I was frustrated after the first round of transcription for this project. There were many places in the text where it looked like “et cetera.” However, I convinced myself that that was not what the text said. As it turns out that is exactly what the text says. The downside to being centuries removed from the authors of the commentary is that what is covered by the “et cetera” is not clear.
Sadly, the “et cetera” dilemma is not the problem with this text. I know, just when you think things can’t get worse, they do. There are grammatical and spelling errors throughout the commentary. I am 99.999% sure that Waleys and Trivet were not writing about Virgil’s nose. I also have the same certainty regarding their use of first-person singular verbs while discussing the Trojan war; they are old but not that old. In some cases, I can figure out what they are trying to get at despite their grammatical and typographical errors, other times that is not the case.
By the time that Waleys and Trivet were writing in Latin, many people had forgotten how the rules of the language. A few generations of these men the Reformation would begin. One of the issues during that time was that the clergy did not know Latin, they had simply memorized the liturgy. It is obvious that Waleys and Trivet were not that bad at the language, but I do not think they would be able to pass, were they alive, a college Latin exam today.
Translating the text has been frustrating. Yesterday I decided to take the afternoon/evening off from my translating to spend time doing Fall things with friends.
One of the great things about living in Lancaster County is that we are all the Fall things. Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, truly does have all the Fall things.Yesterday morning was filled with fighting Dominicans regarding their knowledge of the Latin language, but the rest of the day was filled with Apple Cider Donuts, a corn maze, S’mores, a tractor ride, and of course Hocus Pocus.
Today is a day of work (so much for Sunday being a day of rest). After church this morning I headed over to the West End of Lancaster to avoid the parade that is happening downtown. I needed a quiet place to get work done and a parade outside my living room was not going to create the environment that I desired. After a quick stop at Mean Cup for some hot apple cider and a meanie, I made my way over to the seminary campus and the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society. After almost getting stuck in an elevator, I safely made it to the office. I also made the professional decision that the best way to not sneeze on a book printed in 1488 is to leave the book on the shelf, which is more of a challenge than one might think.
Today’s challenge, other than not sneezing on a rare book is trying to manage my frustration over the fact that much of the text in the commentary repeats the previous text in the commentary. On one hand, I love when Latin does the amazing repetition of ideas. On the other hand whyyyyyyyyy?????????? I couldn’t help but think about this scene from the Emperor’s New Groove (and yes I do realize that this movie is almost seventeen years old).