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 Post subject: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:32 pm 
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http://la.wikisource.org/wiki/Hujusmodi_salutationis_nostrae

This was a letter from Pope Gregory VII to the king of Bohemia denying him permission to say the Divine Office in Slavonic. The claim is made that this is an early example of the Church prohibiting vernacular translation of Scripture. I'm struggling with some points in the key sentences where the Pope explains his decision.

Ex hoc nempe saepe volventibus liquet non immerito sacram Scripturam omnipotenti Deo placuisse quibusdam locis esse occultam, ne, si ad liquidum cunctis pateret, forte vilesceret et subjaceret despectui, aut prave intellecta a mediocribus in errorem induceret. Neque enim ad excusationem juvat, quod quidam religiosi viri hoc quod simpliciter populus quaerit patienter tulerunt, seu incorrectum dimiserunt, cum primitiva Ecclesia multa dissimulaverit quae a sanctis Patribus, postmodum firmata Christianitate, et religione crescente, subtili examinatione correcta sunt.

Background: I think the "quidam religiosi viri" were Eastern monks that the king had brought back to Bohemia, see Gieseler, Text-book of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 2, p. 133, fn. 16.


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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:30 am 
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Because your nobility asked that we allow the Divine Office to be celebrated according to the Slavonic tongue among your people, you should know that we can by no means favour this your proposal. About this matter, in fact it's evident to those who think, not without merit, that Almighty God was pleased for the Holy Scripture to be obscured in certain places, lest it might become unworthy and an object of contempt or lead the intellect into error by its mediocrity, if it were to be open for the clarity of all.

For it does not help as an excuse, the fact that certain religious men have patiently tolerated what the people openly ask for, or that they have dismissed this (?) as incorrect, since the early Church hid many things which were corrected by the Holy Fathers later by careful examination, after Christianity had been strengthened and the religion was growing.

I'm still unsure of what he means by 'seu incorrectum dimiserunt'.

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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:51 am 
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Thanks! OK, I have some questions.

1. Who are the volventibus? You translated this as "to those who think." It doesn't seem to have a grammatical object, but is its implicit object the same as liquet? So that one might translate more loosely, "it's evident to those who think about it that Almighty God..."

2. What are the quibusdam locis? Certain localities or certain passages of Scripture?

3. Is cunctis "all people" or "all places"? Does it stand in contrast with quibusdam locis?

4. Intellecta looks like it should be "the things understood"...if it meant "intellects," wouldn't it be intellectus (4th decl.)?

5. You translated a mediocribus as "by its mediocrity," but I'm having trouble imagining what the Pope would say was mediocre about Scripture. I took "intellecta a mediocribus" to mean "the things understood by mediocre people" but had trouble plugging it into the rest of the sentence.

6. I'm stumped by "seu incorrectum dimiserunt" as well. It seems like the people had asked the monks for the Slavonic office, and the monks sent the version off uncorrected?

7. The last clause about the primitive Church makes enough sense grammatically but I'm stumped about what he's referring to and what it has to do with vernacular translations.


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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:53 am 
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2) Passages.

7) Look up the "disciplina arcana."

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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:53 am 
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quibusdam locis=certain places. :fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:54 am 
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Quote:
2) Passages.

Really? :scratch: How are you getting "passages", Father? locis=location, place?

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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:57 am 
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6. Yes, basically. "Uncorrected" or "wrong version". :fyi:

I think... :?

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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:00 am 
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Desertfalcon wrote:
Quote:
2) Passages.

Really? :scratch: How are you getting "passages", Father? locis=location, place?

The "places" referred to are within Scripture; therefore "passages" is a reasonable translation here.

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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:00 am 
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Good, I agree with "passages"! The translations I've seen of this passage have not made this clear, I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:01 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Desertfalcon wrote:
Quote:
2) Passages.

Really? :scratch: How are you getting "passages", Father? locis=location, place?

The "places" referred to are within Scripture; therefore "passages" is a reasonable translation here.

Oh, for duh! That does make sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Boso wrote:
1. Who are the volventibus? You translated this as "to those who think." It doesn't seem to have a grammatical object, but is its implicit object the same as liquet? So that one might translate more loosely, "it's evident to those who think about it that Almighty God..."

Liquet is used impersonally here, and it takes an indirect object in volventibus (which usually means to turn over, but it can mean turning something over in your mind, hence reflect, consider, think). Volventibus then introduces an indirect statement (those who think that...).

Here's the tricky bit. Normally in indirect statement, you'd have something like this:

Fecit hoc ---> Dicit se hoc fecisse. The verb goes into the infinitive, the subject goes into the accusative.

But placuisse comes from placuit, another impersonal verb. The subject is a false one, 'it seemed good to God'. So in indirect statement, we can't expect a subject in accusative. Instead, placet takes an agent in the dative. That's omnipotenti Deo.

So here's how it would look in direct and then indirect statement.

Placuit omnipotenti Deo ---> volventibus omnipotenti Deo placuisse

To complicate things even further, 'it pleased God' takes an indirect statement as well. But this one's a bit more simple. We've already met our subjects 'sacram Scripturam' and then the perfect passive infinitive comes towards the end 'esse occultam'.

Boso wrote:
3. Is cunctis "all people" or "all places"? Does it stand in contrast with quibusdam locis?
You know, I didn't think of that but 'in all places' seems entirely reasonable if you take cunctis to be ablative of location. I took it as all people which is also grammatically possible, but now that I read the context, I think I like your translation better.
Boso wrote:
4. Intellecta looks like it should be "the things understood"...if it meant "intellects," wouldn't it be intellectus (4th decl.)?
I sincerely apologise, you are completely correct.

I can only offer up the excuse that I hadn't slept for the entire day, I should have been able to see this. Medieval Latin introduced a huge amount of vocabulary, and it's not uncommon to find Latin words change declensions in that formative time. I thought that this is what happened here, with intellectum as a neuter second declension noun.

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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
7) Look up the "disciplina arcana."


In what way, though, were the things covered by the disciplina arcana later "corrected" by the Fathers?


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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:55 pm 
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Nooj wrote:
Liquet is used impersonally here, and it takes an indirect object in volventibus (which usually means to turn over, but it can mean turning something over in your mind, hence reflect, consider, think). Volventibus then introduces an indirect statement (those who think that...).


On this analysis, liquet doesn't introduce an indirect statement, which sounds strange to me. Both ways sound a little strange to me, which is why I wanted both volventibus and liquet to introduce the same indirect statement.


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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:06 pm 
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Oh, oh, I know, intellecta is nominative singular agreeing with Scriptura.

ne...prave intellecta a mediocribus in errorem induceret.
lest...it, wrongly understood by mediocre [people], lead to error.


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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:54 pm 
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Boso wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
7) Look up the "disciplina arcana."


In what way, though, were the things covered by the disciplina arcana later "corrected" by the Fathers?

"Correcta" has a broader range of meaning than our English "correct" does; it can cover "improve" or "clarify" or something like that as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:02 am 
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So, the Pope's reasoning here is...the primitive Church concealed some things that the Fathers talked about openly, and these Bohemian monks want to pray the Office in their language, but the Pope wants to be like the primitive Church by concealing it? That doesn't make any sense...so maybe the Bohemian monks are like the primitive Church because they are "incorrect" and need to be "corrected"? I don't see that either...how does the analogy in the last sentence work?


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 Post subject: Re: Huiusmodi salutationis nostrae
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:31 am 
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It's simpler than that. He's saying that's it's OK for things not to be easily or immediately understood.

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