Mediaeval Letter of Alexander Skultet, 16th century priest, friend of Nicolaus Copernicus

By Jarek Pioro, in 'Latin to English Translation', Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Jarek Pioro New Member

    I help preparing an exhibition devoted to Alexander Skultet, 16th century priest, friend of Nicolaus Copernicus. They would like to exhibit some of his letters, but cannot find anyone competent enough to write a two-three sentence abstract of the letters. Perhaps someone here could help? They just need a short note about the subject of the letter, not the thorough and exact translation.

    The text of one of the letters follows:

    Quae nuper Reverendissima Dominatio Vestra mihi de coqua mea significavit, non potuerunt non
    afficere animum, ob id maxime, quod perspicerem aemulos meos mihi varias struxisse technas
    meque non solum apud Reverendissimam Dominationem Vestram, verum etiam passim multis
    confictis traduxisse. Cum hactenus de coniugio nec per somnum quidem quicquam mihi in mentem
    venerit meque iactatio haec coquae meae, qua{m} ipsa constanter inficiatur, hactenus latuerit, sed
    mirum non est, quod obtrectatores mei haec et maiora comminiscuntur. Oro autem(?)
    Reverendissima Dominatio Vestra, quandoquidem delatores illorum numquam docebuntur, d[...]
    obtrectatorum eiuscemodi calumniis faciles aures non praebere velit atque omnem rem usque ad
    mutuum colloquium differre dignetur. Non opinor Reverendissimam Dominationem Vestram in me
    exasperatam ob exsecutam citationem contra venerabilem dominum Hosium, praesertim quod
    intellexi a venerabili domino cantore alias in Heilsberg Reverendissimam Dominationem Vestram per
    ipsum, num aegre latura foret, si nepos meus contra dominum Hosium ius suum prosequeretur,
    sciscitatam respondisse, quia ad desiderium Reverendissimae Dominationis Vestrae res pro domino
    Fabiano Dameraw non successit, se susque deque laturam, quid alii essent iure facturi. Ante annum
    quoque, cum explicarem Reverendissimae Dominationi Vestrae de iure nepotis mei, quod tanto
    tempore in commodum Reverendissimae Dominationis Vestrae non consului prosequendum, non
    consideravi amaritudinem aliquam Reverendissimae Dominationis Vestrae. Quomodo eatenus melius
    servire debuissem vel fratri germano, ignoro. Tandem post cessionem qu iuris mei, quae quo
    respectu ante annum facta est, optime novit Reverendissima Dominatio Vestra, non est mihi
    integrum neque meae potestatis, ut a causa, ob quam affinis meus defuncto Alberto Bisschoff
    missione proprii nuntii in Urbem sumptus fecit et expensas, illum totaliter retraham, aut si
    persuadeam de omnino relinquendo iure et causae cedendo, si alius quicumque id ab eo extorquere
    videbit, erit mihi multo gratissimum, tantum abest, ut quapiam inde crucier. Si vero ille neutiquam
    flecteretur, rogo et obsecro, Reverendissima Dominatio Vestra cogitare dignetur de tolerabili modo
    et condicione, quibus illi persuadeam transactionem, alioqui frustra rem conabor et absque meo
    demerito indignabitur mihi Reverendissima Dominatio Vestra. Quam interim obsecro, ut me pro
    observantia et studio meis in Reverendissimam Dominationem Vestram vetere sua benevolentia
    gratiaque et favore amplecti et fovere dignetur. Si quapiam alia in re me ad nutum Reverendissimae
    Dominationis Vestrae componere debebo, reperiet me ipsa sui addictissimum. Cuique me
    devotissime commendando omnem precor felicitatem.
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Alexander Skultet is here writing to some distinguished person, if one is to judge by the honorific form of address he uses. He starts by denying an accusation against him involving a female cook, which he says was invented by personal enemies plotting against him. He then goes on to speak of a lawsuit. Skultet's nephew or grandson (I don't know which it is; the Latin word can mean both) has been suing a certain Hosius. Skultet says that he doesn't think his addressee is angry with him because of that matter, since his addressee had earlier said to another person that he wouldn't be, and, when Skultet himself had talked to him about the case, he hadn't seemed offended. Skultet also says that he had for a long time, out of consideration for his addressee, held back his nephew/grandson from claiming his right. What follows involves a "relative" of Skultet's, and it isn't entirely clear to me whether this "relative" is the grandson/nephew or someone else. The word used here usually denotes a relative by marriage rather than by blood, but there can be exceptions. In any case, a lawsuit is also involved here. Skultet says that it doesn't lie in his power to make his relative entirely desist from his suit. He doesn't, however, feel very strongly about the matter; he'd be perfectly fine if someone else managed to persuade his relative. Failing that, he begs his addressee to think of some reasonable condition on which he could convince his relative to accept a "transaction". Otherwise, Skultet's attempt would be vain and his addressee would be undeservedly angry with him. The letter ends with elaborate honorific formulae.

    I realize this is far more than two/three sentences. Sorry. I've always been bad at summaries.
    Last edited by Pacifica, Apr 5, 2019
    Ross Caldwell, Bitmap and Jarek Pioro like this.
  3. Jarek Pioro New Member

    Pacifica, thank you very much. The addressee of the letter is Ioannes Dantiscus, bishop of Warmia at the time. People like you make me believe there is a future for humanity :)
    Ross Caldwell likes this.
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Lol, thank you so much. :)
    Ross Caldwell likes this.

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