Mediaeval in raptibus et extasibus.

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Thanks for the views and help. My translation below. I'm especially struggling with rendering the following section: si fuerit objectus animae non impeditae...

Etenim, sicut mane dicebatur, cum angelus
sit tamquam liber lucidissimae inscriptionis, si fuerit objectus
animae non impeditae nec peccatis absorptae et depressae, corporalibus
quoque nexibus non nimis adstrictae, legere poterit illud quod in
libro hoc sibi fuerit praesentatum; et haec in raptibus et extasibus

In fact, just as it was said in the morning, since an angel is just like a book of the clearest inscription, if there were not an obstruction of the soul, and not impeded, engulfed, and weighed down with sins, also, not exceedingly bound with bodily attachments, [then] it would be able to read that which was presented to it in this book; and these things happen in raptures and ecstasies.


Sīmia Illūstris

  • Censor

Hello, I think you might have got the gist of it and a big part of it is correctly translated, but I think you might have misunderstood some of the grammar, at least as long as my understanding and interpretation goes.

So, for example "fuerit objectus" - in my best opinion - is quite probably the future II. I can see how it could be expressed here with a subjunctive "if it were... [something]", but that adds more uncertainty than what the author actually suggested with the indicative. So, in English, in the conditional sentence you simply say "if it is ....[something]". Next "objectus" is very probably a passive participle (as part of the periphrastic future II conjugation) of the objiciō, objicere, objēcī, objectum verb which means "throw [something] before [something]" - in this case the book to a dative-anima (=the soul). "legere poterit" kind of doesn't logically/predictably continue in the syntax or phrasing of the previous sentence, but since "legere" is active (not like lēgī = to be read - passive), we very much must think the agent (the subject) is the anima. The soul, which to its special properties that have been just described, is actually able to read in this metaphorical book. "haec" at the end ... probably refers (nominative, feminine, singular) to the anima again, while it is tempting to understand it as a very frequent neuter plural, then on the other hand the stuff in the book has been just described as "illud", so why to jump to "haec" right in the next clause for the same thing + and the change of the pronoun as opposed to illud + "happen" is maybe a bit more steps than "is/will be" in regard to a missing implied verb (I don't say your version of that clause is impossible though, I just think a little bit less likely than the interpretation I have decided for).

This is my go at the translation without looking much at yours:

And the fact is, as we were saying in the morning (=as it was said), since an angel is like a book with the brightest title, if this book (=it) is cast before a soul which is not hindered nor it is all soaked with sins and [all] reduced, and which is also not bound excessively to its body (=tied up too much by corporeal connections), the soul will be able to read what is presented to it in this book; and [while doing it] this soul will find itself (=is/will be) in raptures and ecstasies.

Big Ups


This is a very generous response, Godmy. Thanks for your insights into the grammar of this passage. I really like your translation.