Greek in medeival Europe
#11
(01-14-2012, 08:15 PM)TrentCath Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 06:40 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 05:41 PM)TrentCath Wrote: I would suspect St Thomas Aquinas read greek, in fact I'm almost certain of it, he did after right a rather long tract (against the errors of the greek) and in it displays an expert knowledge of the Greek Language and fathers

It is generally accepted among scholars that St. Thomas did not know Greek well.  I did discover a site that claims he worked from Latin translations by William of Moerbeke out of saintly modesty, rather than because he (St. Thomas) did not have enough skill in Greek.

Then I cannot see how he could say this 'There are, in my opinion, two reasons why some of the statements of the ancient Greek Fathers strike our contemporaries as dubious. First, because once errors regarding the faith arose, the holy Doctors of the Church became more circumspect in the way they expounded points of faith, so as to exclude these errors. It is clear, for example, that the Doctors  who lived before the error of Arius did not speak so expressly about the unity of the divine essence as the Doctors who came afterwards. And the same happened in the case of other errors. This is quite evident not only in regard to Doctors in general, but in respect to one particularly distinguished Doctor, Augustine.  For in the books he published after the rise of the Pelagian heresy he spoke more cautiously about the freedom of the human will than he had done in his books published before the rise of said heresy. In these earlier works, while defending the will against the Manichees, he made certain statements which the Pelagians, who rejected divine grace, used in support of their error. It is, therefore, no wonder if after the appearance of various errors, present day teachers of the faith speak more cautiously and more selectively so as to steer clear of any kind of heresy. Hence, if there are found some points in statements of the ancient Fathers not expressed with the caution moderns find appropriate to observe, their statements are not to be ridiculed or rejected; on the other hand neither are they to be overextended, but reverently interpreted.

“Second, because many things which sound well enough in Greek do not perhaps, sound well in Latin. Hence, Latins and Greeks professing the same faith do so using different words. For among the Greeks it is said, correctly, and in a Catholic way, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three hypostases.  But with the Latins it does not sound right to say that there are three substantiae, even though on a purely verbal basis the term hypostasis in Greek means the same as the term substantia in Latin. The fact is, substantia in Latin is more frequently used to signify essence. And both we and the Greeks hold that in God there is but one essence. So where the Greeks speak of three hypostases, we Latins speak of three personae, as Augustine in the seventh book on the Trinity  also teaches. And, doubtless, there are many similar instances.

It is, therefore, the task of the good translator, when translating material dealing with the Catholic faith, to preserve the meaning, but to adapt the mode of expression so that it is in harmony with the idiom of the language into which he is translating. For obviously, when anything spoken in a literary fashion in Latin is explained in common parlance, the explanation will be inept if it is simply word for word. All the more so, when anything expressed in one language is translated merely word for word into another, it will be no surprise if perplexity concerning the meaning of the original sometimes occurs. '


and later 'Most holy Father, these are the points which at your command I have excerpted from the texts of the Greek Doctors, both to be clarified and to be cited in confirmation of the true faith. Scattered, however, among the aforementioned authorities are a number of inappropriate interpretations, as when the translator renders “logos” almost always as “sermo mentalis” (mental discourse),  whereas, in conformity with the Latin usage, it should have been more appropriately rendered :verbum” (word).And “hypostasis” he translates as “essential person”,  and following this interpretation he is forced at times to use unfortunate phrases as when he says: “Deus Trinipostatos” (God-tri-postatic), that is, tri-personal by essence.  Now it is absolutely wrong to say God is triune by essence. It would have been enough to render “hypostasis” as “person”; for we so use the term person in the profession of faith where the Greeks use the term hypostasis, as Augustine says,  even though the manner of signifying of each term is not identical.'

I know enough Greek to comment on translation issues like this but I do not know enough to work directly from a Greek text.  So, while the quote shows some knowledge of Greek, it does not prove an expert knowledge of Greek.  Even the site I found that claims he had a mastery of the language acknowledges that he worked with Latin translations when doing his own writing.
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#12
(01-14-2012, 09:15 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 08:15 PM)TrentCath Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 06:40 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 05:41 PM)TrentCath Wrote: I would suspect St Thomas Aquinas read greek, in fact I'm almost certain of it, he did after right a rather long tract (against the errors of the greek) and in it displays an expert knowledge of the Greek Language and fathers

It is generally accepted among scholars that St. Thomas did not know Greek well.  I did discover a site that claims he worked from Latin translations by William of Moerbeke out of saintly modesty, rather than because he (St. Thomas) did not have enough skill in Greek.

