Saturday, January 12, 2013

Puns Are Funnier in Latin

     The Venerable Bede reported in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People that Pope Gregory, aka Gregory the Great, the fellow who told his missionaries to incorporate any local customs that pagans would not part with into the Christian ceremonies so as not to lose potential converts, told a pun.
     In Book II, chapter 1, when he saw some British slave-boys, he thought they were so beautiful because they were so fair haired and pale in skin. He asked from whence such beautiful boys had come and was told they were from Britain and they were pagans there. After which, he let out a big sigh that the shadow of the 'enemy' should lurk behind such beautiful faces and he went back to speak to them. He asked them what was the name of their people, to which they answered 'Angles'. He then said "Bene, nam et angelicam habent faciem, et tales angelorum in caelis decet esse coheredes" or "It is well for they have the faces of angels and such deserve to be co-heirs of angels in heaven." (Not Angles but Angels) He then asked what the name of the land that they had come from was and they said 'Deiri'. To that he said "Bene, Deiri, de ira eruti, et ad misericordiam Christi vocati" or "That is well named Deiri for they have been uprooted from 'wrath'(de ira) and have been called by the compassion of Christ".
       And for the last pun, Gregory asked them what the name of their king had been. They said he had been called Aelli. To which Gregory said "Alleluia, laudem Dei Creatoris illis in partibus oportet cantari" Alleluia! It is fitting that praise for God their creator has been sung in their parts." (Aelli - lujah! Get it?)
        Three jokes in probably five minutes! Who knew one of the founders of the faith was such a joker? How did he get past all the sour faced pusses who normally run things at the church?

6 comments:

Anachronist said...

Three jokes in probably five minutes! Who knew one of the founders of the faith was such a joker? How did he get past all the sour faced pusses who normally run things at the church?

Perhaps he was drunk at that time or at least tipsy. ;p

The Red Witch said...

Or he found the beauty of those boys very stimulating. :-(

Harry Davis said...

Three jokes in probably five minutes! Actually he was not in the normal sense or he did that abnormally.

The Red Witch said...

It was probably an urban legend. :-) After all, how far away was Bede in place and time to have heard the story?

Daivd Lyod said...

What a thought this is i like it very much. I hope you will also like my pun a lot. read more
There once was a very large lady in our town. She wore a dress size 16. I knew her when she was young, but she had a much smaller size.
Why do you think she is now wearing a size 16?
I guess she just 8 + 8 (ate and ate).

The Red Witch said...

Very cute. :-)