David Stifter wrote:
> Judyta Aleksandra Szacillo wrote:
>> 'In illo enim loco quedam petra habetur, super quam [St ┴ed] sedens
>> (...) ad celestia raptus est.'
>> My problem with this sentence is that I would like to understand why
>> there is a form of the verb 'habere' (to have) instead of 'esse' (to
>> be), when the context and the meaning are quite clear. May it have
>> been influenced by OI in any way? The text is supposed to have been
>> written circa 800 AD.
> I can't think of an Irish explanation ( after all, Irish has no word
> for "have"), but instead it reminds me of Romance, e.g. French "il y
> a" "there is" < *ille ibi habet "it has there".
Well, yes, you are surely right, but this passive there is confusing :-)
I like Matthew's explanation, as it sounds very reasonably:
>In the example you cited, habetur looks like it bears, to some
degree, the mark of the Greek Middle Voice (Classical Latin usually
having only an active and passive voice, but sometimes you run into
puzzling middle voice grammatical forms curiously relating to the
Greek Middle Voice, e.g., "itur" (from eo, ire, ivi, itus) - he
goes). Offhand, I'd think that mediaevel scribes were wont to
hypergrammaticize their academic writings, sometimes (as the impulse
took them) borrowing from that which they hoped would be taken as
This is absolutely right - only up to know I noticed it mainly in using
conditionals and coniugationes periphrasticae. The thing is that the
Life of ┴ed (especially when comparng it to the others of the group I am
working on) is writen in quite unbroken Latin, with correct and casual
use of conditionals, and here you go, 'habetur' appears out of the blue
:-) But even in this case the explanation sounds OK to me - anyway, even
a quite decently educated scribe may have had ambitions which were not
covered with his skills ;-)
> And I can't help but wonder if Petra is also the name of the Apostle
Well, yes, Matthew, but I wouldn't go so far in this Life's analysis.
This game on 'Petrus'-'petra' words may be very, very significant in the
'Audites omnes amantes' (is it really in there or I'm mistaking it with
something else?), but here is just a word used in its sense. There are
no (in my humble opinion, of course) other signs in the Life which would
suggest that the hagiographer wanted to create an image of the apostle
in the person of St ┴ed.
David, Matthew - thousands of thanks for your help :-)