Etymology of censor (τιμητεία)


  • Semi-Newbie
  • *
    • Posts: 1
    • Gender:Male
Discovering the origins of the term censor also called τιμητεία

I have been looking in OED for a history that makes sense, yet, I just find crumbs, and I can not piece the history of this term. I am hitting a dead end researching the greek term to censor, named λογοκρίνω

According to Oxford English Dictionary the word censure, n., is first documented in use in

138. Wyclif Sel. Wks. III. 361 Censures þat þe fend blowiþ, as ben suspendingis, enterditingis, cursingis, and reisingis of croiserie. Back then it was defined as ‘A spiritual punishment inflicted by some ecclesiastical judge.’ Ayliffe. (The earliest recorded sense.)

A Roman censor, formerly just called a censor was The title of two magistrates in ancient Rome, who drew up the register or census of the citizens, etc., and had the supervision of public morals.

In the same entry as censure, definition 5 explores, the concept further.

Censorship; the office or action of a censor.
a. Of the ancient Roman censors (= Latin censūra): also concrete (obsolete).


See Screenshots of the OED entries for all the details, and referenced material.

Entry for censor

entry for censure n.

Additional context -*/Censor.html
« Last Edit: 24 Apr, 2019, 11:04:44 by spiros »


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 821628
    • Gender:Male
  • point d’amour
From Latin cēnsor (“magistrate, critic”), from censere (“to tax, assess, value, judge, consider, etc.”), from Proto-Italic *knsē- 'to estimate', from Proto-Indo-European *ḱn̥s-é-ti, *ḱn̥s-eyé-ti, from *ḱens- (“to announce”). Cognate with Sanskrit शंसति (śáṃsati, “to declare”), Proto-Iranian *ĉánhati.
« Last Edit: 31 May, 2020, 11:33:43 by billberg23 »


  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 6318
    • Gender:Male
  • Words ail me.
Also, these entries from Lewis & Short's authoritative Latin dictionary may be helpful:

censor, o-ris, m. 1. censeo; cf. also Umbr. censtur; Sanscr. canster, leader, governor,
a censor, a Roman magistrate, of whom there were two, chosen orig. every five, and afterwards every one and a half years, who at first only had the charge of the Roman people and their property, in respect to their division according to rank or circumstances; but gradually came to the exercise of the office of censor of morals and conduct, and punished the moral or political crimes of those of higher rank by consigning them to a lower order (senatu movebant, equiti equum adimebant, civem tribu movebant, in aerarios referebant, aerarium faciebant, etc.; cf aerarius, A. b., which punishment of the censor, whether inflicted in consequence of a judicium turpe, acc. to a tribunal authorized therefor, or in accordance with the decision of the censors themselves, was called animadversio censoria or ignominia = ἀτιμία). They also, even from the most ancient times, let out the tolls, public saltworks, the building and repairing of public works, the procuring of victims for public sacrifice, etc.; cf. Cic. Leg. 3, 3, 7; Liv. 4, 8, 7; Nieb. Röm. Gesch. 2, p. 446 sq.; Dict. of Antiq., art. censor.—Also in the Roman colonies and provinces there were censors, Cic. Verr. 2, 2, 53, § 131; and id. ib. 2, 2, 56, § 138 sq.: censor, id. Clu. 14, 41; Liv. 29, 15, 10; 29, 37, 7 (in later Lat. called censitor, q. v.).

censu-ra, ae, f. censor.
The office of censor, censorship, Liv. 4, 8, 2; 4, 24, 3 sq.; 9, 34, 16 sq.; 9, 46, 10 et saep.; Cic. Inv. 1, 30, 48; Plin. 14, 4, 5, § 44; Ov. F. 6, 647 et saep.—Prov.: dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas, Juv. 2, 63.—
A judgment, opinion, in gen. (prob. not ante-Aug.), Ov. R. Am. 362: vivorum, Vell. 2, 36, 3: vini, Plin. 14, 6, 8, § 72: culinarum, id. 9, 54, 79, § 169: cachinni, Juv. 10, 31: de omni scripto (Senecae) judicium censuramque facere, Gell. 12, 2, 2. —
A severe, rigid judgment, severity: parentis, Treb. Gall. 3; Capitol. M. Aur. 22.
« Last Edit: 31 May, 2020, 11:29:41 by billberg23 »


Search Tools