"You cannot all be the King of England" into Medieval Latin

By Abcormal, in 'English to Latin Translation', Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Abcormal New Member

    Hello, I've been making a meme about the 1066 contention over the throne of England, and I've had the idea to translate it into the main players' native (or formally-spoken) tongues:

    -Old English for Harold Godwinson
    -Old West Norse for Harald Hardrada
    -Old Norman French for William the Conqueror
    -Medieval Latin for Pope Alexander II

    I've more-or-less confident with the first three, but the last one is the one I'm having trouble with.

    I want to have him say "You cannot all be the King of England" in Medieval Latin. So far I've come up with "Non potestis omnes esse Rex Anglorum", but I'm a bit unsure about it. So if anyone could offer a suggestion or two, it would be very much appreciated.

    (EDIT: Please excuse the fact that I put something other than the sentence in the thread title. I neglected to read the rules beforehand, and now I know better.)
    Last edited by Abcormal, Oct 11, 2019
  2. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Cygnea, Gena

    It's grammatically right, but it literally means 'king of the English'. 'king of England' would be rex Angliae.
  3. Issacus Divus Sunu Reordcyningas

    • Civis Illustris
    Anyway to make it more Mediaevalish, or is it good how it is?
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    What are your versions for the three other languages?

    In Old English I would have said ge ne magon ealle Engla cyning beon, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily the only way to put it.

    I don't know the other two languages but am curious, especially about Norman French.
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    It's good as it is. There isn't any feature in this sentence that would significantly differ between classical and medieval Latin. Well, if Angliae is used instead of Anglorum, you could use the medieval spelling Anglie but that's about it.
  6. Issacus Divus Sunu Reordcyningas

    • Civis Illustris
    Eigi allir yðar geta verið konungr Ęnglands. (?)

    I don’t speak Old Norse either, but I’m basing it from Icelandic.
  7. Abcormal New Member

    Actually, "rex Anglorum" was the proper Latin title during that period. "Rex Angliae" came a few centuries later.

    Actually, I have the three others claim that "I'm the King of England":

    Harold Godwinson: "Ic eam Englalandes cyng."
    Harald Hardrada: "Nei, ek em Englands konungr."
    William the Conqueror: "Ambdui vos avez tort. Jo suis li reis de Engleterre."
  8. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Ah, that makes more sense. I was wondering in what context exactly the claimants would say "You cannot all be the king of England".
    Ambdui = ambo duo, I guess. Interesting.
    Bitmap likes this.
  9. Abcormal New Member

    "Ambdui" is a spelling I found in the Anglo-Norman manuscript of the Song of Roland. Medieval scribes weren't exactly consistent with their spelling, and sometimes used several spelling in a single manuscript. "Ambedeus" is another spelling.
  10. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    I was referring to the etymology, saying I guess it comes from the Latin words ambo and duo.
  11. Abcormal New Member

    Ah, I see.
  12. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Couldn't it be a different grammatical case? I recall that, in the plural, -s marked the objective case in Old French. Whether that applied to the Norman dialect, I don't know, but it seems likely.
  13. Abcormal New Member

    Well, in the Song of Roland, it does say "ambdui vos en taisez", which roughly translates to "both of you be quiet", so...
  14. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    What I meant was: isn't "ambdui" the subjective case and "ambedeus" the objective case?
  15. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    This seems to be saying that, originally, ambdui was indeed the subjective case and ambdeus the objective case but that the distinction faded at some point and ambdeus could be found in nominative functions.
  16. Abcormal New Member

    So, would "Ambedeus vos avez tort" or "Ambdui vos avez tort" be more appropriate?

    EDIT: I mean, would the sentence "Both of you are wrong" be in the subjective case or in the objective case?
  17. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Maybe both are OK, but for safety I guess I would go with ambdui.
  18. Abcormal New Member

    OK then :)
  19. Ser 鳥王

    • Civis Illustris
    "de Engleterre" should be d'Engleterre. The preposition de drops its vowel before a vowel-initial word in both the 11th-century French of the Song of Roland and Marie of France's 13th-century Anglo-Norman French (and probably all other forms of Old French).

    I'm not sure whether avoir tort could mean 'to be wrong' at the time. The Song of Roland, composed circa 1060 during William the Conqueror's life, only uses tort in the sense of "state of being outside the moral law of God", hence avoir tort 'to be wrong under the eyes of God', à tort 'illegally, immorally', faire tort 'to be illegally/immorally wrong'. Some examples:

    Li Amiralz alques s'en aperceit / que il ad tort e Carlemagnes dreit.
    'The emir rather realizes that he's in the Wrong and Charlemaigne has the Right [under the eyes of God].' (This happens in the context of the French soldiers reaching the emir in battle as Ogier the Dane, on the French side, attacks the emir and his dragon, and the emir's Islamic banner falls.)

    Li quenz Rollanz ne li est guaires luinz, / dist à'l païen : « Damnes Deus mal te duinst ! / À si grant tort m'ociz mes cumpaignuns, / colp en averas einz que nus departum, / et de m’espée encoi saveras le num. »
    'Count Roland was not very far from him, and said to the pagan: "May God curse you terribly! In such a great crime [to God] you have killed my companions. You will take a hit before we go away; you shall know the name of my sword."'

    Carles respunt : « Tort fait ki'l me demandet. / Si grant doèl ai ne puis muer ne'l pleigne. / Par Guenelun serat destruite France... »
    'Charlemaigne replies, "Him asking that from me is an immoral wrong. I am in such pain I can't stop crying because of it. France is going to be destroyed by Ganelon..."'

    I would suggest changing it to Ambdui vos ne dites veir. Cf. the following passage from the Song of Roland, where people get mistaken thinking it's the end of the world after a series of ill omens, not knowing that the bad omens were happening because Roland had died.

    Hom ne le veit ki mult ne s'espaent. Dient plusur : « Ço est li définement, / la fins de'l sècle ki nus est en présent ! » / Il ne le sévent, ne dient veir nient. / Ço est la granz dulurs pur la mort de Rollant !
    'Nobody can avoid seeing that many are losing hope. Many say, "What is now before us is the end of the world, the end of times!" They don't know it, [but] they are completely wrong. This is the great sorrow because of Roland's death!'
    Issacus Divus likes this.
  20. Abcormal New Member

    Thanks :) As for the eliding, I found the phrase "Cez sunt les leis e les custumes que li reis Will. grantad al pople de Engleterre" in the "leis Willelme," which was written in the 11th century, so I decided that it might be a fine choice. I guess I can chalk it up to scribal differences, so I'll use "d'Engleterre" to be safe.
    And as for the "ambdui vos ne dites veir" part, I'm considering saying "ambdui vos en taisez", a quote from the Song of Roland, instead, because I discussed it with someone else and they said that might be more forceful and authoritative.
    Last edited by Abcormal, Oct 16, 2019 at 3:19 AM

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