Sunday, March 06, 2005


I'm constitutionally incapable of living tidily. Despite forcing myself to dump several kilos (!!!) of papers that I have no earthly use for (in addition to being a certified bibliofile, I'm also a pathological note-taker and gather of brochures, programmes, etc...), (mostly) shelving the piles (not stacks) of books which surround my bed and giving all the flat surfaces a much needed dust, my room still looks like a paper recycling centre after being hit by a hurricane.
Anyway, in the absence of doing anything worthwhile, I've decided to take a leaf out of Cnytr's book and exercise my Latin skills on something by the Angelic Doctor.
Secunda ratio est ut perfecte subveniret suis amicis omnibus. Habebat enim amicos suos non solum in mundo, sed etiam in Inferno. In hoc enim sunt aliqui amici Christi inquantum habent caritatem; in Inferno autem multi erant qui cum caritate et fide venturi decesserant, sicut Abraham, Isaac, Iacob, Moyses, David et alii iusti et perfecti viri. Et quia Christus suos visitaverat in mundo, et eis subvenerat per mortem suam, voluit etiam visitare suos qui erant in Inferno, et subvenire eis descendendo ad eos. Eccli. XXIV, 45: penetrabo omnes inferiores partes terrae, et inspiciam omnes dormientes, et illuminabo omnes sperantes in domino. Tertia vero ratio est ut perfecte de Diabolo triumpharet. Tunc enim perfecte triumphat aliquis de aliquo, quando non solum vincit eum in campo, sed etiam invadit eum usque in domum propriam, et aufert ei sedem regni et domum suam. Christus autem triumphaverat contra Diabolum, et in cruce vicerat eum: unde ait Ioan. XII, 31: nunc iudicium est mundi, nunc princeps huius mundi (scilicet Diabolus) eiicietur foras. Et ideo ut perfecte triumpharet, voluit auferre sedem regni sui, et ligare eum in domo sua quae est Infernus. Et ideo descendit illuc, et diripuit omnia sua, et ligavit eum, et abstulit ei praedam suam. Coloss. II, 15: expolians principatus et potestates, traduxit confidenter, palam triumphans illos in semetipso. Similiter etiam quia potestatem et possessionem acceperat Christus caeli et terrae, voluit etiam possessionem accipere Inferni, ut sic, secundum apostolum ad Philip. II, 10: in nomine Iesu omne genuflectatur, caelestium, terrestrium et Infernorum; Marc., ult. 17: in nomine meo Daemonia eiicient.
Now, stripping out all the scripture quotations (go look them up folks!) I translate as follows:
The second reason [that Christ descended into Hell] was to give a 'high five' to his homeboys Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and the rest of the crew that got there before him.
The third reason is that not satisfied with getting medieval on those Demons on neutral territory, he really wanted to rub their faces in it by visiting their 'hood and whopping them in their crib.

I'm currently working my way through Diarmuid McCulloch's 'The Reformation' wherein I read:
If one would have been justified [sic] in anticipating a good night out in the company of Martin Luther, the same cannot be said of the buttoned-up French exile who wanted to stop the citizens of Geneva dancing. Calvin had been in delicate health from his youth, and he was not inclined towards conviviality; his only recorded frivilous indulgence [sic again], apart from an occasional round of quoits, was the game known to schoolboys in twentieth-century England as shove ha'penny. He did, however, relish getting his own way, which he identified with doing the will of God.
In the Telegraph is the obituary of the Mossad agent who captured Eichmann. I recently heard that Eichmann insisted on testifying in long German sentences during his trial, almost inevitably postponing the verb until the end of the sentence. This is said to have caused difficulty for his translators because (as I understand it) the norm in Hebrew is for the verb to come at the start of the sentence.

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