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[Ms P, fol. 108r – Paulus Diaconus – 
Ps.-Basil: Ms K1, fol. 104r; Ms E1, fol. 134r; Ms E2, fol. 206v]

Ch. 38

Translated by: Charles West

Rectum ordinem tenuit etiam in hoc loco S. Benedictus in eo, quod dicturus erat de cibo et potu corporali et praedixit de lectore mensae, h. e. de cibo spiritali, quia cibus spiritalis praecedit corporalem, ideo etiam debuit praeferri in ordine. Et in hoc claret et manifestatur, quia monachus ad mensam non ante debet capere cibum corporalem, quam interior ejus homo capiat spiritalem.

St Benedict held to the right order in this place too, in that he will later speak about fleshly food and drink, but he speaks first about the reader at the meal-table, that is about spiritual food, since spiritual food precedes fleshly food, and so ought to be put before it in order. And in this it is made clear and manifest that the monk at the table ought not to take fleshly food before the interior man takes spiritual food.

Nunc videndum est, unde orta est haec consuetudo, ut lectio sit in refectorio.

Now let us see from where the custom springs that there should be reading in the refectory.

Sicut narrat Cassianus in libro quarto institutionum (cap. 17), [quia] Cappadociae monachi imprimis coeperunt [page 422] legere in refectorio manducantibus fratribus causa vitandi fabulas et lites, quae in conviviis oriri solent. Nam aegyptii monachi tantam districtionem in silentio habebant, ut, dum manducabant, opertis de cucullis oculis manducarent.

This is what Cassian says in the fourth book of his Institutions (c.17), that the Cappadocian monks first began to read [page 422] in the refectory while the brothers were eating, for the sake of avoiding story-telling and arguments which often arise at meals. For the Egyptian monks had such strictness about silence that, while they ate, they would eat with their cowls covering their eyes.

Sic enim dicit Cassianus: Illud autem, ut reficientibus fratribus sacrae lectiones in coenobiis recitentur, non de aegyptiorum typo processisse, sed de Cappadocum noverimus, quos nulli dubium est non tum spiritulis exercitationis causa, quam compescendae superfluae otiosaeque confabulationis gratia, et maxime contentionum, quae plerumque solent in conviviis generari, hoc statuere voluisse, videntes eas aliter apud se non posse cohiberi.

As Cassian says: We know, however, that the reading of sacred texts in the cenobia while the brothers are eating follows the model of the Cappadocians rather than that of the Egyptians. There is no doubt that they wished to establish this not so much for the sake of spiritual discipline as in order to curb superfluous and vain chattering and especially arguments, which often arise during meals, seeing that they could not contain them among themselves otherwise.

Apud Aegyptios enim vel maxime Tabennensiotas tantum silentium ab omnibus exhibetur, ut, cum in unum tanta numerositus fratrum refectionis obtentu consederit, nullus nec mutire quidem audeat praeter eum, qui suae decaniue praeest. Qui tamen, si quid mensae inferri vel auferri necessarium esse perviderit, sonitu potius quam voce significat.

For among the Egyptians, and in particular among the Tabennisiots, all are so silent that, even though a large number of brothers is seated together for the purpose of eating, no one dares even to whisper apart from the one who is in charge of his own group of ten, who nonetheless indicates by a sound rather than by a word if he notice that something must either be brought to or removed from the table.

Tantaque vescentibus eis silentii hujus disciplina servatur, ut cucullis ultra oculorum palpebras demissis, ne scilicet liber aspectus habeat curiosius copiam evagandi, nihil amplius intucantur, quam mensam et appositos in ea, vel quos ex ea capiunt cibos, ita ut quemadmodum vel quantum reficiat alius, nullus invicem notet. [Cassian, Institutiones IV, c. 17]

And so great is the discipline of silence that is observed while they are eating that, with their hoods drawn lower than their eyebrows lest a free view facilitate a roving curiosity, the can see nothing more than the table and the food that is put on it or taken off of it. The result of this is that no one notice how or how much another person is eating. [Cassian, Institutiones IV, c. 17, transl. by Boniface Ramsey, Ancient Christian Writers, vol. 58, New York/Mahwah NJ 2000, pp. 86-87]

Unde quia inspicienda est intentio, cum manducat monachus, usquedum totum manducaverint, semper legere debent; nunc autem non solum debet esse lectio causa, vitandi fabulas vel scandalum, verum etiam causa aedificationis.

And so the intention is to be tested that when the monk was eating, until they had eaten everything, they always had to read. Now however the reading is necessary not just for the sake of avoiding story-telling or scandal, but indeed for the sake of edification.

Sequitur: 1Mensis fratrum edentium lectio deesse non debet.

It goes on: 1Reading must not be wanting at the table of the brethren while they are eating.

Adtendendum est enim, quia non dicit de sanorum mensis, vel ubi generalitas fratrum manducat, et ideo, sicut de sanis in unum comedentibus intelligitur, lectionem fieri debere, ita etiam debet intelligi de infirmis vel fleuthomatis (fleubothomatis), de senibus vel de infantibus et reliquis aliis fratribus.

It is to be noticed that he does not say at the table of the healthy, or where the generality of the brethren is eating. So, just as it is understood that there is to be reading while the healthy are eating together, so it also ought to be understood about the infirm or the fleuthomati, about the old, the children, and the rest of the brothers.

Hoc tamen sciendum est, si sex fueriut infirmi aut fleuthomati aut senes cum infantibus aut reliqui alii, cum manducant, lectio illis debet esse manducantibus, [page 423] verumtamen leniter; si autem fuerint viginti infirmi, tunc in voce legendum est.

This however is to be known: if there are six infirm monks, or fleuthomati, or old monks with children, or the rest, then there ought to be reading to those eating while they eat, [page 423] but quietly. But if there are twenty infirm monks, then it ought to be read aloud.

Sequitur: 1Ne fortuito casu quis1 arripuerit codicem ibi legere audeat.

It goes on: 1Neither let anyone who may chance to take up the book venture to read there.

 Fortuito casu, i. e. subito aut repente, ac si diceret aliis verbis: nullus ibi legat, nisi jussus. Nam qualiter debeat legere lector, inferius manifestat, cum subdit 1sed lecturus tota hebdomada dominica ingrediatur, subaudiendum est: ad legendum.

Who may chance, that is suddenly or quickly, as if he should say, in other words: let no one read there, unless requested. For how the reader ought to read is shown below, when he adds 1but let him who is to read for the whole week enter on Sunday upon that office, that is to say, to read.

Sequitur: 2Qui ingrediens post missas et communionem petat ab omnibus obsecrans pro se orari, ut avertat ab ipso Deus spiritum elationis, 3et dicatur hic versus in oratorio tertio ab omnibus ipso tamen incipiente: Domino labia mea aperies, et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam; [Ps 50:17] 4et sic accepta benedictione ingrediatur ad legendum.

It goes on: 2After Mass and Communion let him ask all to pray for him that God may ward off from him the spirit of pride. 3And let the following verse be said three times by all in the oratory, he beginning it: O Lord, open my lips, and my tongue shall sing forth thy praise, [Ps 50:17] 4and thus having received the blessing let him enter upon the reading.

Quamquam etenim missa et communio unum sit, tamen missa attinet ad illud, quod dicitur Te igitur, clementissime Pater, et reliq., eo quod illud dicitur proprie missa, quia ibi fit missio, cum dicit sacerdos: jube haec perferri per manus sancti angeli tui in sublime altare tuum et reliq. Et propterea dicit diaconus in fine: Ite, missa est, ac si diceret: ‘Ite, quia vestra oblatio Deo oblata est,’ i. e. transmissa est.

Although Mass and Communion are one, the Mass however goes up to that point where it is said Therefore, you, most clement Father, and so on, because that is properly called the Mass, since there is a sending (missio) there, when the priest says Command this to be sent through the hands of your holy angels to your sublime altar, and so on. And therefore the deacon says at the end, Go, the Mass is over (ita, missa est), as if he should say, ‘Go, since your oblation has been taken to God,’ that is has been sent.

Missa enim ordinem tenet illius, quod apostolos dicit: orationes, obsecrationes, postulationes, gratiarum actiones. Oratio est ab ingressu missae usque ad evangelium; ab evangelio usque ad Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, est obsecratio; deinde illa missa secreta usque ad communionem est postulatio; post communionem vero est gratiarum actio.

The Mass keeps that order which the Apostle speaks about: prayers, requests, demands, thanksgiving. The prayer is from the beginning of the Mass to the Gospel; from the Gospel to the ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ is the request; then the secret mass up to the communion is the demand; after communion indeed is the thanksgiving.

Et quia proprie missa ad illa secreta attinet, quamquam et de communione missa dicatur, ideo B. Benedictus secundum proprietatem missam dixit et communionem.

And since the Mass properly relates to those secrets, although the Mass is also spoken of for communion, so the blessed Benedict says Mass and communion according to what is fitting.

Quod vero dicit dicatur hic versus in oratorio ab omnibus, ipso tamen incipiente, non dicit, ut illo incipiat tantum illum versum et alii subsequantur, sed ille totum debet dicere, et alii similiter repetere totum debet, quia, ubi dicit ab omnibus, subaudiendum est: ‘repetentibus’, sicut superius de coquinariis [page 424] fratribus dicit: et idem tertio repetatur ab omnibus. [Regula Benedicti, c. 35.18]

When he says, And let the following verse be said three times by all in the oratory, he beginning it, he does not say that he should begin just that verse and the others shall follow, but that he ought to say it all, and the others ought similarly to repeat the whole, since, where he says by all, there is implied ‘repeating it’, as he said above about the brothers who are cooking [page 424]: and again for the third time it is repeated by all. [Regula Benedicti, c. 35.18]

Quod vero dicit accepta benedictione, subaudiendum est: a sacerdote.

When he says having received the blessing, there is implied ‘by the priest’.

Capitula vero haec sunt, quae debent dici: Salvum fac servum tuum, Deus meus, sperantem in te. [Ps 86:2] Aliud: Convertere Domine usquequo, et deprecare super servos tuos. [Ps 89:13]2 Item tertio: Dominus custodiat te ab omni malo, custodiat animam tuam Dominus. [Ps 120:7] Item oratio: Dominus custodiat introitum tuum et exitum tuum et auferat a te spiritum elationis, qui vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum. Amen. [cf. Ps 120:8]

These are the headings that ought to be said: O my God, make safe your servant who trusts in you. [Ps 86:2] Or, Return, O Lord – how long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. [Ps 89:13] Or a third: May the Lord guard you from all harm, may the Lord guard your soul. [Ps 120:7] Or another prayer: May the Lord watch over your entrance and your exits, and carry from you the spirit of pride – who lives and reigns, world without end, Amen. [cf. Ps 120:8]

Quia cognovit B. Benedictes, spiritum elationis inesse non solum in terrenis operibus, verum etiam in spiritalibus, [et] propterea, ut avertat Deus ab ipso spiritum elationis, jubet dicere: Domine, labia mea aperies, et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam. [Ps 50:17]

Since the blessed Benedict knew that the spirit of pride is present not only in earthly works, but also in spiritual ones, and therefore, that the Lord may keep from him the spirit of pride, he orders to be said Lord, open my lips, and my tongue shall sing forth thy praise. [cf. Ps 50:17]

Quam pulchre B. Benedictus digessit, animadvertendum est. Sicut enim aptum versiculum invenit ad coquinam intrandum, i. e. Deus in adjutorium meum intende, Domine ad adjuvandum me festina, [Ps 69:2; Regula Benedicti, c. 35.17] et ad exeundum de coquinam: Benedictus es, Domine Deus, qui adjuvisti me et consolatus es me, [Ps 85:17; Regula Benedicti, c. 35.16] ita etiam aptum versiculum invenit ad legendum, cum dicit: Domine, labia mea aperies, et os meum annuntiare laudem tuam, [Ps 50:17] ac si diceret propheta: Domino, aperies labia mea, ut os meum possit annuntiare laudem tuam, quia, si ego aperuero labia mea, os meum non annuntiabit laudem tuam, eo quod omnis, qui os suum aperit, non laudem tuam pronuntiat.

