Benedic Domino/Dominus

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Furtail

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USA
English
I am working with a 17th century Venetian ecclesiastical text that was clearly a cut-and-paste job, and I am perplexed by "Domino" vs. "Dominus" in the first two lines, since both would seem to be clearly accusative:

In ecclesiis benedicite Domino.
In omni loco Dominationis benedic anima mea, Dominum.

Searching texts online, "Benedic anima mea Domino" shows up most often, but the version with "Dominum" shows up once in a while, more than zero.
My question: Is this inconsistency the result of the author's cut-and-paste job, or is it normal to find one verb used two different ways in the same context?
Thank you!
 
  • Scholiast

    Senior Member
    saluete diligentes!

    The verb benedicere will normally take a dative case, so at first sight, 'benedicite Domino' is correct.

    I can construe no syntactical sense with 'In omni loco Dominationis benedic anima mea, Dominum'.

    As often, here on the Latin Forum at WordReference, we need to ask for more details about the context and origins of the text about which you are asking. Ecclesiastical, obviously, musical maybe? In either case, the possibility is all too abundant that there has been a mistranscription. And incidentally, Google Translate is hopeless for Latin.

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    Furtail

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    It's a Venetian motet text from the early 1600s. The Italian motet texts were notorious for being cobbled together from other sources. (Pierre-Jean Grosley in 1770 called them "a bad assemblage of rhyming Latin words where barbarisms and grammar mistakes are more common than sense and reason; usually the work of the sacristan.")

    The full text looks like this:

    In ecclesiis benedicite Domino.
    In omni loco Dominationis benedic anima mea, Dominum.
    In Deo salutari meo et Gloria mea.
    Dominus auxilium meum et spes mea in Deo est.
    Deus noster, te invocamus, te adoramus,
    Libera nos, vivifica nos,
    Deus, adjutor noster in aeternum.
     

    Snodv

    Senior Member
    English - Mid-Southern US
    I wonder if the anima mea might be vocative, and should've been set off with commas both fore and aft. And I wonder if the later meaning of "bless" might take the accusative rather than the dative which went with the meaning "praise." I am only guessing, looking for logic where there may be none. "In the churches, praise the Lord. In every place of his dominion, bless the Lord, O my soul."
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings once more
    I wonder if the anima mea might be vocative, and should've been set off with commas both fore and aft
    I like this. I remain uneasy, however, about the accusative Dominum in l. 2, especially in such close proximity with the dative in the previous line.
    I'm also wrestling with line 3, In Deo salutari meo et Gloria mea, which I can only construe as 'In the God of my salvation (taking salutari as ablative sing. of salutaris) [is] also my glory'.
    Grosley's comment as Furtail quotes it (# 3) looks all too apt.

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    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    The third line is a snippet from the Magnificat:
    Et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo

    I suspect that the original audience was expected to catch all these references to texts they knew well.
     

    Furtail

    Member
    USA
    English
    Thank you, this is all very helpful.
    So Scholiast, to clarify the second point about "In Deo salutari meo," what is the anomaly there? Is it the word "salutari"?
     
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    Furtail

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    The third line is a snippet from the Magnificat:
    Et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo

    I suspect that the original audience was expected to catch all these references to well-known texts.
    Thank you, that does indeed sound like it. Libera nos, vivifica nos appears in a common Trinitarian formula.

    Actually, contemporary accounts indicate that most 17th century Italian speakers didn't get it- they were left with the impression of having understood snippets and occasional images without actually understanding the whole texts. (Libretti were rarely printed for the attending public.) And when sung in a space with 7+ seconds of reverberation, all bets were off :)
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    In ecclesiis benedicite Domino = Psalm 67 verse 27.

    benedicite Domino omnia opera eius in omni loco dominationis ipsius benedic anima mea Domino = Psalm 102.22

    etc. It's easy to find this stuff via google.
     

    Furtail

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    Yup, that is the beauty of search engines, right? It's funny to see how shameless some of them were about plagiarism.
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    I don't think they were plagiarizing. That's a modern concept. In their terms, they were writing centos.
    cen•to (sentō), n., pl. -tos.
    1. Literature: a piece of writing, esp. a poem, composed wholly of quotations from the works of other author
     

    Furtail

    Member
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    English
    Hehheh, no doubt. Many of these texts that I'm working with are the literary equivalent of an ink blot test. You have to fully project onto it in order to form any sort of interpretation because it's such gibberish. The one above is relatively tame.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    saluete Furtail collaboratoresque

    to clarify the second point about "In Deo salutari meo," what is the anomaly there? Is it the word "salutari"?
    No anomaly, just some obscurity of sense, and an ambiguity, as salutari could be read as a passive infinitive of salutare.

    And exgerman (# 11) is spot on about 'copyright' in the period: Bach plundered innumerable musical ideas from predecessors, and made them his own.

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    Furtail

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    Terrific! Thanks for the clarification--that is really helpful.
    And yes, although Bach was the least of it. Vivaldi plagiarized literally all of his counterpoint, often note-by-note (he was trained as a violinist, not a composer) and Handel appropriated entire arias from Galuppi. At least in Bach's case, he invariably improved the works he copied (for example, the Weimar transcriptions.)
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    I once read somewhere that the Latin-speaking church had a lot of back-and-forth before settling on Salvator as the right term for Redeemer. I expect that Salutaris was one of the candidates but was only rejected after the text of the Vulgate was finalized.

    EDIT: Google to the rescue. A long discussion over the relative merits of Soter, Servator, Conservator, Sospes, Salutificator, Salvificator, Salutaris and Salvator. I guess St. Jerome was one of the Salutaris fans.
     
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    Furtail

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    That is fascinating. Some areas, including Aquileia, Mantua, and Venice, used their own non-Vulgate translations of liturgical texts into the late 18th century. It'd be interesting to know if the frequency of "Salvator" is different in those texts.
     
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