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  5. "Vatem sacrum in urbe visitam…

"Vatem sacrum in urbe visitamus."

Translation:We visit the sacred bard in the city.

September 1, 2019



Anybody else wondering what dragon this bard seduced to get this position?

Or... any other people into ttRPGs enough to know what a bard usually means in those games?


A bard is a poet, especially of epics, a musician, storyteller, historian. They maintain the cultural stories of a society. Shakespeare is often referred to as "the bard," though the term is much older than him.


They probably just have 20 charisma. And a lot of bribing money.

Actually both of those things could seduce a dragon...


I don't know, I think "bard" is not an accurate translation in these exercises. It sounds too much like "poet" while the actual meaning, even given the sentences, is closer to, as somebody else mentioned, something like "prophet"...


I think in this case it means something more like "wiseman" or "soothsayer" but they've had the "vates" writing songs in other practice sentences so maybe the two ideas are connected and bard is not the worst translation. I just know it doesn't mean "priest."


Poets like Horace and Vergil used the noun "vātēs" for themselves: the poet in a special role for his society.


It is difficult to "translate" a culturally loaded revelatory word like vates, but a gloss such as 'prophet' or 'oracle' (oraculum) or 'seer' works. Soothsayer can have a derogatory sense in English, so I would avoid that for a gloss. Bard is archaic English and so I agree that as a gloss it limps. The base sense of prophet/oracle/seer--one through whom the gods speak-- is present even when someone like Vergil uses it in poetic context. I would avoid "wiseman" as too gender specific; vates were often female, most famously the Pythia at Delphi.


In the Aeneid, the Sibyl--definitely female!--who leads Aeneas into the Underworld is called vātēs : for example, Quae contrā breviter fāta est Amphrȳsia vātēs , in line 6. 398 ("The Amphrysian vātēs spoke these things briefly in return"), and she's a plain vātēs in line 6. 419, when she throws a drugged cake to Cerberus to keep him quiet (Cui vātēs horrēre vidēns iam colla colubrīs / melle sopōrātam et medicātīs frūgibus offam / obicit ; "The vātēs , seeing that his necks are now bristling with snakes, throws to him a cake that was made sleepy with honey and with drugged fruits"). She's a being in contact with divinities (with Apollo, specifically) and can prophesy the future, with Apollo's guidance.


Agreed, i think seer would be more adequate.


I wrote "holy seer", and it was accepted, March 2021


I love this guy's voice. It sounds mystic, which perfectly suits the Latin language.


Yeah, I came here to write the same)


So... Bards are holy men / soothseers?


I don't know the word soothseer, I only found "soothsayer", does it exist?

Holy men, if you mean clairvoyants, soothsayers, seers, were haruspices (plural of haruspex/aruspex)
But my opinion is that "holy men" is maybe too general. They would be called "Viri sacri"? The Roman religion didn't have "saints" as in the Christianity, Sufism, etc, so, I think "holy men" is too general, because you can talk about a Vates, a priest (Sacerdos), an auspice, etc.. ?


For "vates", Wikipedia says:

The earliest Latin writers used vates to denote prophets and soothsayers in general; the word fell into disuse in Latin until it was > revived by Virgil. Thus Ovid could describe himself as the vates of Eros

It's close. Vates and Haruspex. Haruspices only looked in a sacrificed beast's entrails to read the future.

The word "Vatican" comes from "vates", it was an holly site for Romans.

"We visit the holy prophet in town" was accepted for me, so holy soothsayer will probably work too. Holy has the meaning of "saint" I think. Maybe we could even have the "saint prophet", I will test it.


"We visit a sacred bard in town" is surely also correct?


Town = oppidum

City = urbs


Thank you. Still, "in town" is a set phrase that can refer to both a town and a city: "This is by far the best jazz joint in town" - here we could be talking about a big city like Madrid or London, for example.


Yes. Report with the report button, if not yet accepted.


Both are possible translations of vātēs. The religious signification (seer, prophet) is early; the idea that this is a role for a poet (speaking for the community, not in his own voice) was revived in the Augustan age by Vergil and Horace ( = bard).

What Duolingo may accept here is an altogether different question, though.


A vates is a seer, or a prophet, or a poet inspired by the gods.


What about 'holy man' as a translation?


The question has been already asked, with one answer on this page.


I put 'seer' which was accepted in other answers, even given in previous models, but now it's marked wrong????????????!


What about "minstrel"? A medieval traveling entertainer who would sing and recite poetry, often to his own musical accompaniment. It sounds pretty accurate to me


Hi, Enbusa. I have to disagree. I think "minstrel" lacks the spiritual dimension that "vates" seems to have.


What on earth did this bard do to earn this title??

  • 1322

seer, bard wtf?

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