What's the difference between sqq. and ff.?

The Apocryphal Acts of Paul, Peter, John, Andrew and Thomas by Bernhard Pick has, for example, these 4 references in a row:

Hennecke, N eutestamentliche Apokryphen, 1904, 358 ff.
Handbuch, 1904, 359 sqq.
Schmidt, Acta Pauli, 1904, 145-161.
Bardenhewer, Patrology, p. 102 ff.

Why the variation?

  • 3
    Hmm, ff means "the following pages" (in German, IIRC), and "sqq" means "and what follows" (ditto Latin). Maybe Pick, here, is using ff to mean "and the next few pages", and sqq to mean "and everything that follows"? Or maybe the manuscripts have a different format?
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 19, 2016 at 19:52
  • 3
    I've no idea why your source used both. It's worth noting that the Wikipedia page of List of Latin abbreviations has f/ff = folio/foliis = "and following" This abbreviation is used in citations to indicate an unspecified number of pages following the specified page. They don't include sqq at all, but thefreedictionary has sqq abbreviation for "the following ones" [from Latin sequentia]. They imply it's a specifically legal usage. Jul 19, 2016 at 19:55
  • 1
    Bear in mind that typesetting a book at the time was an intensive process, no ctrl+h to replace something, My guess is that the author used ff in a first edition and then sqq in a second revised one and did not bother replacing what had already been done.
    – P. O.
    Jul 19, 2016 at 19:55
  • 2
    @P.Obertelli First, I can't help it, piques. Sorrysorrysorry. Second, I am becoming more and more convinced that the difference reflects a difference in the format of the work cited. According to this question and its answers, for example, a "folio" wasn't originally just "a book", it was "a short work of writing which would take about an hour to make a copy of". So "following folios" doesn't precisely mean "following pages".
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 19, 2016 at 20:08
  • 2
    Ok, a little Google research turns up that most contemporary writers consider the abbreviations synonymous, as well as obsolete. But given the wealth of works I've been able to turn up which use both, consciously, I think there was originally a difference. First, as FF says, often sqq (or "et seq") is used in legal contexts. But I think that's a consequence of the distinction between a "folio" and a "page". I think the major difference is that "et seq" (sqq) is means "the following [abstract] sections", where "ff." means more literally "the following [well-defined] folios".
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 19, 2016 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


The variation appears to be accidental. Pick cites the same 1904 work by Hennecke elsewhere and uses ff, not sqq, in those citations:

Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 1904, pp. 357 ff. and Handbuch, pp. 358 ff. (Pick, p. 1.)

"Petrusakten" in Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 1904 383 ff.; in Handbuch zu den neutestamentlichen Apokryphen, 1904, 395 ff. (Ibid., p. 50.)

Schimmelpfeng-Hennecke in Hennecke, Neutestamentaliche Apokryphen, 1904, 459 ff.; Handbuch, 1904, 544 ff. (Ibid., p. 200.)

Raabe-Preuschen in Hennecke, Neutest. Apokryphen, 1904, 473 ff., and in Handbuch (1904) 563 ff. (Ibid., p. 222.)

Further, on page 359 of his 1904 Handbuch, Hennecke discusses the acts of Paul and Thecla, which is the same topic for which Pick has cited 359 sqq of that work. (Pick, pp. 8, 9.) The first full paragraph of that page begins, Ueber die Acta Pauli et Theclae, ... ("About the Acts of Paul and Thecla, ...")

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