Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sabbatum Polare: Ad Polares

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 7.38. Owen here is playing with the oddity of the passage of time in the polar regions. There is actually a Wikipedia article that you can read about Jewish Law in the Polar Regions, which presents various solutions to the problem raised by Owen in his jesting epigram.

Sabbatum Polare: Ad Polares
Una dies vestrum nox unaque terminat annum,
Septimus est annus, septima vestra dies.

THE POLAR SABBATH. TO THE POLARS
One day, one Night, doth your whole year display:
So that your Seventh year’s your seventh day.

Here is the vocabulary:

sabbatum - sabbath
polaris - polar
ad - to, towards
unus - one
dies - day
vester - your
nox - night
que - and
termino - end, conclude, mark boundaries
annus - year
septimus - seventh
sum - be, exist

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