Augustine: Confessiones

By Callaina, in 'Reading Latin', Jun 26, 2015.

  1. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Has anyone else on here ever read (any of) Augustine's Confessions, in Latin?

    Not that I need help with it (yet ;) ); I'm just curious. I looked something up in my English copy the other day (which I've read about half of, I guess, but never the entire thing) and out of curiosity I glanced at the Latin...and then of course I couldn't stop, LOL :D

    Anyway, it's extraordinarily beautiful. I decided to take a break from Cicero and read through a bit of Book 10. Latin text here: http://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/latinconf/10.html

    Just wondering whether anyone else has read this, and if so, what you thought of it. :) I just may put the entire thing on my (ever-growing) reading list...
  2. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

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    A misprint in the fifth word doesn't inspire confidence in the text...
  3. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Huh, my eye just glossed right over that. Probably that's a good sign with regards to my Latin reading ability, LOL, but a bad sign with regards to this edition. Fortunately there's others:

    http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/augustine/conf10.shtml
  4. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Ok, so now I do have a question :D

    This is from Book 7, Chapter 10:

    et inde admonitus redire ad memet ipsum, intravi in intima mea duce te, et potui, quoniam factus es adiutor meus. intravi et vidi qualicumque oculo animae meae supra eundem oculum animae meae, supra mentem meam, lucem incommutabilem, non hanc vulgarem et conspicuam omni carni, nec quasi ex eodem genere grandior erat, tamquam si ista multo multoque clarius claresceret totumque occuparet magnitudine. non hoc illa erat sed aliud, aliud valde ab istis omnibus.

    The hoc makes sense if it's referring back to eodem genere -- "it [lucem] was not from this kind [eodem genere] but another."

    But why is aliud in nominative? I would have expected either alia (i.e. it was another light) or alio (from another kind). As it is it seems strange. Or maybe I'm misreading the hoc as well...?

    But if hoc is nominative and just refers to genus (i.e. "it was not this kind, but another") then illa should be illud.

    Either way, this doesn't make sense...help is appreciated. :)

    (Edit: link to the surrounding context: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/augustine/conf7.shtml)
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    It looks like a simple indetermined "this". "It wasn't this but something else, something very different from all these things".
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  6. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Ah, ok. I guess I didn't count on Augustine being so vague, LOL. Thanks :D
  7. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Another little thing, from 10.3.4:

    nam confessiones praeteritorum malorum meorum, quae remisisti et texisti ut beares me in te, mutans animam meam fide et sacramento tuo, cum leguntur et audiuntur, excitant cor ne dormiat in desperatione et dicat, 'non possum,' sed evigilet in amore misericordiae tuae et dulcedine gratiae tuae, qua potens est omnis infirmus qui sibi per ipsam fit conscius infirmitatis suae.

    I just don't get why the sibi is there at all; the sentence would make just as much sense with qui per ipsam fit conscius infirmitatis suae ("which, through that very grace, is made conscious of its weakness.") Why is the reflexive pronoun needed (or what's it doing that I'm missing)?
  8. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Sibi conscius is just idiomatic, "conscious with/to himself" if you will, but it doesn't need to be rendered in translation.
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  9. malleolus Civis Illustris

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    Well, some of them. I particularly liked VI;8:13, which is quite well-known.
    ETA: If you like Seneca and his take on gladiatorial games you might like this too.
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  10. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    The chapters in mine are split up differently, but I think I know the part you're referring to: the scene in the garden?

    Heh, I haven't read enough Seneca to come across that, but I know that Augustine has a dim view of the gladitorial games (I've read parts of it in English before.)
  11. malleolus Civis Illustris

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    It's about the way Augustine's best friend Alypius became addicted to gladiatorial games.
  12. Christian Alexander Active Member

    Senecae Epistula VII (Just the first part; the theme of the letter is the "turba" (and at that, something to be avoided). I picked out the section that particularly talks about the "games" (cpied from the Latin Library, you can find the full letter here http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/sen/seneca.ep1.shtml). I believe Loeb offers a their copy as PDF now if you'd like to check an English translation. I highly enjoy Seneca's Epistulae, if you like moral philosophy I imagine you will find Seneca a very worthy undertaking, both his essays and his "epistulae morales". The early Christians found a lot in him praiseworthy; to the point that some tried to argue he actually came in contact with Xtianity and was converted... (which, of course, is farfetched. But may it give you inspiration to check him out if nothing else.)

