Latin phrase of the day #15

Back to medieval Latin today, and back to Adam of Murimuth’s Continuatio Chronicarum.

His temporibus rex Franciae multos conflictus habuit cum Flandrensibus, sed semper sine victoria remeavit.

His (hic, haec, hoc) – pronoun, dative or ablative form, plural; this, these

temporibus (tempus, temporis) – noun, dative or ablative; time, condition, right time, season, occassion, necessity

rex – noun, nominative; king, ruler

Franciae – noun, gen. possessive; France

rex Franciae – of France

multos – adj, accusative; many, much

conflictus – noun, accusative; clash, collision, impact, fight, contest, impluse, impression, necessity

habuit (habeo, habere, habui, habitus) – verb; have, hold, consider, think, reason, manage, keep, spend/pass (time)

cum – with, together with

Flandrensibus – noun; Flemish, from Flanders

sed – but, but also, yet, however, but in fact/truth, not to mention, yes but

semper – adv; always

sine – without

victoria – noun, ablative; victory

sed semper sine victoria – but always without victory

remeavit (remeo, remeare, remeavi, remeatus) – verb; go or come back, return

This season the King of France had many conflicts with the Flemish but always returned without victory.

Habuit and remeavit are the perfect active forms of the verbs, which are difficult to turn into English and have phrases make sense.

Latin phrase of the day #14

Today’s entry is a line from a poem by Catullus, the Roman poet.  The poem laments the “Death of a Pet Sparrow.”

Lugete, O Veneres Cupidinesque
et quantum est hominum venustiorum.

Lugete (lugeo, lugere, luxi, luctum) – verb; mourn, grieve

O – Oh!

Veneres Cupidinesque – Venuses and Cupids

et – and, even, however

quantum – adverb; how much, the most, the greater

est (sum, esse, fui, futurus) – verb; be, is

hominum –  noun; fellow, fellow creature, man, person, mortal

venustiorum – more charming

I grieve, oh Vensuses and Cupids
even of all the people it is one more charming than ordinary men!

Now, this translation is probably wrong because translations of Catullus hate me.  That is all.

Latin phrase of the day #13

I found today’s phrase in Lesley Coote’s Prophecy and Public Affairs in Later Medieval England.  It is a fragment of “Sicut rubeum draconem,” a prophecy inspired by and reworked from the Prophecia Merlini.

In ultimis diebus albi drachonis semen ejus trifarium spergetur.[1]

In – prep.; in, on, into, at, among

ultimis – adj.; far, farther, farthest, latest, last, highest, greatest

diebus – noun; day, daylight

In ultimis diebus – In the last days

albi – white

drachonis – noun; dragon

albi drachonis – of the white dragon

semen – noun; seed

ejus – pronoun; his

trifarium – adj.; three-fold

spergetur -> dispergetur (dispergo, dispergere, dispersi, dispersus) – verb; to scatter

In the last days of the white dragon, his seed will be scattered about threefold.

Now…this translation was dicey because of “spergetur,” which doesn’t appear in any of my dictionaries and such.  Dispergetur, however, is a known word meaning “to scatter.”  I actually had to go back into my dictionary in English looking for a word that meant something that would fit into the phrase (in this case, I was looking for “to seed” or “to scatter (seeds).”  And that’s what I found.

1. “Sicut rubeum draconem” in Lesley Coote, Prophecy and Public Affairs in Later Medieval England, (Woodbridge, Suffolk: York Medieval Press, 2000), 61.

Latin phrase of the day #12

Today, we have a selection from something very near and dear to my heart, the Historia of Geoffrey of Monmouth.  The History of the Kings of Britain contains the Prophecia Merlini, which is where this selection is drawn from.

Sextus hybernie menia subuertet

Menia is actually moenia.  I really don’t think that they’re talking about overthrowing a small fish of Ireland.

 Sextus – proper noun in this case, translated simply as Sextus

hybernie – proper noun; Ireland

moenia – noun; walls, ramparts, defenses (all of a town or other area)

subuertet – verb; overturn, cause to topple, overthrow, destroy, subvert

Sextus will overthrow the defenses of Ireland

And now, back to our regularly scheduled thesis.

