...vos secundam rei bellicae suscepisse

Dane Pestano

New Member
Hi all,

I am trying to translate the first line of a letter from Remigius of Reims to Clovis king of the Franks, my knowledge of Latin grammar is a bit rudimentary though :


"Rumor ad nos magnos pervenit administrationem vos secundam rei bellicae suscepisse"

I am taking 'magno's as 'important', 'rumor' as 'rumour' , administrationem as 'command'. 'secundam' as 'successful' and 'bellicae' as war/battle

'secundam' I am trying to link with 'bellicae' in the sense of 'successful war/battle'. a bit like 'secundis proellis'.

The cases appear to be mostly singular and the first part seems pretty straightforward :

"Rumor ad nos magnos pervenit "An important rumour has come to us", (well something like this)

The second part though is troublesome. `administrationem vos secundam rei bellicae suscepisse'

'rei' seems to be 'king' or like 'O'king'. so I am suggesting something like :


O' King, that you did command and undertake a successful war”

but this seems problematical and so I cant quite get the right meaning. Can someone please help?

Regards
Dane

I think the problem appears to be 'bellicae'. It should really be 'bellicam'. A small amendment like this to the original would not be amiss?

Any ideas people. ?

Regards
Dane
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
Rei bellicae go together, or would if you go with that reading, but the whole passage appears to be corrupt in ways I haven't looked into very thoroughly.

Brief googling seems to show that the version more commonly accepted is Rumor ad nos magnus pervenit, administrationem vos secundum Belgice suscepisse: basically, 'we've heard that you've taken over the administration of the second Belgian province'. But I'm sure there must be people here who know more about the history of the text and its variants.
 

Dane Pestano

New Member
Hi Etaoin,
Thanks, yes, the current reading inserts not only Belgica in place of Bellicae, but also the idea of 'provincia', neither of which appears in the original Latin, as you can see from the above which I have quoted from the original. There is no alternative MS that reads Belgicae. They read 'bellicae' or 'beliicae', the second of which is just a shortening of the L by looks of it.

Rei bellicae - king of war? I must admit this one has stumped historians for generations, hence the wholesale changes to make it fit a theory, ie that Clovis ruled Belgica Secunda early on. This is my latest attempt. After looking at Perseus I have gone for 'directed' for 'administrationem'.

A rumour of importance came to us, O' King, that you directed and undertook a successful war”

I suppose if rei and bellicae go together we could suggest:

"A rumour of importance came to us, that you successfully directed and undertook a war as king”

Regards
Dane
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
I don't see any kings in there. I was taking it as the genitive, or possibly dative, of res bellica, the phrase as a whole meaning 'war'.
 

Dane Pestano

New Member
I see. Having consulted Perseus again secundam could mean 'following' and perhaps adminsitrationem - 'kingdom', so possibly a different solution :


that following (secundam) a war (Bellicae) (o'king (Rei)), you (vos) received (suscepisse) the kingdom (administrationem)

In this way secundam can link with administrationem as it possibly should, rei(res)+bellicae reside together and possibly as you say it could be a phrase, and vos and suscepisse sit nicely??

Regards
Dane



I think you are right, 'rei bellicae' is deffo a possibility for the genative. does this fit okay with the other suggestions above?

Dane
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
rei can't mean 'king'. That would be regis.

rei bellicae = of the war enterprise
 

Dane Pestano

New Member
Can this work anyone?

"Important word has come to us, that following a war you have received the/our kingdom"

Would it be 'the kingdom' or 'our kingdom' ?

I am taking secundam as a verb -'to follow'. The object of the verb is Administrationem, which is accusative singular.

Thanks Imber, that clears that part up.

Regards
Dane
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Can this work anyone?

"Important word has come to us, that following a war you have received the/our kingdom"

Would it be 'the kingdom' or 'our kingdom' ?

Regards
Dane
Not really. There's no word for 'kingdom' in there. vos...suscepisse means 'that you [plural] have taken up'. secundam has to agree with administrationem, and so it most likely just means 'the second administration'.
 

Dane Pestano

New Member
hmm, presupposing that he had a first one. that's one to think about. The letter and latin suggests a war, which means it is after he had defeated Syagrius at Soissons and therefore took over his kingdom. Administrationem must mean some form of government of the kingdom. Difficult one to see. The word Administratio as a term for office disappeared in the north soon after the fifth century, not to appear again until the ninth - ad suscepti regni adminstrationem

Regards
Dane
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Keep in mind what Etaoin Shrdlu said in post #2 about it possibly being corrupted.
 

Dane Pestano

New Member
Difficult, where does war fit in, if it is 'you took up' and second administration. ??

Regards
Dane

Yes its definitely corrupted. We need a late fifth to early sixth century meaning of north Gallic 'administratio'. There is a German work on the word. By then Belgica II didnt exist as a single polity. There were many petty kings ruling, one of them being Clovis.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
With secundam rei bellicae: '...that you have taken up the second administration/management of the war enterprise.'

With secundae Belgicae: '...that you have taken up the administration of the second Belgian [province or whatever].'
 

Dane Pestano

New Member
ok, thats another take on it. There's little chance that Belgica was meant, too many changes I feel to make it fit. more thought needed. Thanks Imber.

hmmm, I think 'second administration' in these times meant a secondary role, rather than as a leader. We know Ragnachar accompanied the young Clovis in this battle. Now how to put this....

Yes Perseus shows this form : admĭnistrātĭo , ōnis, f. administro.
I. Lit., a ministration, aid, assistance: “quae nec haberemus, nisi manus et ars accessissent, nec his sine hominum administratione uteremur,” Cic. Off. 2, 3, 12: “aquae,” the right distribution of, Vitr. 9, 8, 10.— Hence,
aid/assistance seems to be where it's going. so the sense seems to be that he was second in assistance in the war. perhaps 'second in command in the war' ??

Or perhaps "that you have taken up a second command of war?

or 'that you have taken up a second military campaign' ?

Would any of these work Imber?

Regards
Dane
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
I don't really know, to be honest. I'm not familiar with the terminology of the time.
 

Dane Pestano

New Member
Actually this has been suggested before. Bury mentioned it :
"that you have undertaken for the second time the administration of military affairs"

But strangely Bury said that it had no meaning in the context of Clovis. a strange statement as clovis fought many wars and this may just refer to the second of these.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
I found another brief discussion of it here.
 

Dane Pestano

New Member
Yes, as I said, this has been stumping historians now for generations. I think the solution mentioned by Imber works,
"....that you have taken up the second administration/management of the war enterprise"

which is very similar to the one Bury dismissed because he didn't understand the context.
"that you have undertaken for the second time the administration of military affairs"

Which I would condense into :
"that you have undertaken a second military campaign"
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Yes, as I said, this has been stumping historians now for generations. I think the solution mentioned by Imber works,
"....that you have taken up the second administration/management of the war enterprise"

which is very similar to the one Bury dismissed because he didn't understand the context.
"that you have undertaken for the second time the administration of military affairs"
With secundum instead of secundam it means '...for the second time the administration...' rather than '...the second administration...'. I suppose the same thing is implied either way, though.
Which I would condense into :
"that you have undertaken a second military campaign"
Seems reasonable enough to me.
 
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