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Cap. XL

[Ms P, fol. 124rPaulus Diaconus – 
Ps.-Basil: Ms K1, fol. 108v; Ms E1, fol. 138r; Ms E2, fol. 212r]

Ch. 40

Translated by: Laura Carlson

1Unusquisque proprium donum habet ex Deo, alius sic, alius vero sic.

1Each person has his own gift from God, one in this way, but another in that way. [1 Cor 7:7]

Nunc videndum est, quid est, quod S. Benedictus dicit Unusquisque proprium donum habet ex Deo. Quomodo proprium et quomodo ex Deo? Si enim proprium est, quomodo est ex Deo? et si ex Deo est, quomodo proprium est? Proprium vero est per susceptionem, ex Deo est per dationem; proprium est, quia accepisti, ex [page 444] Deo, quia ille donavit. Sciendum est enim, quia hoc, quod dicit: Unusquisqne proprium donum habet ex Deo, alius sic, alius vero sic, de Paulo apostolo sumpsit, sic enim Paulus apostolus alibi dicit: Alii datur sermo sapientiae, alii sermo scientiae, [1 Cor 12:8] et alius sic, alius quidem sic, i. e. alius plus, alius vero minus. Hoc vero, quod dicit alius sic, alius vero sic, duobus modis intelligitur.

Now it ought to be seen, what it is that Saint Benedict says Each person has his own gift from God. In what way is it 'his own' and in what way is it 'from God'? For if it is his own, how is it from God? And if it is from God, how is it his own? It is his own through the act of receiving, but it is from God through the act of giving. It is your own, because you received it; it is from [page 444] God because he gave it. For it ought be understood, that what he says: Each person has his own gift from God, one in this way but another in that way, he has taken from the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul says elsewhere the following: To one is given the message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge, [1 Cor 12:8], and one in this way, and indeed another in that way, i.e. to one more, but less to another. But this what he says, one in this way, but another in that way, can be understood in two ways.

Uno modo intelligitur de uno eodemque dono, quod accipiunt duo, sed tamen alius accipit sic ipsum donum, sed minus quam alter; alius vero i. e. secundus accipit ipsum donum sic, i. e. plus quam alter. Deinde secundo modo potest intelligi de duobus donis, i. e. alius accipit sic, i. e. istud donum, quod alter non accipit; alius accipit sic, hoc est, accipit alterum donum, quod alter non accipit. In hoc vero loco similiter duobus modis potest intelligi; hoc est: illius accipit sic, i. e. donum minus bibendi, quam ipsa mensura sit. Alius vero accipit sic, i. e. accipit donum, ut ei tantummodo ipsa, mensura bibendi sufficiat. Altero vero modo potest intelligi: alius accipit sic, i. e. accipit donum, ut etiam sine potatione vini possit subsistere; illius vero accipit sic, ut minus ei sufficiat, quam ipsa mensura sit, quamvis ex toto non possit a vino jejunare.

One way it is understood [as referring to] one and the same gift, which two people receive, however one person receives the gift [itself] to one extent, but less than the other [person]; but the other person, i.e. the second person, receives the gift to such an extent, i.e. more than the other [person]. Then it can be understood in another way [as referring to] two gifts, that is, one person receives it in this way, i.e. that particular gift, which someone else does not receive; the other person receives it in another way, that is, he receives another gift, which the (first) person does not receive. In this place the two modes can be understood similarly; that is: one person receives in one way, i.e. the gift of drinking less than the measure itself may be. And the other person receives it in another way, i.e. he receives the gift that the measure of drinking is simply sufficient for him. But there is another way it can be understood: one person receives it in this way, i.e. he receives the gift that he can live even without the drinking of wine; but the other one receives it in another way, that he can suffice with less of it than may be the measure itself, even though he cannot abstain from wine completely.

Sequitur: 2et ideo cum aliqua scrupulositate a nobis mensura victus aliorum constituitur, ac si diceret aliis verbis: quia ita est, i. e. ut omnes non accipiant aequaliter donum a Deo, ideo non possumus certius diffinire mensuram victus aliorum, eo quod non omnes unam qualitatem morum vel corporum habent. Ideo a nullo mortali potest diffiniri, ut omnes aequales sint in cibo et potu et vestimentis sive etiam in poenitentia. Scrupulositas, i. e. dubietas, anxietas, difficultas; anxietas namque est dubietas.