It is to be noticed how attractively the blessed Benedict sets it out. For just as he found a suitable verse for those entering the kitchen, that is Lord look down for my help, hasten O Lord to help me, [Ps 69:2; Regula Benedicti, c. 35.17], and for leaving the kitchen Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, who helped me and consoled me, [Ps 85:17; Regula Benedicti, c. 35.16] so again he finds a suitable verse to be read out, when he says Lord, open my lips, and my tongue shall sing forth thy praise [Ps 50:17] – as if the prophet should say Lord, open my lips, and my tongue will be able to sing forth thy praise, since if I open my lips, my tongue will not sing forth thy praise, since everyone who opens his own lips does not pronounce thy praise.

Sequitur: 5summumque silentium fiat ad mensam.

It continues 5Let the deepest silence be maintained at the table.

Hoc enim notandum est, quia, ubi B. Benedictus dicit silentium cum adjectione summum, sicuti in hoc loco facit, et ubi dicit maxime nocturnis horis, [Regula Benedicti, c. 42:1] et iterum nulla sit denique cuiquam loqui licentia, [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 42:8] et ubi dicit cum omni silentio, [Regula Benedicti, c. 48:5] vult, ut nullatenus loquatur; ubi vero dicit solummodo silentio sine adjectione aliqua, de suppressa voce dicit, sicut legitur in evangelio, ubi legitur mortuo Lazaro Martha silentio dixisse Mariae sorori suae: Magister adest et vocat te. [Io 11:28]

This is to be noted, that where the blessed Benedict says silence and adds the adjective ‘deepest’, as he does in this place, and where he says especially during the hours of night, [Regula Benedicti, c. 42:1] and again and no one is to be given licence to speak afterwards, [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 42:8] and where he says with total silence [Regula Benedicti, c. 48:5], he means that no one at all should speak. Where he says simply in silence without any other adjective, he means with a suppressed voice, as is read in the Gospel, where it is read that after Lazarus had died, Martha said in silence to her sister Mary The master is here and calls you. [Io 11:28]

Ibi enim, sicut dicit B. Augustinus, silentio de suppressa voce intelligendum est. [cf. Augustine, Principia dialecticae, c. 8, PL 32, col. 1415] [page 425]

For there, as the blessed Augustine says, in silence is to be understood as with a suppressed voice. [cf. Augustine, Principia dialecticae, c. 8, PL 32, col. 1415] [page 425]

Sequitur: 5ut nullius musitatio vel vox, nisi solius legentis audiatur. 

It continues 5that no whispering or voice be heard except that of the reader alone.

 Musitatio vero attinet ad id, quod dicimus ‘steis’ vel ad aliquod signum vocis, quo aliquid significatur, quamquam ‘musitare’ etiam caute loqui, i. e. silenter vel leniter dicere potest intelligi.

Whispering relates to that which we call ‘steis’ [?] or to any other sign of the voice by which something is signified, though ‘whispering’ can also be understood as meaning to talk cautiously, that is silently or softly.

Nam musitatio derivatur a verbo frequentativo ‘musito’, quod verbum frequentativum nascitur de alio verbo, quod est ‘musso’, ‘mussas’ primae coujugationis.

For whispering (musitatio) comes from the frequentative verb ‘I whisper’ (musito), and this frequentative verb is born from another verb, ‘I mutter, you mutter’ (musso, mussas), of the first conjugation.

Deinde quem sensum habeat istud verbum, quod est ‘musso’, docet Servius in libro undecimo Aeneidos, ubi Virgilius de judice Drances dicit: non futulis auctor, [omitted in ed. Mittermüller: seditione potens (genus huic materna superbum nobilitas dabat, incertum de patre ferebat) surgit, et his onerat dictis, atque aggerat iras. Rem nulli obscuram, nostrae nec vocis egentem consulis o bone rex cuncti se scire fatentur, quid fortuna ferat populi, et dicere] mussant [Vergil, Aenaeis XI.340-345] (i. e. modo verentur, alias dubitant); mussat rex ipse latinus, quos generos vocet. [Servius, In Vergilii Aeneidos Commentarius, 11, 345]3

What sense this verb ‘I mutter’ has, Servius explains in his eleventh book on the Aenied, where Vergil says about the judge Drances an adviser deserving respect, drawing power from the very instinct to rebel. His mother’s nobility had given him an arrogant pride of birth, but on this father’s side his ancestry remained a mystery. Dracenes now used his oratory to add weight and substance to his spite: ‘Your proposal, excellent Majesty, is clear to everyone and has no need of eloquence from me. Every one of us knows in his heart what our nation’s fortune imposes on us, but we all mutter in fear and decline to speak out. [Vergil, Aeneid XI.340-345, transl. by W. F. Jackson Knight, London1956, p. 289] (i.e., now they are worried, and fear other things); the Latin king himself whispers, and calls his sons-in-law’ [Servius, In Vergilii Aeneidos Commentarius, 11, 345].

Interdum ‘susurrant’, ut de apibus dicit.

Meanwhile, ‘they buzz’ (susurrant), as is said of bees’.

Et proprio ‘mussare’ est, obmurmurare, et muto esse vicinum.

And properly to whisper is to mutter (obmurmare), close to muteness.

‘Mutire’ vero onomatopeja est, ne4 mutum facere, i. e. quod fit, cum leniter percussis labris sonum reddimus leniorem vel lentiorem, unde et muti dicuntur.

‘To be mute’ (mutire) is onomatopeia, lest it be muted – i.e., what happens when we make a soft or slow noise with lips gently brought together.

Id autem in hoc loco est, ut ne murmuret aut sibilo innuat aliquid, vel musitanter, i. e. leniter sive mussim, i. e. lente.

This is in this place, lest anyone should murmur or indicate something with a whisper, or by a mutter, that is softly or mussim, i.e. quietly.

Vox vero attinet ad verba, quamquam etiam intelligatur articulata, sive inarticulata, vel litterata seu illitterata.

Voice that is refers to words, whether they are articulated or inarticulated, or written or not written.

Sunt etiam, qui intelligunt, ut non debeat quisquam ad mensam loqui, i. e. nec prior nec minor, sed cum opus fuerit alicui aliquid petere, litteris exprimere debeat, quod vult, quod sonitu alicujus signi non potest manifestari.

There are some who consider that no one ought to talk at the table, that is neither the superior (prior) nor the lesser (minor), and that when there is a need for someone to ask for something, he should express what he wants in letters, what cannot be shown by the sound of some sign.

Iterum sunt alii, qui intelligunt hoc, quod dicit S. Benedictus audiatur, ut subaudiendum sit: ab omnibus, quatenus possit prior suppressa voce loqui, ita tamen, ut non audiatur ab omnibus, eo quod illam vocem prohibet fieri, quae ab omnibus auditur, non illam, quae ab uno auditur.

There are still others who consider that when St Benedict says be heard, it is implied by everyone, so that it is possible for the prior to talk with a suppressed voice, provided that he shall not be heard by everyone, since he [Benedict] prohibits the voice that can be heard by all, not the voice that can be heard by one person.

Verumtamen illi, qui intelligunt, nec priorem nec minorem debere ibi loqui, attendunt verba, quibus dicitur nullius vox vel musitatio, [page 426] et attendunt illud, quia dicit summum silentium, dicentes, summum silentium esse, ubi nec magna nec parva vox, ubi nec ab omnibus nec a paucis, nec etiam ab uno auditur.

In truth those who consider that neither the superior nor the lesser should speak there pay attention to the words by which he says no whispering or voice, and to where he says [page 426] deepest silence, and they say that deepest silence is when neither great nor small voices can be heard, by neither everyone nor by just a few, nor even just by one person.

Sed isti dicunt melius, qui dicunt, nullo modo loqui debere nec priorem nec minorem.

And these speak better, when they say that by no means should anyone speak, neither superior nor lesser.

Sequitur: 7Si quid tamen opus fuerit, sonitu cujuscumque signi potius petatur, quam voce, ac si diceret aliis verbis: dixi superius, ita 6vicissim sibi debere ministrare fratres, ut nullus indigeat petere aliquid; sed quia non potest hoc mortalis infirmitas pleniter peragere, ideo nunc jubeo, si quid tamen opus fuerit, sonitu cujuscumque signi potius petatur, quam voce.

It continues: 7If, however, anything should be wanted, let it be asked for by means of a sign of whatever kind rather than a sound, as if he should say in other words: I said above 6that brothers ought to minister to one another in turn, so that no one will be unable to seek something; but since mortal weakness is not able to carry this out fully, therefore I now command that if however anything should be wanted, let it be asked for by means of a sign of any kind rather than a sound.

Sequitur: 8nec praesumat aliquis ibi de ipsa lectione aut aliunde quidquam requirere, ne detur occasio.

It continues: 8And let no one presume to ask any questions there, either about the book or anything else, in order that no cause be given.

Cum dicit ne detur occasio, subaudiendum est: loquendi.

When he says no cause be given, it is implied ‘for speaking’.

Sequitur: 9nisi forte prior pro aedificatione voluerit aliquid breviter dicere.

It continues: 9unless, perchance, the superior (prior) wisheth to say a few words for edification.

Non enim jubet, ut nimis dicat de lectione, nec etiam semper, sed breviter debet dicere, si invenitur in libro talis occasionis locus.

He does not command that he say a great deal, nor always, but that he ought to speak briefly, if an opportunity is found in the book for such an occasion.

Hoc notandum est, si forte male legit lector, debet abbas cum consilio fratrum constituere fratrem, qui possit reprehendere et corrigere rationabiliter, isto modo: ‘Ecce fratres mei boni, volo per vestrum consilium eligere talem fratrem, qui sit doctus et bonus et possit reprehendere lectorem nostrum in refectorio, necnon etiam volo, ut sedeat prope lectorem et sic reprebendat illum isto modo, i. e. erigat se et aspiciat in libro, et sic reprehendat illum leniter.'

This is to be noted, that is perhaps the reader reads badly, the abbot ought to appoint a brother, with the advice of the brethren, who is able reasonably to reprimand and correct, in this way: ‘Behold, my good brothers, I wish to elect with your counsel a brother who is learned and good, and who is able to reprimand our reader in the refectory; and I wish that he should sit next to the reader and reprimand him in this way, i.e, stand up and pay attention to the book, and so reprimand him softly.’

Deinde si abbas cognoverit tale testimonium, aut innuat lectorem, ut ponat signum ibi, aut certe, si potest intelligere, illud testimonium exponat inibi.

And then if the abbot knows such a witness (testimonium), he should either point it out to the reader that he might place the sign there, or indeed, if he is able to understand, he should explain that witness to him.

Nam non est bonum, ut frater longe sedeat et sic reprehendat, eo quod datur occasio loquendi.

For it is not a good thing that the brother should sit far off and thus reprimand, since that would give an opportunity for talking.

