Silet per diem universus &c

A

Anonymous

Guest
Is there anyone who could help me translate this line from Solinus' De mirabilibus mundi? I have struggled with it for many months now and still it eludes me; clearly I need professional help.

Silet per diem universus, nec sine horrore secretus est; lucet nocturnis ignibus, chorus Aegipanum undique personatur: audiuntur et cantus tibiarum, et tinnitus cymbalorum per oram maritimam.

(NOTE: In alternate versions the word "chorus" is spelled "choris".)
If anyone could help that'd be great.

Now that I've whet your appetites, here's a tougher one: I'm also trying to discern the meaning of the extremely obscure word "Cainitœ", which occurs in a passage from Primordia Ecclesiae Africannae by Friedrich Münter. The context may make the meaning somewhat clear, but I am incapable of reading it. The URL below will take you to a scan of the page with the word highlighted in yellow:
http://books.google.com/books?id=DFENAA ... &ct=result

gratias vobis ago
-Austin
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Re: a line from solinus

Atsab dixit:
Is there anyone who could help me translate this line from Solinus' De mirabilibus mundi? I have struggled with it for many months now and still it eludes me; clearly I need professional help.

Silet per diem universus, nec sine horrore secretus est; lucet nocturnis ignibus, chorus Aegipanum undique personatur: audiuntur et cantus tibiarum, et tinnitus cymbalorum per oram maritimam.

(NOTE: In alternate versions the word "chorus" is spelled "choris".)
If anyone could help that'd be great.
Taking chorus as choris, here's my translation:

"The universe is silent throughout the day, and not without dread has it been sundered; it shines with nightly fires, and resounds on all sides from the choruses of the Aegripans [mythical goats with fish-tails]: both the playing of reed-pipes and the ringing of cymbals are heard throughout the ocean shore."

Now that I've whet your appetites, here's a tougher one:

I'm also trying to discern the meaning of the extremely obscure word "Cainitœ", which occurs in a passage from Primordia Ecclesiae Africannae by Friedrich Münter. The context may make the meaning somewhat clear, but I am incapable of reading it. The URL below will take you to a scan of the page with the word highlighted in yellow:
http://books.google.com/books?id=DFENAA ... &ct=result

gratias vobis ago
-Austin
I believe that should be Cainitae, which refers to an ancient Gnostic sect called the Cainites. Here's my translation of the pertinent passage concerning them:

"But indeed the Cainites, a follower of whose sect Tertullian made her [out to be], whether they in fact existed is uncertain. This only should be maintained, that they, if they existed, were instructed in Gnostic [and] perhaps Carpocratian beliefs, and scorned the sacraments, inasmuch as these were external things and added nothing to holiness or to the inner life of Christians."
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Re: a line from solinus

i can't thank you enough; this has been incredibly helpful to my research.

My investigations into the word "Cainitœ" is due to my project of annotating a collection of stories by the 20th century Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, who was a master of many languages and used them to great effect to denote his various fantastic nouns. Just as often he discusses obscure items from history, and it's difficult to tell when he is fabricating and when he is simply referencing. In his excellent story "The Theologians", he speaks of a heretic sect throughout Eurasia and upper Africa that is

"known by many names (Specularie, Abysmali, Cainitœ), but the most widely accepted is Histrioni, the name that Aurelian gave them and that they defiantly adopted for themselves. In Phrygia, they were called the Simulacra, and in Dardania as well. John of Damascus called them "Forms"; it seems only right to point out that Erfjord thinks the passage apocryphal."
(Trans. Andrew Hurley, 1998)

Aurelian (not the emperor here but an early Bishop) and John of Damascus are both fictional inventions of the author, as Erfjord seems to be. Since I could find no information on any of the groups named above, I assumed Borges invented them as well, but began researching the names to see what he meant by them. It occurs to me with this new information concerning the Cainites that perhaps the names Borges gives are alternates of actual heretical sects. I will look into this.

The quotation from Solinus I came across in the late Victorian short novel "The Great God Pan" by Arthur Machen.
 

Alatius

Civis Illustris
Re: a line from solinus

Atsab dixit:
My investigations into the word "Cainitœ"...
Note that it actually says "Cainitæ" in the book you linked to, and that is the correct form. An italic æ (in this font you are reading now looking like æ) is often easily confused with œ. I tried to find an italic œ in the book, so that you could compare them, but it seems they are not used (see for example p. 141 where it says coelo, rather than cœlo.)
 

Alatius

Civis Illustris
Re: a line from solinus

Compare the look of æ (to the left) and œ (to the right) in the following typefaces:

 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Re: a line from solinus

Thanks so much for that logo! Now I know why caelum/coelum, caeno/coeno and other words are spelled in those two ways. Because of careless handwriting, usually done by monks, where a usually looked like o! Where did you find these typfaces, Alatius?
 

Alatius

Civis Illustris
Re: a line from solinus

I don't think it has so much to do with the shape of the letters, as with the pronunciation: æ and œ were both pronounced as e, and consequently, the whole triad e-æ-œ is regularly confused. (For example, you fairly often see fœmina instead of femina.)

The fonts are from http://iginomarini.com/fell/the-revival-fonts/
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Re: a line from solinus

That is accurate, because people down through the centuries eventually forgot to distinguish between ae, oe, and e, partly due to careless handwriting of copyists, and partly to laziness in pronunciation (or so I assume). To my knowledge, they're all pronounced today like e in most of Europe as in get (the vulgar, or ecclesiastical Latin) even by people who don't know the language. However, I don't think the Romans were that obtuse NOT to make a difference in pronunciation between those three, since they're the ones who came up with the language itself! Am I right or am I right?
 

Quasus

Civis Illustris
Re: a line from solinus

mattheus dixit:
Am I right or am I right?
Véró bis récté dícis! :D Et praesente tempore eí soní á nónnúllís distinguuntur, etiam vócálés longae brevésque.
 
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