Next: 2And therefore it is with some misgiving that we regulate the measure of others’ sustenance. As if he were to say it with other words: because it is thus, i.e. that not everyone receives the gift from God equally, therefore we cannot restrict in a fixed way the measure of others’ sustenance, because not everyone has one and the same type of habits or bodies. Therefore it cannot be defined for any mortal that all are equal in food and drink and clothing but also in contrition. Misgiving, i.e. doubt, anxiety, difficulty. Anxiety means indeed doubt.

Sequitur: 3Tamen infirmorum considerantes imbecillitatem credimus, heminam vini per singulos sufficere per diem.

Next, 3Nevertheless having looked carefully at the weakness of the ill, we believe that a hemina of wine a day is sufficient for each.

Istud vero, quod dicit infirmorum considerantes imbecillitatem, de infirmitate mentis dicit, non corporis; nam hic condescendit S. Benedictus infirmis mente, cum dicit infirmorum considerantes imbecillitatem. Tunc est enim condescensio [page 445] quando metas justitiae non excedit; nam si metas justitiae excedit, hoc est usque ad vitium, jam non est condescendere, sed peccare.

What he says: looking carefully at the weakness of the ill, he speaks about the infirmity of the mind, not of the body; for here St. Benedict condescends to those infirmed with respect to the mind, when he says looking carefully at the weakness of the ill. For it is [rightful] condescension [page 445] when it does not exceed the boundaries of justice, because if it exceeds the boundaries of justice, that is all the way to the point of vice, it is not condescending but sinning.

Sequitur: credimus, heminam vini per singulos sufficere per diem.

Next, we believe that a hemina of wine a day is sufficient for each.

Sciendum est enim, quia unaquaeque regio suam mensuram habet; et idcirco doctores, cum de mensuris dicant, secundum sui loci consuetudinem dicunt, veluti de Ruth legitur, quae sex modios hordei sola collegit. [cf. Rt 4:17] Similiter et Ezechiel de siclo aliter dicit [cf. Ez 45:12] et Heptaticus de ipso siclo aliter dicit; ita et S. Benedictus, cum heminam vini dicit, secundum sui loci consuetudinem dicit; similiter de officiis fecit, et cetera. Unde Carolus1 rex, qualiter ipsam heminam intelligere ac scire potuisset, misit Beneventum ad ipsum monasterium S. Benedicti, et ibi reperit antiquam heminam, et juxta illam heminam datur monachis vinum. Similiter et juxta eam habemus etiam et nos. Hemina sextarii in duo aequa inciditur, ut Isidorus dicit, [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XVI, c. 26.5] et cotulam facit.

It ought to be known, that each region has its own measure; and therefore learned ones (doctors), when speaking of measures, speak counsel according to their specific custom of the region, just as it is read about Ruth, who collected only six measures of barley. [cf. Rt 4:17]. And similarly Ezechiel spoke one way about a sheckel [cf. Ez 45:12] and Heptaticus spoke another way about the same sheckel: and thus St. Benedict, when he says a hemina of wine, he speaks counsel according to his specific regional custom; he did so likewise regarding the offices, et cetera. Based on this King Charles, who was able to understand and to know the nature of that same hemina, sent Bonventure to the same monastery of St. Benedict, and there he found the ancient hemina, and according to that hemina, wine was given to the monks. Similarly and also according to [this measure] we also have it.1 A hemina is cut into the two equal halves of a sextarius, and makes a cotula (cotyla), as Isidore says. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XVI, c. 26.5]

Hemina autem appendit libram unam, quae geminata sextarium facti. Mina autem centum dragmis appenditur; duae enim heminae faciunt sextarium unum; unde dicit Priscianus in libro, quem per metrum scripsit, de mensuris hoc modo: heminas recipit geminas sextarius unus, [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XVI, c. 6] qui quater assumptus fit graico nomine xούνξ. 'Hμνα graece latine hemina dicitur, sicuti minas graece latine mina dicitur. In hoc enim loco videtur Priscianus dicere: non est plus hemina, quam sit mina, quia sicut duae mina faciunt unum sextarium, ita duo heminae similiter faciunt. [Priscian ?]

