uoluunt (poetry)

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ellicella

New Member
Croatian
Hi, I was trying to translate a poem from Latin into English and couldn't find what "uoluunt" means exactly. Does anyone know? Any help or opinions would be welcome as I am no expert whatsoever in Latin nor poetry. :) Many thanks!

Ad reuerendum archiepiscopum strigioniensem in electione sua.
Nouembri 1569

Semper et ingentes dum uoluunt aethera caelos,
Viuat felices transigat atque dies
Antonius, praestans animi uirtute beata,
Vrantius, eloquio non minus ille potens,
Archus et inuigilans speculator Pannonis orae
Strigonii fidus pastor et ipse gregis.
____

To the venerable Archbishop of Esztergom, in honor of his appointment.
November 1569

Forever, as long as the ether moves the mighty skies,
May he live a long and prosperous life -
Antonius, whose virtue of the soul remains unrivaled,
Vrantius, none the less adept with words,
The highest and most vigilant custodian of the Pannonian lands
and the shepherd forever loyal to his Esztergom flock.
 
  • Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Dear Elicella

    Lovely to welcome you here to the Latin Forum at WR.

    Yes of course we can oblige, or try to. 'uolunt' is present tense, 3rd person plural, indicative, meaning 'they wish' (from volo, velle). I am guessing, so correct me if I am wrong here, that you have been puzzled by the letter 'u'. The fact is that classical Latin did not distinguish in writing between the vowel 'u' and the consonantal, normally now transcribed as 'v', though pronounced like an English 'w'. My impression about the doubled 'uu' in the inflected termination is that it is an incidental error or orthographic oddity. Does this make enough sense to you?

    Σ
     

    ellicella

    New Member
    Croatian
    Is this not uoluunt (=volvunt)?
    Volvo (volvere): roll, tumble
    Many thanks, Agró!
    I made a wild guess it might be related to movement because it refers to ether, but I had no idea what it could be. Thanks again, I will fix the translation accordingly!
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Dear Ellicella

    Agró was quite right (# 3) and I apologise at once for my mistake. Of course it is uoluunt, 'they revolve'.

    And thank you too, Agró, for your note of affirmation (# 3). I assure you, despite my heinous error here, my enthusiasm for Latin is undiminished. And for your intelligent contributions on this Forum.

    Σ
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    saluete, Ellicella, Agró et alii amici omnes

    Recovering from my humiliating mistake (in # 2), it may be helpful to add that the idea of the earth revolving on its axis, chiefly demonstrated by the apparently circular movements of the heavenly bodies in the course of the cyclical day and night, which in 1569 were just beginning to be scientifically understood (Galileo was born in 1564), was a regular theme in classical Latin (and Greek) thought and verse. See e.g. Virg. Aen. 4.481f., '...ubi maximus Atlas / axem umero torquet stellis ardentibus aptum'.

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    ellicella

    New Member
    Croatian
    saluete, Ellicella, Agró et alii amici omnes

    Recovering from my humiliating mistake (in # 2), it may be helpful to add that the idea of the earth revolving on its axis, chiefly demonstrated by the apparently circular movements of the heavenly bodies in the course of the cyclical day and night, which in 1569 were just beginning to be scientifically understood (Galileo was born in 1564), was a regular theme in classical Latin (and Greek) thought and verse. See e.g. Virg. Aen. 4.481f., '...ubi maximus Atlas / axem umero torquet stellis ardentibus aptum'.

    Σ
    Many thanks for the information, Scholiast! I find it very interesting and helpful.
    Also, feel free to comment on anything else in this translation if you'd like, I appreciate the expert feedback a lot.
     
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    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    feel free to comment on anything else in this translation if you'd like, I appreciate the expert feedback a lot.
    Well, I regret that I can't offer any expertise, but here's a comment (which possibly makes that all too clear) : it may be no accident that the first words of each line read ' Semper Viuat Antonius Vrantius [Verantius] Archus Strigonii'; if that's the case, there's a challenge for the translator!
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    saluete omnes!

    OK after all, this is how it might be translated into English.

    Always, and so long as the skies revolve the mighty heavens,
    May he live and pass happy days,
    Antonius Verantius, outstanding in blessed virtue of spirit;
    And no less capable in eloquence,
    Chief and vigilant watchman of the Pannonian shore,
    Trusty shepherd too, he, of his Esztragom flock.

    Σ
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Hi,

    ...
    OK after all, this is how it might be translated into English.

    Always, and so long as the skies revolve the mighty heavens,
    ...
    Are you taking "aethera" as nominative plural (=the skies)?

    Also, what is going on with the meter in the even lines? Starting dactylic and finishing anapaestic, while the odd lines are consistently dactylic. Is it a standard meter?
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    saluete amici!

    Yes, Dib (# 16), aethera must be nominative, as ingentes cannot agree with anything but caelos.

    As to the meter: these are standard elegiac couplets. Somewhat of their ilk, but accommodating their un-Latin linguistic origin, or adapting it to their own (Hungarian) speech-rhythms. I have learned elsewhere that Latin remained the language of legal and diplomatic communication (useful because transcending national or ethnic frontiers) within the Austrian/Hungarian Empire until its demise at the end of WW I.

    Σ
     
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    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Dib

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Thank you, Scholiast, for your kind reply. I was a bit surprised to learn that "aethera" could be nominative plural as well. Nice bit of information. Also, thank you very much for the explanation on elegiac couplets and the language situation in the Austro-Hungarian empire.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    @Dib

    Taking aethera as a nominative plural is the only way I can make syntactical sense of the first line. I am well aware that in 'proper' classical Latin, aether is masculine (as is, at least usually, the Greek αἰθήρ from which it is borrowed), and aethera 'ought' to be a (Greek) accusative singular. But given the date and provenience of this text (see # 1 again), I think we have to allow the author a little latitude as regards the finer points of classical rectitude.

    Σ
     
    • Agree
    Reactions: Dib

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Indeed. Also, I found this in Lewis & Short: "plur. in late Lat. aethera". So, it seems to have occurred with some frequency in Late Latin.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    @Dib (# 20)

    Good. It seems that L&S were a step ahead of OLD, then, which seems not to mention this.

    And by the way, in those inflected Indo-European languages which have a neuter gender (at least those I know anything of—Latin, Greek, German and a smattering of Russian), nominative and accusative forms are always identical.

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    • Agree
    Reactions: Dib

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    And by the way, in those inflected Indo-European languages which have a neuter gender (at least those I know anything of—Latin, Greek, German and a smattering of Russian), nominative and accusative forms are always identical.
    Yes, provided they haven't restructured their inflexional case system. So, New Indo-Aryan languages, e.g. Gujarati, cannot be readily reconciled with this observation, because they have undergone a thorough restructuring.
     
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