Then I cannot see how he could say this 'There are, in my opinion, two reasons why some of the statements of the ancient Greek Fathers strike our contemporaries as dubious. First, because once errors regarding the faith arose, the holy Doctors of the Church became more circumspect in the way they expounded points of faith, so as to exclude these errors. It is clear, for example, that the Doctors  who lived before the error of Arius did not speak so expressly about the unity of the divine essence as the Doctors who came afterwards. And the same happened in the case of other errors. This is quite evident not only in regard to Doctors in general, but in respect to one particularly distinguished Doctor, Augustine.  For in the books he published after the rise of the Pelagian heresy he spoke more cautiously about the freedom of the human will than he had done in his books published before the rise of said heresy. In these earlier works, while defending the will against the Manichees, he made certain statements which the Pelagians, who rejected divine grace, used in support of their error. It is, therefore, no wonder if after the appearance of various errors, present day teachers of the faith speak more cautiously and more selectively so as to steer clear of any kind of heresy. Hence, if there are found some points in statements of the ancient Fathers not expressed with the caution moderns find appropriate to observe, their statements are not to be ridiculed or rejected; on the other hand neither are they to be overextended, but reverently interpreted.

“Second, because many things which sound well enough in Greek do not perhaps, sound well in Latin. Hence, Latins and Greeks professing the same faith do so using different words. For among the Greeks it is said, correctly, and in a Catholic way, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three hypostases.  But with the Latins it does not sound right to say that there are three substantiae, even though on a purely verbal basis the term hypostasis in Greek means the same as the term substantia in Latin. The fact is, substantia in Latin is more frequently used to signify essence. And both we and the Greeks hold that in God there is but one essence. So where the Greeks speak of three hypostases, we Latins speak of three personae, as Augustine in the seventh book on the Trinity  also teaches. And, doubtless, there are many similar instances.

It is, therefore, the task of the good translator, when translating material dealing with the Catholic faith, to preserve the meaning, but to adapt the mode of expression so that it is in harmony with the idiom of the language into which he is translating. For obviously, when anything spoken in a literary fashion in Latin is explained in common parlance, the explanation will be inept if it is simply word for word. All the more so, when anything expressed in one language is translated merely word for word into another, it will be no surprise if perplexity concerning the meaning of the original sometimes occurs. '


and later 'Most holy Father, these are the points which at your command I have excerpted from the texts of the Greek Doctors, both to be clarified and to be cited in confirmation of the true faith. Scattered, however, among the aforementioned authorities are a number of inappropriate interpretations, as when the translator renders “logos” almost always as “sermo mentalis” (mental discourse),  whereas, in conformity with the Latin usage, it should have been more appropriately rendered :verbum” (word).And “hypostasis” he translates as “essential person”,  and following this interpretation he is forced at times to use unfortunate phrases as when he says: “Deus Trinipostatos” (God-tri-postatic), that is, tri-personal by essence.  Now it is absolutely wrong to say God is triune by essence. It would have been enough to render “hypostasis” as “person”; for we so use the term person in the profession of faith where the Greeks use the term hypostasis, as Augustine says,  even though the manner of signifying of each term is not identical.'

I know enough Greek to comment on translation issues like this but I do not know enough to work directly from a Greek text.  So, while the quote shows some knowledge of Greek, it does not prove an expert knowledge of Greek.   Even the site I found that claims he had a mastery of the language acknowledges that he worked with Latin translations when doing his own writing.

So then we can say at least he knew 'some' greek and certainly knew enough to comment upon complicated translation issuees
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#13
(01-14-2012, 08:21 PM)Heinrich Wrote: Who was able to do this? How many learned men of the Church had that command of the various dialects of Arabic at that time? What I am getting at is the fact that one of the major lies fomented in this Masonic/Jewish world is that Christian Europe was stupid until the breadth and depth of the wise Islamics found its way to Spain or France or Italy. I just don't see how this was possible or even if so it being redundant uselessness.
History has left the time of "Middle Ages"-bashing. We even got a lesson about all the misconceptions about the Middle Ages.

Arab and Jewish scholars (probably conversos) translated the works to Spanish, and Castilian scholars translated the work to Latin.
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#14
(01-14-2012, 08:50 PM)Heinrich Wrote: I just don't see what Christendom gained from translating Arabic texts. 
Old texts that they couldn't access before, and original Arabic commentaries with new points of view.
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#15
(01-15-2012, 09:41 AM)Adelbrecht Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 08:50 PM)Heinrich Wrote: I just don't see what Christendom gained from translating Arabic texts. 
Old texts that they couldn't access before, and original Arabic commentaries with new points of view.

Examples?
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#16
(01-15-2012, 11:51 AM)Heinrich Wrote:
(01-15-2012, 09:41 AM)Adelbrecht Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 08:50 PM)Heinrich Wrote: I just don't see what Christendom gained from translating Arabic texts. 
Old texts that they couldn't access before, and original Arabic commentaries with new points of view.

Examples?

