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Latin Spells Deciphered from TV Shows Part II Posted by on Jun 30, 2019 in Intro to Latin Course

Salvete Omnes,

Many people hear the “Latin” and think – well no one speaks Latin anymore. Beyond the classrooms and religious building, Latin is most commonly spoke in the land of Hollywood. However, Hollywood does not always do their homework when writing Latin. First of all, why magic must be Latin is never made sense to me. You would think magic of any kind would be in the oldest language – which is not Latin. Here is a timeline of language that gives several other languages precedence over Latin being used for spells and magic.

Supernatural is a long-running series which will be ending this year in its 15th season! While I have watched a few episodes and series, I have not been keeping up to date. However, but from a true fan, I was told the Latin in the show was stellar. So here is an examination of it:

1.“Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica. Ergo, draco maledicte. Ecclesiam tuam securi tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos.” Season 5 Episode 12

LITERAL TRANSLATION: We exorcise you, every/all impure spirit, every/all satanic power, every incursion of the infernal adversary. Every legion, every congregation and diabolical sect. Therefore, you cursed dragon. You make/cause your church to serve/be enslaved to you with peace and liberty. We beseech thee, hear us.

TRANSLATION: We exorcise you, every impure spirit, every satanic power, every incursion of the infernal adversary. Every legion, every congregation and diabolical sect. Thus, you cursed dragon.  thy church to serve Thee in peace and liberty. We ask thee to hear us.

NOTES: The Latin sounding more biblical with thee/thou. One note, I was curious about was “ rogamus” was it feels it would be better as a subjunctive especially a subjunctive of wish so “rogemus.” Facio , facias, with an infinitive, servire, can illustrate the notion “to cause”

ANALYSIS: The topic of exorcism can be a tricky one for people since some people believe that they are real and true. There are articles about the effectiveness of Latin in exorcism. However, I would argue that if demons have existed wouldn’t an older language like Greek or Egyptian or Aramaic. The wording on here is odd, but fans talk about this at length here.

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About the Author: Brittany Britanniae

Hello There! Please feel free to ask me anything about Latin Grammar, Syntax, or the Ancient World.


Comments:

  1. David L. Crockett:

    As I understand it even the Latin we speak today was not the Latin of the “common man” or the less educated but of the more educated ruling class. Other dialects were common amongst farmers, fishermen and laborers.
    Greek, as you point out, was a much older language spoken by more people; however, as Rome extended it’s empire, it competed with Greek. Even ancient Greek, as we know it today, had separate dialects spoken by the less educated.
    The Aramaic spoken in ancient Palestine had several dialects, among which was the dialect spoken by Jesus of Aramaia, principally around the Sea of Galilee. This dialect went out of use a few centuries after His crucifixion. (Interrestingly, at the time of Jesus, people were not crucified by driving carpenter nails through the palm of the hand but through the wrist. Driving the nails through the palm would not have held the body to the cross. Remember, the Romans were experts in their time on human anatomy and worshiped the human form.)

    Id est quod id est.

  2. Tony:

    “…. Ecclesiam tuam securi tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos.”

    I still find both the literal and the more colloquial translations of the above problematic. They just don’t seem to make much sense — to me at least. And what to do with the verb (3rd p. sg. pres. subjunc.) “facias”? I find the Latin here quite cryptic.

  3. Tony:

    With respect to “facias”, it is of course 2nd person sg pres subjunc — oops! — and seems to refer to the addressed “draco maledicte”. Huh?


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