Et hoc sciendum est, quia, cum abbas foras ambulat, debet legi ad mensam ejus, verumtamen breviter, i. e. parva lectio, non sicut in refectorio semper usque ad finem mensae, sed ante debet finiri lectio.

And this is to be known that, when the abbot walks outside, there ought to be reading at his table, though briefly: ie, a short reading, and the reading should not continue to the end of the meal as in the refectory, but finish before.

Si vero fratres in labore sunt et ibi manent, debet pleniter sicut in refectorio illis legi lectio; si autem non fuerit generalitas et non manseriut, [page 427] debet parum legi.

If the brothers are working and are staying there, then the full reading ought to be read, as in the refectory. If however not everyone is there [page 427] and they are not staying, the reading ought to be short.

Similiter si tantum momorderint, parum legendum est.

Similarly if the brothers only having a snack, the reading ought to be small.

Similiter si hospes ante horam in refectorio mauducaverit; si autem tanti et tales hospites fuerint, i.e. duo vel tres, parum legendum est, i.e. leniter; si plures, tantum usquedum prior innuat lectori, finem facere.

And similarly if the guest is eating in the refectory before the hour: if there are a certain number of guests, that is two or three, the reading ought to be small, that is quiet; there ought to be reading until the superior (prior) indicates to the reader that he should stop.

Sequitur: 10Frater autem hebdomadarius accipiat mixtum, priusquam incipiat legere, propter communionem sanctam et ne forte grave sit ei, jejunium sustinere.

It continues: 10Let the brother who is reader for the week take a little mixtum [bread and wine] before he beginneth to read, on account of Holy Communion, and lest it should be too hard for him to fast so long.

Mixtum enim intelligitur panis et vinum, sicut superius dicit: singulos biberes et panem; nam illius terrae consuetudo fuit [dicere], unde nos dicimus mordere, mixtum vocare.

Mixtum means bread and wine, as he said earlier ‘singulos biberes et panem’ for the custom of this world was, where we say to chew, to say mixtum.

Hoc autem, quod dicit priusquam incipiat legere, unum est cum illo, quod supra dicit: ante unam horam [Regula Benedicti, c. 35:12] et usque ad missam, ac si diceret: congruo intervallo accipiat mordere.

This too, that he says before he beginneth to read, goes together with that which he said above before one hour [Regula Benedicti, c. 35:12] and up to mass, as if he should say, let him take a suitable interval to chew.

Nunc autem dicendum est, qualiter infantes in refectorio manducare debeant. Si enim infantes sunt tanti, quantae et mensae, per unumquamque mensam debet unus infans stando manducare; verumtamen ante talem fratrem debet stare, qui cum custodiat, ne cum joco aut aliqua negligentia manducet.

Now though it should be mentioned how children ought to eat in the refectory. If there are children of the same number as there are tables, each child ought to stand and eat at each table; and indeed he ought to stand before the brother who guards him, lest he eat with a joke or any negligence.

Si autem plus fuerint infantes, quam mensae, tunc per unamquamque mensam debent stare duo infantes; similiter ante mensam abbatis debet semper infans manducare.

If however there are more children than tables, then two children ought to stand at each table, and likewise a child ought to stand to eat at the abbot’s table.

Verumtamen ille infans debet manducare ante abbatem, qui melior est et honeste manducat propter hospitem, qui cum abbate manducat, ne turpitudo sit.5

Indeed that child ought to eat before the abbot who is the best and eats decently, on account of the guest who eats with the abbot, lest there be any turpitude.

Sequitur: 12Fratres autem non per ordinem legant aut cantent, sed qui aedificent audientes.

It continues: 12The brethren, however, will not read or sing in order, but only those who edify their hearers.

Isto enim modo ista ratio debet peragi: debet enim abbas eligere hos fratres, qui bene possint legere, sive viginti, sive duodecim, sive octo, sive sex vel quatuor, et ipsi postea ordine suo legant.

This reason must now be accounted for. The abbot ought to choose those brothers who can read well, whether twenty, or twelve, or eight, or six or four, and these should afterwards read in their order.

In ecclesia autem die dominico prius debet legere ille infans, qui pejus sapit, deinde qui melius, deinde postmodum gradatim crescendo in melius, in ultimo vero debet legere abbas.

In the church on Sunday however, the child who knows least ought to read first, then who knows best, until afterwards things gradually increase, so that the abbot reads last.

Forte dicit aliquis: ‘quare abbas non debet legere prius, ut sit secundum ordinem lectio?’ In ecclesia autem iste ordo debet esse lectorum, crescere enim debet lectio et [page 428] non minui, ut, qui audit legere, melius intelligat, si melius ac melius andierit legere; nam nulla aedificatio erit, si prius ille prior legit, qui bene potest legere, et postea, qui pejus.

Perhaps someone might say: Shouldn’t the abbot read first, so that the reading ought to be according to order? But in church this is the order of readers, that the reading ought to grow and [page 428] not diminish, so that who hears the reading understands better if he hears the reading better and better. For there will be no edification if he hears first who is able to read well, and afterwards he who reads badly.

Nam iste ordo debet esse in ecclesia legendi: prius debent legere quatuor infantes, deinde quatuor presbyteri, deinde tres diaconi, postea abbas.

For this is the order for reading in the church: first four children ought to read, then four priests, then three deacons, and afterwards the abbot.

Si autem non sunt tanti lectores, ut unus legat soluminodo per lectionem, debent legere sex aut quatuor aut duo solummodo, qui audientes possint aedificare, quia melius est, ut unus legat tres vel quatuor lectiones aut quinque aut sex, qui aedifieat, quam multi legant, qui non aedificant.

If there are not enough readers that each one should read just one reading, then the six or four or even just two ought to read, those who can edify those listening, since it is better that one person who edifies should read three or four readings, or five or six, than that many should read who do not edify.

Et hoc sciendum est, quia regula dicit, illos legere, qui aedificent audientes, ideo necesse est, ut auctoritates diversorum sanctorum patrum, quae docent, qualiter legendum est, hic subjungamus, videlicet ex dictis Augustini et Ambrosii, Bedae necnon et Isidori, sive etiam Victorini et Servii et aliorum grammaticorum collectae existunt, quae docent recte et distincte obscurorum sensuum secundum accentuum sonos legere atque distinguere.

And this is to be known: that since the Rule says that those should read who edify those listening, it is necessary that we add here the authorities of various holy fathers who teach how to read: for there are collections from the words of Augustine, Ambrose, Bede and Isidore too, and indeed of Victor and Servius and other grammarians, which teach correctly and distinctly how to read and to distinguish according to the sounds of accent [accentuum sonos].

Quot sunt officia grammaticae artis? a. quatuor. Ut Victorinus dicit, grammaticae officia sunt quatuor. Quae sunt? a. lectio, enarratio, emendatio, judicium.

How many forms of the grammatical art are there? Four. As Victorinus says, there are four forms of the grammatical art. What are they? Reading (lectio), recounting (enarratio), emendation, judgement.

Lectio quid est? a. secundum accentuum et sensuum necessitatem propria pronuntiatio, sive, ut alii dicunt, lectio est varia cujusque scripti enuntiatio serviens dignitati personarum exprimensque habitum animi cujusque.

What is reading? The proper pronunciation according to the necessity of accent and meaning; or as others say, reading is the varied recounting of each text respecting the dignity of the people and expressing the habit of each one’s soul.

Enarratio quid est? a. secundum poetae voluntatem uniuscujusque descriptionis explanatio vel, sicut dicunt caeteri, enarratio est obscurorum sensuum quaestionumque explanatio.

What is recounting? An explanation of each description according to the will of the poet, or, as others say, recounting is the explanation of obscure meanings and questions.

Emendatio quid est? a. errorum apud poetas atque figmentorum reprehensio, sive, sicuti quidam ajunt, emendatio est correptio errorum, qui per scripturas actiouemve fiunt.

What is emendation? The reprimand of errors and figments amongst the poets, or as others say, emendation is the tackling of errors, which come to pass whether by writing or action.

Judicium quid est? a. bene dictorum comprobatio, vel, ut nonnulli dicunt, judicium est aestimatio, qua bene scripta perpendimus.

Judgment – what is that? The right approval of the words, or, as many say, judgment is the estimation which we give to good texts.

Quia enim officium grammaticae artis lectio est, et nunc de ipsa lectione agimus, dicendum est nobis tam ex auctoritate grammaticorum atque doctorum, quam etiam ex traditione modernorum magistrorum, quot partes, i. e. divisiones lectio ipsa habeat, [page 429] vel qualiter legi debeat aut secundum quorum accentuum sonos sonare debeat, quotque divisiones habeat lectio.

Since reading is a form of the grammatical art, and we are now dealing with reading, we ought to discuss, from the authorities of the learned men and grammarians and from the traditions of modern teachers, how many parts, that is how many divisions reading has, [page 429] or how it ought to be read, or to sound according to the sounds of its accents, and how many divisions reading has.

Dicit enim Victorinus grammaticus: quatuor sunt partes lectionis, i. e. accentus, discretio, pronuntiatio, modulatio.

For Victor the Grammarian says: there are four parts of reading: that is accent, discretion, pronunciation, and modulation.

Accentus est uniuscujusque syllabae pronuntiandi in sono qualitas.

Accent is the quality of pronouncing the sound of each syllable.

Discretio est confusarum significationum per plana significatio.

Discretion is the signification of confused significations through plain ones.

Pronuntiatio est secundum scriptorum personas accomodata distinctione similitudo, ut puta aut senis temperamentum aut juvenis protervitas aut feminae infirmitas aut qualitas uniuscujusque personae ostendenda et mores uniuscujusque habitus exprimendi sunt.

Pronunciation is the similitude according to the persons of the writers, making a distinction, so that you might reckon to be shown the temperance of an old man, or the impudence of a young man, or the weakness of a woman, or the quality of whatever person, and the habits of each character to be expressed.

Modulatio est continuati sermonis in jucundiorem dicendi rationem artificialis flexus, (in) delectabilem auditus formam conversus, asperitatis vitandae gratia.

Modulation is the artificial flexing (flexus) of speaking in continuous speech in a more cheerful fashion, turned to a delightful form of hearing, for the sake of avoiding harshness.

Dicit enim Isidorus: Qui autem ad lectorum gradum provehitur, iste erit doctrina et libris imbutus sensuumque ac verborum scientia perornatus, ita ut in distinctionibus sententiarum intelligat, tibi finiatur junctura, ubi adhuc pendeat oratio, ubi sententia extrema claudatur, sicque expeditus vim pronuntiationis tenebit, ut ad intellectum omnium mentes sensusque promoveat discernendo genera pronuntiationum atque exprimendo sententiarum proprios affectus, modo indicantis voce, modo dolentis, modo increpantis, modo exhortantis, sive his similia secundum genera propriae pronuntiationis.

For Isidore says: The one who is promoted to the grade of lector ought to be imbued with learning and with books, and adorned with the knowledge of meanings and words. Thus he may understand in the different kinds of sentences where the paragraph is to end, as well as where the meaning of the sentence should be placed, and where the last statement should be brought to a close. And being so equipped, he will possess the strength of the pronouncement so that he might make a deep impression on the minds and senses of all the people for their understanding. He will discern the types of pronouncements and express the proper senses of the statements, in a voice sometimes of indicating, sometimes of sorrow, sometime scolding, sometimes exhorting, or in others similar to these, according to the types of particular pronouncement.

