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my name is megan peterson and iam wondering, what does terra have to do with anything
- You live on it, stupid. --184.108.40.206 04:32, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Tellus as Earth, the sphere, Terra as earth, the element
E.g., Here tellus is very clearly an element
- Lucidus hic aër, et, quae tria corpora restant,
- Ignis, aquae, tellus, unus acervus erant.
Here "tellus Arcade" is translated as "Arcadia", so tellus would appear to mean land
- Orta prior Luna,--de se si creditur ipsi--
- A magno tellus Arcade nomen habet.
I'm not sure here, even with the translation, but I don't see anything about the earth as a whole
- Fluminaque, et Fontes, quibus utitur hospita tellus,
- Et nemorum Nymphae, Naiadumque chori!
On the other hand, it does appear to refer here to the earth as a whole — not in the sense of a spherical planet, but in the sense of "the world".
- Nec tacet Evandri mater, prope tempus adesse,
- Hercule quo tellus sit satis usa suo.
If anything, Terra seems more astronomical here
- Tempora cum causis Latium digesta per annum,
- Lapsaque sub terras ortaque signa canam.
(translated as "I’ll speak of divisions of time throughout the Roman year/Their origins, and the stars that set beneath the earth and rise.")
- Dexter ades ducibus, quorum secura labore
- Otia terra ferax, otia pontus agit.
(translated as "Be favourable to the leaders, whose labours win/Peace for the fertile earth, peace for the seas:")
From what I can see, Ovid at least uses both terms in a variety of senses. At this point I'm curious whence the notion that "Tellus" means the sphere and "Terra" the element may derive. -Dmh 06:07, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
- After a bit more digging it appears that this may derive from a statement in Book IV of Augustine's City of God, in which he says that the Romans distinguish Terra, Tellus and Tellumo. I also ran across a couple of statements that "Terra" referred to dry land while "Tellus" referred to the world. In particular, the opening of Metamorphoses uses the two in those senses, but it seems a bit much to draw a general principle from that particular usaage. Mainly, "Tellus" and "Terra" appear to be used interchangeably, in Latin, in English translations and in commentaries. -16:03, 13 October 2006 (UTC)