Quattuor praedicabilia

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Hello,

One of my books has, above quatuor ventos in Rev. 7:1 Post haec vidi quatuor angelos stantes super quatuor angulos terrae, tenentes quatuor ventos terrae, ne flarent super terram, neque super mare, neque in ullam arborem, a gloss reading propter quattuor praedicabilia vel propter evangelia, "because of the four laudable/preachable things or because of the four Gospels". Does anyone know what quattuor praedicabilia might refer to?
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Hello,

One of my books has, above quatuor ventos in Rev. 7:1 Post haec vidi quatuor angelos stantes super quatuor angulos terrae, tenentes quatuor ventos terrae, ne flarent super terram, neque super mare, neque in ullam arborem, a gloss reading propter quattuor praedicabilia vel propter evangelia, "because of the four laudable/preachable things or because of the four Gospels". Does anyone know what quattuor praedicabilia might refer to?
The first thing that comes to mind are the four Cardinal Virtues: Temperance, Justice, Fortitude and Prudence.
Searching my memory but I can't think of anything else (yet)...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It looks at least possible, but I wonder why they wouldn't have called them simply virtutes cardinales. I'll still wait a bit to see what others think. Thanks.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
It looks at least possible, but I wonder why they wouldn't have called them simply virtutes cardinales. I'll still wait a bit to see what others think. Thanks.
With the reference to the Four Gospels, I keep thinking about how each evangelist is traditionally associated with a different creature (Matthew = man, Mark = lion, Luke = ox and John = eagle), referring to, of course, the four winged creatures first mentioned in Ezekiel and which form a major theme in Revelation. I doubt that these four creatures would themselves be the "four preachable/laudable things" but apparently each is traditionally associated with a Christian virtue (Matthew = reason, Mark = courage, Luke = self-sacrifice and John = spiritual vision), and this seems like something that might be described as "preachable" or "laudable".

No clue if this is of any help at all, just something that keeps coming to mind given the repeated use of these symbols in Revelation.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I'm not sure, but interesting. I could be convinced if I had proof that those were ever called praedicabilia... This term must probably have been used because it was used habitually to designate something (whether this or something else) in particular, and people familiar with the subject would have known. I don't think it would have been used only once like this if it weren't traditionally used to designate something in particular, because then it's too vague of a term.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
The word that is used for "or" -- vel -- does it generally mean an "either" type of or, or rather something more like "or, that is to say..."

I.e. does the sentence imply "either the four preachable/laudable things, or the Four Gospels", or does it imply "the four preachable/laudable things, that is to say, the Four Gospels"...

Or are the two senses of the word simply indistinguishable, and it could mean either?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
(It can be either, but here the "that is" interpretation would be weird.)

I've found something: it seems to have been used as a philosophical term, meaning something like "the four things that can be said/declared" I guess. There's probably a proper English term but I have no clue what it might be*. The quattuor praedicabilia being genus, species, proprium et accidens, "kind, appearance, what is proper to something, and what comes as an accidental addition", or something like that. I don't really get what it's to do with the four winds, though.

*Edit: Bingo.
 
(It can be either, but here the "that is" interpretation would be weird.)

I've found something: it seems to have been used as a philosophical term, meaning something like "the four things that can be said/declared" I guess. There's probably a proper English term but I have no clue what it might be*. The quattuor praedicabilia being genus, species, proprium et accidens, "kind, appearance, what is proper to something, and what comes as an accidental addition", or something like that. I don't really get what it's to do with the four winds, though.

*Edit: Bingo.
That's five though Pax?

Edit: genus, species, difference, property, and accident (though it does say 'usually listed' so it still might be correct).
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It seems like some thought they were four and some thought they were five.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Here it says Aristotle had only four and a certain Porphyrius put a fifth one.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Here it says Aristotle had only four and a certain Porphyrius put a fifth one.
He's known as Porphyry in English. Not to be confused with the igneous rock of the same name.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Finally it may be that these praedicabilia have nothing to do with an obscure reference to Aristotelian logic. Later, there's another gloss (to quatuor cornibus in 9:13 Et sextus angelus tuba cecinit: et audivi vocem unam ex quatuor cornibus altaris aurei, quod est ante oculos Dei) saying:

Per IIII quae de christo praedicantur, quae sunt nativitas, passio, resurrectio, et ascensio, circa quae omnia.

"By "four" are symbolized the things that are proclaimed about Christ, which are the Nativity, the Passion, the Resurrection, and the Ascension; and everything revolves around these."
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Finally it may be that these praedicabilia have nothing to do with an obscure reference to Aristotelian logic. Later, there's another gloss (to quatuor cornibus in 9:13 Et sextus angelus tuba cecinit: et audivi vocem unam ex quatuor cornibus altaris aurei, quod est ante oculos Dei) saying:

Per IIII quae de christo praedicantur, quae sunt nativitas, passio, resurrectio, et ascensio, circa quae omnia.

"By "four" are symbolized the things that are proclaimed about Christ, which are the Nativity, the Passion, the Resurrection, and the Ascension; and everything revolves around these."
This seems rather more likely/relevant than the Aristotelian reference :D But, out of curiosity, when do most of these glosses date from? (Or is it even known when they were originally written?)
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
According to Wiki, they were in use "from the Carolingian period onwards", but more glosses were added through time. I don't know when exactly they started being compiled. I'm personally working with three books that are 12th, 13th and 15th century.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Now, I suppose that can no longer really be translated as "predicables", can it? So, practically, how am I to translate it? Something like "the four things to be preached"?

Does someone have an opinion?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Top