Ternis horarum terminis

By Eudoxus, in 'Latin to English Translation', Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Eudoxus New Member

    I'm having trouble with the following stanza from an early Christian hymn:

    Ternis horarum terminis
    volutis, dante Domino,
    trinum perfecte et unicum
    ipsum devoti psallimus.

    The first two lines are the main stumbling block for me.

    Any help would be appreciated!
  2. R. Seltza Active Member

    Terra Solis Lapsi
    I'll try my hand at this.

    Ternis horarum terminis = "[For] three [of] hours [have] end[ed]"
    This is kind of a strangely worded hymnal. Terminis is a noun meaning "a(n) boundary/limit/end", not a verb or participle. I also have no clue why it's in the Dative/Ablative case here, especially since I don't really see how we would incorporate [to/for/by/with/from/in/on] in there. There's also no prepositional case requirement so I'm kinda lost on this...

    Volutis, dante domino = "[By/with] having been tumbled/rolled, [by] giving to master".
    For the words in brackets, I took an educated guess as to what word that might've been. I'd probably need more context on this one to get a full understanding of what this would actually mean.

    For the sake of the music, they may have cut some words out to help with the flow of the song, but this apparently can lead to interpretive issues. I definitely have some doubts about this. It'll be interesting to see others' input.
  3. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    The translation is more like: "Every time three hours have elapsed, by a gift of the Lord, we devoutly sing of the perfectly threefold and only one."

    Or, word for word, if you need to understand the construction:

    Every three ends of hours having elapsed (ternis horarum terminis volutis), the Lord giving (dante domino), we, devout, sing (devoti psallimus) [of] him (ipsum) perfectly threefold (trinum perfecte) and one/only (et unicum).
    Last edited by Pacifica, Oct 9, 2018
  4. Eudoxus New Member

    Thank you both very much; I appreciate your help on this!

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