29 December 2009

E Breviario Sarisburiensi lectoribus doctioribus antiphona proponitur

Salve, Thoma, virga iustitiae, mundi iubar, robur Ecclesiae, plebis amor, cleri deliciae. Salve, gregis tutor egregie, salva tuae gaudentes gloriae.

I thought docti readers would appreciate the very elegant jingles of alliteration and assonance ... not heavy and plodding like Ennius, but quite Neoteric or Virgilian. The word-play 'gregis ... egregie' seems to me to span the chronological and cultural divides between Ovid and the author of the Akathist Hymn.

Mementote hodie parochi una cum populo Ecclesiae S Thomae Martyris iuxta ferriviam.


Yes, I thought you would quibble about ferrivia. But it's what the Vatican Lexicon recentis Latinitatis gives.


Joshua said...

How did St Thomas the Martyr keep its dedication through the reign of Henry VIII et al.? Or is it not a mediæval church?

Kiran said...

Happy feast day, Fr. John!

Fr William said...

Though a little eyebrow-raising, ferrivia is at least recognisable, unlike the thing which runs on the ferrivia, namely hamaxostichus – which, however classically ingenious, bears no resemblance to the word in any actual language I've come across. (Pastor in Valle, to whom I am indebted for this gem, has suggested that modern Latin coinages might in general be better created by back-formation from modern Italian, giving in this case trenus, which would be immediately recognisable not only in Italian but in English, French, Spanish … even modern Greek goes with the flow with τραίνο.)

Michael McDonough said...

Fr. William,

Perhaps "traenus" to fake the unwary into thinking it on loan from the Greek?

Are there any "roots" in the Vatican's hamaxostichus? It sounds almost like it came from Tolkien's Farmer Giles of Ham.

Michael McDonough said...

Fr. H,

I like your antiphon, but not being doctior, I will not comment further.

John F H H said...

Ad missam hodie parochum populumque Ecclesiæ S.Thomæ apud Oxon: memineram.

Kind regards
John U.K.

Fr William said...

M McD: ἅμαξα = wagon, στίχος = line or file.

Another advantage of your spelling "traenus" is that it would give a visual clue to the ultimate root of treno in Latin trahere (= pull). It may be that that was the spelling Pastor in Valle had in mind anyway - in conversation one would not be able to tell the difference.

Michael McDonough said...

It would appear then that they should be thought of as synonyms, with the compound regarded as archaic, and therefore more appropriate for liturgy ("liturgical railroad", perish the thought!) and the more "everyday", traenus (or traenum?), suited for encyclicals!

P.S. My "captcha" word was "thing": what dictionary are they using at Blogger?

Fr William said...

As a bit of a railway nut, I would love to see a liturgical text which managed to work in a reference to trains. (Since il Duce is not, as far as I know, presently a candidate for beatification, there is unfortunately no immediate prospect of a Collect incorporating the clause qui saltem fecit ut ad horam hamaxostici currant. Or words to that effect.)

Fr William said...

hamaxostichi, of course.

Michael McDonough said...

Fr. William,

Nice one!

John F H H said...

Surely you have not forgotten the lection for Trinity Sunday:
"In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the Temple."
Sadly, Saint Jerome could only manage:
"In anno, quo mortuus est rex Ozias, vidi Dominum sedentem super solium excelsum et elevatum : et ea,quæ sub ipso erant, replebunt templum."
Isaiah, VI.1.
My Hebrew, I fear, is non-existent, and I shamefully admit having no Septuagint to hand.

Incidentally, is not a railway engine equus ferreus?

John U.K.

Fr William said...

John U.K.: Thank you for reminding us of the expression – and even though I think it may be a hapax legomenon, it was remiss of me to forget it – used (apparently) by one Ericus Mascall in a letter to Not the Church Times in 1981. For those who may not be familiar with this splendid if short-lived publication, I reproduce the letter in question below.

EXCELLENTISSIME—O quam mirabilis est ille equus ferreus, qui ex termino Farcioppido (vulgo Paddingtono Vrsi) ad Lectionem (vulgo Readingum) Pegaso celerior accurrere solet, ita ut Londinienses spectacula Patri Brindleii Thespiana observare possint. Laus Deo!
Londinium, SW1.

[As for ea, quæ sub ipso erant, I can only imagine that S. Jerome was having an off-day.]

John F H H said...

I am not sure what Saint Jerome had in front of him, but here is the Septuagint:

1. καὶ ἐγένετο τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ οὗ ἀπέθανεν Oζιας ὁ βασιλεύς εἶδον τὸν κύριον καθήμενον ἐπὶ θρόνου ὑψηλοῦ καὶ ἐπηρμένου καὶ πλήρης ὁ οἶκος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ

which Google translator renders . . . .
6:1 it did of me died eniaftou Ozias the king saw the Lord seated on a high throne and arrogant and full of the glory of this house

And I also found a Hebrew text . . .

but sadly cutting & pasting Hebrew does not work...the order is reversed. See

Tho' Google will attempt a Translation:
In - the death of King Uzziah and see the - the Lord sat on - high chair and carried the full brim - Hall

So perhaps this interlieaer may work . . .
. . .no it did not... see

Now, how does skirt become glory and train???
John U.K.

Fr William said...

Crikey, Google translator makes a real pig's ear of those passages! But how the שׁוּל (="skirts of a robe"/"train" – I hope that text shows up correctly) of the Hebrew became the δόξα (="glory", though it has several other meanings) of the LXX, I really don't know. Hopefully someone doctior than I (not, I must say, a particularly high hurdle) can shed some light.