Monday, March 19, 2012

Deus, Homo

452     -     453     -     454

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 3.41. This is an elegant little epigram where the paradoxical identity of Christ is perfectly suited to Owen's love of epigrammatical paradox!

Deus, Homo
Nec sentire Deus, nec mortem homo vincere solus
Posset: utrumque facit Christus, utrumque fuit.

God cannot die, nor man Death conquer can:
But Christ did both, he was both God and Man.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There is only one word in this poem that is not on the DCC list:

God alone (Deus solus) could not know death (nec posset sentire death), nor could man (nec homo) conquer death (vincere): Christ does both (Christus utrumque facit), was both (fuit utrumque).

Christus, m. - Christ

deus -ī m.; dea -ae f. god; goddess
faciō facere fēcī factum: do, make
homo hominis m.: human being
mors mortis f.: death
neque nec: and not, nor; neque . . . neque, neither . . . nor
possum posse potuī: be able
sentiō sentīre sēnsī sēnsum: perceive, feel, hear, see
sōlus -a -um: only, alone; sōlum (adv.), only, merely
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
uter- utra- utrumque: each of two
vincō vincere vīcī victum: conquer