Hendecasyllabic epitaph

arborio
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Hendecasyllabic epitaph

Postby arborio » 2011-01-22, 15:29

I have just come across an epitaph in Latin hendecasyllabics in a country church in Sussex. Could you tell me, please, whether that is an unusual use of that verse form? (I only know them from Catullus, a few of his formed part of my O-level course.)

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Bernard
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Re: Hendecasyllabic epitaph

Postby Bernard » 2011-01-23, 12:21

Oro te, amice, hoc loco versum nobis praebeas ipsum. Quo enim facto facilius fore puto dare tibi responsum. Quod sciam, talia exstant epitaphia et in Germania.
:)

arborio
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Re: Hendecasyllabic epitaph

Postby arborio » 2011-01-23, 17:21

I am sorry that I am not able to reply in Latin!

What I described for speed as an epitaph is actually the dedicatory text of a memorial window. Since posting my question, I have actually come across the text on the internet. (Google: “Read the ebook Horace in quantity, et caetera by Horace”).

It appears that book was

“PRIVATELY PRINTED
1895.

0. A. S.”

O.A.S would no doubt be Oswald August Smith, who founded the building (St. Stephens, Hammerwood), placed a couple of memorial windows in it, and is commemorated there himself.

Below, I cut-and-paste from that electronic source without correcting. Perhaps the private printing budget didn’t run to proof-reading, but I suppose it is much more likely that the mis-spellings arose in the process of getting the book into electronic form. The window itself does not have them.

“For a Window in Memory of H.M.S., in St. Stephen's
Church, Hammerwood, Sussex, 1894.

Nunquam non memores Parentis almas,
Fecundpe, tenerse, piee, fidelis,
Illi banc ponimus, et Deo, fenestram,
Nos centum in numero undecimque supra,
Nati, et cum pronepotibus nepotes,
Quos defuncta snperstites reliquit. ”

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Bernard
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Re: Hendecasyllabic epitaph

Postby Bernard » 2011-01-23, 22:25

Bernardus Arborio sal.

Correxi quaedam menda orthographica:

Nunquam non memores Parentis almae,
Fecundae, tenerae, piae, fidelis,
Illi hanc ponimus et Deo fenestram,
Nos centum in numero undecimque supra
Nati et cum pronepotibus nepotes,
Quos defuncta superstites reliquit.


Apparet esse carmen quod fenestrae nescio cui parenti (i.e. matri) dedicandae causa compositum videtur esse (dedication poem). Comparari ergo licet cum Catull. 1 (Cui dono eqs.) Cf. etiam (exempli gratia): http://www.freidok.uni-freiburg.de/volltexte/5153/pdf/Lefevre_Horaz_in_Hendekasyllaben.pdf, p. 2.

Optime vale.

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Re: Hendecasyllabic epitaph

Postby arborio » 2011-01-25, 22:02

Arborius Bernardum salvere iubet.

Thank you for reminding me of “Cui dono ...”. It was in fact one of those I knew, long ago. I see your point that it is also a sober dedicatory poem.

I was surprised to find the hendecs used for something as solemn as a memorial. Perhaps I have been misled by the more striking ones I have met and (half) remembered, e.g. “Varus me meus ad suos amores”.

Also, in one’s youth it was all too easy to declaim hendecs like a playground mocking chant
- Nah Nah Nah-Ninny, Nah-ni Nah-ni Nah-ni - without regard to the sense of the words. That made them seem as if they had a powerful impetus driving them forward, without the pondus of words intended to embody a solemn declaration. The impression has perhaps stayed with me.

So when I saw this (almost) epitaph was in hendecs instead of the more usual elegiacs, I wondered whether in fact the ancients - Roman or Greek - had used the verse-form for such serious purposes.

Thank you again.

Optime vale.

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Bernard
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Re: Hendecasyllabic epitaph

Postby Bernard » 2011-01-26, 10:56

Bernardus Arborio s. p. d.
Addere mihi licet hoc epitaphium quod Ianus Pannonius (1433-1472) composuit*:

Epitaphium Nicolai Pontificis Maximi

Quintum quae tegit urna Nicolaum,
Cunctarum tegit artium parentem.


Cura ut valeas.

______________________
* Iani Pannonii ... poemata, pars prima, Traiecti ad Rhenum 1784, p. 622 (carmen 358).


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