When I started this project I was determined to transcribe and translate as much of this text as I could without looking at a Latin text. The Latin texts of DCD that I have were to be used as a last resort, a phone an ancient friend if you will. However, as I finish up the transcription of the text, I am realizing that I need to phone a friend. Some of the abbreviations that I’ve encountered in this text do not appear in any of the books and guides that I have on paleography. Rather, than play, “choose your own adventure: the incunable version,” I decided to look at the Latin text. There are a few symbols that I need to figure out.
But there was one that is all over the commentary and barely appears in the text of DCD itself, I was not sure what it was, nor was I sure how I was going to figure out since it only appears three times in ten chapters of Book I. That little symbol that my finger is pointing to is “quod.” Now, that might not seem like such a big deal, but when it appears as much as it does in the commentary I needed to figure out what it was. While this solves one problem it also creates other translation problems. “Quod” means a variety of things. It can be a pronoun, an adjective, or a conjunction. Because this is Medieval Latin we are talking about it gets even better, in Medieval Latin, “quod” can also be translated as “that” in indirect discourse. See, I told you it gets even better.
The good news is that I’m fairly confident that this symbol is only used for quod and can’t possibly be anything else. The bad news is that this is Medieval Latin and it could very easily mean something else. I’m concerned and doubting myself because I haven’t found it any of the resources on Medieval Latin Paleography that I am using, but in all three places that it appears in the Latin text of DCD it is “quod.” Let’s collectively keep our fingers crossed that it is “quod” and only ever “quod.”
Also, I have a new desk and new chair at the ERHS (and by new I clearly mean, new to the office not actually new). What?!?! I know, things changing at a German Reformed institution is the stuff of nightmares.
I miss my old chair that went back way too far; it was so bad it was good. This one doesn’t go back at all. It’s also, probably older than I am, like most things around here. But it’s all good because I pretty much work from the floor and a work table anyway, because it’s not like I can fit the text I’m working with on that desk.
That’s all for now. I’m off to go write the reflection paper for this project and finish up round two and maybe even round three of this transcription.