Friday, April 1, 2011

Dante, On the Eloquence of Common Speech

Dante Alighieri [Dante]
1265-1321 AD Italy 

Trans RMBullard
Latin (Medieval Era)

    D e   v u l g a r i   e l o q u e n t i a
    L i b er   I

    C a p u t   I
    Quid sit vulgaris locutio,
    et quo differat a grammatica.
[Why there should be a common language, and how it differs from the written language.]


         Cum neminem ante nos de vulgaris eloquentiae doctrina quicquam inveniamus tractasse,
[Since we find no one before ourselves who could have dealt with the subject of the common language,]

atque talem scilicet eloquentiam penitus omnibus necessariam videamus,
[and I no doubt see this type of eloquence as completely necessary for everybody,]

 cum ad eam non tantum viri sed etiam mulieres et parvuli nitantur,
[when no only do men, but women and children too, depend on it,]

 in quantum natura permittit,
[soever much as nature permits,]

 volentes discretionem aliqualiter lucidare illorum qui tamquam caeci ambulant per plateas,
[they, wishing to shine light upon the discretion of those men who, like blind men, walk around though the streets,]