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Would be very grateful for help in a translation

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Would be very grateful for help in a translation

Postby purple.marzipan » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:08 pm

Hello from a newbie on the forum!

Firstly, I would like to apologise, as I am a student with very very little Latin knowledge, and understand that such a translation request is, above all else, very rude of me to ask. I would greatly appreciate any assistance that could be offered though, as this translation could very easily be the essential key in producing a good dissertation for my degree.

I have found a passage from a sixteenth-century italian sermon where the priest is talking on the use of images in the veneration of saints. This is of particular interest in a period of counter-reformation (with reformers arguing that saints/intercessors aren't needed). Anyway, based on my italian knowledge, this passage seems to be of use, and I was hoping to match it up with my opening quote of “In a picture, even the unlearned may see what example they should follow” from another sixteenth-century priest.

I'll stop blabbing. Here's the text:

Quorum [sanctorum] imagines et quae apud nos remanserunt reliquias eodem quo et illos honore prosequimur et veneramur. Non ea quidem ratione qua sunt res quaedem, utpote colore, ligno, auro et id genus compluribus constitutae, sed qua potius illorum merita, dignitatem, excellentiam et celsitudinem signant et referunt. Hoc namque pacto in utrumque, signum scilicet et signatum, eodem momento est unus animi motus.

I would very much appreciate any assistance you could offer on this - I truly would be eternally grateful!

Thank you!
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Re: Would be very grateful for help in a translation

Postby thesaurus » Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:20 pm

purple.marzipan wrote:Quorum [sanctorum] imagines et quae apud nos remanserunt reliquias eodem quo et illos honore prosequimur et veneramur. Non ea quidem ratione qua sunt res quaedem, utpote colore, ligno, auro et id genus compluribus constitutae, sed qua potius illorum merita, dignitatem, excellentiam et celsitudinem signant et referunt. Hoc namque pacto in utrumque, signum scilicet et signatum, eodem momento est unus animi motus.


Here's my version. Not knowing about this subject is a point against me, but I think this should work:

"We pursue and venerate the images and relics, which remained with us, of these saints with the same respect as we do the saints themselves. Certainly not for the reasons that they are certain objects, such as the color, wood, gold, and that type of thing, by which traits numerous objects are constituted; but rather because they [the images and relics] designate and recall their [the saints'] merit, dignity, excellence, and grandure. By this means, at the exact same time there is one movement of the soul towards both of them--the sign [signifier] and the signified."

I put signifier in there at the end, because in modern academic parlance signifier/signified is a common opposition (especially in linguistics and semiotics) which I gather this priest is interested in. All in all, a very interesting snippet of an argument, and I'd be interested in knowing where he's going with it.

What exactly is your dissertation about?
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Would be very grateful for help in a translation

Postby adrianus » Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:21 am

If you don't object, I would translate this way [using ablative of cause for motive in the last sentence]:
Vestrâ veniâ, anglicos in sermones sic verto [per actionis ablativum pro motu animi in sententiâ terminante]:
Whose relics that have survived to our day and images we respectfully attend and venerate the same as we do them [the saints]. Not indeed particularly because some [of these] things are mounted in paint, wood and gold,—and a good many are,—but rather because they symbolize and convey their [the saints'] meritorius actions, worthiness, perfection and elevation. For truly [their] agreement with each other, namely the symbol with the thing signified, that same deciding factor is the mind's sole motive [or that critical factor or influence is the one thing affecting thinking].
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Would be very grateful for help in a translation

Postby purple.marzipan » Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:27 pm

Thank you both for your input in the translation, both have highlighted particularly interesting elements within the text, which integrates the quote perfectly in my study.

My dissertation is based on analysing the use of the saints in counter-reformation. This is in light of Lutherian views of a more exclusive personal faith, which implied that the ecclesiastical structure employing intercessors in the Roman Church was unnecessary. Under particular attack was the veneration of the saints, particularly the worship of their relics (usually bones, or remains of their execution devices, although majority of these were probably fakes, and were set up as a means to generate an income from pilgrims - of course something reformers criticised). The veneration of relics is something which this priest is responding to in elaborating on the function of such objects in promoting a deeper meditation of religious morals. There was actually a particularly strong reaction to this in Sixteenth-Century Italy, with multiple areas expanding on the great benefits of the saints as intercessors, from more dramatic/emotional images to mass-produced (cheap) publications which elaborate on the life of the saint, all with the intention of making their lives more personal to the contemporary member of the public. My focus is more specifically on looking to semiotic references within the images which promote the benefits of virtuous behaviour, and reinforce the strength of the saints as intercessors.

If you are interested in understanding more about this, a couple of very useful texts are Elton's 'Renaissance and Reformation 1300-1648' as well as John O'Malley's 'Praise and blame in Renaissance Rome: rhetoric, doctrine, and reform in the sacred orators of the papal court'. I would be more than happy to share more specific material and case studies, it is a very interesting topic!

Thank you again, this has made such a positive contribution to my work!
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