Saturday, October 8, 2016

Valor, thy name is woman!

Walter Crane, "Britomart" (1900).
Here haue I cause, in men
     iust blame to find,
That in their proper prayse
     too partiall bee,
And not indifferent to
     woman kind,
To whom no share in armes
     and cheualrie
They do impart,
     ne maken memorie
Of their brave gestes and prowesse martiall;
Scarse do they spare to one or two or three,
Rowme in their writs; yet the same writing small
Does all their deeds deface, and dims their glories all,

But by record of antique times I find,
That women wont in warres to beare most sway,
And to all great exploits them selues inclind:
Of which they still the girlond bore away,
Till enuious Men fearing their rules decay,
Can coyne streight lawes to curb their liberty;
Yet sith they warlike armes haue layd away:
The haue exceld in artes and pollicy,
That now we foolish men that prayse gin eke t'enuy.

     Edmund Spenser, The faerie queene (1590- ) III.ii.1-2.  indifferent:  impartial; Rowme:  room; wont:  were wont; girlond:  garland; sith:  since; that prayse gin eke t'enuy:  that praise begin to envy too.  (And by the way, if I understand The faerie queene, all of the valor to which it makes reference, male as well as female, is more symbolic or allegorical than literal anyway.)


Matthias Grünewald,
The Resurrection of Christ,
Isenheim Altarpiece (1512/1516),
right wing (detail).
O night and darkness and clouds,
O confusion and disquiet
     of the world
the light is breaking through,
     the sky is brightening:
Christ is coming—begone!

Nox et tenebrae et nubila,
confusa mundi et turbida,
lux intrat, albescit polus:
Christus uenit, discedite!

     Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (348-c. 410), "Hymnus matinus," Liber Cathemerinon (καθημερινω̑ν2, stanza 1, translation mine.  For an earlier critical edition of the Latin, see CSEL 61, ed. Bergman (1926), 9, but also CCSL 126, ed. Cunningham (1966), __.
     confusa and turbida can be either singular or plural, and therefore modify "O night and darkness and clouds" ("O night and darkness and clouds | of the world, confused and troubled").  On the other hand, turbida, at least, has functioned as a noun meaning roughly "disquiet," so maybe confusa is functioning that way here, too (in place of confusio)?  And the latter interpretation would make better sense of where the comma sits ("O confusion and disquiet of the world")?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

"provided we suffer with him"

"Fly from these wicked offshoots [(παραφυάδας)], which bear deadly fruit [(καρπὸν)], which if a man eat he presently dies.  For these are not the planting [(φυτεία)] of the Father.  For if they were they would appear as branches of the Cross [(κλάδοι τοῦ σταυροῦ)] (and their fruit [(καρπὸς)] would be incorruptible) by which through his Passion he calls you who are his members [(μέλη)].  The head therefore cannot be borne without limbs [(μελῶν)], since God promises union [(ἕνωσιν)], that is himself."

     St. Ignatius, Trallians 11, trans. Lake.  "these wicked offshoots" are those who affirm that Christ's "suffering was only a semblance" (10), that he "was [not] truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was [not] truly crucified" and did not truly die (9), and therefore that Ignatius himself is "dying in vain" (10).  Because they do not "appear as branches of the Cross", they are not "the planting of the Father."  Trans. Ehrmann (LCL 24, 267):
Flee therefore the evil offshoots that produce deadly fruit; anyone who tastes it dies at once.  For these are not the Father's planting.  If they were, they would appear as branches of the cross and their fruit would be imperishable.  Through the cross, by his suffering, he calls you who are the parts of his body.  Thus the head cannot be born without the other parts, because God promises unity, which he himself is.

Monday, October 3, 2016

"totus in Verbo Pater"

Jessie Eastland
"Shortly after Sunrise,
High Desert, California," 2012.
With the dawn [its] course advances
     [(alt.:  The dawn of [its] course
with the dawn may the whole
     [Godhead] appear,
in the Father the whole Son
and in the Word the whole Father
     [(alt.:  and the whole-in-the-Word

Aurora cursus prouehit;
aurora totus prodeat
in Patre totus Filius,
et totus in Verbo Pater.

     St. Ambrose, "Splendor paternae gloriae," stanza 8.  Latin from Ambroise de Milan:  hymnes, ed. Jacques Fontaine, Patrimones, Christianisme (Paris:  Cerf, 2008 [1992]), 187.  Cf. PL 16, cols. 1411/1412.  Joseph Connelly, Hymns of the Roman liturgy (Westminster, MD:  The Newman Press, 1957), no. 12, p. 20:

Aurora lucem provehit,
Cum luce nobis prodeat
In Patre totus Filius,
Et totus in Verbo Pater.

The dawn advances the light.
With the light may there appear to us
In the Father the whole Son,
And the whole-in-the-Word Father.

     Check out, on this, Enchantment and creed in the hymns of Ambrose of Milan (Oxford University Press, 2016), by Brian P. Dunkle.