Terminus post quem


Terminus post quem

"Terminus post quem" and the related "terminus ante quem" are terms used to give an approximate date for a text. "Terminus post quem" is used to indicate the earliest point in time when the text may have been written, while "Terminus ante quem" signifies the latest date at which a text may have been written.

In historical, archaeological and linguistic studies

"Terminus ante quem" refers to the date before which an artifact or feature must have been deposited. Used with "Terminus post quem" ("limit after which"), similarly, "terminus ad quem" ("limit to which") may also refer to the latest possible date of a non-punctual event (period, era, etc.), while "terminus a quo" ("limit from which") may refer to the earliest such date.

For example an archaeological find of a burial may contain coins dating to 1588, 1595 and others less securely dated to 1590-1625. The "terminus post quem" would be the latest date established with certainty, the coin that may have only reached circulation in 1595. The burial can only be shown to be 1595 or later. A secure dating of another coin to a later date would shift the "terminus post quem".

An archaeological example of a "terminus ante quem" would be deposits formed before or beneath a historically dateable event, such as a building foundation partly demolished to make way for the city wall known to be built in 650. It may have been demolished in 650, 649 or an unspecified time before - all that can be said from the evidence is that it happened before that event.

Either term is also found followed by Latin "non" not. An example is in the supposed language dating method known as linguistic palaeontology. This holds (very controversially) that if the ancestor language of a family can be shown to have had a term for an invention such as the plough, then this sets a "terminus ante quem non", a time-depth "before" which that ancestor language could "not" have begun diverging into its descendant languages. This has been used to argue against the Anatolian hypothesis for Indo-European because the date it implies is too early in that it violates the "terminus ante quem non".

ee also

* List of Latin phrases
* [http://www.lib.umich.edu/pap/k12/glossary.html Glossary of Papyrological Terms]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Terminus post quem — Terminus a quo Expression latine signifiant : date après laquelle ; date à partir de laquelle. Cette expression latine est utilisée dans les domaines juridique et historique pour désigner la date : après laquelle un événement de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Terminus post quem — En arqueología, filología y otras disciplinas, cuando se requiere estimar la fecha o datación relativa de un objeto, los expertos se valen de diversos métodos que tienen por finalidad establecer un lapso delimitado por fechas. El post quem es la… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Terminus post quem — Einen Terminus ante quem (lat. „Zeitpunkt vor dem“) – abgekürzt Taq – benutzt die Geschichtswissenschaft, um eine Quelle zu datieren. Der Terminus ante quem benennt den Zeitpunkt, vor dem das gesuchte Ereignis passiert sein muss. Beispiel: Wenn… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Terminus post quem — Tẹr|mi|nus pọst quẹm, der; [lat.] (Rechtsspr., Philos.): Terminus a quo …   Universal-Lexikon

  • terminus post quem — noun see terminus a quo 2 …   Useful english dictionary

  • terminus post quem — noun a) the date after which a document must have been written b) the date after which an archaeological artifact must have been deposited …   Wiktionary

  • terminus post quem — [pəʊst kwɛm] noun the earliest possible date. Origin L., lit. end after which …   English new terms dictionary

  • Terminus ad quem — Expression latine signifiant : date avant laquelle ; date jusqu à laquelle. Cette expression latine est utilisée dans les domaines juridique et historique pour désigner la date : avant laquelle un événement de datation incertaine a …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Terminus ante quem — Terminus ad quem Expression latine signifiant : date avant laquelle ; date jusqu à laquelle. Cette expression latine est utilisée dans les domaines juridique et historique pour désigner la date : avant laquelle un événement de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Terminus ante quem — Einen terminus ante quem (lat. „Zeitpunkt vor dem“) – abgekürzt taq – benutzt die Geschichtswissenschaft, um eine Quelle zu datieren. In vergleichbarer Weise wird der Begriff auch bei unterschiedlichen Datierungsmethoden in der Archäologie… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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