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In Christian scribal practice, nomina sacra (singular: nomen sacrum from Latin sacred name) is the abbreviation of several frequently occurring divine names or titles, especially in Greek manuscripts of the Bible. A nomen sacrum consists of two or more letters from the original word spanned by an overline.


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Biblical scholar and textual critic Bruce M. Metzger lists 15 such words treated as nomina sacra from Greek papyri: the Greek counterparts of God, Lord, Jesus, Christ, Son, Spirit, David, Cross, Mother, Father, Israel, Savior, Man, Jerusalem, and Heaven.[1] These nomina sacra are all found in Greek manuscripts of the 3rd century and earlier, except Mother, which appears in the 4th. All 15 occur in Greek manuscripts later than the 4th century.[2]

Nomina sacra are consistently observed in even the earliest extant Christian writings, along with the codex form rather than the roll, implying that when these were written, in approximately the second century, the practice had already been established for some time. However, it is not known precisely when and how the nomina sacra first arose.

The initial system of nomina sacra apparently consisted of just four or five words, called nomina divina: the Greek words for Jesus, Christ, Lord, God, and possibly Spirit. The practice quickly expanded to a number of other words regarded as sacred.[3]

In the system of nomina sacra that came to prevail, abbreviation is by contraction, meaning that the first and last letter (at least) of each word are used. In a few early cases, an alternate practice is seen of abbreviation by suspension, meaning that the initial two letters (at least) of the word are used; e.g., the opening verses of Revelation in ?18 write Ἰησοῦς Χριστός (Jesus Christ) as ΙΗ ΧΡ. Contraction, however, offered the practical advantage of indicating the case of the abbreviated noun.

It is evident that the use of nomina sacra was an act of reverence rather than a purely practical space-saving device, as they were employed even where well-established abbreviations of far more frequent words such as and were avoided, and the nomen sacrum itself was written with generous spacing. Furthermore, early scribes often distinguished between mundane and sacred occurrences of the same word, e.g. a spirit vs. the Spirit, and applied nomina sacra only to the latter (at times necessarily revealing an exegetical choice), although later scribes would mechanically abbreviate all occurrences.

Greek culture also employed a number of ways of abbreviating even proper names, though none in quite the same form as the nomina sacra. Inspiration for the contracted forms (using the first and last letter) has also been seen in Revelation, where Jesus speaks of himself as "the beginning and the end" and "the first and the last" as well "the Alpha and the Omega".[7]

Linguist George Howard argues that κς (κύριος) and θς (θεός) were the initial nomina sacra, created by non-Jewish Christian scribes who "found no traditional reasons to preserve the tetragrammaton" in copies of the Septuagint. Hurtado, following Colin Roberts, rejects that claim in favour of the theory that the first was ιη (Ἰησοῦς), as suggested in the Epistle of Barnabas, followed by the analogous χρ (Χριστός), and later by κς and θς, at about the time when the contracted forms ις and χς were adopted for the first two.[8]

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Nomina Insecta Nearctica is a complete synonymical checklist of the approximately 90,000 species of insects of North America north of Mexico published by Entomological Information Services in 1996 and 1997 in four volumes and a CD-ROM containing the database and a search program. . An abbreviated version of this checklist was available on Nearctoca for serveral years.

The Nomina Insecta Nearctica project consists of the original database. The database consists of three tables; the species group name table, the genus group name table, and the family group name table.

The Nomina Insecta Nearctica project was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 2005. Included in the gift were the original database, the manuscripts for the printed volumes, all remaining, unsold books, and the copyright. The intention at the time was to make this information freely available through the web pages of the National Museum of Natural History web site. For a variety of reasons, this did not happen.

Before downloading any material, please make sure that you are familiar with the introductory information presented at the beginning of each printed volume. This material will explain the structure of the data base, the underlying assumptions behind its construction, and what the printed volumes and database contain and do not contain. For example:

On this page you will find details of three publications, all prepared and published by the World Association of Veterinary Anatomists - Nomina anatomica veterinaria, Nomina histologica veterinaria and Nomina embryologica veterinaria.

