About a Certain Youth (De Quodam Iuvene)

We are translating a very interesting passage in Latin today. I must say that I have enjoyed this class. Both Wheelock and Dr. Williams supply readers with a variety of readings that keep the translator entertained and drives him to complete the story. I’ll give you the text first, and then supply you with my translation.

Narravit abba Iohannes, qui manebat in loco qui dicitur Petra, de abbate Daniele Aegyptio dicens, quia cum ascendisset senex in locum qui dicitur Terenuthi ut venderet opus manuum suarum, iuvenis quidam accessit deprecans eum dicens: “Propter Deum te rogo, pater, ut venias in domum meam et facias orationem super uxorem meam, quia sterilis est.” Senex autem victus a prece iuvenis, eo quod per nomen Dominin eum adiuraverat, abiit cum eo. Et facta oratione super uxore eius recessit et abiit in cellam suam.

Non post multum vero tempus concepit mulier. Quod ut viderunt pravi homines Deum non timentes, detrahebant seni dicentes: “Vere scimus quia iuvenis ingenerabilis est et non generat, sed de abbate Daniel concepit mulier.” Devenit autem haec fama usque ad senem. Quod cum audisset, misit ad virum mulieris dicens: “Cum genuerit uxor tua, notifica illud mihi.”

Quando vero genuit mulier, nuntiatum est a iuvene abbati Danieli in Cithi, quia cum Dei adiutorio et orationibus tuis genuit mulier. Tunc abiit abbas Daniel dixitque iuveni: “Fac prandium et invita omnes parentes et amicos tuos.” Cum autem omnes pranderent, accepit senex infantem in manibus suis et coram omnibus dixit ei: “Quis est pater tuus, o infans?” Dixit puer: “Iste est, domine mi,” demonstrans iuvenem digito manus suae. Erat enim puer dierum viginti quinque. Quod videntes omnes qui aderant glorificaverunt Deum. Ex tunc obstrusa sunt labia loquentium iniqua, qui Dei homini detraxerant.

–Johannes Monachus

Abbott John, who lived in a place which was called Petra, told a story about Abbott Daniel in Egypt saying that when an old man went up in a place called Terenuthi to sell the work of his hands, a certain youth came begging him, saying, “I ask you in the name of God, father, that you come in my house and make a prayer over my wife, because she is sterile.” And the old man, being conquered by the youth’s entreaty, because he adjured him by the name of the Lord, came with him. And after he made a prayer over his wife, he withdrew and went into his cell.

Not after much time, the woman conceived. When evil men saw, not fearing God, they slandered the old man, saying, “Truly we know that the young man is impotent and is not able to beget, but the woman conceived by Abbott Daniel.” This rumor, however, reached the old man. When he heard, he sent to the husband of the woman saying, “When your wife gave birth, make it known to me.”

When indeed the woman gave birth, it was announced by the young man to Abbott Daniel in Cithi, that the woman gave birth with the help of God and your prayers. Then Abbott Daniel departed and said to the young man, “Make lunch and invite all your relatives and your friends.” And when they were eating lunch, the old man took the infant in his hands and before all, he said to him, “Who is your father, o child?” The boy said, “He is that one, my lord,” pointing a finger of his hand at the young man. Now the boy was 25 days old. When all who were present saw, they glorified God. From that time the lips of those who speak iniquity, who had slandered the man of God, were thrust from them,

–Johannes Monachus

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