pixidib. [pixis / de pixidibus]

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by AlexanderIII, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. AlexanderIII Senior Member

    Dear all,
    I translate a book by Francis Grose “The Antiquities Of England And Wales” and have come across a phrase in Latin.

    De pixidib. omnium sanctor. in eccles, St. Margaret et Capellis St. Nicholai et St. Jacobi una cum Capella Beatæ Mariæ ad Pontem. 6s. 4d.

    Could someone help me out with “pixidib.” please? I take it to be an abbreviation.
  2. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    That does not seem to be an abbreviation of any Latin word. It may be a corruption (misrendering) of the original.
    The phrase 'in die omnium sanctorum' means 'on All Saints' Day'. This occurs repeatedly in medieval records.

    My provisional conjecture at correcting the first part of the line would be:
    Depix. in die omnium sanctor. in eccles. St. Margaret

    Expanding the abbreviations in this, we have:
    Depixi in die omnium sanctorum in ecclesia St. Margaret

    meaning: 'I painted [this] on All Saints' Day in the church of St. Margaret'.
  3. AlexanderIII Senior Member

    Thank you very much, Wandle! I'm afraid that was not the last question.
  4. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    Well, I'm afraid that was not the last answer.

    My conjecture above was wrong. pixidib is in fact the abbreviation of pixidibus, ablative plural of pixis, a pyx.

    De pixidibus omnium sanctorum means 'Concerning the pyxes of All Saints'.

    What made me look further was the figure at the end, 6s 4d. This seemed too much to be the price of a painting and it did not make sense that the painter would leave such a statement on or about the supposed painted object.

    In fact, 6s 4d, or six shillings and fourpence, is being given as the value of the pyxes, that is the boxes for carrying the host or communion wafer. Such boxes could well be made of precious metal and be valuable items.
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    But why "pyxes of all saints" in a church and three chapels? Would it not make better sense if pyx here meant "reliquaries"?
  6. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    Further corrections! It seems, in fact, from the following excerpt that they are offertory boxes, in which the faithful place money donations and from similar accounts elsewhere, it is also clear that the figure of 6s 4d is not a large sum.

    Original Documents related to St. Paul's via Archaeology Data Service:
    Amongst various other extracts from the curious archives of St. Paul's, kindly communicated by the Archdeacon, there are accounts of sums received in the pixis, truncus, or money-box, entitled " Recepta de pixide crucis borialis," dated A.D. 1343, 44.

    Thus De pixidibus omnium sanctorum ... una cum Capella Beatæ Mariæ ad Pontem. 6s. 4d.
    [Money received] from the offertory boxes of All Saints ... together with the Chapel of Blessed Mary at the Bridge: 6s 4d..

    Thus the pixides were the offertory boxes in the name of All Saints, one placed in each of the church and chapels mentioned, and 6s 4d was the total collected from the four boxes.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  7. AlexanderIII Senior Member

    I see, thank you very much, Wandle and Fbd!

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