    Casu in meridianum spectaculum incidi, lusus exspectans et sales et aliquid laxamenti quo hominum oculi ab humano cruore acquiescant. Contra est: quidquid ante pugnatum est misericordia fuit; nunc omissis nugis mera homicidia sunt. Nihil habent quo tegantur; ad ictum totis corporibus ex positi numquam frustra manum mittunt. [4] Hoc plerique ordinariis paribus et postulaticiis praeferunt. Quidni praeferant? non galea, non scuto repellitur ferrum. Quo munimenta? quo artes? omnia ista mortis morae sunt. Mane leonibus et ursis homines, meridie spectatoribus suis obiciuntur. Interfectores interfecturis iubent obici et victorem in aliam detinent caedem; exitus pugnantium mors est. Ferro et igne res geritur. [5] Haec fiunt dum vacat harena. 'Sed latrocinium fecit aliquis, occidit hominem.' Quid ergo? quia occidit, ille meruit ut hoc pateretur: tu quid meruisti miser ut hoc spectes? 'Occide, verbera, ure! Quare tam timide incurrit in ferrum? quare parum audacter occidit? quare parum libenter moritur? Plagis agatur in vulnera, mutuos ictus nudis et obviis pectoribus excipiant.' Intermissum est spectaculum: 'interim iugulentur homines, ne nihil agatur'. Age, ne hoc quidem intellegitis, mala exempla in eos redundare qui faciunt? Agite dis immortalibus gratias quod eum docetis esse crudelem qui non potest discere.
    [6] Subducendus populo est tener animus et parum tenax recti: facile transitur ad plures. Socrati et Catoni et Laelio excutere morem suum dissimilis multitudo potuisset: adeo nemo nostrum, qui cum maxime concinnamus ingenium, ferre impetum vitiorum tam magno comitatu venientium potest. [7] Unum exemplum luxuriae aut avaritiae multum mali facit: convictor delicatus paulatim enervat et mollit, vicinus dives cupiditatem irritat, malignus comes quamvis candido et simplici rubiginem suam affricuit: quid tu accidere his moribus credis in quos publice factus est impetus? [8] Necesse est aut imiteris aut oderis.
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  13. Pablo222 Member

    Yes. I was able to read a little of his Confessions in Latin. It is beautiful. Anyway, I wanted to post this because someone mentioned a little about his friend Alypius. Here is one of my favorite lines by St. Augustine in Confessions. It is from 6.8.13 (if you have time, I think you would enjoy this passage), where he comments about Alypius and his experience of the bloody theatrics:

    "Et percussus est graviore vulnere in anima quam
    ille in corpore quem cernere concupivit, ceciditque
    miserabilius quam ille quo cadente factus est clamor."
    Last edited by Pablo222, Jul 8, 2015
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  14. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    I'm working my way (rather more systematically this time) through Book 1 of the Confessiones, and there's a couple things I'm unsure about in this paragraph (bolded below). I decided to translate it all for practice; critical feedback is welcome, but especially in the parts I've bolded. Thanks!