In quo maxime illa ambigna sententiarum adhibenda cognitio est; multa enim sunt in scripturis, quae, nisi proprio modo pronuntientur, in contrariam recidunt sententiam, sicuti est: ‘Quis accusabit adversus electos Dei? Deus, qui justificat?’ [Rm 8:33]

Even more, there is in him the knowledge so that those ambiguous points of the sentences will be tended to. For there are many things in Scripture which, unless they are expressed in a proper manner, result in a contrary opinion, as in the following: ‘Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? Is it God who justifies. ’ [Rm 8:33]

Quodsi confirmative, non servato genere pronuntiationis suae, dicatur, magna perversitas oritur. Sic ergo pronuntiandum est, ac si diceret: ‘Deusne, qui justificat?’ ut subaudiatur: ‘Non’.

For if he speaks as if in a confirming manner, not keeping the style of its pronouncement, a great evil will arise. Thus therefore it is to be pronounced as if he had said: ‘Not God who justifies!’ so that ‘No’ might be heard.

Necesse est ergo in tantis rebus scientiae ingenium, quo proprio singula convenienterque pronuntientur. Propterea et accentuum vim oportet lectorem scire, ut noverit, in qua syllaba vox protendatur pronuntiantis; plerumque [page 430] enim imperiti lectores in verborum accentibus errant et solent irridere nos imperitiae hi, qui videntur habere notitiam, detrahentes et jurantes, penitus nos nescire, quod dicimus.

It is necessary, therefore, that in all such cases there be the talent of knowledge, by which all things are properly and consistently proclaimed. In addition, the lector needs to know the meaning of accents so that he might recognize on which syllable the stress should be placed. [page 430] For inexpert lectors commonly err in the correct accentuation of words, and they are accustomed to begrudge those of us who seem to take notice of their lack of skill, drawing away and heartily swearing that they do not know what we are saying.

Porro vox lectoris simplex erit et clara ad omne pronuntiationis genus accomodata plena succo virili, agrestem et subrusticum effugiens sonum, non humilis nec adeo sublimis, non fracta vel tenera nihilque femineum sonans, neque cum motu corporis, sed tantum cum gravitatis specie; auribus enim et cordi consulere debet lector, non oculis, ne potius ex se ipso spectatores magis quam auditores faciat.

Furthermore, the voice of the lector will be simple and clear and. Accommodated to every kind of pronunciation, full of masculine flavor, shunning a boorish and rather unsophisticated tone, not too low not yet too high, not sounding broken or weak and not at all feminine, ant not with a movement of the body but only with the appearance of seriousness. The lector ought to pay attention to the ears and the heart, not the eyes, lest he make it more important that we be spectators of him rather than hearers.

Vetus opinio est, lectores pronuntiandi causa praecipuam curam vocis habuisse, ut exaudiri in tumultu possent; unde et dudum lectores praecones vel proclamatores vocabantur. [Isidore of Seville, De ecclesiasticis officiis II, c. 11.2-5, CCSL 113, p. 70-71]

An ancient opinion is that lectors have had a special way of caring for their voice for the sake of proclaiming so that they might be able to be heard in a tumult. This, lectors were formerly called announcers or proclaimers. [Isidore of Seville, De ecclesiasticis Officiis, II, c. 11.2-5, transl. by Thomas L. Knoebel (Ancient Christian Writers, vol. 61), New York/Mahwah: The Newman Press 2008, pp. 82-83]

Nunc autem, sicut dictum est, qualiter ratio legendi lectionem a magistris modernis traditur et docetur, subjungendum aptum esse duximus.

Now then, as was said, we think it suitable to add here how the modern masters pass down and teach that readings should be read.

Unde ut magis magisque patefiat, ipsam epistolam, quam Hildemarus magister Urso praedestinato atque electo episcopo S. Beneventanae ecclesiae de ratione legendi scripsit, prius subjungere curamus;6 deinde caetera, quae ad lectionem pertinent, tam ex traditione quorundam modernorum magistrorum, quam ex auctoritate B. Augustini et caeterorum doctorum inferius subnectemus.

And so that it should be more and more accessible, we take care to add here first of all the letter which Master Hildemar sent to Urso, the predestined and chosen bishop of the church of St Beneventa about the form of reading. Then we will add other things below which pertain to reading, both from the tradition of some modern teachers, and add from the authority of St Augustine and other doctors.



Suo sanctissimo [omitted in ed. Mittermüller, inserted from PL: domino Urso, Hildemarus inutilis servus salutem.
Noverit denique vestra, o dulcissime Pater, sancta beatitudo, nullum plus me mortalem quam vos diligere: unde quia modo alio vobis prodesse nequeo, divinam clementiam super vestrae salvatione indesinenter exposco animae: quatenus ipsius piae miserationis respectu a cunctis versutiis antiqui hostis eruti, et hic multarum ubertate virtutum frui, et post hujus mortalis vitae cursum supernorum collegio civium potiri mereamini. Ego quippe miserrimorum cunctorum satis quoque miserior, studio hic consistens quietis, difficile absque cordis anxietate quae mandatis scribere possem: praesertim cum vobis plura scientibus haec non sint necessaria, nisi divinae charitatis beneficiorum vestrorum, vestra quae lata charitas magnopere nobis impendere studet, memor existerem. Vestrae igitur dilectionis causa, scientiae officiique mei modum excedens, vestro parere curabo praecepto. Quamvis itaque ars distincte legendi potissimum in posituris consistat, sunt tamen et illi accentus ineruditis lectoribus aliquo modo utiles, quos Donatus enumerat. Nullus nempe ignorat quod pars illa, cujus titulus est de Accentibus, ob enuntiationem syllabarum praecipue fuerit edita: quoniam quidem per accentuum vim ratio sonandi in sermonibus demonstratur. Nescimus enim quomodo sonare debeamus syllabam longam vel brevem, utrum circumflexo an gravi, nisi per accentum, ut Isidorus dicit. Accentus autem dictus, quasi ad cantus, quod juxta cantum sit. Et quamvis Pompeius dicat duos tantum accentus necessarios apud Latinos, id est acutum et circumflexum, Sergius tamen dicit: Sunt omnes accentus Latini octo, scilicet acutus, gravis, circumflexus, longus, yfen, diastole, apostrophus, his adduntur dasian, et psilen, id est, aspiratio et siccitas. Et quia horum accentuum virtus vobis manifesta est, pauca de posituris loquar, maxime quia artem distincte legendi epistola vestra pandere monuerit, id est signa, per quae possit lector cola et comata atque periodos nosse. Horum quippe notitia in particula, cujus titulus est de Posituris, plenius continetur. Tres quippe sunt positurae, ut Donatus ait: id est distinctio, ubi finitur plena sententia; hujus punctum ad summam litteram ponimus. Subdistinctio, ubi non multum superest de sententia; hujus punctum ad imam litteram ponimus. Media distinctio est, ubi fere tantum de sententia superest quantum jam diximus; hujus punctum ad mediam litteram ponimus. Distinctio, ut Isidorus dicit, positura est figurae ad distinguendos sensus per cola et commata et periodos, quae dum ordine suo ponitur, sensum nobis lectionis ostendit. Sergius dicit colon esse ubi duo liberi pedes sunt, ut terruit urbes; comma vero quando post duos vel tres pedes sequitur praesyllaba, quae partem terminat orationis, ut est in primo versu primo libro Aeneidos: Arma virumque cano, Trojae qui primus ab oris. Sed haec in metro. Nam prosa his tribus punctis hoc modo distinguitur: Beatus vir qui non abiit in consilio impiorum, et in via peccatorum non stetit, et in cathedra pestilentiae non sedit. Non ergo miremini quod in medio sensu notam acuti accentus fecerint, quam, ut ab eruditis didici viris, his tribus punctis tres aptantur accentus, id est usque ad medium totius sententiae sensum, gravis; in medio quoque tantummodo sensu, acutus; deindeque usque ad plenum sensum, circumflexus. Ita ut nec ante acutum sit circumflexus, nec post acutum sit ullo modo gravis. Hoc autem omnino a lectore observandum est, ut in medio solummodo totius dictionis sensu, vox ipsius paulo eminentius elevetur, et ante elevationem per singula subdistinctionis puncta gravetur, atque post praedictam elevationem per singula puncta circumflectatur, salvo illo sensu quem Donatus tractat in accentuum ratione. Ait enim inter caetera monosyllaba, quae correptam vocalem habent, acuto accentu pronuntiandas, ut fax, pax, nix, nux; quae vero productam vocalem habebunt, circumflexo accentu pronuntiabimus, ut res, dos, spes. In medio quoque dictionis sensu non ultimam syllabam acuendam, quod ars nonnisi in paucis discretionis causa sinit, sed totam illam partem orationis, quae ultima fuerit, altius enuntiandam vel gravandam vel circumflectendam dicimus, salvo unicuique parti et praesyllabae suo naturali sono. In interrogationibus autem atque percontationibus vox legentis necesse est acuatur, sed paulo vehementius quam in acuto accentu. Hae notae interrogandi?, haec percontandi ῏, haec negandi ῃ. Inter percontationem autem et interrogationem hoc veteres, Augustino teste, interesse dixerunt, quod ad percontationem multa responderi possunt, ad interrogationem autem, aut non, aut etiam. Verbi gratia, percontando legimus: Quis accusabit adversus electos Dei ῏. Illudque quod sequitur sono interrogantis pronuntiatur, Deus qui justificat? ut tacite respondeatur, non. Itemque percontando; Quis est qui condemnet ῏. Interrogando quod sequitur, Christus Jesus, et caetera usque pro nobis? ut respondeatur, non. Dictae autem positurae, vel quia punctis positis adnotantur, vel quia ubi vox propter intervallum distinctionis deponendo vel gravatur, vel erigitur, vel circumflectitur; nota vero cujus vocabulum est yfen verba necesse est jungat male disjuncta, ut antetulit. Apostrophos autem separat male conjuncta, ut conspicitur'sus. Sed et hoc non est praetermittendum, quod propter inertes lectores inveniuntur aliquando syllabae, aliquando pedes in prosa notati, ut éd˘om˘o, éd˘oc˘et, sát˘ur˘o, im˘itor, álac˘er, qúand˘i˘u, Híer˘em˘iás, Is˘a˘iás, tr˘ucíd˘o, addícit, revéra, pudícus, íllicit, íbidem. Haec vero adnotatio rarissime in libris invenitur veteribus. O domine mi, ecce quod rogastis, nec brevius, nec apertius scribere potui; verumtamen videtur mihi rustico et insipienti, quod quantum ad peritiam legendi attinet, sufficiant haec: tantum sonus vocis deest, qui in variis punctis et notis varius esse debet, idcirco quod scribi non valet. Sane oculis sanctae individuaeque Trinitatis solummodo patet, quod almitati vestrae pleniter litterali indagine pandere non valeo, vel quantum precibus in vestris confido, vel quantum ego ipse vestrimet memor existo, et patri commendo Leoni, caeterisque qui sunt apud vos fratribus, deprecans per communem Redemptorem, ut vel mei semel sint memores Deum orando. Mementote nihilominus flagito omnium fratrum hic degentium, ut orationibus vestris a malis omnibus tueantur, in bona devotione consolidentur, et spei fideique atque charitatis gemmis ornentur. Concedat vobis pia Omnipotentis miseratio cunctos subripientium delictorum laqueos evadere, et per viam salutis mente devota currere, consummatoque cursu tramite recto] ad coelestia regna transire
. Explicit epistola. [Hildemar, Epistola ad Ursum Beneventanum Episcopum de recta legendi ratione, PL 106, col. 395B-398C]

Scire enim debes, quia sententia interrogationis non debet habere mediam distinctionem cum acuto, sed semper per subdistinctionem, i. e. per gravem accentum debet legi [page 431] usque ad partem ultimam, quae debet per interrogationem dici.

