tantus in ea viguit caelestis decor tantaque morum aelegantia polluit

This is my first post, I am new here.

My friend and I have translated a 5000 word 15th mythographic text, but there remain a handful of obscure passages.

The question in this one is what is the sense of polluo?

We have "In her there was such heavenly splendour, so great elegance of character (polluit?)".

The original text is in two manuscripts, so the reading "polluit" is certain. Here lines 3-4

paris2.jpg


Here lines 7-8

queriniana1.jpg


Thank you for anyone's help.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
I'd take polluit to come from pollēre ~ to be strong, to be potent, to be of value, to flourish (basically the same as valere)
so morum elegantiā polluit is something like "she flourished in the elegance of her character" (I'll leave it to you to find a better formulation, but you get the idea :p)
 
I'd take polluit to come from pollēre ~ to be strong, to be potent, to be of value, to flourish (basically the same as valere)
so morum elegantiā polluit is something like "she flourished in the elegance of her character" (I'll leave it to you to find a better formulation, but you get the idea :p)
The problem is that polluit is not a form of pollēre.

But in a strange coincidence, I came around to a similar translation, but by comparison with some very few examples of an apparently positive use of polluo which came up in searches, e.g. in Emmanuel Swedenborg's diary -

759. “Praeterea etiam alius erat, qui similiter in vita corporis ingenio polluit prae aliis…”
759. “There was another who in like manner during his lifetime had excelled others in ingenuity…” (translation John H. Smithson, 1846)


Emmanuel Swedenborg, Diary, number 759 “ingenio polluit”
https://books.google.fr/books?id=vOYHAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA226&lpg=PA226&dq=%22ingenio+polluit%22&source=bl&ots=veCk982m_a&sig=ACfU3U23GyrZc6tYBBASL74mi5l7LSqnWw&hl=fr&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiwxZTU7_LgAhWSMBQKHTnTDtUQ6AEwD3oECAEQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22ingenio%20polluit%22&f=false

Thus see also the phrase “ingenio polluit” in other contexts, e.g. Herman Venema, 1744,

“Ingenio polluit acuto et penetrante”
He excelled with sharp and penetrating ingenuity (?)


https://books.google.fr/books?id=3pNnAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA93&lpg=PA93&dq=%22ingenio+polluit%22&source=bl&ots=05BXkJi6um&sig=ACfU3U3ka1ojy47kcJVE0iQatCLs2nXOlg&hl=fr&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiwxZTU7_LgAhWSMBQKHTnTDtUQ6AEwDnoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22ingenio%20polluit%22&f=false

“Penetrante” is ablative participle, so “elegantia” can be the ablative, so maybe it is indeed “excelled in the elegance of her character”?
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
“Ingenio polluit acuto et penetrante”
He excelled with sharp and penetrating ingenuity (?)


Sounds a bit like a hendiadyoin (with penetrante meaning more or less the same thing as acuto)
He excelled with a sharp and piercing wit ~~> he excelled with a piercingly sharp wit

“Penetrante” is ablative participle, so “elegantia” can be the ablative, so maybe it is indeed “excelled in the elegance of her character”?

Yes, "she excelled in the elegance of her character" sounds like the best translation.

Just to be sure: Keep in mind that there are 2 words:
pollere, polleo, pollui = to be powerful, to excel
polluere, polluo, pollui, polutum = to pollute

They look the same in the perfect active, but the one in your example comes from the first one, pollere.
 
What do you think of this one, which seems straightforward but which has tied us up, until we can't even decide whether "tamen" is postpositive to "in eum", or if the "cupido" is the god Cupid (it is not capitalized in the text here, but in Cupid's own chapter it is) or desire. Here the author is describing the "fulgor" of Jove -

Ad sinistrum fulgor quidam quem et si sacris legibus suis plurimum commendarit in eum tamen cupido violentus obtexit.

"To the left a certain radiance that, even if by his sacred laws he many times committed to it [in eum], a vehement eros hid."

parisfin.jpg


querinianafin.jpg


We take obtexit to be obtexo, not obtego. But it is also not a reflexive (hid himself) nor intransitive.

Sounds a bit like a hendiadyoin (with penetrante meaning more or less the same thing as acuto)
He excelled with a sharp and piercing wit ~~> he excelled with a piercingly sharp wit.

Yes, "she excelled in the elegance of her character" sounds like the best translation.

