docenti importanti come […] Donizone

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tsoapm

Senior Member
English (England)
Hi all,

In a text referring to the history of the Università degli Studi di Parma, I’m trying to work out the best translation for docente here:
[G]ià durante i secoli XI e XII a Parma passano allievi e docenti importanti come San Pier Damiani e Donizone[.]
Normally I’d put "teacher/lecturer/professor", but here I suspect that they would all be anachronistic. He gets his own Italian wikipedia page unless I’m much mistaken, but I can’t find a reference to him teaching anywhere in either Italian or English. He (as "Donizo", following the Latin, in English) is mostly referred to simply as a Benedictine monk and the biographer of Matilda of Canossa.

Can I get away with “scholar”, do you think?

Thanks
 
  • giginho

    Senior Member
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Hi Mark!

    You know, my ignorance has catastrofic dimension but I'll try to help you, anyway.

    Maybe I'm taking off for a Pindaric flight but......Those guys were masters in their fields so could "master" fit in this context or does it not convey the sense of teaching?

    Cheers

    Gigi
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I don't think we can use "master", no.

    I was thinking that, in this phrase, the allievo was St. Peter Damian and the docente only Donizo, but if I’m wrong I’ll change it.

    I expect that his role was analogous to that of a professor, only that the term wasn’t in use at the time (the OED has it starting from “LME”: Late Middle English i.e. 1350–1469) and since the actual role probably developed with the terminology, I also expect that it doesn’t truly correspond.

    "Scholar" does not only mean someone who learns: it also means “A learned or erudite person, orig. esp. in the classics, now in languages, literature, or any non-scientific subject, an academic.” (Shorter OED). That’s the sense in which I thought it might work.
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    I was thinking that, in this phrase, the allievo was St. Peter Damian and the docente only Donizo, but if I’m wrong I’ll change it. You are probably right, San Pier Damiani was a student in Parma, not a professor.

    I expect that his role was analogous to that of a professor, only that the term wasn’t in use at the time - True, but your text is written in modern Italian :)
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    If you can't find any reference to him teaching, I'd go with scholar. It's nice and vague - it could mean he does both teaching and research, or just one of the two :)
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    True, but your text is written in modern Italian :)
    :confused: Perhaps my brain’s not quite firing on all cylinders, but I’m not sure how that makes life any simpler… Do you mean that docente is anachronistic too?

    @Tegs – Thanks for the backup. :) That’s what I thought.
     
    Last edited:

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    :confused: Perhaps my brain’s not quite firing on all cylinders, but I’m not sure how that makes life any simpler… Do you mean that docente is anachronistic too?
    That the sentence you quoted is written in modern Italian and uses the term docente, that means the author didn't look for a term that was in use at the time but for a word everyone would easily understand.
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    That the sentence you quoted is written in modern Italian and uses the term docente, that means the author didn't look for a term that was in use at the time but for a word everyone would easily understand.
    Right, so you don't need to worry about whether the English term was in use at the time when this guy was alive. But never mind, I still think scholar is a good option - it sounds a bit ye-olde-worlde but is still in use today and completely understandable.
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Ah, I see. Well, given the differences in the history of English and Italian, I think we tend to take different approaches. I’d try and find a term that was applicable at the time and is still applicable today, updating the orthography if necessary.
     
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