Vanitas vanitatis or vanitas vanitatum

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Ben Jamin, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Valete amici!

    Which is more correct Latin:
    Vanitas vanitatis or vanitas vanitatum?

    Did the Romans use vanitas in plural?
  2. djmc Senior Member

    English - United Kingdom
    It is a quotation from the Latin Vulgate (the Bible translated into Latin by St Jerome) which is Vanitas vanitatum omnis vanitas. It comes at the beginning of Ecclesiastes, it is translated into English (AV) as Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
  3. Joca

    Joca Senior Member

    Florianópolis, Brazil
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Ok, but I think you should say "omnia vanitas".
  4. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    But a version with Vanitas vanitatis is also widely used, isn't it?
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    The Vulgata does indeed say omnia (neut. pl.), as does the Septuagint (τὰ πάντα ματαιότης), but the Hebrew original has hak-kol hābèl, which is singular (literally: “the all is vanity”), so omne would have been more correct.

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