From the Proem of Petrarch's 'My Secret Book'

Latin after CDLXXVI
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pmda
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From the Proem of Petrarch's 'My Secret Book'

Post by pmda »

Hi, I'm trying to figure out how the Latin works in the following sentence from the Proem to Petrarch's 'My Secret Book'. Truth, in the form of a beautiful woman, has just appeared before him:

Virginem tamen et habitus nuntiabat et facies. Hec igitur me stupentem insuete lucis aspectum et adversus radios, quos oculorum suorum sol fundebat, non audentem oculos attollere, sic alloquitur: "Noli trepidare, neu te species nova perturbet. Errores tuos miserata, de longinquo tempestivum tibi auxilium latura descendi.

My attempt at a literal translation of this is: "Her clothes and face announced that she was a young woman. Accordingly, she saw me, visible [aspectum] in, and unaccustomed to, the of the light, and against the beams, which the sun of her eyes poured fourth, not daring to raise [my] eyes, she spoke thus: “Be not afraid, nor may a new splendor disturb you. It [the splendor] pities your mistakes. I have descended from afar to bring you timely help.

The tricky part is "Hec igitur me stupentem insuete lucis aspectum et adversus radios," I take it that the Subject "Hec" is the subject in use with the verb "...alloquitur: - She spoke. My sense is that there is a verb implied in the intervening clause "...me stupentem insuete lucis aspectum et adversus radios". Is this latter some kind of supine clause (though I don't see any verb of motion or purpose)? Or is it simply a passive participle parenthesis "me, visible (aspectum) against the beams (of light), insensible, unaccustomed to the light"?

Nicholas Mann's translation - "My Secret Book", I Tatti Renaissance Library - seems to suggest this when he translates this as: "While I was still dazzled by such unfamiliar readiance, and dared not look up at the light blazing from her eyes, she addressed me..."

I'd be grateful for any guidance on how the Latin works in this paragraph

Many thanks

Paul

Shenoute
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Re: From the Proem of Petrarch's 'My Secret Book'

Post by Shenoute »

Hi pmda,

As I understand it:
- (me stupentem) (insuete lucis aspectum), aspectum being the direct object of stupentem: "me being-amazed-at the sight of..."

- adversus radios (...) non audentem oculos attollere: "not daring to raise my eyes against the beams"

- me stupentem...et non audentem...alloquitur: "she speaks to me being-amazed-at and not-daring-to" (there is no "she saw" in the Latin).

I hope you enjoy Petrarch. I haven't read a lot of what he wrote but what I did read I liked a lot.

pmda
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Re: From the Proem of Petrarch's 'My Secret Book'

Post by pmda »

Many thanks, and for your encouraging words. I really appreciate the guidance to be found on this forum.

Shenoute
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Re: From the Proem of Petrarch's 'My Secret Book'

Post by Shenoute »

You're welcome! :)

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