Mediaeval I don't understand what "cerram" means here.

EstInHorto

New Member
I'm trying to translate this sentence and getting a little stuck.

"In cerram lateas in terram corrue,
Sperne delicias sci vitam comede."

I have gone for:

"You lurk in [cerram], you ruin the land,
You must spurn pleasures, must know the manner of life [comede]".

"Cerram" could be a weird medieval Latin thing here, but it could also be a mispelling of something else. I'm also not really sure what to do with the second sentence, as there seems too many incompatible verbs for the number of objects.

Any ideas?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Note that the verbs are all imperatives.
Well, except lateas, which is actually subjunctive. But in this case the meaning is the same as with an imperative.
 

EstInHorto

New Member
The whole thing is badly misspelled. See here: https://www.google.be/search?tbm=bks&hl=en&q="in+terram+corrue,+Sperne"

Presumably, scicutam = cicutam.

Note that the verbs are all imperatives. Corrue doesn't mean "ruin" but "fall down".
Okay, thank you . So, something like "Retire to/stay hidden on the land, Fall down on the land!/ Spurn pleasures and consume the hemlock! (??)"

I should say, this section follows "Ut scelus defleas te ipsum corripe,/Nec celum videas nec vultum detege." which I have translated to something like "In order to lament your crime, you must reproach yourself/ And not look at the heavens, nor uncover (the? his?) face", so I suppose it has a continuity of theme there.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Yes.

"To lament your crime (i.e. to do penance), (you must) reproach yourself, neither look at the heavens nor uncover your* face; hide in the earth, fall down to the earth, spurn pleasures and eat hemlock."

*When you've got a body part without any possessive, as very often happens in Latin, you can usually assume that it belongs to the subject of the clause unless the context suggests otherwise.

If scicutam is indeed hemlock and not another mistake, that part is probably figurative. Surely the author isn't telling the penitent to commit suicide, which is an enormous sin in Christians' minds.
 
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EstInHorto

New Member
Yes.

"To lament your crime (i.e. to do penance), (you must) reproach yourself, neither look at the heavens not uncover your* face; hide in the earth, fall down to the earth, spurn pleasures and eat hemlock."

*When you've got a body part without any possessive, as very often happens in Latin, you can usually assume that it belongs to the subject of the clause unless the context suggests otherwise.

If scicutam is indeed hemlock and not another mistake, that part is probably figurative. Surely the author isn't telling the penitent to commit suicide, which is an enormous sin in Christians' minds.
Thank you!

If it is a reference to hemlock, it does fit with the tone of the rest of the song, which is very graphic and visceral.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Mine was Gallia provincia Romana est.
 
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