More than Muses

Itinerarium Egeriae

Edited by Erik Alder

Memoria
  1. ...[they] were pointed out according to the scriptures.
  2. Meanwhile, we arrived walking to a certain place
  3. where, however (Egeria's use of "tamen" and other illative conjunctions, like many other Latin authors of her time, is heavily attenuated, so much so, that most translators don't even translate it)), the 1Egeria's use of the demonstrative adjectives "illus" and “is” will be rendered as "the" as most scholars have commented on the overabundance of the demonstrative in vulgar Latin as a precursor if … Continue reading mountains amidst which we were going opened themselves
  4. and made a valley infinite, hugely, most flatly 2"ingens" and "planissima" are both nominative and are difficult to explain even amongst experts. Here I treat them as adverbs, either modifying "faciebant," "infinitam" or "pulchram", but others have … Continue reading, and exceedingly beautiful
  5. and across the valley the holy mountain of God Sinai appeared.
  6. moreover, this place where the mountains opened themselves
  7. is next to the place
  8. where are the memories of the desiring. 3A reference to Kibroth Hattaavah in Numbers 11:34 where Israelites are killed and buried for craving quail.
  9. Thus, when one comes 4the passive use of "venio" during this time period is understood to be impersonal on that place
  10. as nevertheless the holy guides who were with us admonished saying:
  11. It is the custom
  12. to make prayer here
  13. by they who come
  14. when the mountain of God is first seen from this place.
  15. And we did just that.
  16. Moreover, there were 5habere during this time is already taking on the impersonal quantitative from that place toward the mountain of God perhaps four whole 6mostly like adverbial accusative miles through the valley 7the use of the ablative here is unusual but not out of the question during this time period.
  17. which I said immense.
  18. And the valley itself is exceedingly large
  19. lying under the wide mountain of God, which has perhaps
  20. as far as we could determine seeing
  21. or they themselves were saying
  22. in length perhaps sixteen miles, and in width they said it was four miles.
  23. Therefore, we had to cross the valley
  24. so that we could arrive at the mountain.
  25. Moreover this is the huge and flat valley,
  26. in which the children of Israel stayed during the days,
  27. when holy Moses ascended into the mountain of God
  28. and was there for forty days and forty nights.
  29. Moreover this was the valley,
  30. in which the calf has been made,
  31. which place is shown until today;
  32. for a large stone stands fixed there in the place itself.
  33. Therefore, this is the very valley,
  34. in whose head is the place,
  35. where holy Moses, when he was feeding the flocks of his father-in-law,
  36. God spoke to him a second time from the bush on fire.
  37. And since therefore the journey was ours
  38. to ascend first the mountain of God
  39. which here appears,
  40. because from where we were coming
  41. it was better to climb,
  42. and thence we were to descend once again to that main valley
  43. where the bush was
  44. because the descent down the mountain of God was better from there:
  45. then therefore it was determined
  46. that everything having been seen which we desired,
  47. descending the mountain of God in order to come where the bush is,
  48. and thence all through the midst of the valley in which it lies in length,
  49. we return to our journey with the people of God,
  50. who showed us every place which was written through the valley
  51. and just so it was done.
  52. Therefore, going from the place where coming from Pharan we had made prayer
  53. the journey thus was
  54. that we cross through the middle of the head of the valley
  55. and so we arrived to the mountain of God.
  56. Now, the mountain seems to be a single one through the same circle
  57. But within when you enter
  58. there are more
  59. but the whole thing is called the mountain of God
  60. However, the specific one, on whose summit is the place
  61. in which descended the majesty of God
  62. as it has been written
  63. is in the center of all of them.
  64. And although all these which circle it are so tall
  65. as I never think I have seen,
  66. nevertheless the center in which descended the majesty of God
  67. is so much taller than them all
  68. that, when we had ascended it,
  69. straight through all those mountains, which we had seen tall,
  70. were so beneath us
  71. as if they were just little hills.
  72. That truly is sufficiently amazing
  73. and I think it is not without the grace of God
  74. that, when the middle is taller than all,
  75. to which specifically it is said Sinai,
  76. it is on which descended the majesty of the Lord,
  77. but it cannot be seen
  78. unless you are come to the very root of it,
  79. though before before you ascend it;
  80. for after the wish having been completed you be descended thence
  81. and you see it from the other side
  82. which before you ascend,
  83. one cannot do.
  84. But this, before we arrived to the mountain of God,
  85. we had already learned by the brethren reporting,
  86. and after I arrived there,
  87. such I knew it was clearly.

Diplomatic Transcription


This section includes the Latin original based on the transcription at <thelatinlibrary.com/egeria1>. I have numbered each clause where possible to correspond to the literal transciption in English. The original text is missing the beginning and the end and has numerous other lacunae.

  1. [deest]  * * *... ostendebantur iuxta scripturas.