But a hemina equals one pound, which when doubled makes a sextarius. One mina is considered to be a hundred drachma; two hemina make one sextarius. Therefore speaks Priscian in the book, which he has written in metre the following about measures: one sextarius merits a doubled hemina, [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XVI, c. 6] which when quadrupled takes the Greek name xούνξ. 'Hμνα in Greek is called hemina in Latin, just as minas in Greek is called mina in Latin. In this place Priscian seems to say: it is not more than a hemina, that which is a mina, because just as two mina make one sextarius, two hemina similarly make one sextarius.

Etenim praepositio in compositione, quamvis aliquando minuat sensum, sicut elinguis, i. e. sine lingua, et enodis, i.e. sine nodo - unde Vigilius dicit: Aut rursum enodes trunci resecantur et alte finditur in solidum cuneis via, deinde feraces plantae inmittuntur. [Vergil, Georgica II. 78-80]

And indeed, preference in composition, even though sometimes it reduces the sense, just as “un-eloquence”,2 i.e. without language, and knotless, i.e. without knots – about which Virgil states: Or again, knotless trunks are cut off, with wedges a single path is cleft deeply, then fruitful plants are let in. [Vergil, Georgica IV 144-15]

In hoc enim loco enodes trunci intelliguntur: sine nodo - aliquando vero et auget sensum [page 446] in compositione, ut est edura pirus, hoc est valde dura, unde idem Virgilius dicit: Ille etiam seras in versum distulit ulmos - eduramque pirum et spinos jam pruna ferentis; [Vergil, Georgica IV.144-15] in hoc enim loco 'eduram pirum', i. e, nimium validam.

In this place knotless trunks are understood; without knot- but sometimes it enlarges the sense [page 446] in composition, just as the hard pear tree, that is, truly hard, about the same Vergil says: For also he scattered elm seeds in rows – and pears were hard and the blackberries were already carrying sloes. [Vergil, Georgica IV.144-15] In this place [he writes] 'eduram pirum', i.e. an excessive strength.

Aliquando et in compositione nec minuit nec auget, veluti cum dicitur: hemina (emina) vini, quia hoc est emina, qnod mina; hemina enim in 'mi' habet accentum, aliquando acutum aliquando circumflexum, eo quod 'mi' naturaliter longa est. Tune enim habet circumflexum accentum, quando est hemina nominativus et vocativus casus. Similiter circumflexum habet ut heminam, quando accusativus singularis est. In aliis vero casibus sive singularis numeri, sive pluralis, in quibus 'mi' penultima est, semper habet acutum.

Sometimes he neither diminishes nor augments it in composition, when it is said: a hemina of wine, because this is a hemina, which is a mina; for in hemina the “mi” has an accent. Sometimes it has an acute accent, sometimes a circumflex accent, because “mi” naturally is long. It has a circumflex accent when hemina is in the nominative and vocative cases. Similarly it has a circumflex accent as in heminam, when it is in the accusative singular. But in other cases whether singular or plural in number, in which “mi” is the penultimate, it always has an acute accent.

Choenix enim genus mensurae est, unde legitur in Apocalypsi: Et cum aperuisset tertium signaculum, audivi tertium animal dicere: Veni! Et ecce equus niger, et qui sedebat super illum, habebat stateram in manu sua et audivi tanquam vocem in medio quatuor animalium dicentem: Choenix tritici denario uno. [cf. Apc 6:5-6]

The cenix is a type of measure, from which is read in Apocalypse: And when he opened the third seal, I heard the third animal say: Come! And behold a black horse, and he who sat astride it held a scales in his hand and I heard such a voice in the middle of the four animals saying: A cenix of wheat for one denarius. [cf. Apc 6:5-6] XXXXX

'Choenix' graeco nomine fit, cum quater sextarius assumptus est. Nam sextarius duarum librarum est, qui bis assumptus nominatur bilibris; assumptus quater fit graeco nomine choenix, quinquies complicatus quinarem sive gomor facit; adjice sextum, congium reddit; nam congius sex sextariis metitur, a quo et sextarii nomen dederunt. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XVI, c. 26.]

'Cenix' may be the Greek name, which are four sextarius. For a sextarius is two pounds, two of them together are a bilibris; four of them make a “cenix” which is a Greek term, five of them together make a quinar or a gomor; add a sixth and it makes a congius; for a congius is six sextarius, and from this the sextarius takes its name. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XVI, c. 26]

Sequitur: 4Quibus autem donat Deus tolerantiam abstinentiae, propriam se habituros mercedem sciant.

