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Word of the Day
Monday, March 26, 2018

Definitions for genethliac

  1. Astrology. of or relating to birthdays or to the position of the stars at one's birth.

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Citations for genethliac
... the mathematicians allow the very same horoscope to princes and to sots: whereof a right pregnant instance by them is given in the nativities of Æneas and Choræbus; the latter of which two is by Euphorion said to have been a fool; and yet had, with the former, the same aspects and heavenly genethliac influences. François Rabelais, The Third Book of Pantagruel, translated by John Ozell, 1738
... Augustine particularly insists on the case of twins, whose fates ought to be identical, if the genethliac theory were true ... Sir George Cornewall Lewis, An Historical Survey of the Astronomy of the Ancients, 1862
Origin of genethliac
1575-1585
If any word occurs exclusively in grad school seminars, papers, theses, and dissertations, genethliac is that word. The Latin adjective and noun genethliacus “pertaining to one’s hour of birth or a birthday; an astrologer who calculates such an hour or day,” is an extension of the Greek adjective genethliakós “pertaining to a birthday.” Latin also possesses a noun genethliacon “birthday poem,” derived from but not existing in Greek. Birthdays and birthday celebrations were bigger affairs among Roman men than among the Greeks because one’s birthday also involved the cult of the genius, the attendant spirit or “guardian angel,” so to speak, of every freeborn male but especially of the paterfamilias. Latin genethliaca “birthday poems” arose as a distinct genre in the first century b.c. Genethliac entered English in the 16th century.