Commentaria Poesis Latinae Hodiernae
Commentary on Contemporary Latin Poetry
This is a fairly standard 3rd declension adjective, meaning "of or having to do with Carleton." The Carleton in this case
is Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. The only other notable thing about this word is that it contains a silent e, lest it be completely impossible to use in dactylic poetry.
Hoc adjectivum declensionis tertiae significat "de Carletonia, aut Carletoniae." Haec Carletonia est Collegium Carletonia in oppido Northfield, in civitate Minnesota ex Civitatibus Foederatis Americanis. Tacet littera e, sicut Anglice, et ergo non fractae sunt pedes dactylicae.
- claudicus, -a, -um
- This adjective was coined by Justin Mansfield, to mean "pertaining to limping." It actually is listed in Alexander Souter's
"A Glossary of LATER LATIN to 600 A.D." as a word used by "Chiron." If anyone has good info on Chiron, please let me know.
Hoc adjectivum fecit Justinus Mansfield, ut significet "de clauditate." Inventiri quoque potest in "A Glossary of LATER LATIN
to 600 A.D." Alexandri Souter, quis scripsit verbo usus est "Chiron." Si quis de hoc Chiron scit, fac me certiorem.
- Endymion, -onis
- Endymion est deus somni somniorumque.
Endymion is the god of sleep and dreams.
- ensis Syracosius
The "Syracusean sword" is simply the sword of Damocles. Damocles, a good Syracusean citizen, remarked to his king (whose name
I have forgotten for the moment) that the life of the king must be very easy. The king had Damocles fed and entertained for
a day, but had a sword suspended over his head. The comparison with my comps, I must admit, is not a great one.
- filius Menelai
- Hycanthus, son of Menelaus
- Gradalis (m. or f.?), gradale (n.)
Francogallice Gral, germanice Graal, anglice Grail
- hora prima, secunda, etc.
The Romans, since they had no electric clocks, set up their system of measuring time based on the sun. Therefore, the Roman
hour is six hours different from the standard used nowadays. The first hour of the day goes from 6:00 am to 7:00 am, the second
from 7:00 to 8:00, and so on.
In hoc casu Rhenus fluvius: annus 2003 aridissimus erat.
- Mein kind kam heim
Mein kind kam heim.
Ihm weht der seewind noch im haar·
Noch wiegt sein tritt
bestandne furcht und junge lust der fahrt.
Vom salzigen sprühn
Entflammt noch seiner wange brauner schmelz:
Frucht schnell gereift
In fremder sonnen wildem duft und brand.
Sein blick ist schwer
Schon vom geheimnis das ich niemals weiss
Und leicht umflort
Da er vom lenz in unsern winter traf.
So offen quoll
Die knospe auf dass ich fast scheu sie sah
Und mir verbot
Den mund der einen mund zum kuss schon kor.
Mein arm umschliesst
Was unbewegt von mir zu andrer welt
Erblüht und wuchs -
Mein eigentum und mir unendlich fern.
- Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid)
- In lines 5-9 of the Metamorphoses, Ovid states that the world was formed from Chaos. The passage in question can be found at Tufts' Perseus Project.
Ab versu quinto ad nono Metamorphoseon dicit Naso originem mundi in Chao esse. Legi potest sententia Nasonis apud Opus Perseum Universitatis Tuftensis.
- omnifer carrus
- "All-carrying cart," i.e. a public bus. I wanted to keep a classical feel to the poem, and this is a satisfactory way of doing
so. The adjective omnifer can also be interpreted to apply to labor.
Autoraeda longa publica. Sed mihi hoc poema scribenti verbum "autoraeda" ignotum fuit. Aut fortasse labor omnifer est.
This is the perfect participle of solito, which is the iterative form (formed by adding -it-) of soleo, to be accustomed to. I originally formed this myself, but then I checked the Oxford Latin Dictionary and there it was.
Solitatus participium praeteritum verbi solito, figura iterativa verbi soleo. Primum hoc verbum creavisse me credidi, sed apparet in operibus Auli Gellii.