The Summa Theologica actually.  Jewish and Moslem scholars were some of Aquinas' sources, or at least referenced.
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#17
http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=9789004132283

This states that the Greek editions were translated into Arabic and then to latin.  In his book "How the CHurch Built Western Civilization," Dr. Thomas E. Woods also states that the Greek editions were brought to "mainstream" Europe during the Reconquesta.  Then some editions were brought later by Greek scholars during the Byzantine downfall.
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#18
(01-14-2012, 09:51 PM)TrentCath Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 09:15 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 08:15 PM)TrentCath Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 06:40 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 05:41 PM)TrentCath Wrote: I would suspect St Thomas Aquinas read greek, in fact I'm almost certain of it, he did after right a rather long tract (against the errors of the greek) and in it displays an expert knowledge of the Greek Language and fathers

It is generally accepted among scholars that St. Thomas did not know Greek well.  I did discover a site that claims he worked from Latin translations by William of Moerbeke out of saintly modesty, rather than because he (St. Thomas) did not have enough skill in Greek.

Then I cannot see how he could say this 'There are, in my opinion, two reasons why some of the statements of the ancient Greek Fathers strike our contemporaries as dubious. First, because once errors regarding the faith arose, the holy Doctors of the Church became more circumspect in the way they expounded points of faith, so as to exclude these errors. It is clear, for example, that the Doctors  who lived before the error of Arius did not speak so expressly about the unity of the divine essence as the Doctors who came afterwards. And the same happened in the case of other errors. This is quite evident not only in regard to Doctors in general, but in respect to one particularly distinguished Doctor, Augustine.  For in the books he published after the rise of the Pelagian heresy he spoke more cautiously about the freedom of the human will than he had done in his books published before the rise of said heresy. In these earlier works, while defending the will against the Manichees, he made certain statements which the Pelagians, who rejected divine grace, used in support of their error. It is, therefore, no wonder if after the appearance of various errors, present day teachers of the faith speak more cautiously and more selectively so as to steer clear of any kind of heresy. Hence, if there are found some points in statements of the ancient Fathers not expressed with the caution moderns find appropriate to observe, their statements are not to be ridiculed or rejected; on the other hand neither are they to be overextended, but reverently interpreted.

“Second, because many things which sound well enough in Greek do not perhaps, sound well in Latin. Hence, Latins and Greeks professing the same faith do so using different words. For among the Greeks it is said, correctly, and in a Catholic way, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three hypostases.  But with the Latins it does not sound right to say that there are three substantiae, even though on a purely verbal basis the term hypostasis in Greek means the same as the term substantia in Latin. The fact is, substantia in Latin is more frequently used to signify essence. And both we and the Greeks hold that in God there is but one essence. So where the Greeks speak of three hypostases, we Latins speak of three personae, as Augustine in the seventh book on the Trinity  also teaches. And, doubtless, there are many similar instances.

It is, therefore, the task of the good translator, when translating material dealing with the Catholic faith, to preserve the meaning, but to adapt the mode of expression so that it is in harmony with the idiom of the language into which he is translating. For obviously, when anything spoken in a literary fashion in Latin is explained in common parlance, the explanation will be inept if it is simply word for word. All the more so, when anything expressed in one language is translated merely word for word into another, it will be no surprise if perplexity concerning the meaning of the original sometimes occurs. '


and later 'Most holy Father, these are the points which at your command I have excerpted from the texts of the Greek Doctors, both to be clarified and to be cited in confirmation of the true faith. Scattered, however, among the aforementioned authorities are a number of inappropriate interpretations, as when the translator renders “logos” almost always as “sermo mentalis” (mental discourse),  whereas, in conformity with the Latin usage, it should have been more appropriately rendered :verbum” (word).And “hypostasis” he translates as “essential person”,  and following this interpretation he is forced at times to use unfortunate phrases as when he says: “Deus Trinipostatos” (God-tri-postatic), that is, tri-personal by essence.  Now it is absolutely wrong to say God is triune by essence. It would have been enough to render “hypostasis” as “person”; for we so use the term person in the profession of faith where the Greeks use the term hypostasis, as Augustine says,  even though the manner of signifying of each term is not identical.'

I know enough Greek to comment on translation issues like this but I do not know enough to work directly from a Greek text.  So, while the quote shows some knowledge of Greek, it does not prove an expert knowledge of Greek.   Even the site I found that claims he had a mastery of the language acknowledges that he worked with Latin translations when doing his own writing.