    estne quisquam, domine, tam magnus animus, praegrandi affectu tibi cohaerens, estne, inquam, quisquam (facit enim hoc quaedam etiam stoliditas: est ergo), qui tibi pie cohaerendo ita sit affectus granditer, ut eculeos et ungulas atque huiuscemodi varia tormenta (pro quibus effugiendis tibi per universas terras cum timore magno supplicatur) ita parvi aestimet, diligens eos qui haec acerbissime formidant, quemadmodum parentes nostri ridebant tormenta quibus pueri a magistris affligebamur? non enim aut minus ea metuebamus aut minus te de his evadendis deprecabamur, et peccabamus tamen minus scribendo aut legendo aut cogitando de litteris quam exigebatur a nobis. non enim deerat, domine, memoria vel ingenium, quae nos habere voluisti pro illa aetate satis, sed delectabat ludere et vindicabatur in nos ab eis qui talia utique agebant. sed maiorum nugae negotia vocantur, puerorum autem talia cum sint, puniuntur a maioribus, et nemo miseratur pueros vel illos vel utrosque. nisi vero approbat quisquam bonus rerum arbiter vapulasse me, quia ludebam pila puer et eo ludo impediebar quominus celeriter discerem litteras, quibus maior deformius luderem. aut aliud faciebat idem ipse a quo vapulabam, qui si in aliqua quaestiuncula a condoctore suo victus esset, magis bile atque invidia torqueretur quam ego, cum in certamine pilae a conlusore meo superabar?

    Is there, Lord, any soul so great, that clings to you with such affection -- is there, I say, anyone (for a certain stupidity does do this; therefore there is) who is so greatly moved by clinging piously to you that he counts the rack and claws and other torments of this nature (to escape from which people, in great fear, pray to you all over the world) as nothing, and yet loves those who fear these things most bitterly, in the way my own parents laughed at the torments with which I, as a child, was afflicted by my teachers? For I did not any less fear these torments or pray that I might escape them; and yet I offended less in writing and reading and reasoning about literature than was demanded of me in payment. For memory and talent, Lord -- which you willed that I should have, as sufficient for my age -- were not lacking; but it was pleasing to play, and I was punished for this by those who did such things anyway. But the games of older people are called "business"; and when children do such things, they are punished by older people, and nobody feels pity for children -- either these or others. Unless some person, a good judge of matters, actually did approve me being whipped, on the grounds that I played ball as a boy and was being held back by this game, without which I would have learned my letters more quickly -- but in which case I would have played more badly. Or did that man, by whom I was always whipped, himself do anything different, who -- if in some little question he was beaten by a classmate of his -- was tormented by greater indignation and jealousy than I was when I was beaten at ball by a fellow player?
  15. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    It's roughly correct, except that you haven't rendered etiam ("too/also" or "even"), and enim might perhaps be better rendered as something like "actually" or "in fact" in this case.
    This doesn't really render ita parvi aestimet. Maybe "as so little".
    Good enough, though I might have kept a participle in English (yet loving...).
    Maybe it would be good to render te.
    I offended by writing, reading, and thinking about literature less than was demanded of me.
    Maybe rather "which you willed that I should have in sufficient quantity for that age".
    The cum clause here has the subjunctive, so it has to be either concessive or causal. Maybe it is: "although those of children are such (i.e. such as those of adults, of the same kind as those of adults)"; though that would be a use of talis rather new to me, so I'm not sure.
    Utrosque means "either" or "both". His train of thought is a bit hard to follow here, but it seems to me he is referring to both kinds of "children" mentioned (the adults with their nugatory "business" and the true children with their games). Or maybe the other kind of "children" is rather those people who fear torments. It's unclear to me.
    Rather "any good judge of matters".
    Wrong tenses. "Does approve my having been whipped.
    Maybe you don't need to change/extend the phrasing so much. You could say something like "was being prevented by this game from learning my letters quickly".
    "With which (i.e. letters) I was to play in a more ugly manner when I was older."
    Correct, though "always" doesn't really seem necessary.
    Condoctor is a fellow teacher. I don't think you should use dashes there, because what you've put within them is an intergral part of the thought rather than a side comment.

    By the way, this reminds me of a feeling I've often had, that all those "businesses" people are busying themselves with in the world (businesses which have their rules), all those things like politics etc., look like a huge game (albeit with real consequences).
    Last edited by Pacifica, Jun 18, 2016
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  16. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    But "so little" as what?

    :confused: I actually thought I was translating it quite literally here -- did I misunderstand something?

    Ah, that makes a great deal more sense (and makes the "anything different" make sense as well.)