You should know that a questioning sentence (sententia interrogationis) ought not to have a medial distinction with an acute mark, but ought always to be read by its subdistinctions, that is through the heavy accent [page 431] all the way to the final part, which needs to be said as a question.

Ibi namque debet fieri nota interrogandi ita:? sed inter vocem interrogandi et vocem acute proferendi ista debet esse differentia, i. e. cum interrogatio debet fieri, sola ultima syllaba partis acuitur quasi increpando, sed non nimis, hoc est: Quis accusabit adversus electos Dei? [Rm 8:33]

And there ought always to be a question mark, like this: ? But between the voice of questioning and the voice of carrying across acutely [?acute proferendi] there ought to be this difference: that is, when there is a question, only the last syllable of the part should be sharpened as if chiding, but not too much, that is: Who will accuse those chosen by God? [Rm 8:33]

Cum autem media distinctio debet dici cum acuto, paene a principio partis elevanda est vox sonum acuendo, i. e. Beatus vir, qui non abiit in consilio impiorum. [Ps 1:1]

When however a medial distinction ought to be said with an acute mark, the voice is slightly to be raised from the beginning of the part, by sharpening the sound, that is: The blessed man, who does not partake in the counsels of the impious. [Ps 1:1]

Deinde si venerint sententiae duae vel tres aut plus, quae videntur sub interrogatione proferri, si habuerit unaquaeque sententia suam clausulam, i. e. verbum, tunc per unamquamque sententiam debet fieri interrogatio, veluti est hoc: Domine, quis habitabit in tabernaculo tuo? aut quis requiescet in monte sancto tuo? [Ps 14:1]

Then if there come two or three or more sentences, which seem to be contained as part of the question, then if each sentence has its own clause, that is verb, then there ought to be a question throughout each sentence, just like this: O Lord, who shall dwell in thy Tabernacle? Or who will rest on your holy mountain? [Ps 14:1]

Ecce, quia unaquaeque sententia habuit suam clausulam, i. e. verbum, ideo per singulam sententiam facta est interrogatio.

See: each sentence had its own clause, that is verb, and so there was a question in each sentence.

Sed hoc sciendum est, quia quamvis debere fieri per singulam clausulam interrogationem diximus, tamen si velis, ambas clausulas sub una interrogatione potes pronuntiare, sicuti habes scriptum in dictis inferius scriptis moralibus: Numquid producis luciferum in tempore suo, et vesperum super filios terrae consurgere facis? [Iob 38:32]

But this should be known, that although we said that there ought to be a question in each clause, yet if you wish you can pronounce two clauses with one question, as is written in the morals written below: Do you not bring forth the pole star at its time, and make the evening to come over the sons of the earth? [Iob 38:32]

Scito enim, quia clausulam dicimus esse unumquodque verbum, quod claudit unamquamque sententiam.

Know, then, that we say that each clause to be one verb, which closes each sentence.

Deinde doceat te forma accentus, vocem in legendo proferre, h. e. quia sicut superius est erecta aut inferius demersa, ita debet ibi vox aut elevari aut inclinari; v. gr. gravis virgula deorsum deprimitur ita: \, et ideo taliter debes vocem tuam inferius deponere in locis, ubi subdistinctio, h. e. punctus ad pedem litterae fuerit.

Then let the form of the accent teach you which voice to use in reading, that is as it is raised up higher or lowered below, so the voice there ought to be raised or lowered. For example, a heavy virgula is lowered downwards thus, \ and so you ought to lower your voice in the places where there is a subdistinction, that is a point at the foot of the letter.

Similiter acuti nota est ita: /, et ideo ita debes vocem tuam in media distinctione in altum acuendo sublevare, sicut ipsius figura consistit.

Similarly, an acute note is thus: / and there you ought to raise your voice higher in the medial distinction, as that figure itself shows.

Ubi vero post acutum mediae distinotionis iterum puncti ad mediam litteram mediae distinctionis fuerint, ita debes vocem tuam modulando circumflectero , i. e. acuere atque deponere sicut ipse circumflexus erigitur atque deponitur ita: /\.

Where indeed after an acute medial distinction there are again points of medial distinction at the middle of the letter, there you ought to inflect your voice by modulating, that is to raise and lower it, as that circumflex is itself raised and lowered, thus: /\.

Nam ubi percunctatio debet fieri, ita debet esse nota: /\/\/, veluti in evangelio: [page 432] Quid existis in desertum videre? [Lc 7:24] /\/\/.

For where there ought to be an enquiry (percunctatio), there ought to be this note: /\/\/. As in the Gospel [page 432], What did you go into the desert to see? [Lc 7:24] /\/\/’.

Ubi antem negatio est, quamquam superius diximus, ita debere fieri: \/ hanc notam antiquitatis more, tamen consuetudo moderna est nunc, ut in sensu negationis talis nota fieri debeat multis virgulis facta /\/\/, sicuti est in evangelio: hominem mollibus vestitum [Mt 11:8] /\/\/, eo quod superior sententia est percunctationis, inferior vero negationis.

When there is a negation, as we said above, there ought by ancient custom to be this note: \/. Modern custom however is now that for a sense of negation, such a sign ought to be made with many virgules, that is /\/\/. As it is in the Gospel, a man clad in soft garments [Mt 11:8] /\/\/’. Because the higher sentence is a question, the lower one of negation.

Et hoc scire etiam debes, quia cum vis distinguere per punctos unumquemque versum librorum, non tantum debes constructionem adtendere, ut distinctionem facias, si parva est sententia, i. e. verbum tantum cum una vel duabus partibus, quamvis sensum habeat, ut: Virgilius scripsit buccolica; sed propter euphoniam soni aliquando junge duas vel tres constructiones simul, sicuti: Cantate Domino canticum novum, cantate Domino omnis terra. [Ps 95:1]

And this too you should know, that when you wish to distinguish through points each verse of the books/Bible, you should not pay so much attention to construction that you make a distinction, if the sentence is short: ie, that there is just a verb with one or two parts, even if it has a meaning: such as ‘Vergil wrote buccolic verse’. But for the sake of euphony, you should join two or three constructions together, like this: Sing a new song the Lord, let the whole earth sing to the Lord. [Ps 95:1]

Ideo enim dixi, non tantum constructionem, sed etiam euphoniam debes adtendere, quia solet evenire, ut pro brevitate sententiolarum duae vel tres sententiolae in legendo versum causa euphoniae comprehendantur, sicut solet evenire, ut in una sententia, si longa, est, antequam ad calcem sensus perveniatur, fiant duae vel tres constructiones.

I said that you should pay attention not only to construction but also to euphony, since it often happens that because of the shortness of little sentences, two or three little sentences are taken together in reading the verse for the sake of euphony, as often happens, so that in one sentence, if it is long, there are two or three constructions before it gets to the end of the meaning.

Et quid mirum, si in uno sensu solent fieri duae vel tres vel plures constructiones, cum etiam in una linea similiter fiant duae vel plures constructiones?

And it is no surprise if there are two or three or even more constructions in one meaning, since even in one line there are similarly two or more constructions.

Deinde quamvis Donatus dicat, tres punctos fieri debere in uno sensu, i. e. distinctionem, mediam distinctionem atque subdistinctionem, nostri tamen intelligunt, si longus fuerit sensus, duas vel tres subdistinctiones aut eo amplius fieri debere ante mediam distinctionem, veluti est in ista oratione: Deus, qui B. Johannem Baptistam tua providentia praedestinasti, id perfectam plebem Domino Christo praepararet: da, quaesumus, ut familia tua hujus intercessione praeconis et a peccatis omnibus exuatur et eum, quem prophetavit, inveniat, Dominum nostrum J. X. [cf. Gregory the Great, Liber Sacramentorum, PL 78, col. 122C]

For although Donatus says that there ought to be three points in one meaning, that is a distinction, a medial distinction, and a subdistinction, our [writers] understand however that if the meaning is long, then there ought to be two or three subdistinctions or more before the medial distinction, as for example in this prayer: Lord, who predestined the blessed John the Baptist by your providence that he might prepare the perfected people for the Lord Christ: grant, we beseech you, that your familia might by the intercession of this prayer be stripped of all its sins, and may find him whom he prophesised, our Lord Jesus Christ’. [cf. Gregory the Great, Liber Sacramentorum, PL 78, col. 122C]

Item oratio: Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, da populis tuis apostolorum tuorum Petri et Pauli natalem plena devotione venerari, ut, quorum doctrinis et confessione Trinitatis unius institutus est mundus, eorum suffragantibus meritis divinae serviat [page 433] Unitati, per Dominum etc. etc.

Or this prayer: Almighty and eternal God, grant that your people may venerate the feast day of your apostles Peter and Paul in full devotion, so that by the worthy support of those by whose doctrine and confession of the single Trinity the world was instituted, so it may obey the divine unity, [page 433] through our Lord, etc.

Item de Job: Post damna rerum [omitted in ed. Mittermüller, added from CCSL 143B: Post damna rerum, post funera pignorum, post vulnera corporis, post verba male suadentis uxoris, post contumeliosa dicta consolantium, post suscepta fortiter jacula tot dolorum, de tanta virtute constantiae laudandus a judice beatus Job fuerat, si jam de praesenti saeculo esset evocandus.

The same about Hiob: After the loss of his goods, [omitted in ed. Mittermüller: the death of his children, the wounds of his body, the words of his wife persuading him to evil, the insulting language of his comforters, and the darts of so many sorrows boldly received, blessed Job ought to have been praised by his Judge for such great power of constancy, if he had been now going to be called out of this present world.

At postquam hic adhuc duplicia recepturus est, postquam saluti pristinae restituitur, ut rebus redditis diutius utatur, ne per elationis gladium ipsa illum sua victoria sternat, debet omnipotens Deus increpare per districtam justitiam quem servat ad vitam. Quid enim pejus plerumque animam quam conscia virtus interficit?

But after he is here about to receive back yet two-fold, after he is restored to his former health, to enjoy longer his restored possessions, Almighty God is obliged to reprove with strict justice him, whom He preserves alive, lest his very victory should lay him low with the sword of pride. For what commonly slays a soul more fatally than consciousness of virtue?

Quae illam dum consideratione sua inflat, a plenitudine veritatis evacuat; et dum se ad percipienda praemia sufficere suggerit, eam a meliorationis intentione distendit.

For while it puffs it up with self-consideration, it deprives it of the fulness of truth; and while it suggests that it is sufficient of itself for the attainment of rewards, it diverts it from the intention of improvement.

Justus igitur Job ante flagella exstitit, sed justior post flagella permansit; et laudatus antea Dei voce, postmodum crevit ex verbere. Profecto velut tuba ductilis ex percussione producta in laudem Dei tanto altius elevatus est, quanto majori castigatione percussus.

Job, therefore, was just before his scourges, but he remained more just after his scourges; and, having been praised before by the voice of God, he afterwards increased from the blow. For as a ductile tube is lengthened by being hammered, so was he raised the higher in praise of God, as he was smitten with heavier chastisement.

