Tag Archives: Latin literature

Monthly Latin Spotlight Text: Magna Carta

Posted on 10. Jun, 2015 by in Latin Language

In celebration of 800th anniversary, this month’s text is the Magna Carta!

 

Name: Magna Carta (Latin: the Great Charter)

Cotton MS. Augustus II. 106, one of only four surviving exemplifications of the 1215 text.

Cotton MS. Augustus II. 106, one of only four surviving exemplifications of the 1215 text.

Also Known AsMagna Carta Libertatum  (Latin for “the Great Charter of the Liberties”)

Date: June 15 1215

Author(s):  UNKNOWN. Many 19th-century historians suggested that the charter was written by one of its most influential signers, Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton. However, the document’s exact wording was likely the product of months of back-and-forth negotiations between the king and his noblemen.

Type of Text: Historic, Political,

Genre: Charter

ContentThe Magna Carta was an agreement between King John and a group of English barons in response to years of the king’s misrule and excessive taxation. Despite a closing line suggesting the charter was “Given by [John’s] hand,” the charter was more or less forced on him by the barons. The charter which would grant rights to all Englishmen.

Type of Latin:  Medieval Latin

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Distinguishing Features: (1). England’s greatest legal document was a failure in its initial form. Intended as a peace treaty, this first Magna Carta never took full effect and failed to avert war between John and the nobles. (2). Multiple copies of the first Magna Carta (a sheet of parchment with approximately 3,600 words written in vegetable-based in) were distributed to individual English county courts during the summer of 1215. Today four of those copies survive; the British Library holds two, and the other two are in the collections of the cathedrals at Salisbury and Lincoln. (3). A handful of other Magna Cartas are versions issued between 1225 and 1297, when the charter officially entered the English statue books. In 2007, a 1297 Magna Carta sold at auction for $21.3 million, the most ever paid for a single page of text.

Where is it today:

There is no original, but four copies survive.

The plan for four surviving original copies of Magna Carta to be brought together in 2015, at the British Library.

The 800th anniversary of the original charter will occur on 15 June 2015, and organisations and institutions are planning celebratory events. TheBritish Library brought together the four existing of the 1215 manuscript on 3 February 2015 for a special exhibition. British artist Cornelia Parker was commissioned to create a new artwork, Magna Carta (An Embroidery), which was unveiled at the British Library on 15 May 2015 and will remain on display until 24 July. The artwork is a copy of an earlier version of this Wikipedia page (as it appeared on the document’s 799th anniversary, 15 June 2014), embroidered into the form of a tapestry.

In Pop Culture: The film Ironclad depicts the an ending of the Magna Carta. Jay-Z had album entitle Magna Carta Holy Grail.

Translation:

Latin:

 

Johannes Dei gracia rex Anglie, Dominus Hibernie, dux Normannie, Aquitannie et comes Andegavie, archiepiscopis, episcopis, abbatibus, comitibus, baronibus, justiciariis, forestariis, vicecomitibus, prepositis, ministris et omnibus ballivis et fidelibus suis salutem. See more here.

English:

JOHN, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his officials and loyal subjects, Greeting. – See more here.

 

 

Monthly Latin Spotlight Text: 12 Caesars

Posted on 06. May, 2015 by in Latin Language

Salvete Omnes!

Welcome to the second Monthly Latin Spotlight Text Post! By this I mean to summarizes a text of Latin in all its major facets and include an excerpt from the text with Latin and English. This week I thought we would spotlight one of the most interesting, juicy, and somewhat gossipy book from Roman Antiquity.

Suetonius

Gaius Suetonius Tranqullus

Name: The Twelve Caesars
Also Known As: De vita Caesarum (Latin: About (or On) the Life of the Caesars)
Date: 121 AD
Author(s):  Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus or simply referred to as Suetonius
Type of Text: Historic, Opinion Piece &  Gossip/
Genre: Biography
Twelve Caesars.

Twelve Caesars.