So then we can say at least he knew 'some' greek and certainly knew enough to comment upon complicated translation issuees

What the quoted passage shows is that he knew the technical vocabulary of theology which often used Greek words.  It  seems comparable to doctors or lawyers knowing only certain Latin terms specific to their professions.  People like this know some words but not any grammar and would not be able to understand Latin sentences.  I'm not sure that I would describe that situation as "knowing  Latin" or even "knowing some Latin".  I am reluctant to go against the general consensus that St. Thomas did not know Greek.
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#19
(01-15-2012, 07:01 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 09:51 PM)TrentCath Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 09:15 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 08:15 PM)TrentCath Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 06:40 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(01-14-2012, 05:41 PM)TrentCath Wrote: I would suspect St Thomas Aquinas read greek, in fact I'm almost certain of it, he did after right a rather long tract (against the errors of the greek) and in it displays an expert knowledge of the Greek Language and fathers

It is generally accepted among scholars that St. Thomas did not know Greek well.  I did discover a site that claims he worked from Latin translations by William of Moerbeke out of saintly modesty, rather than because he (St. Thomas) did not have enough skill in Greek.

Then I cannot see how he could say this 'There are, in my opinion, two reasons why some of the statements of the ancient Greek Fathers strike our contemporaries as dubious. First, because once errors regarding the faith arose, the holy Doctors of the Church became more circumspect in the way they expounded points of faith, so as to exclude these errors. It is clear, for example, that the Doctors  who lived before the error of Arius did not speak so expressly about the unity of the divine essence as the Doctors who came afterwards. And the same happened in the case of other errors. This is quite evident not only in regard to Doctors in general, but in respect to one particularly distinguished Doctor, Augustine.  For in the books he published after the rise of the Pelagian heresy he spoke more cautiously about the freedom of the human will than he had done in his books published before the rise of said heresy. In these earlier works, while defending the will against the Manichees, he made certain statements which the Pelagians, who rejected divine grace, used in support of their error. It is, therefore, no wonder if after the appearance of various errors, present day teachers of the faith speak more cautiously and more selectively so as to steer clear of any kind of heresy. Hence, if there are found some points in statements of the ancient Fathers not expressed with the caution moderns find appropriate to observe, their statements are not to be ridiculed or rejected; on the other hand neither are they to be overextended, but reverently interpreted.

“Second, because many things which sound well enough in Greek do not perhaps, sound well in Latin. Hence, Latins and Greeks professing the same faith do so using different words. For among the Greeks it is said, correctly, and in a Catholic way, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three hypostases.  But with the Latins it does not sound right to say that there are three substantiae, even though on a purely verbal basis the term hypostasis in Greek means the same as the term substantia in Latin. The fact is, substantia in Latin is more frequently used to signify essence. And both we and the Greeks hold that in God there is but one essence. So where the Greeks speak of three hypostases, we Latins speak of three personae, as Augustine in the seventh book on the Trinity  also teaches. And, doubtless, there are many similar instances.

It is, therefore, the task of the good translator, when translating material dealing with the Catholic faith, to preserve the meaning, but to adapt the mode of expression so that it is in harmony with the idiom of the language into which he is translating. For obviously, when anything spoken in a literary fashion in Latin is explained in common parlance, the explanation will be inept if it is simply word for word. All the more so, when anything expressed in one language is translated merely word for word into another, it will be no surprise if perplexity concerning the meaning of the original sometimes occurs. '


and later 'Most holy Father, these are the points which at your command I have excerpted from the texts of the Greek Doctors, both to be clarified and to be cited in confirmation of the true faith. Scattered, however, among the aforementioned authorities are a number of inappropriate interpretations, as when the translator renders “logos” almost always as “sermo mentalis” (mental discourse),  whereas, in conformity with the Latin usage, it should have been more appropriately rendered :verbum” (word).And “hypostasis” he translates as “essential person”,  and following this interpretation he is forced at times to use unfortunate phrases as when he says: “Deus Trinipostatos” (God-tri-postatic), that is, tri-personal by essence.  Now it is absolutely wrong to say God is triune by essence. It would have been enough to render “hypostasis” as “person”; for we so use the term person in the profession of faith where the Greeks use the term hypostasis, as Augustine says,  even though the manner of signifying of each term is not identical.'

I know enough Greek to comment on translation issues like this but I do not know enough to work directly from a Greek text.  So, while the quote shows some knowledge of Greek, it does not prove an expert knowledge of Greek.   Even the site I found that claims he had a mastery of the language acknowledges that he worked with Latin translations when doing his own writing.

So then we can say at least he knew 'some' greek and certainly knew enough to comment upon complicated translation issuees

What the quoted passage shows is that he knew the technical vocabulary of theology which often used Greek words.  It  seems comparable to doctors or lawyers knowing only certain Latin terms specific to their professions.  People like this know some words but not any grammar and would not be able to understand Latin sentences.  I'm not sure that I would describe that situation as "knowing  Latin" or even "knowing some Latin".  I am reluctant to go against the general consensus that St. Thomas did not know Greek.

And I'm reluctant to say that he wrote a book against the errors of the greeks where he specifically criticised the use of certain translations from Greek without knowing any Greek.
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