Next, 4However those to whom God gives the strength of abstinence should know that they will receive a proper reward.

In hoc loco comprobatur, ut2 monachus cum consensu abbatis voluerit aut potuerit abstinere a potu seu a cibo aut vestimentis, bonum esse ad faciendum, quia propriam mercedem recepturus erit ex hoc. Verumtamen ille abbas, cum licentiam donat illo suo monacho jejunaudi, attendere debet, ne forte causa jactantiae velit jejunare; sed tamen melius facit monachus, si aliquantulum bibit vinum causa humanae laudis vitandae, quam si ex toto jejunaverit. [page 447]

In this place is sanctioned, when a monk with the consent of the abbot wishes to and is able to abstain from drink or from food or from clothing, it is good that this should be done, because he will receive a proper reward from this. Nevertheless that abbot, when he gives permission to that monk of his to abstain, he ought to pay close attention, lest by chance he wishes to abstain for the sake of boasting; but nevertheless, a monk does better, if he drinks a small amount of wine for the purpose of avoiding human praise, than if he abstains from everything. [page 447]

Sequitur: 5Quod si aut loci necessitas vel labor aut ardor aestatis amplius poposcerit, in arbitrio prioris consistat, considerans in omnibus, ne subrepat satietas aut ebrietas. 6Licet legamus, vinum monachorum omnino non esse, sed quia nostris temporibus id monachis persuaderi non potest, saltem vel hoc consentiamus, ut non usque ad satietatem bibamus, sed parcius, 7quia vinum apostatare facit etiam sapientes.

Next, 5If the need of the place, or the work or the heat of summer require a greater measure, the superior shall use his judgment in the matter, considering at all times, lest abundance or drunkenness creeps in. 6Although we read that wine is by no means a drink for monks; but since the monks of our day cannot be persuaded of this, let us at least agree to drink sparingly and not to satiety, 7because "wine makes even the wise fall away". [Sir 19:2]

Cum autem dicit subrepat, i. e. latenter repat, sive intret satietas vel ebrietas; parcius, i. e. temperantius vel abstinentius; apostatare, i. e. deviare a via Dei vel praevaricari. Quod autem dicit proprium mercedem se habiturum sciat, i. e. specialem.

However when he says “creeps in”, i.e. creeps secretly, whether abundance or drunkenness enters. Sparingly, i.e. temperately or abstemiously. Fall away, i.e. deviate from the path of God or not to act uprightly. However he says that he should know that he will receive his own reward, i.e. particular to him.

Bene dixit propriam mercedem, quia, sicut homo pro illo, quod communiter laborat cum aliis, communiter accipit mercedem, cum quibus laboravit, pro illo autem, quod solus specialiter sine aliis fecit, solus sine aliis specialiter mercedem accipit, sic etiam apud Deum, i. e. si cum aliis communiter aliquid bonum agit, communiter cum illis, cum quibus hoc bonum fecit, mercedem accipiet, si autem plus fecerit, quam alii, tunc specialem mercedem de hoc, quod plus fecit, accipiet.

He put it well when he said a proper reward, because just as a man in return for something, which he accomplishes together with others, receives a reward together with those with whom he labored; however, in return for something which he did alone without others, he alone receives a reward that is particular to him without anyone else. It also works this way before God, i.e. if he does something good together with others, then he will receive a reward together with those with whom he did the good; if however he did more than the others, then he receives because of this a special reward, because he did more.

V. gr. si tantum jejuno de vino, quantum alii, tunc communem mercedem accipio cum aliis, si vero plus jejunavero de vino aut minus, quam alii, de eo, quod plus jejunavi aut minus, quam alii, accipio propriam mercedem, i. e. majorem vel minorem sine aliis. Sicut S. Benedictus in hoc loco dicit, propriam mercedem se habiturum sciat, ita intelligendum est de omnibus bonis, quae communiter vel specialiter agit homo.

For example, if I abstain from wine as much as others do, then I receive a reward together with the others; but if I abstain from wine either more or less than the others, as a consequence of abstaining more or less than the others, I receive a proportional reward, that is to say, a reward that is greater or less alone. Just as St. Benedict says in this place, he should know he will receive a proper reward, it ought to be understood in this way about all good works, which man performs communally or individually.

