Monday, March 28, 2011

St. Augustine, Debate Against Fortunatus

Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis [St. Augustine of Hippo]
354-430 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Late Imperial/Christian Era)




Quinto. calendas septembris, Arcadio Augusto bis et Rufino viris clarissimis consulibus., habita disputatio adversus Fortunatum Manichaeorum presbyterum, in urbe Hipponensium regionum, in Balneis Sossii, sub praesentia populi.
[On the 5th Kalends of September, in the second consulship of the most distinguished men, the Augustus, Arcadius, and Rufinus, a dispute has arisen against Fortunatus, the priest of the Manichaean order, in the precinct's city of Hippo, in the Sossian Baths, before the public's presence.]

Summum errorem puto, omnipotentem Deum, in quo una nobis spes est, ex aliqua parte violabilem, aut coinquinabilem, aut corruptibilem credere.
[I think it the greatest mistake of all, to think that omnipotent God, in which all of my hope lies, is vulnerable in any respect, or liable to defilement, or corruptible.]

1. AUGUSTINUS dixit:
[So Augustine said:]

Ego iam errorem puto, quam antea veritatem putabam:
["For my part, I now think it an error, when before I used to think it the truth:]

utrum recte existimem, a te praesente audire cupio.
[Which one I think is the correct one is what I desire you to hear, you now being present.] 

Hoc vestram haeresim affirmare scio; non quidem verbis.
[I am aware of your heresy from this fact, not just from your words.]

quibus nunc usus sum:
[I will make use of these now:]

nam et vos interrogati confitemini Deum esse incorruptibilem et omnino.
[You see you, when asked, confessed that God was incorruptible and omnipresent.]

 inviolabilem et incoinquinabilem;
[And that he was inviolable and impervious to defilement.]

sed cum coeperitis caetera exponere, cogimini eum corruptibilem, penetrabilem, et coinquinabilem profiteri.
[but when you began to explain other things, you later admitted that he was corruptible, able to understood, and vulnerable to defilement.] 

Dicitis enim aliam nescio quam gentem tenebrarum adversus Dei regnum rebellasse:
[you see, you say that some people or another of the shadows have rebelled against the rule of God:]

 Deum autem omnipotentem, cum videret quanta labes et vastitas immineret regnis suis, nisi aliquid adversae genti opponeret,
[And yet, when they saw how great their doom and destruction was looming upon their own dominions, they opposed all-mighty God only because of something caused by a hostile nation,]

et ei resisteret, misisse hanc virtutem, de cuius commixtione cum malo et tenebrarum gente mundus sit fabricatus.
[and could he have repelled them, they would have considered this a virtue, the world would be falsely designied, with its intermingling with a wicked and 'shaded' nation.]

Hinc esse quod hic animae bonae laborant, serviunt, errant, corrumpuntur:
[Hence, here is the reason to explain why good souls toil, are forced to serve, go astray, and are corrupted:]

 ut necessarium haberent liberatorem, qui eas ab errore purgaret, et a commixtione solveret, et a servitute liberaret.
[so that they can possess the liberator they need, the one who could cleanse them from sin, and loosen them from the world's hold, and save them from slavery.]

 Hoc ego nefas puto credere, Deum omnipotentem aliquam adversam gentem timuisse, aut necessitatem esse passum,
[for my part, I think that it is utterly wrong to believe that omnipotent God has ever anything to fear from any other nation of people, or that we must suffer some obligation]

ut nos in aerumnas praecipitaret.
[with some result that it gets us locked up in shackles]

Principalia fidei Manichaeorum.
[But these are the main tenets of the Manicheans' faith.] 

FORTUNATUS dixit: [Fortunatus said}

 Quia te medium fuisse nostrum scio,
[Because I know you've meddled before in my affairs]

id est,
[this is it]

inter Manichaeos administrasse,
[to have governed the Manicheans]

ista sunt principalia fidei nostrae.
[these are the founding principles are my faith]

 De conversatione hic agitur,
[This has to do with conversions]

 de quibus falsis criminibus pulsamur.
[and about the types of crimes that we are being stopped from.]

Ex te ergo praesentes audiant boni viri,
[So let the good men present hear from you]

utrum sint vera
[whether the accusations are true]

super quibus criminamur et appetimur,
[about which things I am being charged as criminal and prosecuted]

an sint falsa.
[or whether they are false.]

 Etenim ex tua doctrina,
[So really, from your own line of belief]

 et ex tua expositione et ostensione poterunt verius scire nostram conversationem,
[and from your own demonstration and show can people more verily know my own means of conversion]

si a te fuerit prodita.
[if there should be any concession from you.]

 Interfuisti orationi.
[And now, you've interrupted my speaking.]

2. AUGUSTINUS dixit: [Augustine said]

[I've interrupted.]

 Sed alia quaestio est de fide, alia de moribus:
[But one question deals with faith, the other with tradition:]

 ego de fide proposui.
[for my part have I set forth the one concerning faith.]

Sed si illi qui adsunt,
[But if these men who are present now,]

 malunt audire de moribus,
[prefer to hear the one about tradition]

 nec istam quaestionem defugio.
[I will not flee the question at all.]

[Fortunatus said:]