Monumentum vs. Sepulcrum
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 80
    Anyone know the significance of the distinction between Latin "monumentum" and "sepulcrum"? One of the Vespers antiphons on Easter is "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the monumentum to see the sepulcrum." I think the antiphon is a conflation of Matthew 28:1 and Mark 16:2. Matthew has "sepulcrum" and Mark has "monumentum." But both are translated "sepulchre" in my Bible. My Latin dictionaries don't say anything to clarify the distinction. So what does it mean that they "came to the monumentum to see the sepulcrum"? Thanks!
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,945
    They can both be basically perfect synonyms — but “sepulcrum” seems to mean more “grave” or “burial place”. Lewis and Short gives “burial-place, grave, tomb, sepulchre”. And for monumentum: that which preserves the remembrance of any thing, a memorial, a monument; esp. of buildings, statues, galleries, tombs erected to perpetuate the remembrance of a person or thing.

    So that may explain why two sentences by different Evangelists use one or the other word, but not why the antiphon uses both.
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  • FKulash
    Posts: 79
    why the antiphon uses both.

    So "Venerunt ad monumentum ... videre sepulcrum" means "They came to the tomb to see the burial place", and another antiphon for Easter Vespers invites us to do the same: "Venite, et videte locum ubi positus erat Dominus" ("Come and see the place where the Lord was buried.")
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,371
    The sole source for this antiphon is Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, first included in the Antiphonarium Monasticum and now in the LoTH.
    I think it nicely alludes to the contrast of the rich man's tomb and the temporary resting place of the body.
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  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 80
    So if they "came to the tomb to see the burial place" what do "tomb" and "burial place" mean? By "monumentum/tomb" do they mean like a burial cave? And by "sepulcrum/burial place" do they mean like, I don't know... the specific surface inside the cave where his body is laying?

    When I write antiphons for my dead relatives, I usually say stuff like "go to the cemetery to see the tombstone." But Christ I suppose had neither a cemetery nor a tombstone. So this Easter antiphon still doesn't make any sense to me!
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 80
    I think it nicely alludes to the contrast of the rich man's tomb and the temporary resting place of the body.

    That is brilliant! Even if I don't really understand the text, that observation sure puts a spark into it. Thank you!
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 80
    The sole source for this antiphon is Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, first included in the Antiphonarium Monasticum and now in the LoTH.

    Wow, how do you look this up?!
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,371
    avscvlta - I look up Latin words at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=multi&la=la#lexicon and usually click on 'Lewis & Short'. It gives a lot of information, rather confusingly, but if I poke around I can often make something of it.
    For the antiphon I searched for 'monumentum' at Antiphonale synopticum. Though as I do not understand German, I find the site, and its abbreviations, rather difficult to struggle through.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,945
    Well… yes, but that does depend on being sure of the distinction within Matthew, which uses both words. Now, the original Rheims translation uses "sepulchre" and then "monument", but later revisions use the former, presumably because "monument" no longer had the same associations with the dead (largely replaced by "memorial"). ICEL just omits the seeming repetition, which is not great, but it's understandable. Mark uses only "monumentum".
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  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 80
    Thank you for pointing out that both words are in Matthew's account. I hadn't noticed that. Also I didn't think to check the LOTH translation... pretty funny that they just completely avoided the issue!
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 80
    Notes...

    Antiphon: Went to the monumentum... to see the sepulchrum.
    Antiphonale Romanum II: Pg. 201
    Antiphonale Monasticum I: Pg. 226

    Matthew 28:8
    ============
    Greek: Mnemeion (from mneme: "memory")
    Latin: Monumentum
    RSV: Tomb
    https://biblehub.com/greek/2290.htm

    Matthew 28:1
    ============
    Greek: Taphos (from thapto: "to bury")
    Latin: Sepulchrum
    RSV: Sepulchre
    https://biblehub.com/greek/3419.htm

    Literal: Went to the memorial-place... to see the burial-place.
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 80
    Thank you for the Latin Word Study Tool and the Antiphonale Synopticum. These look endlessly fascinating.
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