Ah, the joys of freewriting (or how it took me 14 pages to figure out who I was talking about)

So for the past week or so I’ve been feeling the need to put pen to paper (literally) and do some freewriting.  I don’t do it often and so when the mood strikes, it’s strange.  So between thesis and cleaning, I’ve been freewriting.  I’m up to fourteen handwritten pages (almost fourteen pages, there’s only a few lines left on page 14 to write).  Freewriting is a strange thing…you never know what’s going to happen.

So I started with a first person point of view and rambled.  My narrator told me pretty quickly that her name was Julia (Julia Rhiannon, no less) and that she’d been living in this creepy little midwestern town for a few months because she’d been taking care of a sick (now deceased) relative that she’d been visiting there since she was eight.  Most of the town, especially the good Reverend at the local evangelical chapel, give her the heebie-jeebies.

Then there was this boy–maybe about her age, maybe a little younger, a mysterious, broken thing that on the surface looked crazy, “special,” or drugged.  He kept popping up, kept looking for her.  She found out his name was Darien fairly early on.  He came to her in moments of almost-lucidity and asked for her help.

Now…I knew by this point (heck, I knew by a few lines into the first page) that this story is in the same universe as my first Nanowrimo project ever, When All’s Said and Done, which has been on my mind in between thinking about Edward I and III because it’s about time I finally gutted the thing, revised it, polished it, and started sending it to publishers.  It’s a strangely disturbing piece, probably because there’s elements of it that are just maybe a little too real to not be creepy.  The freewriting ramble I’ve been working on was very clearly very intimately connected to the story of the Insitute, given Darien’s whisperings about the end and the Institute and how he’s very clearly reluctant to tell Julia the whole truth for fear she’ll either think he’s crazy or get herself into trouble with the sprawling installation just outside of the village of Andover Commonwealth.

I’m writing page 13 and 14 today, where Darien is giving up some of the secrets he knows about the place…and it hits me.  Bam.  Right between the eyes.

Darien isn’t Darien at all.

Darien is Ridley.

Now that revelation isn’t going to mean anything to anyone except for me and maybe one or two other people who may happen to stumble across this.  And if Miss Jen reads it, she’s going to blink and ask me who Ridley is and I’ll tell her.  And her eyes will get big and wide and she’ll be all “Ooh.”

And then she’ll ask if she can read the ramble.  And I’ll let her, because she’s Reece, and maybe someday Reece’ll actually meet up with this broken soul who feels like he’s betrayed people he cared about, people who cared about him in return.

All depends on what the redrafting process brings.  Either way, this ramble…fantastic background and yet another layer added into what was originally a lot less complex than it’s going to become.

Latin Phrase of the day #11

More medieval Latin today, this one from the Cartularium Prioratus de Gyseburne, the salutation to a letter, to be exact.

Willelmus etc. dilecto filio, Abbati de Whiteby, salutem, gratiam et benedictionem.

Willelmus – William

etc. – et cetera; and so forth

dilecto – adj.; beloved, dear

filio – noun; son

Abbati de Whiteby – Abbot of Whiteby

salutem – greetings

gratiam – noun; thanks

et – and

benedictionem – noun; blessings

William and so forth, beloved son, Abbot of Whiteby, greetings, thanks and blessing.

Latin phrase of the day #10

Good god, I’ve made it to #10?  I think I’m shocked.

Today’s Latin phrase is from the medieval Prophecy of the Bull, which dates to around 1327 — right around the beginning of Edward III’s reign as King of England.

Ad bona non tardus, audax veluti leopardus

ad – to, toward, until, almost

bona – good, honest, brave, noble, kind, pleasant, right, useful, valid/correct, healthy

non – no, not, [negative]

tardus – adj.; slow, limping, deliberate, late

audax – adj.; bold, daring, courageous, reckless, rash, audacious, presumptuous, desperate

veluti – adv.; just as, as if

leopardus – noun; leopard

[He] is never slow to [do] good, just as the courageous leopard

Yay for medieval Latin prophecies containing animal imagery!  And poetry.  Yikes.