- Tao (Dào)
- Tao is a Chinese word meaning "way." Taoism is a Chinese religion and philosophy whose followers believe in one Way that all
Tao est verbum Sinicum quod significat "via." Schola Viae, vel Taoismus, religio et philosophia Sinica est, cuius sectatores
credit in Viam unam, quam Viam omnes res sequuntur.
- Varangi: The Holy Martyrs Theodore (Feodor) the Varangian and his son John (Ioann)
The Holy Martyrs Theodore (Feodor) the Varangian and his son John (Ioann) lived at Kiev in the tenth century, when the Varangians
(in Russian varyagi), ancestors of the present-day Swedes and Norwegians, accepted a particularly active role in the governance
and military life of Rus'. Merchants and soldiers, they opened up new trade routes to Byzantium and to the East, they took
part in campaigns against Tsar'grad (i.e. Constantinople), and they constituted a significant part of the populace of ancient
Kiev and the princely mercenary retinues. The chief trade route of Rus' -- from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea -- was then
called "the Way from the Varangians to the Greeks".
The chieftains and organisers of the early Russian realm relied upon their Varangian retinues in their undertakings. Just
like the Slavs among whom they lived, many of the sea-faring newcomers accepted holy Baptism under the influence of the Byzantine
Church. Kievan Rus' occupied a middle place between the pagan Scandinavians and the Orthodox Byzantines. In the spiritual
life of Kiev the vivifying influence of the Christian faith (under Blessed Askol'd in the years 860-882, under Igor and Saint
Ol'ga in the years 940-950) alternated with the destructive whirlwind of paganism, blowing down from the North from the Varangian
Sea (during the reign of Prince Svyatoslav, who refused to accept Baptism despite the insistence of his mother Ol'ga.
When in 972 (other sources give 970) Svyatoslav was killed by the Pechenegs, the great-princedom of Kiev became the responsibility
of his eldest son, Yaropolk. Oleg, the middle son, held the Drevlianian land, while Vladimir, the youngest son, held Novgorod.
The reign of Yaropolk (970-978), like that of his grandmother Ol'ga, again became a time of predominating Christian influence
in the spiritual life of Rus'. Yaropolk himself, in the opinion of historians, confessed Christianity, although possibly of
the Latin rite, and this did not at all correspond to the interests of the Scandinavian mercenary retinue. They were pagans,
accustomed to consider Kiev a bulwark of their own influence in the Slavic lands. Their leaders strove to create discord between
the brothers themselves. They incited a fratricidal war between Yaropolk and Oleg, and when Oleg was killed, they supported
Vladimir in a struggle against Yaropolk.
Vladimir, the future Baptiser of Rus', started out as a convinced pagan and relied upon the Varangians, especially those having
come to him from over the sea, as his military force. His campaign against Kiev in 978, crowned with complete success, pursued
not only military-political aims: it was also a religious campaign of Russo-Varangian paganism against the growth of Kievan
Christianity. On 11 June 978 Vladimir "sat on the throne of his father at Kiev", and when the hapless Yaropolk, invited by
his brother to take part in negotiations, arrived at the entrance hall he was treacherously murdered by two Varangians stabbing
him with swords. In order to intimidate the Kievans, among whom were already many Christians both Russian and Varangian, human
sacrifices were performed in the pagan sanctuary, a practice hitherto unknown amomg the Dniepr' Slavs. The chronicles state
concerning the setting up of idols by Vladimir: "And they brought to them sacrifices, acclaiming them as gods, and they brought
to them their own sons and daughters, and these sacrifices went to the devils. ... Both the Russian land and this hill were
defiled with blood".
Apparently this first period of the triumph of paganism at Kiev, which witnessed the coming to power of Vladimir, may have
been closely followed by the killing of the holy Martyrs Theodore (Feodor) and his son John. In this case the date could be
set at 12 July 978. But it is probable however that the holy Kievan Varangian Martyrs gave their lives in the year 983, when
a wave of pagan reaction rolled not only through Rus', but throughout the entire Slavic-Germanic world. A pagan uprising gainst
Christ and the Church occurred almost simultaneously in Denmark, Germany, the Baltic Slavic principalities, and everywhere
the unrest was accompanied by the destruction of churches and the killing of clergy and Christian confessors. This was the
year in which Vladimir went on a campaign against the Lithuanian tribe of the Yatvyagi, and gained victory over them. In recognition
of this victory the Kievan pagan priests decided again to make a bloody sacrificial offering.