Content:
The book contains twelve biographies of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire. These 11 other emperors include: Augustus, Tiberius. Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian.
Type of Latin: 
Classical Latin
Distinguishing Features:
The book can be described as racy, packed with gossip, dramatic and sometimes amusing. There are times the author subjectively expresses his opinion and knowledge. Regardless of the former,  The Twelve Caesars is considered very significant in antiquity and remains a primary source on Roman history.
Where is it today:
The oldest surviving text is referred to as M or Codex Memmianus (or Paris, lat. 6115), the oldest extant manuscript, written at Tours ca. 820 and apparently with no direct descendants. By direct descendants, it means that they are no other manuscripts that follow or descend from it.
In Pop Culture:
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Robert Graves, though most famous for his historical novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God (later dramatized by the BBC) obtained most of his material for his books from Suetonius’ The Twelve Caesars. There series is currently in the works to be adapted by BBC & HBO for a new miniseries.
LATIN & ENGLISH TRANSLATION:
Courtesy of Louis le Grand & WikiCommons.

Courtesy of Louis le Grand & WikiCommons.

Incitato equo, cuius causa pridie circenses, ne inquietaretur, viciniae silentium per milites indicere solebat, praeter equile marmoreum et praesaepe eburneum praeterque purpurea tegumenta ac monilia e gemmis domum etiam et familiam et supellectilem dedit, quo lautius nomine eius invitati acciperentur; consulatum quoque traditur destinasse. (Caligula LV.III)
He used to send his soldiers on the day before the games and order silence in the neighbourhood, to prevent the horse Incitatus from being disturbed. Besides a stall of marble, a manger of ivory, purple blankets and a collar of precious stones, he even gave this horse a house, a troop of slaves and furniture, for the more elegant entertainment of the guests invited in his name; and it is also said that he planned to make him consul. (Caligula LV.III)
PLEASE COMMENT BELOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE LATIN TEXTS FEATURED IN THE MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT POST!

Spotlight Text of the Month: Book of Kells

Posted on 08. Apr, 2015 by in Latin Language

Salvete Omnes!

I have been giving it some series thought and I think it would be a great monthly post addition to have Spotlight Texts! By this I mean to summarizes a text of Latin in all its major facets and include an excerpt from the text with Latin and English. This week I thought we would start with one the most famous intact Latin texts: Book of Kells! Also, I have been watching the History Channel’s Vikings a little too much and wanted to do a text not from Ancient Rome.

Book of Kells. Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels contains the incipit Liber generationis of the Gospel of Matthew. Compare this page with the corresponding page from the Book of Kells (see here), especially the form of the Lib monogram. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Book of Kells. Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels contains the incipit Liber generationis of the Gospel of Matthew. Compare this page with the corresponding page from the Book of Kells (see here), especially the form of the Lib monogram. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Name: Book of Kells
Also Known As: Book of Columbia
Date: 800 AD
Author(s): Monastery Monks (sometimes referred to Hand A, Hand B, and Hand C)
Type of Text: Hiberno-Saxon Illuminated Manuscript*
The Book of Kells. Folio 27v contains the symbols of the Four Evangelists (Clockwise from top left): a man (Matthew), a lion (Mark), an eagle (John) and an ox (Luke). Courtesy of WikiCommons.

The Book of Kells. Folio 27v contains the symbols of the Four Evangelists (Clockwise from top left): a man (Matthew), a lion (Mark), an eagle (John) and an ox (Luke). Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Genre: Religious
Content:
Four Gospels of the New Testament with various prefatory texts and tables. In detail, it includes the complete text of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. However, it only includes a portion of the Gospel of John that is through John 17:13. Many scholars believe that the rest of the gospel has either been destroyed or lost.
Type of Latin: 
The text itself is drawn from the Vulgate, but there is older translations such as the Vetus Latina.
Distinguishing Features:
It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination.
It is also widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure.
The Book of Kells offers a great example of illuminated manuscript’s Latin which usually runs together continuous and rarely breaking up words.
Book of Kells. Folio 309r contains text from the Gospel of John written in Insular majuscule by the scribe known as Hand B.Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Book of Kells. Folio 309r contains text from the Gospel of John written in Insular majuscule by the scribe known as Hand B.Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Where is it today:
The manuscript takes its name from the Abbey of Kells, which was its home for centuries. Today, it is on permanent display at Trinity College Library, Dublin.
In Pop Culture:
There was a short animated film entitled “Secret of Kells” that is a fictional retelling of the Book of Kells. The following summary was provided by IMDB: A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. This film was even nominated to the 2010 Academy Awards Best Animated Feature Film. You may watch it here.
 Additional Information:
Have you been inspired? Read more on the Book of Kells-here.
LATIN & ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS

