[quote author=klewlis link=board=3;threadid=526;start=0#4945 date=1061904986]<br />if it is "greater glory" (which makes sense because of the cases) then why is dei plunked right between those? wouldn't it make more sense to put maiorem gloriam together?<br />[/quote]<br /><br /><br />This is a really tough question to answer, however, once you get used to Latin you will feel that "ad maiorem gloriam Dei" is much more awkward Latin than AMDG. "Ad maiorem gloriam Dei" is a word for word transcription into Latin of a thought expressed in standard English word order, and it loses all the weight and emphasis, which the "ad maiorem Dei gloriam" of Latin makes possible, where the complete thought comes together upon pronouncement of the final word but not before it. This is only because the substantive gloriam
has been delayed.<br /><br />Another possibility would have been to write the substantive before the adjective, but notice how the emphasis is lost: "ad gloriam Dei maiorem." Here maiorem
is but an afterthought. Other arrangements are possible. Try them out and see if you can come up with one better than AMDG.<br /><br />"Ad maiorem Dei gloriam" is standard, not only because it keeps the reader in suspense about what the adjective is modifying until the complete thought is expressed but because sandwiching the defining genitive in between the adjective and noun is the way that Latin emphasises that the Genitive is modifying "gloriam" (in this case) as opposed to something that may come afterwards in the sentence. Greek has the help of an article to keep things clear. Latin does not. <br /><br />This figure of speech is called hyperbaton
, Gildersleeve defines it as "Trajection, the violent displacement of words," and gives one ex. from Horace. I hardly find it to be violent, and find this definition amusing. I think that Smyth's definition is more elucidative:<br /><br /> Hyperbaton is the separation of words naturally belonging together. Such displacement usually gives prominence to the first of two words thus separated, but sometimes to the second also. <br /> In prose hyperbaton is less common than in poetry, but even in prose it is frequent, especially when it secures emphasis on an important idea by placing it at the beginning or end of a sentence. At times hyperbaton may mark passionate exitement. Sometimes it was adopted to gain rhythmical effect. Thus:<br /><br />Such resting found the sole of unblest feet
(Milton)<br /><br />Here is another great set of lines from Paradise Lost
<br /><br />Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd, than whom<br />Satan except, none higher sat, with grave<br />Aspect he rose...
<br /><br />"Ad maiorem Dei Gloriam" is a very mild, and very common form of hyperbaton in Latin. So common in fact that it has made the arrangement of words in "Ad maiorem gloriam Dei", not only bland in expression but also awkward.<br /><br />I hope that in these words some provision hast thou been able to derive.<br /><br /><br />Sebastian