This new edition focuses on the stability and continuity of former nomenclatory conventions, while presenting a number of changes that were necessary in view of the harmonization of the anatomical, histological and embryological veterinary nomenclatures. These changes, limited in number and impact, are typed in blue for easy identification.

After more than 50 years of preparation, the first edition of the Nomina Histologica Veterinaria presents a structured lists of the terminologies of veterinary cytology, general histology and special histology (i.e. microscopic anatomy).

As a major innovation, all the Latin terms listed are accompanied by English equivalents, as English is internationally used in scientific histologic literature and communication. The ICVHN is fully aware that a task such as the establishment of a comprehensive list of histological terms in Latin and English cannot be faultless. Therefore any co-operative feedback from colleagues and other users is highly welcomed and appreciated. Suggestions will be carefully considered and shall be integrated into the final version to be adopted at the next General Assembly of the WAVA in 2018 (Hannover).

The present revised version of the Nomina Embryologica Veterinaria differs from the second edition published in 2006 by taking into account the recommendations of the Nomenclature Coordinating Committee which convened on June 19, 2016 in Ghent (Belgium) for discussing the discrepancies between the Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria (N.A.V.), Nomina Histologica Veterinaria (N.H.V.) and Nomina Embryologica Veterinaria (N.E.V.). Proposals to obtain uniformity were approved and resulted in a few changes that are indicated in blue in the revised version published herewith.

The aims of the Association are to gather people working physically or theoretically in all fields of anatomy of domestic animals, to encourage meetings for the study of the anatomy of domestic animals, to promote research and the dissemination of new knowledge of veterinary anatomy,to encourage the teaching of veterinary anatomy using modern techniques, to promote a better knowledge of anatomy in the fields of the applied sciences, especially in veterinary practice, and to encourage exchange of information with all interested persons and organizations, particularly with specialists in human anatomy and comparative anatomy.

WAVA began as a "suggestion" made by Prof. Clement Bressou (Alfort) in 1955 at the International Anatomical Congress held in Paris. The proposal to form an International Association of Veterinary Anatomists came in response to the Paris revision of the (human) Nomina Anatomica (NA). The revision deliberately ignored the problems of comparative anatomy so that the NA was of little use to veterinary anatomists. In the same vein, the International Commission for Veterinary Education laid down international standards that completely ignored the views of veterinary anatomists and the needs for the teaching of veterinary anatomy.

The International Association of Veterinary Anatomists was founded in September 1957 in Freiburg (Germany) at the 54th Congress of the Anatomische Gesellschaft; twenty-two veterinary anatomists were present at the 1st General Assembly. WAVA met in conjunction with the Congresses of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA), which meets every five years (1980 Mexico, 1985 London, 1989 Rio de Janeiro,1994 Lisbon, etc.) and with the World Veterinary Congress held by the World Veterinary Association (WVA), which meets every four years (1979 Moscow, 1983 Perth [Australia], 1987 Montreal,1991 Rio de Janeiro,etc.). This is why our General Assemblies were held at irregular intervals. The election of officers took place every four years at the meeting held with the World Veterinary Congress. At the 5th General Assembly in Vienna (1961), the name was changed to World Association of Veterinary Anatomists and the American and Japanese Associations of Veterinary Anatomists became the first two collective members of WAVA.

The society's journal Nomina (ISSN 0141 6340) is published annually. All submissions are subject to a rigorous and anonymous peer review process. The editor from volume 38 is David Parsons, the reviews editor is Alice Crook, and the the editorial board consists of John Freeman, Alison Grant, Carole Hough, Peter McClure, Kay Muhr, Oliver Padel, andMaggie Scott. Instructions for submissions are in the Nomina style-sheet. Items for inclusion in the annual Nomina bibliographies may be sent to biblio at the domain 041b061a72


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