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ETA: Why does lj keep changing my formatting on me every time I edit this post? I am really getting sick of this.  My line breaks and justification keep disappearing.  So you may not want to bother with the below if the formatting is gone again - it's far too hard to read.

I cannot even begin to express how long it's taken me to get this far - indeed, how long it's taken me just to track the damned thing down, figure out what is part of it and what is not, never mind to get a bumbling translation cobbled together with tons of uncertainties and mistakes.  At this rate, I should have a chapter written.  But I don't even have a homily translated.  And there are a lot more homilies I was going to look at - at least one of which has also not been translated.  This is not going to work on this schedule.  Bah. Anyway, this homily is anonymous, untitled, and exists in precisely two editions, one of which is in an unpublished dissertation and the other in a collection whose critical apparatus is in Italian, as is all the recent scholarly work on the sorts of things I'm looking at here. 

It took me a really long time just to figure out the editions even existed, in part because nobody has worked on this homily in English since the 1930s, and that was only to identify a few passages in it that had some motifs in common with some better-known homilies, and it's scattered across several folios of a manuscript and interrupted by a translation/recension of the apocryphal Vision of Paul.  So it's not like you can plug the name of the homily into a search engine or anything.  Nobody even knows what to call it, and it has two Cameron numbers and two incipits because it was treated as two different texts for so long.  It wasn't edited until the 70s, and the two editions disagree on some manuscript readings (and the ms in question has not been released as part of the Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile project yet - not that I have had paleography or anything and could actually read it if it had).

Anyway.  Here is a homily that I can just about guarantee you have never read before; there is no published translation in English.  The good part is later, many many lines later :(  A work in progress.

[fol 2v] Men ða leofestan, we geleornodon on godcundum gewritum þæt (æghwylces) monnes sawul, æfter þisse weorulde, scyl (gesecan) eft (dane)(lichaman)(and)(þissum) wordum ærest þus sprecaþ and cweð þæs synfullan monnes sawle, gihyrstu, earma senfulla lichoma?

Beloved men, we have learned in sacred writings that every man’s soul, after this world, must seek again the body, and with these words first will speak thus and say, the soul of the sinful man, "Do you hear, miserable wicked body?"
[Why is "þæs synfullan monnes sawle" genitive? wth is going on here? if "the soul of the sinful man," sawle is acc, gen, or dat. so I still don't get it.  Also, Fadda seems to be taking gehyrstu as imperative, but I am not convinced of this. But i can't really defend my reading here either.]

Ic cyrre to ðe to ðan þæt ic ðe werge and þine ungeleafulnesse <ðe> gesecge.