Sed humiliandus erat iste qui, prostratus ulceribus, sic virtutibus stabat. Humiliandus erat, ne tam robustissimum pectus elationis tela confoderent, quod constabat certe quia et illata vulnera non vicissent.

But he who stood thus firm in his virtues, when prostrated by wounds, needed to be humbled. He needed to be humbled, lest the weapons of pride should pierce that most sturdy breast, which it was plain that even the wounds that had been inflicted had not overcome.

Requirendus nimirum fuit homo cujus debuisset comparatione superari.

It was doubtless necessary to find out a person, by comparison with whom he would have been surpassed.

Sed quid est quod de eo voce Domini dicitur: Vidisti servum meum Job, quod non sit ei similis vir super terram? [Iob 1:8; 2:3] Cujus ergo comparatione poterat vinci, de quo Deo attestante dicitur quia nullius hominis comparatione possit aequari?

But what is this, which is said of him by the voice of the Lord; Thou hast seen My servant Job, that there is no man like him upon the earth. [Iob 1:8; 2:3] By comparison with whom then could he be surpassed, of whom it is said, on the witness of God, that he cannot be equalled, on comparison with any man?

Quid itaque agendum est, nisi ut ex persona sua ipse Dominus suas illi virtutes narret, et dicat ei: Nunquid producis luciferum in tempore suo, et vesperum super filios terrae] consurgere facis? [Iob 38:32] [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Hiob XXVIII, praefatio, CCSL 143B, p. 1394]

What then must be done, except for the Lord Himself to relate to him His own virtues, and to say to him, Canst thou bring forth the morning star in its season, and canst thou make the evening star to rise over the sons of men? [Iob 38:32] [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Hiob XXVIII, praefatio, transl. by John Henry Parker, J. G. F. and J. Rivington, London 1844]

Augustinus in libro III. de doctrina christiana: Sic distinguendum est. etc. [rest omitted by Mittermüller]7

And Augustine says in the third book of his On Christian Doctrine, Thus is to be distinguished ... etc. [Mittermüller omits her a large number of unidentified quotations from Augustine, Vergil, Priscian, Bede, Ambrose, Sergius, Donatus, Pompey, Ovid, Alcuin and Statius]

Quid existis in desertum videre? et caetera.

What did you go into the desert to see? And so on.

Interrogatio sive percunctatio est; sed tripliciter iste locus distinguitur: Quid existis in desertum videre? arundiuem veuto agitatam? alio modo: Quid existis in desertum? videre arundinem vento agitatam? sive: quid existis in desertum videre arundiuem vento agitatam? Inferius: Quid existis videre? percunctatio; hominem mollibus vestitum? negatio.

This is a question or an enquiry. And this passage could be distinguished in three ways. What did you go into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Or, Why did you go into the desert? To see a reed swayed by the wind? Or, Why did you go into the desert to see a reed swayed by the wind? And below: What did you go to see? Enquiry: a man dressed in soft garments? Negation.

Duobus modis distinguitur: Quid existis? videre hominem mollibus vestitum? et caetera; vel: quid existis videre? hominem mollibus vestitum?

This can be distinguished in two ways: Why did you go? To see a man dressed in soft garments? And so on. Or: what did you go to see? A man dressed in soft garments?

Quantum ad historiam attinet, Joannes mollibus vestibus vestitus non erat; vestimenta enim ex pilis camelorum contexta gerebat.

As concerns the history, John was not dressed in soft garments, for he wore clothes woven from camel hair.

Inferius: 'Ecce mitto angelum meum' [Mc 1:2] et cet.; veluti in Marco: ‘Dico enim vobis, quia major Joanne Baptista in regno coelorum nemo est; nam qui minor est in regno Dei, major est illo'. [cf. Mt 11:11]

And below: Behold, I send my angel [Mc 1:2], and so on. And in Mark, I say unto you, there is no one greater than John the Baptist in the kingdom of heaven. For he who is lesser in the kingdom of heaven is greater than him’. [sic] [cf Mt 11:11]

Ambrosius: Hoc dico: praetulit eum omnibus; sed Hieronymus dicit, cum omnibus aequasse, non praetulisse. Nam poterat quis inferioris meriti esse vel aequi patriarchis et prophetis, tamen ultra eum crescere non potuit.

Ambrose: I say this: he put him before all others; but Jerome says that he made him equal to all others, he did not put him first. For who is able to be inferior in merit or to be equal to the patriarchs and the prophets is not able to grow beyond that [?].

Cum vero dicit ‘inter natos mulierus', [Mt 11:11] praefert se Dominus Joanni, quia non ex muliere, sed ex virgine natus est. ‘Qui autem minor est' [Mt 11:11] et caetera, duobus modis solvitur; primo: qui major est, subaudis: in nascendo; secundo: in ecclesia seu in omnibus locis; sive: qui minor est in reguo coelorum, major [page 434] est illo, quia angelus minoris dignitatis in coelo, quo consistit, major est illo, quoniam aliud est, in acie consistere, aliud est, jam victor existere, et aliud, carne gravari, et aliud, absque gravitudine esse.

For when he says born of women [Mt 11:11], the Lord puts himself before John, since he was not born of woman, but of a virgin. Who is lesser etc [Mt 11:11]’ is resolved in two ways. Firstly, ‘who is lesser’: implied, in birth. Secondly: implied, in the church or in all places. Or, who is lesser in the kingdom of heaven is greater [page 434] than him, since the angel of a lesser dignity in heaven is greater than him, since it is one thing to stand in the line of battle, and another already to be a victor; one thing to be burdened by flesh, and another, to be without a burden.

Incipit traditio cujusdam magistri graeci grammatici de accentibus graecorum nominum aliquorum, i. e. ubi et quem accentum habere debeant haec nomina subjecta. Sizigiam in ‘gi’ dixit esse accentum .... quia exceptiva sunt.

The tradition about of a certain master of Greek grammar about the accents of some Greek names, that is where and which accent these names ought to have. He says that Sizigiam ought to be accented on the ‘gi’... Which are exceptions.

Ex libro primo Cassiodori capitulum quintum decimum, sub qua cautela relegi debeat coelestis auctoritas. Vos igitur, qui divinarum [omitted in ed. Mittermüller, inserted from PL: Vos igitur, qui divinarum et saecularium litterarum cognitione polletis, et scientia vobis est ab usu communi reperire quod dissonat, tali modo sacras percurrite lectiones; a paucis enim doctisque faciendum est, quod simplici et minus eruditae congregationi noscitur esse praeparandum.

From the first book of Cassiodor, chapter fifteen on how cautiously one has to edit the heavenly authority: [omitted in ed. Mittermüller, inserted from PL, translated by James W. Halporn, Cassiodorus, Institutions of Divine and Secular Learning and On the Soul, Translated Texts for Historians, vol. 42, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press 2004, S. 139-145:] You, therefore, who have a good knowledge of divine and secular letters and the understanding to discover what is not in harmony with common usage, read through sacred literature in the following manner; for the few who are learned must prepare material for the simple and less educated community.

Quapropter prius introite diligenter, et sic scriptorum delicta corrigite, ne juste arguamini, si praecipitanter alios emendare tentetis. Istud enim genus emendationis [ut arbitror] valde pulcherrimum est, et doctissimorum hominum negotium gloriosum.

Therefore, first read carefully and correct the errors of the scribes in such a way that you do not deserve criticism for trying to correct others without due deliberation; this kind of correction is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and glorious task of learned men.

Imprimis igitur idiomata Scripturae divinae nulla praesumptione temeretis [ed., temnetis], ne cum ad intellectum communem, quae dicta sunt, trahere cupitis [quod absit], coelestium verborum puritas dissipetur.

[2] First, do not impudently question the idioms of Divine Scripture lest you damage the purity of the heavenly works (God forbid!) when you try to bring the text into harmony with common understanding.

Idiomata enim legis divinae dicuntur propriae locutiones, quas communis usus non habere cognoscitur; ut est illud: Secundum innocentiam manuum mearum; [Ps 7:9] vel: De vultu tuo judicium meum prodeat. [Ps 38:13] Auribus percipe lacrymas meas. [Ps 61:9]. Et, Effundite coram illo corda vestra. [Ps 72:9] Adhaesit anima mea post te. [Ps 64:10] Multiplicasti locupletare eam. Ibi laetabimur in idipsum. [Ps 65:6] Et inclinavit ex hoc in hoc. [Ps 74:9] Misit Moysen servum suum, et Aaron, quem dilexit ipsum. [Ps 104: 20] Defecerunt oculi mei in eloquium tuum. [Ps 118: 82] Fiat manus tua, ut salvum me faciat, [Ps 113: 137]

By idioms of Divine Scripture are meant the peculiar turns of phrase that do not occur in common usage, such as: ‘according to the innocence of y hands’ [Ps 17:21/25; cf. Ps 7:9] ‘let my judgment come from your eyes’ [Ps 38:13] ‘with your ears perceive my tears’ [Ps 38:13]‘pour out your hearts before him’ [Ps 6:9]‘my soul clings fast after you’ [Ps 62:9]‘you have multiplied to enrich it’ [Ps 64:10]‘there we shall rejoyce to that very thing’ [Ps 64:10]‘he pours from this into this’ [Ps 74:9]‘he sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he chose him’ [Ps 104:26]‘my eyes have failed towards your speech’ [Ps 118:82]‘let your hand be so that it may save me’ [Ps 118:173].

Haec et his similia quae nimis putantur vel probantur esse numerosa, licet communis usus refugiat, tamen, ne dissipare liceat, auctoritas illa procul dubio sancta commendat.

These and similar expressions are numerous, although common usage avoids them. Nevertheless one must not efface them, as that authority that is certainly sacred approves them.

Quod si enucleatius [ed., ea latius] haec nosse desideratis, legite sancti Augustini septem libros de Modis locutionum quos fecit de quinque libris Moysi, et uno Jesu Nave, et altero Judicum, et tunc de tali re poteritis abundantissima largitate satiari. In sequenti vero auctoritate vobis similia reperire copiosissime subjacebit.

But if you desire to understand these matters more fully, read St Augustine’s seven books on ‘Types of Speech’ that he wrote on the five books of Moses, on Joshua, and on Judges, and then you shall be fully satisfied on this subject. Then it will be easy for you to find plenty of similar cases in the Biblical books that follow.

Hebraea vero quaedam nomina hominum vel locorum nulla declinatione frangatis; servetur in eis linguae suae decora sinceritas.

[3] Do not alter certain Hebrew names of individuals and places by declining them; let the pleasing simplicity of their language be preserved.

Illas tantum litteras commutemus quae vocabuli ipsius possunt exprimere qualitatem, quoniam interpretationem nominis sui unumquodque eorum magno sacramento rei alicujus constat appositum: ut est Seth, Enoch, Lamech, Noe, Sem, Cham, et Japhet, Aaron, David, et his similia.

We should change only those letters that can express the case of the word itself, since the interpretation of the name of each of these is tied to a great mystery of some sort, as Seth, Enoch, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth, Aaron, David, and the like.

Locorum autem nomina, ut est Sion, Oreb, Geon, Hermon, vel his similia, pari devotione linquamus.

Let us treat with the same respect the names of places such as Sion, Choreb, Gooen, Hermon, and the like.

