Latin translation help
  • Heath
    Posts: 709
    I am "Englishing" a series of Lassus motets and struggling to find a slavishly literal translation of this text. I have the gist of it, but I could use someone with more Latin street cred than me to give this a look. Help?

    Ad te perenne gaudium
    rerumque summus artifex
    cursum per annos tendimus
    laeti tropheis hostium.
  • CGM
    Posts: 353
    You might post it over at the Latin Google group. I typically post a text with my attempted translation (so they can see I'm not just dumping it on them) and ask for help and clarification. These guys are fantastic and fast, and have fixed and improved things for me many a time.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Heath
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 325
    I found a translation in a book partially available on Google Books HERE, which ought to be of some use.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Heath
  • mahrt
    Posts: 481
    There is a complete edition of all the Lasso motets in 21 volumes plus an index volume; it includes good English translations. It is edited by Peter Bergquist and published by AR editions. It is also in modern clefs. A wonderful collection!

    It gives this translation:

    To thee, the cause of unceasing joy
    and exalted maker of all things,
    we extend our course through the years,
    joyful in the trophies of our enemies.

    It gives two more stanzas; I could give you those, if you want them.

    It also gives an interesting note: "The hymn of the prophets Elijah, Enoch, and John as they ascend into heaven, from Stephano Tucci's drama Christus Judex. The second and third stanzas are supplied from DIllingen and Tucci 1673."
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen Heath eft94530
  • Heath
    Posts: 709
    Thank you for all your help, friends!

    I posted the text over at the Latin group that Chris recommended (Chris, multas gratias tibo ago!) and this is how they broke it down after I gave them the translation that Dr. Mahrt supplied:

    > Ad te perenne gaudium
    > To thee, the cause of unceasing joy

    [Not the cause of, imho it is a wish]

    "I/we wish you everlasting joy"

    > rerumque summus artifex
    > and exalted maker of all things,

    [No "all" there]

    "and the highest maker of things"

    > cursum per annos tendimus
    > we extend our course through the years,

    "we hold [this] course for years"

    > laeti tropheis hostium.


    > joyful in the trophies of our enemies.

    "enjoying the spoils of war"
  • CGM
    Posts: 353
    I love those guys, their extended debates over particular words (like "trophaeis"), and the result that you often receive multiple translation possibilities (as you did here).
    Thanked by 1Heath
  • Don't miss the word play between perenne and per annos. Can't be replicated in a translation.

    BTW, gaudium must be nominative and parallel with artifex, with -que joining the two noun phrases. Ad te must be construed with cursum...tendimus. Notice the stretching of the predicate of this sentence in a way that highlights the meaning of tendimus. It could have been written thus:

    Ad Te, perenne Gaudium
    rerumque summus Artifex,
    cursum per annos tendimus
    laeti trophaeis hostium.

    Metonymy is rampant in Latin, and substituting the effect for the cause is one of the most common forms of metonymy, so translating gaudium as "cause of joy" is legitimate if pedantic.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen