What's all this fuss about?

Latin lyrics in Heavy Metal music are a common phenomenon. The darker the music, the more evil the band wanna be. What's better than using an old, mysterious, hardly understandable, cryptic, medieval and therefore almost satanic language? Unfortunately bands seldom know how to use this language properly. So, instead of evoking the demons of the realm of evil, they just evoke a hop-frog. Clatu verata nicto! - The most of you know what happened after this wrongly spoken spell.

Normally, two questions are the result of the fact that you've just read a latin phrase:
- What does it mean? (almost everybody)
- Is it correct? (just a few latin aficionados)

This page doesn't want to make fun of mistakes in latin lyrics. I wanna answer the first question to everybody who is interested. The second question is just for myself or for the two or three weird guys out there or for bands which are thinking about using a latin phrase as well. You can contact me if you want.

Freitag, 27. Januar 2012

Gorgoroth are right!

Long time ago, I wrote about the album title "Quantos possunt ad satanitatem trahunt". I said that it is "horrible latin" because it sounds like a google-translated phrase. Now, I recognized that Gorgoroth took this phrase out of a book written in the 11th century. So I thought: well, foolish medieval latin.

But - and right now I'm wearing sackcloth and ashes - now I have to confess that it's even good latin. I checked my big fat dictionary which told me that "quantus - as much as" is used instead of "quam" in combination with "posse - to can, to be able to".

Back to the 11th-century book. It's called "Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum - History of the archbishopric of Hamburg", written by the cleric Adam of Bremen in 1070 CE.
There you can find the title in chapter 33, where Adam of Bremem wrote: quantos possunt ad christianitatem trahunt. So, Gorgoroth did the black-metal-trick by changing one imporant word.

And there is a second reason for me quoting this book: maybe it's interesing for all the metal maniacs out there in America, especially in the U.S. In Chapter 38 Adam of Bremen wrote:

"Praeterea unam adhuc insulam recitavit a multis in eo repertam occeano, quae dicitur Winland, eo quod ibi vites sponte nascantur, vinum optimum ferentes. Nam et fruges ibi non seminatas habundare, non fabulosa opinione, sed certa comperimus relatione Danorum."

"Moreover, he has also reported one island discovered by many in that ocean, which is called Winland, for the reason that grapevines grow there by themselves, producing the best wine. That there is not even seeded fruit in abundance available, we do not learn through an improbable rumor, but actually through the report by the Danes."

This is the first example in literature of the "island" Vinland - Newfoundland, discovered by the vikings about 1000 CE. Burn in hell, Mr. Columbus!

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