  2. Interea ambulantes pervenimus ad quendam locum

  3. ubi se tamen montes illi, inter quos ibamus, aperiebant

  4. et faciebant vallem infinitam, ingens, planissima et valde pulchram

  5. et trans vallem apparebat mons sanctus Dei Sina

  6. Hic autem locus, ubi se montes aperiebant,

  7. iunctus est cum eo loco

  8. quo sunt memoriae concupiscentiae

  9. In eo ergo loco cum venitur,

  10. ut tamen commonuerunt deductores sancti illi, qui nobiscum erant, dicentes:

  11. «consuetudo est,

  12. ut fiat hic oratio

  13. ab his, qui veniunt,

  14. quando de eo loco primitus videtur mons Dei»

  15. sicut et nos fecimus.

  16. Habebat autem de eo loco ad montem Dei forsitan quattuor milia totum per valle illa

  17. quam dixi ingens

  18. Vallis autem ipsa ingens est valde

  19. iacens subter latus montis Dei, quae habet forsitan,

  20. quantum potuimus videntes aestimare

  21. aut ipsi dicebant

  22. in longo milia passos forsitan sedecim, in lato autem quattuor milia esse appellabant.

  23. Ipsam ergo vallem nos traversare habebamus

  24. ut possimus montem ingredi

  25. Haec est autem vallis ingens et planissima,

  26. in qua filii Israhel commorati sunt his diebus,

  27. quod sanctus Moyses ascendit in montem Domini

  28. et fuit ibi quadraginta diebus et quadraginta noctibus.

  29. Haec est autem vallis,

  30. in qua factus est vitulus,

  31. qui locus usque in hodie ostenditur;

  32. nam lapis grandis ibi fixus stat in ipso loco.

  33. Haec ergo vallis ipsa est,

  34. in cuius capite ille locus est,

  35. ubi sanctus Moyses, cum pasceret pecora soceri sui,

  36. iterum locutus est ei Deus de rubo in igne.

  37. Et quoniam nobis ita erat iter

  38. ut prius montem Dei ascenderemus

  39. qui hinc paret

  40. <quia> unde veniebamus,

  41. melior ascensus erat,

  42. et illinc denuo ad illud caput vallis descenderemus,

  43. id est ubi rubus erat

  44. quia melior descensus montis Dei erat inde

  45. itaque ergo hoc placuit

  46. ut visis omnibus, quae desiderabamus

  47. descendentes a monte Dei, ubi est rubus veniremus

  48. et inde totum per mediam vallem ipsam, qua iacet in longo

  49. rediremus ad iter cum hominibus Dei,

  50. qui nobis singula loca, quae scripta sunt, per ipsam vallem ostendebant

  51. sicut et factum est

  52. Nobis ergo euntibus ab eo loco ubi venientes a Pharan feceramus orationem,

  53. iter sic fuit,

  54. ut per medium transversaremus caput ipsius vallis

  55. et sic plecaremus nos ad montem Dei.

  56. Mons autem ipse per giro quidem unus esse videtur

  57. intus autem quod ingrederis

  58. plures sunt

  59. sed totum mons Dei appellatur,

  60. specialis autem ille, in cuius summitate est hic locus

  61. ubi descendit maiestas Dei

  62. sicut scriptum est

  63. in medio illorum omnium est

  64. Et cum hi omnes, qui per girum sunt, tam excelsi sint

  65. quam nunquam me puto vidisse

  66. tamen ipse ille medianus, in quo descendit maiestas Dei

  67. tanto altior est omnibus illis

  68. ut, cum subissemus in illo

  69. prorsus toti illi montes, quos excelsos videramus

  70. ita infra nos essent,

  71. ac si colliculi permodici essent

  72. Illud sane satis admirabile est

  73. et sine Dei gratia puto illud non esse

  74. ut, cum omnibus altior sit ille medianus

  75. qui specialis Sina dicitur,

  76. id est in quo descendit maiestas Domini,

  77. tamen videri non possit,

  78. nisi ad propriam radicem illius veneris,

  79. ante tamen quam eum subeas;

  80. nam posteaquam completo desiderio descenderis inde,

  81. et de contra illum vides

  82. quod, antequam subeas,

  83. facere non potest.

  84. Hoc autem, antequam perveniremus ad montem Dei,

  85. iam referentibus fratribus cognoveram,

  86. et postquam ibi perveni,

  87. ita esse manifeste cognovi

Edition Notes

This is a literal translation of Egeria's original Latin text.

Miscellaneous Works by Egeria

Posted

22 February 2024

Last Updated

12 April 2024

References

References
1 Egeria's use of the demonstrative adjectives "illus" and “is” will be rendered as "the" as most scholars have commented on the overabundance of the demonstrative in vulgar Latin as a precursor if not the first appearance of the definite article
2 "ingens" and "planissima" are both nominative and are difficult to explain even amongst experts. Here I treat them as adverbs, either modifying "faciebant," "infinitam" or "pulchram", but others have treated "planissima" as a scribal error that should be accusative
3 A reference to Kibroth Hattaavah in Numbers 11:34 where Israelites are killed and buried for craving quail.
4 the passive use of "venio" during this time period is understood to be impersonal
5 habere during this time is already taking on the impersonal quantitative
6 mostly like adverbial accusative
7 the use of the ablative here is unusual but not out of the question during this time period