Vulgate.

Book of Kells.

Caenantibus autem eis accepit Iesus panem et benedixit ac fregit deditque discipulis suis et ait Accipite et comedite; hoc est Corpus meum.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Matth. xxvi. 26.

. . . . . accipit . . . . . . . . discipulis suis dicens accipite edite ex hoc omnes hoc est enim Corpus meum quod confringitur pro saeculi vita.

 

Heli heli lema sabacthani.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Ib. xxvii. 46.

Heli heli laba sabacthani.

 

Ceteri vero dicebant sine videamus an veniat Helias liberans eum.

The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him
Ib. xxvii. 49.
. . . Helias et liberaret eum.
Factum est autem in diebus illis exiit edictum a Caesare Augusto ut describeretur universus orbis.

 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
Luke ii 1.
in illis diebus . . . accessare agusto ut censum profiterentur universi per orbem terrae
ut profiteretur cum Maria desponsata sibi uxore praegnante.
He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to himand was expecting a child.

Ib. ii. 5.

. . . sibi disponsata . . praegnante de spiritu sancto.
et videbit omnis caro salutare dei.

And all people will see God’s salvation.’
Ib. iii. 6.
et videbitur maies [sicdomini.
genimina viperarum.

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Ib. iii. 7.
o generatio viperarum.
adveniat regnum tuum: panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis cotidie.

your kingdom come:Give us each day our daily bread
Ib. xi. 2-3.
adveniat regnum tuum: fiat voluntas tua sicut in coelo et in terra, da nobis hodie

Vulgate.

Book of Kells.

[No corresponding passage.]

[At end of verse:]

et depositum involvit sindone, et posuit eum in monumento exciso, in quo nondum quisquam positus fuerat.

 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.
Ib. xxiii. 53.
. . . . in sindone munda . . . . . . . . . . . et imposito eo imposuit monumento lapidera magnam.
Et cum dixisset, statim discessit al eo lepra, et mundatus est.

And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.
Mark i. 17
[After mundatus estet inspiciens Iesus austri vultu eicit eum.
grex porcorum magnus pascens.

A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside.
MARK. v. 11.
. . . . . . pascensium [sic]
et videt tumultum.

When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.
Ib. v. 38.
vidit cumuultum [sic].
Et angariaverunt praetereuntem quempiam.

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.
Ib. xv. 21.
. . . . angarizaverunt . . . .
Quod natum est ex carne caro est, et quod natum est ex spiritu spiritus est.

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spiritgives birth to spirit
John iii. 6.
Quod natum est ex carne caro est quia de carne natum est, et quod natum est ex spiritu spiritus est quia deus spiritus est et ex deo natus est*

Well that was a lot to translate!

*Hiberno-Saxon manuscripts are those manuscripts made in the British Isles from about 500 CE to about 900 CE in England, but later in Ireland and elsewhere, or those manuscripts made on the continent in scriptoria founded by Hiberno-Scottish or Anglo-Saxon missionaries and which are stylistically similar to the manuscripts produced in the British Isles. It is almost impossible to separate Anglo-Saxon, Irish, Scottish and Welsh art at this period, especially in manuscripts; this art is therefore called Insular art. (This definition was taken from Wikipedia.)
PLEASE COMMENT BELOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE LATIN TEXTS FEATURED IN THE MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT POST!