of the same substance

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Casquilho, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Casquilho Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Hello, can you please tell me how can I say in good Latin the clause "of the same substance/matter/stuff/essence", the context is this phrase, "your genius and the eagle are of the same substance"?
    OBS: I'd rather like an expression, not an adjective like "consubstantial", for that would sound somewhat weaker to me.
  2. jrundin Senior Member

    USA, English
    There is a Greek word, ὁμοούσιος [homoousios; "homo-"= same], which means "of the same substance." It is contrasted
    with "ὁμοιούσιος [homoiousios; "homoi-"= similar]," which means of similar substance. Both these terms go back to
    the debates over the Arian Heresy. Arius held that Jesus was of similar, but different
    substance with God the Father (i.e., Jesus was ὁμοιούσιος); the opposite point of view,
    that Jesus was of the same substance as God the Father (i.e., Jesus was ὁμοούσιος)
    triumphed at the Council of Nicaea. This position was codified in the
    Nicene Creed, which came out of the Council of Nicaea. Unfortunately,
    all this went on in Greek, not Latin, and there are many
    Latin Nicene creed translations of the Nicene Creed, which could supply different models for your
    question. Several translations render "of the same substance" as "eiusdem substantiae"
    Others, however, translate the idea as "consubstantialis, -e," which is a more
    direct translation of "ὁμοούσιος." In any case, I would translate something like

    "tuum ingenium et aquila eiusdem substantiae sunt" OR
    "tuum ingenium et aquila consubstantalia sunt."
    The second one here is harsh because of the forced concordance of "aquila" and "consubstantalia,"
    so I might soften it by saying "tuum ingenium aquilae consubstantale est," putting "aquila" in the dative.

    Your question is the harder because it is unclear what is meant by "genius" in your inquiry.
    I took it to mean "talents, abilities, intelligence," and translated it here accordingly as "ingenium."

    However, if you really mean "genius" in the Latin sense, which does not mean what "genius" in
    English does usually, but is the vaguely defined animistic spirit of something, then you would
    "tuus genius et aquila eiusdem substantiae sunt" OR
    "tuus genius et aquila consubstantiales sunt."
    The concordances work out better in this second sentence than in the version
    above with "ingenium," so I think it's o.k. as it stands.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  3. Casquilho Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Hi jrundin, I thank you for your help. But it seems like you looked over my observation: what I want is a locution, not an adjective, precisely because I want to avoid the teological color of the word "consubstantial", furthermore I think the poetic strength of the phrase is better rendered with a locution. With "genius" indeed I did mean intelligence, dexterity, habilities. eiusdem substantiae sunt sounds promising. Anyone has other suggestions?
  4. jrundin Senior Member

    USA, English
    Well, I must confess that it escapes me how "consubtantialis" is in any sense more teleological
    than "eiusdem substantiae," but that's my problem, I guess.

    What I will say is that, I think among more sophisticated audiences, "consubtantialis
    has won the day in translations of the Nicene Creed. Some
    versions of the Nicene Creed in Latin do have "eiusdem
    substantiae." Others have "unius substantiae" [= "of one substance"]. I know of no other
    variants (though they do vary in how they express the "with the Father" that is typically
    attached ["cum Patre," "qua Pater est,"...]).

    "substantia" is the Latin translation of "οὐσία," Greek for "being." There is an alternate
    translation, "essentia," which is medieval, so you could use that instead. Then you'd have
    "unius essentiae" or "eiusdem essentiae." However, this strikes me as a bit of a barbarism.
  5. Casquilho Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    What I meant is that the religious, teological use of the word has printed on it that meaning as the chief, e. g. the Greek word agape to our modern eyes immediately means love of God, even though there are instances of it being used in erotical sense on Greek writings.

    How about materia? Do you think it could be used too?
  6. jrundin Senior Member

    USA, English
    I'm not sure about that. "materia" or "materies" is a philosophical term, and I
    am unfamiliar with such things. I think that it refers to the concrete physical
    stuff (atoms or whatever) of which something is made: the material cause in
    an Aristotelian sense.

    "substance" is, I think, a more difficult word with many usages in different
    . I think it may be more associated with the "formal" cause of
    something as opposed the material cause. But this is outside my realm of
  7. In the standard Latin version of the Nicene Creed use din the Catholic Church, the words consubstantialem patri are used to mean "of the same substance as the father"

    The nominative would be consubstantialis.

Share This Page