I turn to you to accuse you and for your unfaithfulness I say to you, [free-ish rendering of what I think is a purpose clause]Forhwon, earma lichoma, lufodesðu þone feond, ðæt wæs se diofol? Why, miserable body, did you love the enemy, that was the devil? Forhwon lyfdest ðu þæm (ðe) þe (forlærde) þurh synnelustas? Why did you trust in him who seduced you through desires to sin? And forhwon earma lichoma, noldest þu gelyfan in (þam) alysende Gode ælmihtigum, se for ðinum ðingum manigfeald wite þrowode? And why, wretched body, would you not trust in the redeemer God almighty, who suffered abundant torture for your sake? God gefæste XXXX (dages)(tosomne), and æfter ðam fæstene he self wæs (rode) gefæstnod his fet and his hand (ge) næglum, and (ðurh) he us (wolde) of (hylle) [alysan]. God fasted forty days together, and after the fast he was fastened himself to the cross by nails through hand and foot, by which he would free us from hell. [I cannot sort the grammar here, but the ms is defective and so is the grammar, no matter how you sort it. This passage is a later scribal interpolation; Willard in “Address” leaves the passage out completely, Healey gives “and ðurh ð(::ð::nge he us wolde) of hylle (::::::alysan),” and Fadda gives “he self w(æs on) rode gefæstnod, his fet and his hand . . . ge næglum, and ðurh ð(a) ð(row)unge he us (w)olde of hylle (witum) alys(an)," which certainly helps the passage make sense, but hand and fet don't have the proper case endings no matter how you put this. I am not concerned with this passage for the purposes of my chapter, but it's a vexing little bit.  Fadda has notes on why she did what she did, but I can't read them because they're in Italian.] [fol 12r] [. . . ] (sawl) and ðus cweð, gehyrstu, hearda lichoma? …soul and thus says, Do you hear, o stubborn body? [Willard “Address” provides a conjectural reading of the lost original transition in his edition, which omits the preceding lines related to Christ’s suffering. Thus Willard’s incipit to this portion of the homily is “(And hio þanne gyt clypað, seo) sawl and ðus cweð” (961-962). His conjecture is made on the basis of ll 6-7 of fol. 12r.] Þu ungeleaffulla, sceawa on me to (hwylcere) susle ðu eart toweard. [I can't sort the grammar here, but the body calls the soul unfaithful, tells it to pay attention or observe or consider, and says something about future torments.] Ic ðe eft onfo, and þu me, and wit ðonne butu sculon beon birnende in ðæm ecan fyre, and hio þanne gyt þus clypaþ and cweþ, geherstu, forworhta lichoma? I will take hold of you again, and you me, and we two then shall both be burning in the eternal fire, and she yet calls out thus and says, Do you hear, cursed body? Forhwan lærde þe deofol to helle, butan þæt þu fela yfela dydest? Why did the devil guide you to hell, except that you did so many evils? Forhwon noldest ðu, forwordena and eac forwyrhta, geheran ða godcundan lare þe þe lærdon to Godes rice? Why would you, weak and ruined, not hear the divine teachings that would guide you to God’s kingdom? And þu noldest gecerran to him, ac þu earma lichoma, þu eart deofles hus, forðan ðu deofles willen worhtest, þu wære yrres hyrde and oferhydig. And you would not turn to him, but you wretched body, you are the devil’s house, because you worked the devil’s will, you were a hoarder of anger and proud. Þonne cweþ seo sawl, wa me, forþæm ic þa awirgedan þinc mid ðe lufode, wa me, forðam ic ða toweardan þingc ne gemunde, wa me, forðæm þe ic me hellewite ne ondred, wa me, forðam þe ic heofona rice ne lufode, wa me, forðæm þe ic geþafode ealle ða yfel þe þu dydest. Then says the soul, woe is me, because I through you loved those wicked things; woe me, because I was not mindful of future things; woe me, because I did not fear hell-torment; woe me, because I did not love the kingdom of heaven; woe me, because I consented to all the evil that you did. Forþon, ic nu for ðinum gewyrhtum eom cwylmed, and for þinum yfelum dædum, ic eom on hellewite bescofen. Wherefore I now for your works am tortured, and for your evil deeds, I am thrust into hell-torment. Ic wæs Godes dohter and ængla swistor gescapen, and þu me hafæst forworht, þæt ic eam deofles bearn, and deoflum gelic forþon, ic ðe wrege and þe ofercyme mid (wærignesse), forþæm þu me forworhtest and awergedne gedydest. I was God’s daughter and created the sister of angels, and you have ruined me, so that I am the devil’s child and therefore like unto devils, I accuse you and overcome/subdue you with abuse/curses?, because you condemned me and did wicked things (?) Þonne, mæn ða leofestan, ungelice sio gode and seo clæne sawl gret þone lichaman sioððan hio him of alæd biþ, hio hine eft seceþ, and þanne him þus to cweð, gehyrstu, eadiga lichama, and þu unsynnig? Then, beloved men, how unlike this the good and innocent soul will greet the body after she is led from him, she again seeks him, and then says thus to him, Do you hear, blessed and guiltless body? Ic com to ðe to þan þæt ic þe hyrige and þine geselignesse þe secge. I come to you to praise (?) you and I declare your happiness. Geherstu, goda lichoma, and þu geleaffulla? Do you hear, good and faithful body? Þu wære godes brytta, forðon ðu Godes willan worhtest, þu þæt georne beeodest, dagum and neahtum. You were a giver of good (?), because you worked God’s will, that you gladly awaited day and night. Hio ðonne, eft seo gode sawl him þus to cwæð, geherstu, gesæliga lichoma? Then she, the good soul, again says thus to him, Do you hear, o happy body? Wel þe, wel þe, forðam þu þinum feonde, deofle, ne geherdest, se þe wolde forlæran þurh synnelustas. Praise to you, because you did not follow your enemy the devil, he who would seduce you through desire to sin. Ac ðu gyt (þe) swiðor ongæte and heolde þa godcundan lare, þa ðe laþedon to þam upplican rice on heofonas. But you the more strongly grasped and held the divine teachings that summoned you to the celestial kingdom in heaven. Hio hine ðanne gyt heræþ, sio clæne sawl, þonne lichoman, geherstu, gebletsoda lichoma? She, the clean soul, yet again praises him, the body, Do you hear, blessed body? Sceawa on me to hwilcum setle þu eart toweard, and þin med is in me fægere gesionne, þæt þu most simble eces eardes brucan in blisse. Observe in me to which abodes you are approaching, and your reward is in me justly to be seen, that you may forever enjoy that eternal dwelling in bliss. And hio hine ðonne get greteþ and (him) to cwyð, wel þe, goda lichoma, forþam þu me hafast medomne gedon, þæt (ic) eam mare manegum siðum þara micelra goda, (ne) nis æniges mannes muþes gemet, þæt þæt asecgan mæge, ne næniges mannes mod, þæt hit aðæncen cunne, hwilce þa gefean earon þe God gegærwod hafað eallum ðam mannum þe hine her on wurulde lufiað and lufian willað. And she yet again greets him and says to him, Praise you, good body, because you have done worthy things for me, so that I am …. more great undertakings? of good things ?, nor is any man’s mouth fit, that it might say, nor any man’s mod, that it might be able to imagine, which/that/some/many (one) joy (nom sg?) are (pres pl) ?????? that God has prepared for all those men who love (pres pl) him here in this world and will love him. [major problems with this one] Þu eart halig lichoma and wæstm berende, and þu eart Godes hus, forðæm þe God wunaþ on þam and eardað ðe his bebodu fylgiaþ and healdaþ, ðu wære þæt scearpuste scyrsex, forþon ðu cuðest synna þe fram aceorfan. You are a holy body and bearing fruit, and you are God’s house, because God dwells and lives in those who obey and keep his commandments, you were the sharpest razor because you were able to cut sin out of you. And hio þonne get cweð, seo sawl, gehersðu, min se leofesta lichoma? And she again says, the soul, Do you hear, my beloved body? Ic wæs Godes dohter and ængla swystor, and þu (me) hafast gemedemod monegum siþum, and for ðinum gewyrhtum, ic eom in heofona rice, þær is leoht and ece lif and unaspringenlic gefea, forðon, ic gelomlice cume to þe mid miclum geleafan and mid sibbe, þæt ic þe ðancas do and secge, and ic þe bletsie, and þu bist gebletsad mid me, and ic mid ðe a in ecnesse. I was God’s daughter and the sister of angels, and you have honored me with many deeds? on many occasions? , and because of your works, I am in the kingdom of heaven, where there is light and eternal life and unfailing joy, therefore, I eagerly come to you with great faith? and with peace?, to give thanks [purpose clause] and say to you, and I bless you, and you are blessed? with me, and I with you forever in eternity. (?) Þanne, mæn ða leofestan, glæwlice us is to ongitanne þas word ðe mon us mid gretan wile, godes oððe yfeles, uren ærgewyrhtum.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 25th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
Could the genitive be something like "of[concerning] the sinful man's soul" or "from the sinful man's soul"?
Aug. 25th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)
Would a phrase "from/concerning the sinful man's soul" take the genitive rather than dative in a sense like that? (I honestly don't know. What I think I recall is probably all mixed up from Latin.)