    Thanks. :)
  17. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    But wait -- if this isn't contrary-to-fact (as is the previous verb) why does it also take subjunctive?
  18. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Unless it refers to something mentioned or implied previously that you didn't post, ita is correlative to the following quemodmodum "so little... as our parents..."
    It looks like. Maybe you misunderstood quominus to really mean literally "minus which", so "without which"?

    It's actually literally "by which less", i.e. "so that not".
    For more details see:
    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=parvus&fromdoc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0059

    Also, celeriter isn't comparative.
    It's some sort of future-in-the-past potential (possibly with some nuance of result or purpose). He wasn't actually playing with letters then, but would be later if he learned them as intended. The previous verb is in a result clause.
  19. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Ah -- indeed, that is what I got wrong. Thanks again. :)
  20. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    audieram enim ego adhuc puer de vita aeterna promissa nobis per humilitatem domini dei nostri descendentis ad superbiam nostram, et signabar iam signo crucis eius, et condiebar eius sale iam inde ab utero matris meae, quae multum speravit in te. vidisti, domine, cum adhuc puer essem et quodam die pressu stomachi repente aestuarem paene moriturus, vidisti, deus meus, quoniam custos meus iam eras, quo motu animi et qua fide baptismum Christi tui, dei et domini mei, flagitavi a pietate matris meae et matris omnium nostrum, ecclesiae tuae. et conturbata mater carnis meae, quoniam et sempiternam salutem meam carius parturiebat corde casto in fide tua, iam curaret festinabunda ut sacramentis salutaribus initiarer et abluerer, te, domine Iesu, confitens in remissionem peccatorum, nisi statim recreatus essem. dilata est itaque mundatio mea, quasi necesse esset ut adhuc sordidarer si viverem, quia videlicet post lavacrum illud maior et periculosior in sordibus delictorum reatus foret. ita iam credebam et illa et omnis domus, nisi pater solus, qui tamen non evicit in me ius maternae pietatis, quominus in Christum crederem, sicut ille nondum crediderat. nam illa satagebat ut tu mihi pater esses, deus meus, potius quam ille, et in hoc adiuvabas eam, ut superaret virum, cui melior serviebat, quia et in hoc tibi utique id iubenti serviebat.

    For I, still a boy, had already heard about the eternal life promised to us through the humility of our Lord God, descending to our pride*; and I was even then being signed with the sign of his cross, and seasoned with his salt** already from the womb of my mother, who hoped greatly in you. You saw, Lord -- one day when I was yet a boy and burned with unexpected stomach pains almost to the point of death -- you saw, my God, because you were then my preserver, with what agitation of the soul and what faith I begged for the baptism of your Christ, my God and Lord, from the piety of my mother and of the mother of all of us, your church. And the mother of my flesh, greatly troubled -- because she worried more for my eternal salvation than for her own heart, pure in your faith -- now would have hurriedly seen to it that I was consecrated and cleansed with the sacraments of salvation, acknowledging by you***, Lord God, the remission of my sins, if I had not immediately recovered. Thus my cleansing was delayed, as though it were necessary that I should continue to be filthy if I were to live -- because, of course, after that cleansing I was to become older and more experienced in squalor through the guilt of my sins. Thus I believed, as did she, and all the household, save only my father; so that -- though he did not conquer in me the law**** of maternal piety -- I ceased to believe in Christ, just as he had not yet believed. For my mother busied herself to make sure that you would be father to me, my God, more than him; and you aided her in this, that she overcame the husband who she, though better than him, served -- because in this she also served you, who had commanded it, above all.

    * This seems a bit odd.
    ** Not entirely certain if this is a metaphor, or some early Christian custom (but if the latter, I've never heard of it.)
    *** I'm not sure how to take the ablative here.
    **** Or maybe "bonds of maternal piety" or "customs of maternal piety"...I'm not quite sure what he means.
    ***** I'm assuming this is what is meant, since he just said that he did believe.

    Feedback/help is very welcome. :)

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