Just to be sure: Keep in mind that there are 2 words:
pollere, polleo, pollui = to be powerful, to excel
polluere, polluo, pollui, polutum = to pollute

They look the same in the perfect active, but the one in your example comes from the first one, pollere.
Ah, thank you. I'll tell my friend Marco, we had not found that form of pollere.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
The word Cupīdo is feminine, actually, so I would not expect it to go with violentus. To me it seems like an ablative (or dative?) from the word cupidus, although I couldn't immediately make sense of that either.

I really have no idea how to understand that verb (obtexit), though, in that construction with in eum.
It would make some sense if it said obiecit... but I'm really taken aback with what it actually says there.

I wonder if Pacifica has an idea.
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
Cupido can sometimes be masculine, according to L&S.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Cupido is masculine when it means the god Cupid, and I suppose an exception with cupido as a common noun being masculine isn't impossible, especially in medieval Latin.

I'm very unsure about the whole sentence too, though.

Could you post more of the text, Ross? If we see what the text is all about, perhaps it will give us some ideas for interpreting this sentence.
 
Thank you for all of your wonderful help, everybody!

Sure, here is the normalized text for the chapter called "De Iove".

De Iove


Iovem, Athenis regnasse testatur antiquitas ibique cum adhuc rude et agreste hominum genus nullo iuris officio, sed ferarum ritu degeret : leges primus condidit. Instituit que matrimonia, ac nephandas aepulas humanas carnes amovit, et stricto rigore prohibuit. Societatem atque amicitiam primus suasit, eamque hominibus pernecessariam docuit. Templa et aras diis inmortalibus aedificari primus iussit, eosque maximo honore venerari : et siquid bonorum homines petituri forent a diis peterent. Idque se consecuturos sperarent si digne postulassent. hic bellorum inventor, Gigantes deorum insultatores superavit. et oneroso supplicio affecit. quem aetas illa. ita venerandum habuit ob insignem virtutem, et ingentia merita, ut deum. et Iovem optimum appellarit. eique templa dicata sunt. ad laudis memoriam sempiternam. Divinusque honos habitus , eiusque nomen a posteris summa veneratione suscaeptum. Sedet throno sidereo, regiis insignibus. eique assistunt quatuor siderum aspectus superiori quidem parte a dextris splendor rectae rationis agibilium humanorum, quo ignaros homines, politicos primum mores instruxit. A sinistris vero lux illa qua sanctissimas leges aedidit societatem que hominibus colendam iussit. aequalitate servata. Inferiori vero parte ad dextram emicat ardens sidus simillimum Marti, quod si contemptis terribilibus cum expedit pro servanda re publica maxime in viris elucet, quanto clarius in Iove qui deorum blasfemos Gigantes, pro religiosa veneratione fortiter, et feliciter bello devicit. Ad sinistrum fulgor quidam quem et si sacris legibus suis plurimum commendarit in eum tamen cupido violentus obtexit.

One of the manuscripts is in Paris at the Bibliothèque national, here -
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10034398d/f1.planchecontact

Jove starts on folio 7r, or "vue 8" of the BnF reader.

The other manuscript is in Brescia, Italy, at the Queriniana library.

There are no other uses of obtexo (or obtego) in the text.

Note that the author (Marziano da Tortona) uses "violentus" in the context of Cupid again, in the last chapter of the Tractatus -

De Cupidine.

