Mediaeval Hinc est quod dominatio...

Big Ups

Member
Hi All,
Can you help with my translation of the line below? The context of this passage has to do with how perception is affected by bodily illness or moral disposition. This line has to do with evil angels and their rule. The author seems to be playing with their rule and how they themselves are ruled. But I'm not sure if I am forcing such a reading. Thanks!

Hinc est quod dominatio eorum vere tyrannica est et corrupta, quia pejores et proprie insipientiores dominantur.

Hence whatever their ruling principle is, it is truly tyrannical and corrupted, since they are ruled by their own most evil and most foolish qualities.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Hinc est quod = literally "hence it is that", i.e. "that is why".

There is nothing that says "whatever their ruling principle is".

dominatio eorum vere tyrannica est et corrupta = their rule is truly tyrannical and corrupted

Where are you getting "qualities" from? At first sight, peiores et proprie insipientiores just means "the worse and properly more foolish ones".

Dominantur is from a deponent verb, so it should translate as active, not passive.
 
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Big Ups

Member
Thanks, I knew that dominantur could a deponent but could also be the pres passive ind of domino. That seemed to set up the possibility of a play on how these bad angels rule and are at the same time ruled. So I wondered if peiores et proprie insipientiores could be read as substantive adjectives of qualities the explain their "tyrannical and corrupt" rule. As I noted above the context (I've included some below) has to do with how one's perception and behavior is affected by one's nature. It doesn't seem that who a person rules explains why their rule is corrupt. In any case, I'm just wondering about the various ways of reading this. Thanks as always for your help, Pacifica.


And in this way, a manner had been assigned, through which we are induced to correct or distorted biddings. For our cognitive (cognitiva) faculty not only judges regarding truth but also the truth concerning the good. However, the other (i.e., the good) is judged to be good according to its conformity to an appetite, which if the [appetite] is distorted and corrupted, then it is no marvel that distorted and corrupted judgments follow. And this is the reason why practical judgments are spoiled and corrupted by passions more than speculative [judgments], since in the latter there is both truth and goodness, and in the former only truth is sought in itself.

Through this, a question is answered: how is it that the greatest of demons are not more foolish since they are more wicked in malice, which blinds the mind? For they are more skillful, more cunning, and more ingenious in carrying out perverse arguments and activities, just as gluttons skillfully seek after of sumptuous foods and the greedy extort of money and heap up wealth. However, in practical judgments and moral pursuits, they go astray most of all. They are the most foolish, the dullest, and the most obtuse, teaching that what is good is bad and what is bad is good, thinking the shadows to be light, and the light to be the shadows. That is why their rule is truly tyrannical and corrupted since they rule the worse and properly more foolish ones.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Thanks, I knew that dominantur could a deponent but could also be the pres passive ind of domino. That seemed to set up the possibility of a play on how these bad angels rule and are at the same time ruled.
I don't know if a non-deponent domino is even attested, is it? Many deponent verbs have rarer non-deponent forms, but my dictionaries don't have this one. In any case, there is no wordplay here. It wouldn't quite work. It's just a straightforward use of the regular deponent verb.
So I wondered if peiores et proprie insipientiores could be read as substantive adjectives of qualities the explain their "tyrannical and corrupt" rule.
It isn't possible for a masculine or feminine substantive adjective to represent a "quality", unless, I suppose, a word like qualitas is actually mentioned shortly before and left implied afterwards.
It doesn't seem that who a person rules explains why their rule is corrupt.
This isn't about who a person rules, but about who rules, namely the pejores et insipientiores. These are the subject of dominantur. The rule is corrupt because the rulers are the worse and more foolish.

Pejores et insipientiores couldn't even be the object in theory, since dominor is intransitive.
 
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