images from ms. of De civitate Dei

Week 6: Augustinus: De civitate dei.

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Reading #1: De civitate dei, 7.35

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[In this passage, Augustine refers to the divination practiced by Numa, the legendary king of Rome, and also to the magic rituals of the magician/mathematician Pythagoras. He bases his discussion on the Roman writer, Varro.]

Nam et ipse Numa,
ad quem
nullus Dei propheta,
nullus sanctus angelus
mittebatur,
Numa was one of the legendary rulers of Rome
quem: relative pronoun (antecedent is Numa)
did God send prophets or angels to the pagan king Numa?
hydromantian facere
compulsus est,
hydromantian = Greek fem. sing. accusative noun
hydro = "water"
manteia = "prophecy" 
facere: complementary infinitive with compulsus est
  what was Numa compelled to do, since he didn't have prophets or angels?
ut in aqua uideret 
imagines deorum
uel potius
ludificationes daemonum;
ut... videret: ut + subjunctive
imagines: s.v. imago (accusative object of videret)
potius:  comparative adverb [neuter singular ending]
vel potius [ut videret] ludificationes daemonum
ludificationes: s.v. ludificatio
daemonum: genitive plural
what did Numa see in the water?
aquibus audiret,
quid in sacris
constituere atque obseruare
deberet.
[ut[ audiret: ut + subjunctive
quid...deberet: subjunctive in indirect question introduced by audiret
constituere, observare: complementary infinitives with deberet
what did Numa want to learn from this "water" magic?
Quod genus diuinationis idem
Varro
a Persis dicit allatum,

quod: relative pronoun at beginning of sentence (quod genus idem = hoc genus idem)
divinationis: s.v. divinatio
Varro: great Roman scholar (almost all of his works are now lost, but they were well known to Augustine)
allatum = allatum esse (infinitive in indirect statement, introduced by dicit)
a Persis: magic was supposed to have originated with the "magi" of ancient Persia

according to Varro, where did this type of magic come from?
quo
et ipsum Numam
et postea Pythagoram philosophum
usum fuisse
commemorat;

quo = quo genere divinationis
quo: ablative, with usum fuisse (utor takes ablative)
[Varro] commemorat Numam et Pythagoram usum fuisse:
usum fuisse: deponent infinitive in indirect statement
Pythagoras: he was not just a mathematician, but also a mystic and magician

besides Numa, who also used this kind of magic?
ubi adhibito sanguine
etiam inferos
perhibet sciscitari
et "nekuomanteian"
Graece dicit uocari;

adhibito sanguine: ablative absolute
sciscitor, sciscitari: deponent infinitive in indirect statement introduced by perhibet; takes accusative object, inferos
perhibet: subject is Varro
nekuomanteian = Greek fem. sing. accusative noun
nekus = dead body, corpse
vocari: passive infinitive in indirect statement introduced by dicit
dicit: subject is Varro

in addition to water magic, what other kind of magic was used?
quae
siue hydromantia
siue necromantia dicatur,
id ipsum est:
ubi uidentur mortui diuinare.

quae: relative pronoun (antecedent is nekuomanteia)
necromantia: Latin equivalent of Greek nekuomanteia
divinare: complementary infinitive with videntur (passive of video: they seem to...)
id ipsum: neuter singular ("the same thing")
mortui: nominative plural, subject of videntur

  why does Varro consider hydromancy and necromancy to be one and the same thing?
[...] Qui ergo
uitam nec modo habere uult piam,
talibus sacris quaerat aeternam;
qui: relative pronoun (he who...)
Augustine is being sarcastic here:
qui non vult habere vitam piam, [iste] quaerat [vitam] aeternam talibus sacris ("if somebody doesn't care about leading a pious life, then let him seek eternal life by means of this nasty magic")
  what does Augustine think about people who use magic?

qui autem
cum malignis daemonibus
non uult habere societatem,
non superstitionem, qua coluntur, noxiam
pertimescat,
sed ueram religionem,
qua produntur et uincuntur,
agnoscat.

autem: postpositive
qui: relative pronoun (he who...)
cum: preposition, with ablative
Augustine is not being sarcastic here:
[hic] non pertimescat noxiam superstitionem, qua (daemones) coluntur, sed agnoscat veram religionem, qua (daemones) produntur et vincuntur.
superstitionem: s.v. superstitio (in the sense of "magic", the superstitious practices that pagans like Numa and Pythagoras practiced)
coluntur... produntur et vincuntur: subject is daemones
pertimescat...agnoscat: jussive subjunctive

how can someone defeat demons and conquer superstitious fears?

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Modern Languages 4970 / MRS 4903: Medieval Latin. Spring 2003 Online Course at the University of Oklahoma. Visit http://www.ou.edu/online/ for more info.
Laura Gibbs, University of Oklahoma - Information Technology © 2003.  laura-gibbs@ou.edu. Last updated: December 29, 2002 7:12 PM