Translation of Title
De Dignoscendis Hominibus does not mean "On the Dignity of Man." The key word here does not derive from dignitas, but from dignoscere "to tell apart, to discern, to recognize the difference between." So the title actually means something like "On Distinguishing People" (but maybe there's a nicer-sounding way to phrase that?) --Justin Mansfield (talk) 04:04, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
- "Dignoscendis" is a dative/ablative plural participle meaning to distinguish or discern.
- "Hominibus" is a dative/ablative plural noun meaning men.
- a translation with this in mind
- "Of the Discernments of Men" or "Of the Distinguishments of Men"
- --Christian Trosclair
- It's a standard gerundive construction. It's in the ablative, because that is the case de takes. If you want to translate it dead literally, it means "on men to be discerned" (which is why the two words are in the same gender case and number: dignoscendis is an adjective modifying hominibus). But these gerundive constructions are idiomatically equivalent to a gerund constructive, i.e. De Dignoscendo Homines "On Discerning Men (i.e. from one another)," (where dignoscendo functions as a noun rather than an adjective.)
- For me the bigger issue is not how to interpret the construction, because it's not exactly obscure, but rather what English words to use here... because just about every translation I come up with sounds infelicitous to my ears. --Justin Mansfield (talk) 03:49, 26 May 2017 (UTC)