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Subject: Translation of "Alea Iacta Est"? rss

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James Webb Space Telescope in 2018!
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What does Alea Iacta Est mean in English?
 
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Justin Robben
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The Die is Cast!
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Tobias Lundberg
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tesuji wrote:
What does Alea Iacta Est mean in English?


Roughly: Dice thrown is.

Latin does not have definite form. Iacta is past participle.

But for everyday use: The dice has been cast (or however you want to say it in English!). Although Caesar probably said in Greek in the first place, if he said it at all.
 
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So "alea" means dice. Interesting, given that the publisher Alea makes some of the most dice-less games around.
:-)


In looking for a translation of "alea" I found that wikipedia has whole article on the phrase "Alea iacta est":

[Attributed to] "Julius Caesar on January 10, 49 BC as he led his army across the River Rubicon in northern Italy. With this step, he entered Italy at the head of his army in defiance of the Roman Senate and began his long civil war against Pompey and the Optimates."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alea_iacta_est

Apparently a very famous phrase which I had never heard about. I supposed this event is also where the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" came from. I blame the US public school system for my ignorance about all this (it's actually my own laziness, of course).
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Richard Young
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Yes, that same article might have said something about "let fate decide" or, "the game is afoot." Apparently they had their own version of "buckets of dice." involving chicken bones (or was it chicken entrails?)...
 
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