And if so, how would you translate this?

I'm just going to try to talk my way through this and maybe I will figure out where I'm stumbling, or you will notice. So, the first "monnes sawul" is the subject of the clause explaining what we have learned. We have learned THAT each man's soul 1. must seek the body, and 2. will speak... well, maybe... The first clause has a properly nominative singular sawul - the soul of each man. (I am not going to wonder right now if this should in fact be nominative in this clause, because my Latin grammar is probably just confusing me here.) Either this soul (the sinful man's) or the earlier soul (every man's) has to be the subject of sprecaþ and cweð, yes? So we have learned that every soul must seek, at least, definitely. Logically, every soul will also speak, too, but grammatically, it's probably just the sinful soul that will first speak þissum wordum in particular, since they are words to a sinful body - I just really thought about it that way. I had assumed the first sawul was the subject of all the verbs, but that's maybe not so.

But then I am confused anew, because sprecaþ is actually plural. Singular would be spricþ? So wth is the subject of sprecaþ? And what tense is the neighboring verb cweð, while I'm at it? ARGH. well, I'll pretend for the moment that they are both singular, since I think monnes can't be anything but singular, and a single man would have a single soul, so it's safe to take soul/sawle as singular here. So I think it simply has to be that one of the souls sprecaþ and cweð. If it's the first one, then the sense if gen = "concerning" would be that every man's soul will meet the body and first say these words concerning the sinful man's soul: Do you hear, miserable sinful body?

That's weird, in part because the words that are spoken are not concerning the sinful man's soul, but the sinful man's body.

But if it's the second soul/sawle that sprecaþ and cweð - well, I got nothing.

I guess this is why editors emend ms readings :-(
Aug. 25th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC)
I may be mixing it up with Latin too, but in Latin I think that phrase would probably be ablative. I seem to recall OE using the genitive in similar weird ways. So then it might be, "Beloved men, we learn in holy writings that the soul of each man, after this world, must seek again the body and in these words thus speak and say, from the soul of each sinful man, 'do you hear, wretched sinful body'?"

The plural of "sprecan" had me wondering too (and doubting my verb conjugations). Could it possibly be referencing the holy writings OR the beloved men---they speak "thus", which awkwardly introduces the singular "cweth" describing every man's soul, which then takes the dative because it's a subordinate clause (that's a Latin rule, yeah, but little else makes sense here)? So then the translation would be something like: "Beloved men, we learn in holy writings that the soul of each man, after this world, shall seek again that body and in these words (the holy writings AND/OR the beloved men) speak: the soul of each sinful man says, 'do you hear, wretched sinful body'?"

...or this could just be a scribal fuckup and "sprecan" is totally singular, even though it looks plural. Always always potential for scribal fuckup (and probably more likely here).

I miss OE dearly sometimes, though I don't miss the headaches.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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