perii quoad hoc mundum

James C.

New Member
The phrase "perii quoad hoc mundum" appears within quotation marks in a letter from Anne Killigrew Neville to Mr. Windebank, secretary to Elizabeth I's Secretary of State Sir Robert Cecil, written on 6 March 1601 to plea for the Crown's leniency in confiscating the property of her husband Sir Henry Neville (1564-1615) after his imprisonment in the Tower for complicity with the Essex rebellion. The quote suggests a religious context, and other parts of the letter imply that Anne was a pious as well as a learned woman. However, I have been unable to identify where this phrase originates - despite the help of Perseus and a searchable text of the Clementine Vulgate. If anyone can direct me to the source of this quote, I would be most grateful.
 

Agrippa

Civis Illustris
Anne Killigrew Neville wrote:
My hope is only in Mr. Secretary, for if he fail, "perii quoad hoc mundum".
quoad hoc mundum] incorrect „hoc“? misinterpretation of an abbreviation used in manuscript??? Cf. https://archive.org/details/CappelliDizionarioDiAbbreviature/page/n253/mode/2up?q=hunc
Grammatically usual: „perii quoad hunc mundum“ (acc. sg. masc.; very rare mundum, i n.)
Presumable meaning: „... I am lost / I perished with regard to this world“ (nota bene: not to the other world, not to the life to come).
I couldn’t trace it back exactly to the sacred scriptures so far, but for "hic mundus" cf. Vulgata John 18:36.
 
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James C.

New Member
Thanks for your insights and comments.

If "hoc" is an incorrect transcription from the MS, it could have originated with the text published in 1870 since the same form is found there as in the British History Online posting. I don't have immediate access to the MS to check out this possibility, but "hoc" v. "hunc" does raise a question in my mind.

Would using "hoc" instead of "hunc" in this phrase have been considered a grammatical error by Anne Neville's contemporaries?

I'm under the impression that medieval and even humanistic Latin was more variable in its usages than classical or modern. Anne would most likely have received a good grounding in Latin from her mother Catherine Cooke Killigrew (d.1583), who was famous as a Latinist during during her lifetime, but to what extent Anne devoted herself to erudition is a matter of inference. So it using "hoc" here is a grammatical flaw, we can assume only a modest attainment. But if the quote is from some rarely studied source and the form is correctly rendered in her quote, we could infer a great deal of erudition.
 

Agrippa

Civis Illustris
...medieval and even humanistic Latin was more variable in its usages than classical or modern...
That's quite right. There is in fact a neuter noun mundum, i n.* so that we can consider quoad hoc mundum a correct expression.
__________________________
* Lewis&Short s .v. 2. mundus.
 

James C.

New Member
Thanks, that's good to know.

Since the phrase is grammatically correct as quoted, the original should be exactly what we see - unless the MS was wrongly transcribed. And since the phase is evidently not from the Vulgate, my first guess is that it might be from Augustine or (given the protestant convictions of the Killigrew's in general) from Calvin.

I've checked a few of their searchable texts on CCEL using "perish", but with no results. This outcome, however, means very little considering that the translator(s) could have chosen a different word or expression to render "perii."

What would be the best way to search the Latin texts of Augustine, Calvin et.al. online?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
If perii quoad hunc/hoc mundum were a phrase from any relatively well-known work, a Google search for it would most likely turn up something, but I've tried it (with both versions) and nothing comes up except the source you got it from. I also tried quoad hunc/hoc mundum alone, thinking the verb in the original might have been different, and I didn't find anything relevant with that either.

Hoc mundum would be unusual in Latin of any period (unusual of course doesn't mean impossible).
 

Agrippa

Civis Illustris
Googling with „quoad hunc mundum“ I found the following phrase:
Absolutio omnibus numeris perfecta, in qua nihi desideratur, … in homine, quoad hunc mundum incolit, inveniri non potest
Cf. Enchiridion theologicum, or a Manual, for the Use of Students in Divinity, by John Lord Bishop of London, 3rd ed., Oxford 1825, p. 324 (Noelli Catechismus), cf. https://books.google.de/books?id=lpqZZMAa5PMC&pg=PA324&lpg=PA324&dq=Absolutio+omnibus+numeris+perfecta,&source=bl&ots=v5k_THOug8&sig=ACfU3U2HWNK_7WAW6EhWc2AmFteGH-e3iQ&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj3rfCRh9nqAhWK2qQKHRMJDYUQ6AEwAHoECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q=Absolutio omnibus numeris perfecta,&f=false
Hence it follows that the meaning of "perii quoad hoc/hunc mundum" is "perii quoad hoc/hunc mundum <incolo>".
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I found that too, but it didn't seem to have any relevance to the matter at hand.
Hence it follows that the meaning of "perii quoad hoc/hunc mundum" is "perii quoad hoc/hunc mundum <incolo>".
I don't think so. You don't need any verb stated or implied after quoad. It can be used as a preposition with the accusative, a usage that became especially common in late Latin. But you know it can be used as a preposition, right, since that's how you translated it in your first post. I'm really not sure why you want an implied incolo there now.
 

Agrippa

Civis Illustris
Well, nevertheless I think it's very often a so-called elleipsis or omission: a verb must be supplied to make the construction complete.
Non nego "quoad" in usu esse nullo verbo sequente; tamen non raro verbum omitti puto per ἔλλειψιν (ellipsin) quae vocatur, i. e. per detractionem vel omissionem.
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Ellipses happen, but I don't have the feeling we've got one here. I guess the context, if we ever find it, could prove me wrong, but at first sight it just seems to be the prepositional use meaning "in respect to". Now this usage probably arose through some ellipsis, originally (possibly of something like attinet?) but we don't have to assume any more specific verb being implied here like incolo.
 

James C.

New Member
I'm wondering whether use of first person singular in this phrase substantially reduces the number of possible sources. That is, those texts written in a confessional mode would be the most likely places to look. Just for fun I checked Augustine's Confessions, but found no matches.
 
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