Divites spoliavit ut pauperibus donet

04/06/09

Permalink 05:00:27 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 252 words, 2838 views   English (US)
Categories: Announcements, News, Lost in Translation, Literature

Divites spoliavit ut pauperibus donet


Pilleo annuam to the LATINTEACH blog for highlighting the discovery of a Medieval Latin reference to Robin Hood. The image above–taken from the Daily Mails’s story about the find–shows what I presume is the text.

I’m no paleographer, but I think I can apply a few principles from scripts I’m more familiar with to decipher what is written there. If you want to give it a try, here are a few tips:

  • m is oten written by placing a line over the previous vowel. Thus the last word of the first line ends in -um, the fourth word in the second line is cum, and the first three letters of the second-to-last word in line two are com-
  • Frequently-used words/phrases have very common abbreviations; thus forms of hic, haec, hoc are abbreviated to h with a line above, and forms of tempus often are written tp plus the appropriate ending.
  • the long s–which looks like a modern script f–is found in documents as late as the U.S. Constitution, and many medieval documents will exhibit the r rotunda.
  • Frequent confusion of (by then) similarly-sounded vowels like ae and e
  • Sometimes, you just have to make a few intelligent guesses

[More:]

With that, here’s my rendering of the above text:

Circa haec tempora, vulgus opinatur quemdam exlegatum
dictum Robyn Hode cum suis complicibus assidue
latrocinio apud ShirWode et alibi regio(ne)s
fideles Angli(a)e infestasse.

Note acc. w. inf. construction after opinatur, and the contracted infinitive infestavisse.

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