite. What you are therefore saying is that there may be a made-up language in which the word 'Libris' is the normal form of the word for Book. I take the point: If I were to read a runic inscription on the cover of a copy of The Lord of the Rings (book) using original Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian sound-values for the letters, the inscription would not make sense, both because the language represented by the letters is not Anglo-Saxon nor Old Norse, and because Tolkein, having ripped off those forms from the genuine futharcs, then turned them to his own use for the Hobbit-world. Runes on that book should only be read in relation to Tolkein's fantasy language use of them, and not like real runes. I agree with you. Libris Mortis does mean 'The Book of the Dead' in the language of the fantasy world occupied by the makers of that product, and it has nothing to do with latin, even though it resembles it closely. The near but inexact resemblance might, however, be worth pointing out in a footnote, just to steer readers away from the erroneous conclusion some of us stumbled into. You must see that if we could all make that mistake, so will other readers. A disclaimer would therefore be a good idea: otherwise editors who haven't looked at this page will be forever fiddling with it. Eebahgum (talk) 18:09, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I do see where you're coming from, I just think we shouldn't be doing any of this 'this isn't what you think it is' when we don't even have a reference that people do think that, never mind one explicitly saying that they aren't correct. Golbez also makes a very valid point that I hadn't considered. J Milburn (talk) 18:42, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Still, others may not agree with me. I've had my say. I'm off to the land of the living. Eebahgum (talk) 19:25, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Here's a couple of refs that mention it (search the page for "latin"). [1] [2] - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 19:26, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I'm convinced. Working on writing a paragraph on the naming now. J Milburn (talk) 20:07, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Added a paragraph. Thoughts? J Milburn (talk) 20:44, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Hi, it's me again. I think it is good that you have included this paragraph, specially as the source Peregrine Fisher found gave such positive indications. I am sure that 'Mortuorum' is the right form (where you have offered that explanation) because that is what it says in the Christian Credo when we say 'and I look for the resurrection of the dead', we say 'et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum:' so it is the similar idea of the company of the dead, who will all rise out of their graves at the Last Day. Just on the point of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, if you're interested, I notice that The British Museum Book of Ancient Egypt, edited by Stephen Quirke and Jeffrey Spencer (British Museum Press, London 1992) has a good section referring to The Book of the Dead from page 94-102, plus lots of other citations. Various different religions have Books of the Dead, but you might possibly be interested in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, or, The After-Death Experiences on the Bardo Plane, according to Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup's English rendering (with a commentary by Carl Gustav Jung), Compiled and edited by W. Y. Evans-Wentz (Oxford University Press, London 1960 paperback edition). (original was 1927, 2nd 1949, 3rd 1957). I think you have fully responded to the problem of the title, well done.

P.S. Today was the first anniversary of my 4 heart attacks, then aged 49, and I have survived the year since: so I really didn't care what happened this afternoon. Enjoyed it here, thanks! Eebahgum (talk) 01:09, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

If I may pile on...As a former teacher of Latin, Liber Mortuorum is certainly better than Libris Mortis, which, with the addition of "ex", would merely mean "from (i.e., coming out of) the books of death." Ifnkovhg (talk) 07:54, 14 March 2008 (UTC)