Monday, February 11, 2008

Latin: The power of words

Fr. Z has a post about a Latin inscription on a tomb. The inscription reads: ILLE HIC EST RAPHAEL: TIMUIT QUO SOSPITE VINCI RERUM MAGNA PARENS ET MORIENTE MORI.

In those few Latin words, this is the literal (and ungraceful) message: "The famous - here - is - Raphael: [she] feared - who - safe - defeated - of things - great - parent - and - [him] dying - to die". The "she" here is not Raphael (a man), but the "great parent of things": Mother Nature.

Here is my attempt at a graceful translation: Here lies the famous Raphael: by whom, while alive, Mother Nature feared defeat, and with whom, upon his death, she feared herself to die.

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