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  5. "Vates libros sacros legunt."

"Vates libros sacros legunt."

Translation:The bards read the sacred books.

August 29, 2019



Which sacred books might those be?


That sounds reasonable. I was also thinking it might be the Orphic hymns https://www.theoi.com/Text/OrphicHymns1.html


maybe a Tome Of Alluring Charisma +6


I had "The bards read holy books", and this was marked wrong.

Is there really such a difference between "holy" and "sacred"? What id the Latin term for "holy" if there is such a great difference? Thanks for wholly enlightening me! :-)

Edit: Ha -- here https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33824953 the "vir sacer" is translated as "holy man". I think I might be right ... And "holy" should be added here as an accepted translation.


(holy was accepted for me)
Note that Duo's sentence "Vates est vir sacer" doesn't mean that "vir sacer" is the translation for Vates.

Holy is from the Germanic root (hālig/heilig),
and Sacred is from the French/Latin root, from Sacré, (from Latin Sacer), meaning sacred, and also holy!

2 roots, a Germanic and a Latin one, it explains why there are 2 words with a very close meaning. Because of the double origin of the English language, it happens often.


-Consacred, dedicated to God/the Gods.
(by the way, consacred, is from the same root, from French Consacré, same meaning.)

So: an holy temple, holy texts, etc...


-not secular, but religious. Relative to the religion (or a religion)
-dedicated to a religious purpose (that is almost the same than the line above)


  • Don't come here! This place is sacred! A simple citizen like cannot enter, you must be a priest to enter.

  • Don't come here! This place is holy! You have to revere the Gods!

I think that is depends on the context, and what kind of thing those adjectives qualify in your Latin sentence, but you could take "Sanctus" for Holy. The French derivated from Sanctus, is Saint, meaning holy. Adopted in English for Saint people.




What would 'the sacred bards read books' be?


I really love this guy's pronunciation. You feel he comes straight from the Roman Empire.


I feel he sounds more like he comes from the Latin branch of the Cult of Cosmos.


What's the plural and singular for bard?


Vates/Vates (nominative)

In reality: Vates (sing)/Vatēs (plural)
But the course doesn't use macrons.


Both singular nomin. and plural nomin. have macrons; they are indistinguishable (except, of course, for the verbs--like legunt here, which is plural--and any adjectives that might accompany them).


So, with macrons, the sentence would be "vātēs librōs sacrōs legunt", and if there was just one soothsayer it would be "vātēs librōs sacrōs legit".


Yes; or, with adjectives, _Vātēs sacer ... _ versus _Vātēs sacrī ... _ . ("a sacred bard" vs. "sacred bards")


It's not what Wiktionary says (I know it's not only accurate, we can find many errors.)


But it's confirmed here: https://www.grand-dictionnaire-latin.com/dictionnaire-latin-flexion.php?lemma=VATES100

Nom. Sing. vātēs
Nom. Plur. vates

Edit: Could be 2 times the same error? Maybe, because I've found "vates" with the macrons on both on some other sites.

Who has a link towards something authoritative about macrons and WITHOUT mistakes?


The OLD, under vātēs, shows that a nomin. sing. vātis also is found (like the nominatives canis, cīvis, avis and so forth).

Is it possible the site thinks it doesn't need to put in obvious long marks (like, all the nomin. plur. 3rd decl. -ēs endings) ?

I don't have any advice about online dictionaries.


It seems like 'holy man' would be a good translation of the word 'vates', but it's not accepted. I'm reporting it.


Vates are not Bards (vates=Prophets/seers)


Bard = ballade singer (in olden times)/Vates=Prophet/seer/poet


He sounds so ghostly it's hilarious.


How come vātēs isn’t fifth declension?


The dictionary listing for it is: vātēs, vātis, , m/f, prophet, seer; poet.

There are other nouns with nominatives in -ēs that are 3rd declension:

nūbēs, nūbis , f., cloud; fēlēs, fēlis ,f., cat; and so on.

Its genitive singular has to end in -eī (or -ēī) to be 5th: spēs, speī , f., hope.

So, in other words, there's no "why", for why it belongs to the 3rd and not the 5th; but just "that's the way it is."


He's saying "sacrunt" instead of "sacros"... I didn't read the lessons yet, so maybe there's something behind this, but usually they pronounce as written.


I can clearly hear "sacros", it might have been fixed.


Why is "Vates" pronounced like "Wates"?


It's the classical Latin pronunciation.

In figuring out ("restoring") the pronunciation as the ancient Romans would have spoken it, it was determined (by 19th cen. scholars--though the initial impulse for this came from the Renaissance humanist Erasmus) that the v was equivalent to the sound of English w . Some of the ways we can "prove" this are interesting. For example, Latin vīnum meaning "wine" was one of the material culture words borrowed into Germanic when the two cultures came into contact (others are fenestra, "window" and cista, "chest"); modern Germanic has Wein and English has wine . Apparently, English preserves the quality of the Latin v (modern German has lost the distinction between the sounds of "w" and "v", which English still preserves). There was also the Latin vāllum (rampart, fortification) which is the source of English "wall."

The word cista (chest, trunk) mentioned above was borrowed into Germanic, and modern German has the word Kiste which perfectly preserves the Latin pronunciation. (A demonstration that the Latin c was always 'hard,' like k .) English has undergone a sound change: the hard c before a vowel like "i" or "e" has become palatalized: to a "ch" sound.

I'm not a linguist, so I hope I haven't messed up the explanation.


Never seen a bard/cleric multiclass but okay. But I've heard priests sing the gospels. The greek/Russian orthodox ones are particularly nice!


So 'vates' can mean both 'seers' and 'bards'? I wonder how that came about to be. Is there any way to tell the difference? (That is IF there is one...)


I'm not very familiar with how 'bard' is used in all situations. But at least in Celtic societies, which remember did interact with the romans, the Bards were a lesser order of holy man, something like a Druid but without the full powers and recognition, if you like.

They were associated to poetry and prophecy, and in Celtic mythology it is possible to curse through the use of song. Which means that there is a relation here between the tools of the bard (songs, poems) and the magical world.

In this sense, the association of bard and seer is natural. But I'm not sure how well it fits to other cultures.


Bard = ballade singer (in olden times)- minstrel


In the Latin context, "bard" means "poet" (of a certain grandeur), as used by Horace and Vergil.


The bard reads sacred books. Given wrong.


legunt=(they) read (the 3rd person, plural).


Although vates can be singular or plural, the verb ending makes it clear that in this case vates is plural.

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