When greeting someone, are there any subtle differences between "Ave" and "Salve"? Can both be used to greet and respond? E.g.

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Marcus: Ave, Cicero.

Cicero: Salve, Marce.

Or, vice versa:

Vergilius: Salve, Ovidi.

Ovidius: Ave, Vergili.

Furthermore, is one in a higher register than the other? Would one be used more often by plebeians? Or by aristocrats?


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Here"s what I got:

Both are translated as a salutation -at times with a reference to God-, and are quite interchangeable, but they have different origins.

So both are basically be well, but an emphasis -if any- might be implied in performance (ave) or health (salve).

I think the etymology means the distinction should have been valid, at least at the beginning. In contrast, ave has also been translated as God save you, e.g. at least in translations of the Hail Mary (or Lc 1, 28) to Spanish, Aragonese, Catalan and Sardinian (the Greek version uses χαῖρε as salutation, which means rejoice).


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Salve is, from what I"ve observed, the commoner greeting. It certainly is the one used more in les-grizzlys-catalans.org instruction.


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