Tot insignium deorum concilio impium et violentum puerum ascribi nulla honesti ratio satis assentire videtur, sed ludi nostri ordo sic exigit. Hunc amoris deum nullo virtutis, aut beneficii titulo, sed ob amplam eius potentiam, atque regnum antiquorum error finxit, cuius, et si nota sit crudelitas. et violentia dominandi, omnis fere iuventus, vi aut sponte eius imperio paret. Generosum tamen, ex parentibus Marte, et venere ortum traxit, candidus formosus. volucer et suavissimus aspectu, primo, sednatura immitis et ferox. Eum statim in lucem aeditum ferocissimae Lactarunt tigres. Deliciosus ex Matre, et armatus puer labores et estus fugiens, ocium tantum petit, acsepe sub floreis, aut frondeis puellarum sertis,ubi aureus cum viridi miscetur color, ad umbram quiescit, unde sagittas aureas iactans,levi primum, et dulci vulnere amantes afficit, et gradatim subiugum trahit genera milledelectationum pollicens. Interea in miseri amantispectus ardentem facem inicit, atque ubi se dominum sentit, ad mores, et ingenium rediens, inexpertes antea nunc agitat, urit, crutiat, exanimat, et per infinitos animi Langores raptat, atque ludificat, Nil apud eum valent amantum preces, et lacrimae, non admiserationemflecti potest, nec eius sevicia ulla arte molliri.non illata vulnera ullis herbarum viribus sanari valent, huius vis et ingenium est delectabiles formas, per oculos primum : de hinc persensitivas reliquas virtutes ad intellectumimmittere, ibique plurimum artis exponere, utinclinetur ad eas animus, obiectasque formasintellectus acceptet, inde iam acceptatas sepe commemorat, et ad easdem suadet, intellectum sepe revolvi, ut delectabilium species profundius, et tenatius imprimat. Quod ubi persuasum, liber pridem animus in captivitatemperductus est. unde non refragari amplius atdifficillime licet, nec cervicem iugo subducere. Quisquis igitur hanc scaevissimam, ac violentam pestem, cupit evadere, quam primum animo suggeritur, ulla eius delectationis speties, liber adhuc animi vigor principio obstet : non fallaces suasiones admittat, nec naturaliter libertatis percupida mens adducatur sub turpissimae servitutis iugum. iuvenili multum vultu cernitur, quod eam plus insequitur aetatem. Volucer ad amantium instabilitatem signandam humanis accinctus cordibus,quia victor de his triumphat. Nudus vero quod amantes invicem percupiunt, arcu pleno, caelo, et terris vagatur lascivus, et improbus Cupido: cuius infesta diis et hominibus arma non ipse Iupiter effugere potuit.
<end>

But the "cupido" of the Jove chapter is clearly not capitalized, although that is not necessarily indicative.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I think it's literally something along the lines of "To the left, a certain radiance which, although he (= Juppiter) commended it greatly in his sacred laws, he nonetheless violent[ly] hid from the [one who was] greedy for it."

Or, rephrased to make it a bit easier to follow: "To the left, a certain radiance which he commended greatly in his sacred laws, but forcibly hid from the man who was greedy for it."

I'm not sure what this refers to. The sun? Gold?
 
That understanding makes much more sense! The greedy one may be one of Jupiter's mortal lovers, from whom he hid his full glory. Her name escapes me for the moment (of course it'll come to me as soon as I post).
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Cupido is masculine, though, so a priori it can't be a woman, which would be cupidae.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
I'm not sure what this refers to. The sun? Gold?

It sounds like one of the 4 siderum aspectus (star signs?! or maybe just stars?) that surround him on his stellar throne; and the fulgor quidam seems to be on the lower left side.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
But what star is this, and what's it about him hiding it from the one who's greedy for it?
 
It sounds like one of the 4 siderum aspectus (star signs?! or maybe just stars?) that surround him on his stellar throne; and the fulgor quidam seems to be on the lower left side.
Yes, he is describing an image to be painted. The paintings - cards - do not survive, unfortunately.

But what star is this, and what's it about him hiding it from the one who's greedy for it?

Much of Marziano's description comes from Boccaccio, Genealogia deorum gentilium, for Jove here it is book II, chapter 1. There might be an episode there that makes the allusion clear.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
That would be l. II, c. 2, of course. Sorry, I'm going from memory away from books, on my tablet. There is another Jove, the third in Boccaccio, in book 11 or 13. The second, in book 5, is not very informative if I remember correctly.

Second Jove is page 233 in the edition you linked. Third would be in volume 2.
 
I think it's literally something along the lines of "To the left, a certain radiance which, although he (= Juppiter) commended it greatly in his sacred laws, he nonetheless violent[ly] hid from the [one who was] greedy for it."

Or, rephrased to make it a bit easier to follow: "To the left, a certain radiance which he commended greatly in his sacred laws, but forcibly hid from the man who was greedy for it."
I'm still in the dark about what episode(s), or character, the author is referring to here. This is not your problem, though, although I'm open to any plausible suggestions.

But in the literal part, I'm not sure about Pacifica's interpretation of violentus as an adverb. Can you make another sense of it?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It's common in Latin for adjectives to have adverbial force. Stuff like laetus canit, "He sings joyous[ly]", veloces currunt, "They run rapid[ly]"...
 
It's common in Latin for adjectives to have adverbial force. Stuff like laetus canit, "He sings joyous[ly]", veloces currunt, "They run rapid[ly]"...
Ah, wonderful. Thanks. That's what I was missing. I consult a grammar less than I should; my Bescherelle is fairly basic.

Now we just have to figure out what it means.
 
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