Dias irae Dias illa [dies irae, dies illa]

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Scopa Nuova, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Scopa Nuova Senior Member

    Texas, USA
    USA, English
    I think this means "day of wrath Day of anger" Can anyone verify it.


  2. miguel89

    miguel89 Senior Member

    The day of wrath, that day.

    Take a look here for a full translation.
  3. Scopa Nuova Senior Member

    Texas, USA
    USA, English
    Hi miguel,

    Thank you for your response. First, let me correct my Latin. I should have said Dies irae dies illa. I must have been thinking in another language.

    The translation you show was what my 1st attempt was, taking it right out of a Latin dictionary. But it sounded a little strange in English. Looking at your reference, I see they show a pretty much straight literal translation and a more poetic one. The poetic one, Day of wrath, day of mourning, has a better ring to it, at least to my ear. What do you think.

  4. miguel89

    miguel89 Senior Member

    Yes, I agree that the closer translation sounds a little weird. That's why it's so hard to translate poetry.
  5. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    The original Latin, as shown in the source you quote, is as follows:

    Dies iræ! Dies illa
    Solvet sæclum in favilla

    So, translated in prose, as the same source says, would be: Day of wrath! That day will dissolve the world in ashes. "Dies Illa" is the subject of the verb in the following verse.

    In the other version, "mourning" is added so that it rhymes with "warning" and "burning". It's more of an adaptation.
  6. Starfrown

    Starfrown Senior Member

    Columbia, SC
    English - US
    I think it's worth pointing out that ille in Latin often does not simply mean "that," but is more or less equivalent to English "THE" (emphatic), "that well-known," "that spoken-of," and so on.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  7. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    I think that actually the whole expression “Dies iræ! Dies illa” is the subject of the sentence. Remember that in Latin the most important part came usually second, also intensifiers, while in English it comes usually first. That’s why it sounds wrong translated to English. A better translation would be (though less literal): That day! The day of wrath, dissolves the world to ashes.
  8. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    I think dies illa is the subject of the sentence: Dies illa solvet saeculum in favilla. The first part is just an invocation. It has an exclamatory effect.
  9. Starfrown

    Starfrown Senior Member

    Columbia, SC
    English - US
    Hello Ben Jamin, I'm glad to hear from you again. :) I've been off the forum for a couple years.

    Dies is definitely the subject of the following line: solvet sæclum in favilla, but I'm afraid I don't see how your post and mine are at variance. I agree that in Latin, "ille" was more likely to have the sense I described earlier when it FOLLOWED the noun being modified, as it does here. I am attempting to address the meaning of the original Latin--the English translation is largely immaterial--and the meaning of "ille" in this case corresponds to what I described in my earlier post.
  10. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    I think you have a good point there, Star.
    "Dies illa" is nearer to "The day" than to "That day", as Rumanians know only too well.


Share This Page