Tertio res quae in bono et in malo ponuntur, non sunt ullatenus temerandae, ut mons, leo, cedrus, catulus leonis, clamor, homo, fructus, calix, vitulus, pastor, thesaurus, vermis, canis, et his similia. Nec illa nomina mutanda sunt, quae pro aliis nominibus apponuntur, ut Satanas, qui a recto calle discedit. Manus lavare significat non esse participem. Quod pedes pro actu ponuntur. Quod frequenter exspectationem pro spe ponit. Semel, pro incommutabili sententia denuntiatur. Jurare Dominum [ed., Deum], pro confirmare dicitur. Ista enim nobis ab expositoribus aperienda desideremus, non aliquid eorum sacrilega voluntate truncemus.

[4] Thirdly, words that are used in a good and bad sense must not be tampered with at all, like mountain, lion, cedar, lion’s cub, shout, man, fruit, cup, calf, shepherd, treasure, worm, dog, and the like. And those terms that are set down in place of other words also must not be changed. For example: A ‘Satan’ who departs from the straight path – ‘To wash one’s hands hand’ means not to take part in –that ‘feet’ are set down for the act –that often ‘awaiting’ is used for hope’ ‘once’ expressed an unchangeable decision –‘to swear’ by God is stated instead of to assert. Let us hope that the commentator will explain these terms to us; let us not mangle any of them with impious intent.

Nec illa verba tangenda sunt, quae interdum contra artem quidem humanam posita reperiuntur, sed auctoritate multorum codicum vindicantur; corrumpi siquidem nequeunt quae, inspirante Domino, dicta noscuntur; ut est: Obliti non sumus te. [Ps 43:18] Et illud: Viri sanguinum et dolosi. [Ps 54:14] Fabricatus est templum. Et, radetur caput suum. [Nm 6:9] Et, inflabitur ventrem pro, inflabitur ventre. Et, Protulerunt exploratores pavorem terrae, quam exploraverant eam. Vir, si praevaricata fuerit uxor ejus. [Nm 5:12] Et: Imponent super altare omnia vasa ejus, in quibus ministrant in ipsis. [Nm 5:25] Terra, in qua habitant in ea. [Ps 23:1] Et: De manu canis unicam meam. [Ps 21:21] Et: Flumina plaudent manibus in se. [Ps 97:8] Tunc exsultabunt omnia ligna silvarum. [Ps 95:12]

 [5] Do not alter those words that from time to time appear to be set down contrary to the human art of grammar, but that are defended by the authority of many copies, since words evidently spoken under the inspiration of the Lord cannot be corrupt. For example: ‘we have not forgotten you’ [Ps 43:18] and the following phrase‘men of bloods and deceitful’ [Ps 54:24]‘he was made a temple’ [Zac 8:9]‘he will be shaved as to his head’ [Nm 6:9]‘she will swell as to her belly’ for ‘she will be swollen in her belly’ [Nm 5:27]‘of a man of a man if his wife shall have deceived’ [Nm 5:12]‘on the altar they shall put his vessels in which they serve in hem’ [Nm 4:14]‘the country in which they live in it’ [Nm 13:19]‘the scouts brought fear of the land that they have scouted it’ [Nm 13:33]‘my only one from the hand of the dog’ [Ps 21:21]‘the rivers shall clap their hands in themselves’ [Ps 97:8]‘then shall all the timers of the forests exult.’ [Ps 95:12]

Et quoniam interdum casus generaque nominum vel temporum humanis regulis nequeunt convenire, sed tamen eorum usum ecclesiasticus consensus amplectitur, duorum vel trium priscorum emendatorumque codicum auctoritas inquiratur [scriptum est enim: In ore duorum vel trium testium stabit omne verbum, [Mt 18:16] et praesumi non liceat quod divino vindicatur eloquio, ut est in psalmo vigesimo primo: Populo qui nascetur, quem fecit Dominus; [Ps 21:32] et illud Evangelii: Euntes docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus sancti. [Mt 28:19] Similiter et in centesimo quadragesimo tertio psalmo: Beatus populus cujus est Dominus Deus eorum; [Ps 143:15] et his similia.

[6] And since sometimes the cases and genders of nouns an verbs cannot fit human rules, and yet by agreement the Church accepts their usage, let the authority of two or three old and corrected copies be sought – for it is written, ‘every word shall be established on the utterance of two or three’ [Dt 19:15 etc] – and do not be bold on a matter supported by divine language as in Psalm 21, ‘to a people yet to be born whom the Lord has made’, [Ps 21:32] and the following from the Gospel, ‘going, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’, [Mt 28:19] and likewise in Psalm 143 ‘happy the people whose Lord is the God of them’, [Ps 143:15] and the like.

Regulas igitur elocutionum Latinarum, id est [forte, ut est], quadrigam Messii omnimodis non sequaris, ubi tamen priscorum codicum auctoritate convinceris. Expedit enim interdum praetermittere humanarum formulas dictionum, et divini magis eloquii custodire mensuram.

[7] Do not, therefore, completely follow the rules of Latin idioms, i.e. the Quadriga of Messius, provided you are convinced by the authority of ancient copies; for sometimes it is right to pass over the rules of human expression and instead keep the arrangement of divine speech.

In prosa caput versus heroici finemque non corrigas, id est, quinque longas totidemque breves non audeas improbare; trocheum triplicem laudabilis neglectus abscondat; iotacismos et hiatus vocalium omnino derelinque, quoniam hic locum habere non possunt, quae doctores litterarum liberalium regulariter custodire noscuntur.

In prose do not correct what begins or ends like a line of epic; do not presume to disapprove of five long or as many short syllables; let a praiseworthy oversight hide a triple trochee. Disregard the misuse of final –m and the hiatus of vowels completely, since the rules that the teachers of grammar and style regularly observe do not have a place in these texts.

Istud enim inter humanas dictiones convenit praecaveri, in divinis autem eloquiis tales compositiones nullatenus accusantur.

In human composition it is proper to guard against this; in divine speech such juxtaposition are in no way to be criticized.

Maneat ubique incorrupta locutio, quae Deo placuisse cognoscitur, ita ut fulgore suo niteat, non humano desiderio carpenda subjaceat. Haec enim et simplices suaviter instruit, et doctos pro sua reverentia decenter delectat.

Let an expression that has pleased God stand untouched so that it may shine in its own brightness and not be subject to capricious human criticism. For this kind of expression sweetly teaches even the simple and delights the learned in accordance with the extent of their reverence.

Post superiorem igitur divisionem, ubi diximus idiomata legis divinae non esse tangenda, vel caetera quae sequuntur, locus admonet more majorum hanc quoque ponere subdivisionem, ut ad particulas partium distinctius venire debeamus.

[8] After the division above, therefore, I said that idioms (or other matters that logically follow) of divine law are not to altered, at this point in the discussion it seems proper for me to lay out this subdivision, too, in the traditional manner so that we may see our way more clearly to the subsections.

Unde enim doctissimus Aristoteles περὶ ἑρμηνείας suas ad liquidum perducere [ed., producere] potuisset, nisi divisionum et subdivisionum, iterumque particularium divisionum ordine custodito cuncta tractasset?

For how could Aristotle, that learned man, have been able to mace clear his ‘On Interpretation’ [περὶ ἑρμηνείας] if he had not treated everything maintaining a sequence of divisions and subdivisions and further subdivisions?

Quem secuti nunc dicimus in quibus litteris sunt librariorum vitia corrigenda.

Therefore, following his example, I now speak of the letters in which the scribes’ errors are to be corrected.

In verbis quae accusativis et ablativis praepositionibus serviunt, situm motumque diligenter observa, quoniam librarii grammaticae artis expertes, ibi maxime probantur errare. Nam si m litteram inconvenienter addas aut demas, dictio tota confusa est.

[9] With words that accompany a preposition taking the accusative and ablative, distinguish carefully between rest and motion since scribes who do not know the art of grammar are particularly prone to make mistakes here; for if you add or subtract a letter –m improperly, the style is completely disturbed.

Casus vero nominum, exceptis monoptotis declinationesque verborum quae defectiva non sunt, totasque partes orationis [ubi tamen sacra non impugnat auctoritas] considera diligenter, suisque locis aptata custodi: ne locutionis ordine permixto, totum [quod absit] possideat indecora confusio.

Observe carefully the cases of nouns (except for indeclinable ones) and the conjugation of verbs that are not defective, and all the parts of speech – where sacred authority does no oppose – keep items fitted in their proper locations, so that an ugly muddle does not take over completely (God forbid!) if the syntax is confused.

B pro v, v pro b, o pro v, n pro m, contra orthographiae praecepta vitiose positas non relinquas. Aspirationem vero superfluam deme aut adjice competenter.

Do not leave – b for –v, - v for –b –o for –u, n for =m, when these letters have been set down incorrectly contrary to the rules of proper spelling; take away a superfluous aspirate or when suitable add one.

Casus nominum temporaque verborum, ubi tamen permitteris, custodi diligenter. Reperies enim frequenter in auctoritate consuetudini dissona, quae tibi non liceat immutare.

Carefully keep the cases of nouns and the tenses of verbs where you are allowed to; for you will often find forms in the authority that do not agree with common usage, and these you are not allowed to alter.

Sed in his emendatorum codicum servetur exemplum. Caetera vero quae sunt male praesumpta recorrige: quoniam antiquarii exinde potius probantur offendere, dum elocutioni Latinae linguae nesciunt servire disposite.

In these follow the example of the emended copies, but correct other that are incorrect. Scribes in such cases cause damage when they do not know how to keep in a regular way to the usage of the Latin language.

AE in fine adverbii non relinquas; ae iterum casui genitivo non subtrahas.

Do not leave –a at the end of an adverb; but do not take –a from the genitive case.

Multa etiam respectu euphoniae propter subsequentes litteras probabiliter immutamus, ut illuminatio, irrisio, immutabilis, impius, improbus.

We do well to change many forms also in respect of euphony because of the letters that follow such as ‘illuminatio’, ‘irrisio’, ‘immutabilis’, ‘impius’, ‘improbus’.

G litteram a narratione tolle superfluam; a gnaro enim, id est scito seu perito venit nominis ista compositio.

Take away superfluous –r from ‘narratio’; for the form of this word comes from ‘gnarus’, i.e. learned or skilled.

Quod, cum pronomen est, per d, non per t litteram; cum vero adverbium numeri est, per t litteram, non per d scribendum est.

Write quod when it is a pronoun, with –d and not –d.

Quicquam, magis in prima syllaba c ponendum est quam d, propter euphoniam, quam praecipimur sequi.

‘Quicquam’ – -c out to be placed in the first syllable rather than –d for the sake of euphony, which we are advised to follow. What more?

Quid plura? secundum regulas artigraphorum, quae tamen sunt emendanda percurre, ne articulatae vocis pulchra modulatio, peregrinis litteris maculata, absona potius et indecora reddatur.

Look over what is to be corrected according to the rules of writers on this art, to prevent the lovely harmony of the spoken word from becoming ugly and discordant by the addition of letters that do not belong.

Orthographos priseos frequenter relege, quos ego inferius titulo trigesimo, qui de antiquariis legitur, propter notitiam librariorum utiliter instruendam, deflorandos esse judicavi, et extrinsecus huic libro de Orthographia titulum dedi.

[10] Frequently reread the old writers on proper spelling. In chapter 30 below, in which scribes are discussed, I have indicated which works out to be excerpted as useful for instructing the scribes. Moreover I have given the title ‘Proper Spelling’ to this book separately.

Ita contigit ut et istud studioso prosit legere, ubi cognoscit quae in Scripturis sanctis minime debeat violare; et illud necessario latius discitur, ubi generaliter praesumpta vitia corrigantur.

