Lesson 12 – Adverbs, numbers and dates, months, useful phrases, dating clauses


An adverb describes a verb. It provides information about how the verb is carried out.

Adverbs usually come before the verb. They do not decline.

Concentrate on learning words marked with an asterisk* first.

You have already used some adverbs:

item likewise
non not

Here are some other common adverbs

celeriter quickly
falso falsely
libere freely*
quiete peacefully*

Did you notice that English adverbs often end in ‘-ly’? However, not all do

bene well
ibidem at/in the same place*
ideo therefore
imperpetuum forever, in perpetuity
nunc now*
prius formerly
semper always*
sepe often
sicut just as*
tandem at length*
ubi where, when*
videlicet namely, to wit, that is*
prius pater meus castrum de Ruislepe libere tenuit sed nunc castrum teneo per servicium videlicet de feodo unius militis Before my father held the castle of Ruislepe freely, but now I hold the castle by service, namely of one knight’s fee. castrum, -i
(n.) castle
sed but
feodum, -i
(n.) fee
vidua dicit quod vir falso dicit et quod tenuit predictum tenementum libere et quiete a tempore regis Edwardi The widow says that the man speaks falsely and that she has held the aforesaid tenement freely and peacefully since the time of King Edward. tenementum, -i
(n.) tenement
tempus, temporis
(n.) time,
dominus Johannes rex pater domini regis qui nunc est The lord King John, father of the lord king who is now.
in nomine dei amen lego abbati tenementa imperpetuum tenere In the name of God amen I leave to the abbot the tenements to hold in perpetuity nomen, nominis (n.) name
Londinium, -ii (n.) London
tandem Carolus sigillum carte nove apposuit et celeriter finem de tribus libris solvit. At length Charles affixed [his] seal to the new charter and quickly paid a fine of three pounds. Carolus, -i (m.)

hic meaning ‘here’, can also be used as an adverb. As an adverb, it does not decline.

hic iacet here lies


You will often see the phrase hic iacet on tombs.

Numbers and dates

Can you remember the numbers one to ten?

Here they are again, this time with the form used to express dates.

Latin English Latin English
unus, –a, –um one primus, –a, –um first
duo, due, duo two secundus second
tres, tria three tertius third
quattuor four quartus fourth
quinque five quintus fifth
sex six sextus sixth
septem seven septimus seventh
octo eight octavus eighth
novem nine nonus ninth
decem ten decimus tenth
viginti twenty vicesimus twentieth
triginta thirty tricesimus thirtieth
centum one hundred centesimus hundredth
mille one thousand millesimus thousandth

Dates are expressed using ‘first’, ‘second’, ‘third’, rather than ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘three’.

These are always in the ablative case. Generally, the ‘-us’ ending becomes an ‘-o’.

For example

primo on the first
tricesimo die on the thirtieth day
anno domini millesimo centesimo vicesimo in the year of the Lord one thousand one hundred and twenty (or, 1120 AD)
anno regni regine Elizabethe nono in the ninth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth
anno regni regis Ricardi filii regis Edwardi septimo in the seventh year of the reign of King Richard son of King Edward

There are more numbers in the reference section on the Dating Latin documents page.

Months of the year

menses anni mensis, -is (m.) month
Latin word English meaning ‘month of …’
Januarius, -i (m.) January mensis Januarii
Februarius, -i (m.) February mensis Februarii
Martius, -i (m.) March mensis Martii
Aprilis, Aprilis (m.) April mensis Aprilis
Maius, -i (m.) May mensis Maii
Junius, -i (m.) June mensis Junii
Julius, -i (m.) July mensis Julii
Augustus, -i (m.) August mensis Augusti
September, Septembris (m.) September mensis Septembris
October, Octobris (m.) October mensis Octobris
November, Novembris (m.) November mensis Novembris
December, Decembris (m.) December mensis Decembris
apud Londiniam quinto die Junii anno regni domine nostre tertio at London on the fifth day of June in the third year of the reign of our lord

Useful phrases

Medieval documents may begin with this opening clause

  • sciant omnes
know all men
  • sciant presentes et futuri
know all [men] present and future
sciant omnes quod nos Simo de Burham et Anna uxor mea dedimus concessimus et per hanc cartam confirmavimus Thome episcopo Londonie totam terram que iacet iuxta ecclesiam de villa de Burnham. Know all men that we, Simon de Burnham and Anna my wife have given, conceded and by this charter confirmed to Thomas Bishop of London all the land which lies next to the church of the vill of Burnham. Thomas, –e (m.) Thomas villa, –e (f.) vill

At the end of a grant, you will find a list of witness. The first name of each witness will be in the ablative case.

The witnesses will be introduced with either of these clauses

  • hiis testibus
these being witnesses
  • teste
hiis testibus Stephano de Segrave Henrico de Hastinges militibus magistro Gregorio Simone clerico et aliis. These being witnesses Stephen de Segrave, Henry de Hastinges, knights, Master Gregory, Simon clerk and others. clericus, -i (m.) clerk
testis, testis (m., f.) witness
alius, alia, aliud other

Dating clauses

A dating clause tells you where and when the document was drawn up. This may begin with the word for ‘dated’

  • datum if the document is neuter (for example, testamentum)
  • data if the document is feminine (for example, carta, concordia)
hic est finalis concordia data apud Eboracum This is the final concord given at York
datum per manum nostrum apud Westmonasterium Given by our hand at Westminster


Are you confident with

  • what an adverb does?
  • where an adverb comes in a sentence?
  • whether it declines?
  • the endings to the months of the year when you want to say ‘month of’?
  • which case is used to express dates?
  • how to count from one to thirty?
  • the clause used to introduce witnesses at the end of a grant?
  • what datum or data means?

What next?