Posts Tagged ‘Latin’

Currently cataloging an Estonian manuscript from 1532. It’s a confirmation by Pope Clement VII of a bishop of Oesel (which has various spellings, it seems). The manuscript itself is pretty ordinary, just going through normal bureaucracy (with one mention of the “rebelles” – Protestants).

What’s fantastic about this is a later annotation in another hand:

Clemens inferni dei providentia episcopus Romanus cerberus cerberorum diaboli suis membris antrichristianis salutem apostolicam benedictionem. / Unum breve conformativum episcopale. Diaboliense volebam dicere apostolicum.

This translates roughly to:

Clement, Bishop of Rome by the providence of the Infernal God, Cerberus of the cerberi of Satan by their own antichristian members, let me salute you an apostolic benediction. / One brief episcopal confirmation. I was wishing to call you the Apostolic Satan.

Perhaps the author of the note just assumed that Pope Clement VII was, in this case, Antipope Clement VII? Easy enough mistake to make when you’re talking about a Pope named Clement, I suppose…?


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I’m currently working on a 17th century manuscript of Latin epigrams and poetry. The author is unknown, but the paleography is lovely AND legible (an unusual treat!). Much of the poems focus on Thomas Aquinas (and God and various saints, but mostly ol’ Tommy here).

Probably the best part of this is the wordplay that goes on in these poems. Here’s an example:

Terrarum orbem collustrat sapientia Thoma,
Hac simul in templo mansit, & ipsa manet.
Omnibus in scriptis, ac in virtutibus almis,
Multum gesta micant, & sua fama volat.
Angelus est pulcher Thomas probitate decora,
Sol & in axe soli, sol & in orbe poli.

They also make an anagram, in which “Thomas de Aquinas” becomes “Quid amo? Honesta.”

Here’s an “epigramma serpentinum” about our friend Thomas (indentations and underlining original to the poem):

Doctor hic Angelicus libris celebratum in istis,
Versibus & colitum Doctor hic Angelicus.
Plausibus assiduis semper vos tollite Thomam,
Dignus enim Thomas plausibus assiduis.
Iam tua facta volant magnas in orbe per urbes,
Applaudunt Homines, iam tua facta volant.
Sit tibi laus, et honos tibi dentur nomina plausus,
Ingentes cultus, sit tibi laus, & honos.

There’s also an “epigram aequidicum,” which just seems to be alliterative (if you speak Latin and therefore v’s and u’s are interchangeable. I’ll keep it that way here for the effect):

Vmani Vitat Vini Vincentius Vicus:
Vocibus Vltorem, Varcinatur Vbi.

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