'There lived among the Kievans' - reports the Monk Nestor the Chronicler, - 'a Varangian by the name of Theodore (Feodor),
who for a long time before this had been in military service at Byzantium and had accepted Holy Baptism there. His pagan name
was Tur (in Scandinavian Thor) or Utor (in Scandinavian Ottar). Theodore had a son namned John, a pious and handsome youth,
confessing Christianity like his father.
"And the elders and boyars said, 'let us cast lots upon the lads and maidens, upon whom it fall, that one we shall slaughter
in sacrifice to the gods'. By intention, it seems, the lots cast by the pagan priests fell upon the Christian John.
'When the messengers told Theodore that the gods themselves had chosen his son, 'that we may offer him to them in sacrifice',
the old warrior decisively answered: 'This is not a god, but wood. Today it is, and tomorrow it rots. They do not eat, nor
drink nor speak, but are crafted by human hands from wood. God however is One, He it is the Greeks do serve and worship. He
created heaven and earth, the stars and the moon, the sun and man, and preordained him to live upon the earth. But these gods
what have they created? They themselves have been made. I shall not hand my son over to devils.'
'This was a direct challenge by the Christian to the customs and beliefs of the pagans. An enraged crowd of pagans rushed
on Theodore, smashed up his courtyard, and surrounded the house. Theodore, in the words of the chronicler, 'stood at the entrance-way
with his son', and with weapon in hand he bravely met the enemy. (The entrance to old Russian houses was set up on the posts
of a roofed gallery on the second storey, to which a ladder led up). He calmly gazed upon the devil-driven pagans and said:
'If they be gods, let them dispatch one of the gods to take my son'. Seeing that in a fair fight with them there would be
no overcoming Theodore and John, both brave and seasoned warriors, the besiegers knocked down the gallery posts, and when
they were broken, the crowd rushed upon the confessors and murdered them.'
Already during the era of the Monk Nestor, less than an hundred years after the Varangians' bearing witness to the faith,
they were venerated by the Russian Orthodox within the assembly of the saints. Theodore and John became the first martyrs
for the holy Orthodox faith in the Russian land. They were called the first "Russian citizens of the heavenly city" by the
transcriber of the Kievo-Pechersk Paterikon, the Holy Bishop Simon of Suzdal' (+ 1226, Comm. 10 May). The last of the bloody
pagan sacrifices at Kiev became the first Christian sacrifice, a co-suffering for Christ's sake. The pathway "from the Varangians
to the Greeks" became for Rus' the pathway from paganism to Orthodoxy, from darkness to light.
Over the place of the martyrdom of the Varangians, the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Vladimir later on erected the Desyatin Church
of the Uspenie (Dormition, Repose) of the MostHoly Mother of God, the consecration of which took place on 12 May 996. The
relics of the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Ol'ga were transferred into it in the year 1007. Eight years later it was destined
to become the final resting place of Saint Vladimir himself, the Baptiser of the Russian land, and in 1044 his son Yaroslav
the Wise transferred to the church the remains of his uncles, Yaropolk and Oleg.
...Wondrous is God in His saints. Time does not spare stones and bronze, but the lower framework of the wooden house of the
holy Varangrian martyrs, burned a thousand years previous, has been preserved to our day: it was discovered in the year 1908,
during the time of excavation at Kiev at the altar of the Desyatin church.
Edited from a text provided by Bishop Alexander Mileant
- Vidalius, -a, -um
- Pertaining to Vidalia, a city in Marc Moskowitz's home state of Georgia which is known for the large, sweet onions produced in its soil.
De Vidalia, urbe in civitate Georgia, in qua civitate natus est Marcus Moscovius, et quae urbs nota est propter magna dulciaque caepia
in humo suo culta.