This it is of value for the scholar to read this book also, to learn what he must not violate at all in Sacred Scripture and that book in which he can find a fuller discussion of hasty errors that should be universally corrected.

Quod si tamen aliqua verba reperiuntur absurde posita, aut ex his codicibus quos beatus Hieronymus in editione Septuaginta Interpretum emendavit, vel quos ipse ex Hebraeo transtulit, intrepide corrigenda sunt; aut, sicut beatus Augustinus ait, recurratur ad Graecum pandecten, qui omnem legem divinam dignoscitur continere collectam; vel quibus possibile fuerit, Hebraeam scripturam, vel ejus doctores requirere non detrectent. Decet enim ut unde ad nos venit salutaris translatio, inde iterum redeat decora correctio.

[11] If, nevertheless, some words that make no sense have been set down, they must be courageously corrected either from those books that blessed Jerome corrected in his edition form the Septuagint or those that he translated himself from the Hebrew; or, as blessed Augustine said, we should have recourse to the complete Greek Bible, in which is brought together the whole divine law; or, for scholars to whom this is possible, let them not hesitate to consult Hebrew writings or teachers of Hebrew, for it is only right that satisfactory correction come also form the source of our redemptive translation.

Merito enim patribus nostris de hac re maxima cura fuit, ne tunica Domini Salvatoris, quam truculentis militibus scindere non licuit, lectoribus subjaceat imperitis.

For rightly our fathers too great care that the tunic of the Lord that Savior, which the fierce soldiers where not allow to tear up, [cf. Io 19:23-24] should not be left to the mercy of unskilled readers.

Audiat Spiritus sanctus sincerissima quae donavit, recipiat ille beata quae contulit. Tunc nos fideles sibi esse cognoscit, si dicta ipsius nulla praesumptione carpamus. Nam quemadmodum salvari volumus, si [quod dictu nefas est] remedium salutare pro nostra voluntate corrumpamus?

Let the Holy Spirit hear in its most pure form what it has given, let it receive intact what is bestowed; then it knows that we are faithful to it as we do not pluck at its words with any preconceived opinion. For how do we expect to be saved if (unspeakable thought!) we, to gratify our own will, destroy the aid that brings salvation?

Sed ut in his omnibus addere videaris ornatum, posituras, quas Graeci θέσεις vocant, id est puncta brevissima, pariter et rotunda, et planissima [ut in praefatione jam dictum est] singulis quibusque pone capitibus, praeter translationem sancti Hieronymi, quae colis et commatibus ordinata consistit: quoniam illustrem et planissimam faciunt orationem, quando suis locis [sicut inferius exponetur] aptata resplendent.

[12] But so that we may add ornament to al this, place in each chapter punctuation marks that the Greeks call ‘thesis’, i.e. small round points – except for the translation of St. Jerome which he decided to mark by ‘cola’ and ‘commata’ (we have already spoken about this in the preface) – since they make the written text clear and bright when, as is explained below, they are fitted in their place and shine forth.

Quale est enim inoffenso gradu per sensus ire sanctissimos, venasque praeceptorum saluberrimas subtiliter introire, terminos suos modulatae voci competenter affigere, totamque dictionem sic per membra dividere, ut suis partibus considerata pulchrescant? Nam si corpus nostrum indiget per membra cognosci, cur lectio, cum suis partibus videatur esse distincta, confusa relinquitur?

How excellent it is to pass unhindered through holy thought and to enter subtly into the sound nature of its precepts; to set correctly one’s own limits for a measured speech and to divide the whole composition in parts in such a way that we can see its beauty and symmetry! For if our body must be known through its limbs, why does it seem right to leave reading confused in its arrangement?

Istae siquidem positurae seu puncta, quasi quaedam viae sunt sensuum, et lumina dictionum, quae sic lectores dociles faciunt, tanquam si clarissimis expositoribus imbuantur.

These ‘positurae’, or points, indeed, like paths for mind and lights for the composition, make readers as teachable as if they were instructed by the clearest commentators.

Prima est media, secunda subdistinctio, tertia plena; quas a majoribus nostris ideo constat inventas, ut spiritus longa dictione fatigatus, vires suas per spatia discreta [ed., decreta] resumeret.

The first is the colon, the second, the comma, the third, the period; these were invented by our ancestors to enable the breath tured out from long speaking to regain its strength in the pauses.

Quas si mavis cupidus lector agnoscere, Donatum lege, qui te possit de hac re brevi compendio diligenter instruere. Has dictiones in Psalterio archetypo nos posuisse retinemus, cujus obscuritates talibus remediis ex maxima parte, Domino praestante, lucidavimus.

If you, as an eager reader, would like to know them, read Donatus, who can accurately instruct you by his brief summary on this subject. I recall that I placed these punctuation marks in the archetype of the Psalter, and, in this way I have, with God’s help, largely clarified its obscurities.

Ita septenarius numerus ab utraque parte completus est, ut a quibus rebus abstineamus, et quas res in auctoritate emendare praesumamus [sicut opinor] evidenter appareat.

[13] The number seven is so complete on both sides that it is, to my mind, obviously clear what changes we should refrain from and what corrections we should make with the aid of authority.

Quod si tamen hoc desiderium alio modo potuerit adjuvari, adjiciatur studiis vestris, ne more humanitatis nos aliquid necessarium praetermisisse videamur.

But if, nevertheless, this desire to make corrections can also be aided in some or other ways, let it be added to your pursuits so that we may not seem, in human fashion, to have ignored some indispensable matter.

Nunc quemadmodum extra auctoritatem reliquas lectiones debeamus emendare, dicendum est. Commentaria legis divinae, epistolas, sermones, librosque priscorum unusquisque emendator sic legat, ut correctiones eorum magistris consociet saecularium litterarum.

[14] Now I must discuss on what grounds we ought to emend other texts apart from authority. Let each corrector read the commentaries on divine law, the letters, the sermons, the works of our predecessors with the intention of making their corrections in accord with the teachers of secular letters.

Et ubicunque paragrammata in disertis hominibus reperta fuerint, intrepidus vitiosa recorrigat: quoniam viri supradicti sic dicta sua composuisse credendi sunt, ut regulas artis grammaticae quas didicerant, custodiisse judicentur.

Wherever spelling errors are found in learned authors, he should fearlessly correct the errors, since the writers surely wrote their works so that they could be judged according to the rules of grammar that they had learned.

Epistolae quoque Patrum, sermones et libri diversorum, nec non et homiliae, vel cum haereticis altercationes fidelium [quoniam diversa loca Scripturae divinae suaviter ac diligenter aperiunt] magno studio relegantur; quatenus in Ecclesia Domini quasi quibusdam lampadibus competenter accensis, totum nitidum, totum splendidum [Domino praestante] colluceat.

Also, the letters of the Fathers, the sermons, and the books by various authors as well as homilies or disputes of the faithful with the heretics, since they reveal various passages of Divine Scripture sweetly and carefully, must be emended with great care so that the whole will shine forth brightly and brilliantly with the Lord’s support in the Church of the Lord, as through lit by lamps.

Si quid tamen in eis ad Scripturas divinas exponendas conveniens invenitur, non dubitetis sociare voluminibus divinis, sicut et nos in libris Regum fecisse cognoscimur.

If their contents shed light on Divine Scripture do not hesitate to add them to the volumes of Divine Scripture just as I have done with the books of Kings.

Multa enim reperiuntur a probatissimis hominibus per occasionem alterius operis latius de libris dicta divinis, quae auctoritati videlicet sacrae competenter aptantur.

For scholars discover many fuller statements concerning these books by chance in commentaries on other books and these may be properly attached to the sacred authority.

Unde supplico, ut quod nos parva [ed., parum] legendo minus explicare potuimus, vos copiosissima lectione saginati, tam de istis codicibus quos dereliquimus, quam quos potueritis feliciter invenire, perfectius in Christi nomine compleatis.

So I pray that you, through your greater reading both from those books that I have left and those that you will have the good fortune to find, will, in Christ’s name, fill in the gaps in what we have been able to explain on the basis of our limited reading.

Precor etiam vos, qui tamen emendare praesumitis, ut super adjectas litteras ita pulcherrimas facere studeatis, ut potius ab antiquariis scripta fuisse judicentur. Non enim in illo decore quidquam turpe convenit invenire, quod postea studiosorum oculos videatur offendere.

[15] I pray also that those of you who undertake to emend, make the letters you add so beautiful that they appear to have been written by the scribes. For it is not proper to find anything foul in that beauty which afterwards may offend the eyes of scholars.

Considerate igitur qualis vobis causa commissa sit: utilitas Christianorum, thesaurus Ecclesiae, lumen animarum. Studete ergo, ne qua remaneat in veritate mendositas, in puritate falsitas, in integritate perversitas litterarum. Sed quoniam novem codices legis divinae prima fronte posuimus, eorumque introductores cum expositoribus suis

Consider, therefore, the sort of case entrusted to you, the benefit of Christians, the treasure of the Church, the enlightenment of souls. See carefully to it, therefore, that no error is left in the truth, no falseness in the purity, and no scribal mistakes in the corrected text.

[juvante Domino] quanta valuimus curiositate memoravimus; ad postremum tres divisiones a majoribus datas totius legis divinae tetigimus; deinde adjecimus quemadmodum emendari caute debeat coelestis auctoritas: ne discerperetur praesumpta licentia, aut traderetur sequentium manibus indecora confusio.

[16] First, with the Lord’s aid, I have listed the nine volumes of the law and detailed the introductory writers with their commentaries as carefully as I could. Next I touched on the three divisions of the whole divine law that our predecessors have given us. Then I included a section on the rules covering emendation of texts of divine authority to prevent disruption and transmission of troublesome confusion in the text to posterity because of excessive liberty with the text.

Nunc de virtute lectionis divinae est omnimodis disserendum, ut sua quaeque loca propria dulcedine] farciantur (vestiantur? ). [Cassiodor, De Institutione divinarum literarum, c. 15, PL 1126C-1131A]

Now I must discuss in all respects the excellence of divine reading so that each passage may be packed full with its own sweetness.[Cassiodor, De Institutione divinarum literarum, I, c. 15, transl. by James, W. Halporn, Cassidorus, Institutions of Divine and Scular Learning and On the Soul, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press 2004, Translated Texts for Historians, vol. 42, pp. 139-145]

1. qui. Cod Tegernseens. (Mittermüller).
2. servo tuo. Cod. Divion. ex Marten. (Mittermüller).
3. Virgilii aeneide lib. 11. v. 339-345. Drances .... consiliis habitus non futulis ductor .... cuncti so scire fatentur, sed dicere mussant. lib. 11. v. 454. flent maesti mussantque patres. lib. 12. v. 657. mussat rex ipse latinus, quos generos vocet. Georg. IV. 260. Tum sonus auditur gravior tractimque susurrant. (Mittermüller).
4. ut? (Mittermüller).
5. The author omits a section of the Regula Benedicti.
6. Certe haec verba sunt notariorum, qui sermones Hildemari perscripserunt. (Mittermüller).
7. Hic sequuntur fere quinquaginta sententiae partim prolixiores partim breviores partim perbreves ex duodocim Patrum et soriptorum antiquorum libria excerptae. Inprimis St. Augustinus, Virgilius, Priscianus, minus crebro Beda Ven., St. Ambrosius, Sergius, Donatus, Pompejus, Ovidius, Alcuinus, Statins afferuntur. (Mittermüller).

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