Friday, July 13, 2012

Credo Quod Video

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Credo Quod Video
Omnia promittas; nil me promissa movebunt:
   Credam, cum faciet dextra oculusque fidem.

Source: Georgius Carolides (1569-1612), Farrago, 3.84. Meter: Elegiac. Note the substantive use of promissum to mean "a promise" (noun).

You might promise me everything (promittas omnia); your promises (promissa) will not move me at all (nil me movebunt): I will believe (credam) when hand and eye (cum dextra oculusque) will create trust (faciet fidem).

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. All the words in this poem are on that list:

crēdō crēdere crēdidī crēditum: believe
cum: with (prep. + abl.); when, since, although (conjunction + subj.)
dexter -tra -trum: right; dextera -ae f.: right hand
ego meī mihi mē: I, me
faciō facere fēcī factum: do, make
fidēs -eī f.: trust, faith
moveō -ēre mōvī mōtum: move
nihil, nīl: nothing; not at all
oculus -ī m.: eye
omnis -e: all, every, as a whole
prōmittō -mittere -mīsī -missum: send forth, offer
que (enclitic) - and
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
videō vidēre vīdī vīsum: see


  1. Just a detail, Laura. In the wordlist you give "dexter -tra -trum: right; dextera -ae f.: right hand". But the poem itself uses the "dextra" variant for 'right hand'. Thanks as always for serving up your gems of Latin with pictures to match (I wish you could include the pictures in you books).

    Thanks as always for serving up your gems of Latin with well-matched pictures (I wish you could include the pictures in your books).

    1. Hi Arcady and thanks for your comment! I just snagged those lexical items as is from the Dickinson Latin List; it's here: DCC Latin Vocabulary ... I'm guessing they set up the list based on usage in a specific classical corpus, and I didn't adjust their list for specific poems I was working on, but of course dextera / dextra is the same word for the metrical convenience of the poet. And thanks again for your comment. I was getting so much awful "Latin Lover Dating Service" comment spam on this site that I switched to comment moderation, and it was so nice to see a real comment from a real person reading the Latin! :-)

  2. Glad to hear you read comments despite the spammers. I started to wonder what 'spam' could be in Latin, but needed to know more about the word 'spam' itself. Ended up googling "youtube Monty Python spam". You might try it.

    Sorry I botched my comment editing. When I pressed 'Review' half my message seemed to have disappeared so I 'rewrote' it. I think I failed to scroll properly in review mode.

    Perhaps 'scroll' would be a concept easier to render in Latin than spam ...


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