Sequitur: 8Ubi autem necessitas loci exposcit, ut nec supra scripta mensura inveniri possit, sed multum minus aut ex toto nihil, benedicant Deum, qui ibi habitant, et non murmurent, 9hoc ante omnia admonentes, ut absque murmuratione sint.

Next: 8But where the needs of the place are such that not even the measure prescribed above can be found, but much or none at all, let those who live there bless God and not murmur. 9Above all things do we give this admonition, that they abstain from murmuring.

In hoc enim loco intuendum est, quia tres sensus continentur in hoc capitulo, i. e. quia mensuram constituit et plus augere praecepit et crapulam et ebrietatem abstulit; v. gr. sunt tres fratres, unus, cui sufficit mensura, alter est, qui plus indiget, tertius, qui, si ipsam [page 448] mensuram biberit, crapulam habebit.

In this place it is to be considered that three senses are contained in this chapter, i.e. because it established the measure and advises to nourish more and remove inebriation and drunkenness. For example, there are three brothers, one to whom the measure suffices, another, who consumes more, and the third who if he were to drink the [page 448] measure he would be inebriated.

Iste enim, cui nec minus nec minus est, si vult, potest totam bibere; ille autem, qui plus indiget, plus debet accipere, sicut et de pane et pulinentis dicit, ita tamen, ut frenum habeat, i. e. ut crapulam non sentiat; iste vero, qui de sola mensura crapulam sentit, i. e. aut in locutione vel in ingressu vacillat, si sponte vult, debet illi minui etiam ipsa mensura.

For that same one, to whom it is neither less nor to much, may drink all of it if he wishes. But the one who needs more ought to receive more, just as he says with regard to bread and dishes – but in such a way that he keeps restraint, that is that he does not feel drunkeness. But that one, who feels drunk from only the measure, i.e. he staggers in speech or in walking, if he wishes voluntarily, that same measure ought to be reduced for him.

Si vero dixerit, 'quia nolo, ut minuatur mensura mea, quia S. Benedictus illam, mihi concessit,' non debet illi mensura minui propter murmurationem, sed debet illura exspectare, donec ab omnibus cognoscatur et convincatur, sibi ipsa mensura3 nocere; et tunc, si talis fuerit ille, qui voluerit se abstinere, abstineat, si autem perseveraverit in sua pertinacia et noluerit se abstinere sponte, tunc abstineat se etiam coacte, quia levius est, ut murmuret sine ratione, quam in ebrietatem decidat, eo quod potest ille doctus4 postmodum recompensari de alimentis, de vestimentis, ut liniatur et reconcilietur.

But if he says, 'because I do not wish that my measure be diminished because St. Benedict granted that to me', the measure ought not be diminished for him on account of his murmuring, but one ought to wait until it is known and convincing to everyone that the same measure would harm him. And then, if he is the sort of man who wishes to abstain, he may abstain. But if he perseveres in his defiance and does not wish to abstain voluntarily, then he should still abstain through compulsion, because his murmuring without reason is less important than falling down in drunkenness, because afterwards once the man has been reformed he is able to be repaid with nourishments, with clothing, so that he may be anointed and reconciled.

Hoc enim sciendum est, quia si paupertas talis fuerit, ut vinum non invenerit, debet emere, ita tamen ut prius provideat, si vestimenta habeant, et postea emat vinum. Si autem non potest5 aliunde vestimenta emi, tunc melius est, ut prius vestimenta emantur, quae magis necessaria sunt, et tunc, si habet, unde etiam et vinum, tunc ematur.

For it ought to be known that if his poverty is of the kind that as he cannot procure wine, he is compelled to purchase [it], nevertheless he must consider beforehand if he has clothes,3 and afterwards he may buy wine. If, however, it is not possible for clothes to be purchased elsewhere,4 then it is better as clothes must be purchased first because they are a greater necessity and then if he has the resources from which he may also purchase wine, then he may buy it.

1. scil. Magnus. (Mittermüller).
2. si (?). (Mittermüller).
3. ipsam mensuram ?). (Mittermüller).
4. emendatus (?). (Mittermüller).
5. possunt (?). (Mittermüller).

1. Is this Latin section missing anything? I was not able to quite make sense of Hildemar’s meaning here as is.
2. I have translated this fairly literally.
3. Translated assuming plural 3rd person is incorrect.
4. Translated using variant possunt: clothes are not able to be purchased elsewhere.

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