Mediaeval Hominum idcirco per eos...

Big Ups

Member
Thanks for any help on this this. My trans below. I am particularly unhappy with my trans of the second sentence.

quod in oraculis Pythii Apollinis ait
contigisse Cicero, ut est illud: Credo te Aeacidae trajanos vincere
posse. Hominum idcirco per eos scire secreta volentium hic eventus
est miserabiliter decipi;

which, Cicero said happened in the oracles of Pythian Apollo,
as this example shows: «I believe that you, Son of Aeacus, are able to conquer the Romans. » Therefore, this event, (i.e.,) To know secrets of men who are willing through them (i.e., bad angels) is deceived miserably;
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Where did you get the trajanos from? I thought the oracle said Romanos.

I take hic eventus est as some kind of parenthesis meaning 'as this event shows' or 'this is the outcome. For the rest of the sentence, you have a genitive (hominum volentium) with an implied est followed by an infinitive construction (decipi). The infinitive scire depends on volentium.
hominum idcirco per eos scire secreta volentium (est) miserabiliter decipi.
Therefore, it is the fate of people who want to know secrets through them – as this event shows – to be deceived miserably.

Note that credo te Romanos vincere posse can also be translated as "I believe the Romans can beat you".
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I think hominum... volentium modifies hic eventus, and miserabiliter decipi expands on eventus. Literally "This is the fate of people wanting to know secrets through them: to be deceived miserably".
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
I think hominum... volentium modifies hic eventus, and miserabiliter decipi expands on eventus. Literally "This is the fate of people wanting to know secrets through them: to be deceived miserably".
Ah! ... that may be better because it brings everything together.

I just googled the phrase and saw that 'hic eventus est' was set apart by commata ... (but then again, the printer seemed to have a slightly randomised relationship to commata).
 

Big Ups

Member
Thank you both! I have editions of two manuscripts on this text, a sermon from the 14th-century theologian, Jean Gerson, On divine prophecy. One states trajanos the other Romanos.
 
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