Mediaeval Medieval motet - translating one (rather poetic) passage

By EstInHorto, in 'Latin to English Translation', Aug 27, 2017.

  1. EstInHorto New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Right, I have been working on translating this motet part, and to be honest I am not having much luck. Before I start getting into the passage, I will just say there is one word I can't quite read - "oiris" - which does not look right at all. It might be a corruption of "viris", but it looks like there is a first letter obscured by the illuminated initial. If someone could work out what it might feasibly be, that would be very helpful. A screen shot of this letter should hopefully be at the bottom if anyone wants to take a look.

    So, here is the passage (as I can read it) that I have been translating from. I know it is a comparison of the death of Thomas Becket and the death of Hyacinth in Greek mythology. Again, there is perhaps an "In" before the first word obscured by the illuminated initial.

    (In) Iacinctus in saltibus puer perimitur de cuis (cuius? suis?) cineribus flos rubens oritur Thomas oiris (?) ictibus in templo moritur de cuius vulneribus sanguis dilabi fragrare flos assolet velud (velut?) aromata thome fama redolet orbis per climata iacincti duricia ferro non sculpitur thomeque constancia morte non flectitur milites deserviunt crebro convicio pastorem percutiunt in gregis medio cerebrum excutiunt hostili gladio quod scelus perficiunt ferali Christus dei filius sit nobis propicius per thome merita.

    My (very poor and hopeless) attempt at translating is a follows (punctuation is all mine):

    Hyacinth the boy is killed in the woodlands, from the ashes a red flower emerged. Thomas was killed in the temple by the blows (oiris?) from the wounds (cuius?) [the blood/to fall apart/to smell/the flower/as was wont] just as if the sweet odours of the fame of Thomas emit through every direction of the world (iacincti?). The hardness of the iron is not sculpted as the constancy of the death of Thomas is not sculpted. [The soldiers serve the constant noise] They cut down the shepherd in the midst of his flock, the top of his head was cast off by the enemy's sword because they completed the crime with deadly zeal. Christ, the son of God, may you be favourable to us through the merits of Thomas.

    If anyone thinks they might have a clue what is going on here, please let me know!

    Here is the picture of "oiris" that did not attach properly.

    Attached Files:

  2. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    There's definitely no in as the first word. Unfortunately I can't read this script but I'm sure others on the forum can. It would probably help if you posted an image of the entire text rather than just that single word.

    The first sentence means "Hyacinth the boy is killed in the woodlands, from whose ashes a red flower emerges", so you're pretty close on that one.
  3. Mafalda Member

    Location:
    Paulopolis
    It is diris. Diris ictibus.
    EstInHorto and Dantius like this.
  4. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Ah.
  5. EstInHorto New Member

    The rest of the text is as I've written - it's quite a clear text, other than that one word obscured by the initial. So, does that make it "Thomas was killed in the temple by the terrible blows..." ?
  6. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Yeah, or "with terrible blows"

    The next sentence is a bit strange. Up to "aromata" (the end of the next sentence, I believe), it seems to mean something like "Thomas dies in the temple from terrible blows, from whose wounds blood is wont to fall, (and) a flower (is wont) to produce a smell like spices." That doesn't make too much sense, so perhaps there's something I'm missing.
  7. EstInHorto New Member

    That sounds possible to me! I think it makes sense in the context of St Thomas Becket's martyrdom - there are lost of comparisons in the liturgy made between his blood (which was dispersed to perform miracles) and the scent of flowers. Flowers more generally (and in particular lilies and roses) were linked to martyrdom as well, so the Hyacinth/Thomas and Hyacinth/sweet flowers parallel makes sense in this larger metaphor I think.
    Dantius likes this.
  8. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    thome fama redolet orbis per climata iacincti

    This seems to be the next sentence, and it would mean "Thomas's reputation/fame smells of the Hyacinth throughout the climates/regions of the Earth."
  9. EstInHorto New Member

    Ah okay, so I just had aromata and iacincti in the wrong place. Do you think velut in this context is "and"?
  10. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    No, velut is "like" from the previous sentence ("like spices" = "velut aromata").
  11. EstInHorto New Member

  12. EstInHorto New Member

    Thanks for all your help so far, does anybody have any ideas about the later passages? I'm really unsure about what to do with "milites deserviunt crebro convicio".
  13. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    The next sentence seems to be
    duricia ferro non sculpitur thomeque constancia morte non flectitur
    Which would mean "hardness is not sculpted/chiseled by iron/swords, and Thomas's constancy/firmness is not bent by death."
  14. EstInHorto New Member

    I went for "iron" instead of "sword" in my translation because "gladius" is used later. I think I've truly mucked up the later parts!
  15. EstInHorto New Member

    Does anybody have any ideas about the "milites deserviunt crebro convicio" part?

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