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Small Translation Request

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Small Translation Request

Postby robboffin » Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:04 pm

I'm trying to get an accurate translation of 'Guardian Angel' for an art project that I'm doing.
So far I've got Custodus Angelus or Tutelaris Angelus but I'm unsure which would be the most accurate translation. The central image is based on a reasonably archetypal Judao-Christian angel.
I'd be really thankful for anyone who could help.
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Guardian Angel

Postby rustymason » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:20 pm

What's an archetypal Judao-Christian angel even look like? The only angels I've ever seen are the Christian ones. Man, I am really behind the times!
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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:53 pm

I believe Angelus Custos is the term used by the Roman Catholic Church.
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Postby robboffin » Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:13 am

Thanks for that. I thought I'd got the word order right with my first attempt (with Angelus Custodi - although obviously the wrong verb ending) then a friend told me it was the other way around and then I started doubting the whole thing.
So would Custodus Angelus mean a person who was a guardian for the angels?

And in answer to the other answer (I'm sure that makes sense...) angels tend to pop up in most major religions all over the world including Islam, many of the Indian religions and so on. They, obviously, tend to have a very different look to the ones that are described in the bible so I thought I'd narrow it down a little.
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Angels

Postby rustymason » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:26 pm

I understand. Forgive me, but I thought that Judaism and Islam were both pretty strict about graven images, and I assumed that because of this there wouldn't be very many popular images, consequently there would not be enough to qualify for archetypal status.

Mone me, si erro, amabo te.

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Last edited by rustymason on Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:20 pm

*arches an eyebrow* Angels are graven images?

Loki and Bartleby would be pissed.
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Postby rustymason » Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:21 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:*arches an eyebrow* Angels are graven images?


Yep, any representation of a living thing of heaven or earth. This commandment was made during a time when likenesses of living things were commonly treated as pictures of gods or as vessels for gods.
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Postby robboffin » Thu Aug 25, 2005 10:30 am

Graven? Probably. In Islam it's certainly haram (forbidden) to draw living things and I assume that extends to pictures of angels. There are numerous references in the Koran to angels, Jibrail (Gabriel) assists Muhammed directly quite a few times and an angel actually starts off the revelation of the Koran to Muhammed. An angel offers to destroy a town when Muhammed is driven out by them throwing stones at him (he declines the offer incidentally believing that he should not meet violence with violence).
And no, I'm not a muslim I just take an interest in different religions.
I like the arched eyebrow thing but I can only do that with my right one.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:36 pm

That a graven image should be any depiction of heaven or earth — therefore any art of any kind — felt very off to me, so I checked Webster:

Webster wrote:Main Entry: graven image
Function: noun
Etymology: graven, past participle of 1grave
: an object of worship carved usually from wood or stone : IDOL


A graven image must be an object that is worshiped as a divine thing in of itself. Therefore artwork meant to glorify God or Jesus or Muhammed or Moses or angels or anything is not graven, unless that artwork is venerated as divine.
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Postby PhilipF » Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:41 pm

The concept of 'guardian angel ' seems similar in some ways to the Roman idea of 'genius' or 'personal tutelar deity' of an individual . Does anyone know if the early Christians borrowed this idea from Roman beliefs ?
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Postby rustymason » Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:29 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:A graven image must be an object that is worshiped as a divine thing in of itself.

This is perhaps the contemporary understanding, but not the historical one, especially for Judaism and Islam. And the historical understanding is the important one because we are talking about an archetype.

Historically, any manmade image of a creature or thing on heaven or earth was considered a graven image. The purpose of the commandment was to move the Hebrews away from the potential of worshipping creations (creatures). Judaism and Islam have so few paintings and carvings of angels compared to Christianity because they held to this commandment longer and more rigidly. In fact, I don't believe I've ever even seen a Jewish or Muslim angel painting or carving, and I doubt if most people I know (USA) have either. Not that they don't exist, I'm sure they probably do. The point is that they do not exist and/or are not recognized in sufficient quantity or longevity to be able to be classed as archetypal, together with Christianity in Christendom.
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Postby robboffin » Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:49 am

In Islam the representation of living things is forbidden as that's like an act of creation that only Allah can perform. This is why you get all the calligraphy and geometric patterns decorating mosques. They don't do pictures of angels for the same reason.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:47 pm

I've seen a few Muslim depictions of angels, though there was no major difference from the Christian depiction (except they looked plainer, but that could have just been the art style of the time). From what I understand (and excuse me if I err) in early Islam, painting images of angels or Muhummand was not considered such a violation, but later on when things got more rigid they stopped and even painted over the early paintings. However there were a few which were missed.

Also, since Islam is a religion embraced by many cultures, some cultures are looser than others on this issue. I recall an illustration from a medieval Iranian manuscript, which among other things, shows a picture of Muhummad (though I'm not sure that the face was visible).
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