Sources and translations

This blog provides our draft translation of Carolingian texts, mostly linked to Hincmar of Rheims or the divorce of Lothar II and Theutberga.

The texts translated are as follows:

Page references are given in square brackets in the translation. All these translations are works in progress and have not been checked for errors or readability. Readers are strongly advised to check the Latin text themselves.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Preface section III

[p 109] But judges are ordered: if you truly speak justice, judge rightly, sons of man, so that, whoever should give public judgement of mortals, if he speaks the truth let him also judge the truth nor place the mousetrap (?) of words of deception with flattery, through which he secretly destroys innocents, taking care, since man sees the face but God the heart. And if the eye (that is the intention) of the heart should be single, the whole body (that is every action) will be clear; but if however the intention itself should be shadowy, then the shadows which will be in the action thus also can hardly exceed the name of shadows (?). And St Gregory says: For I see several who thus accept the person of the powerful man, so that having received things from him for their favour, they do not hesitate to deny the truth in the case of their neighbour. And what is truth except he who said: I am the way and the truth and the life? For John the Baptist did not die about the confession of Christ, but required (?) truth of justice; but since Christ is truth, he therefore went all the way to death for Christ, that is namely for truth. And blessed Bede: Many today abhor the crime of Judas, who sold his lord and teacher and God for money, as immense and criminal, yet do not avoid it. For when they say false testimony against whoever for gifts, certainly since they deny truth for money, they sell the Lord for money, for he himself says: I am truth. Since discords stain the society of brotherhood with some plague, they sell the Lord, since God is love. Even if no-one should give money, they sell the Lord for thirty pieces of silver, since they assume the image of the prince of this world, that is the example of the old enemy, neglecting the image of the creator, in whose image they were made. For that one sells the Lord who, neglecting his love and fear, is shown to love and care more about earthly and perishable things, nay rather criminal things.
Since things are like this, it is necessary for judges of both clerical and public matters that they thus decide judgement under the eyes of the celstial judge in whatever case and about whatever person, so that there may not be anything in the same judgement of passion of evil, fraud, mildness, simulation, or desire or hope of whatever kind of gain, but all unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, that is judgement of justice, equity of truth, purity of truth, lest (may it not happen), we judges may incur the curse which in the in the said prophet is invoked by us and by the whole church: Let the lying lip be charged and They have spoken in heart and heart. Let the Lord ruin all lying lips, which say one thing and conceals another thing in the heart. Sometimes what they say exists, but they interpret what they say in a different sense than they feel by the witness of conscience. And St Jerome in the commentary on Matthew says: He is a false witness who does not understand words in the same sense in which they are said. And about such is written again: The work of their own lips will overcome them, when they are overcome just like a cloak by their confusion [end p 109], that is placed just like a coal of fire in the time of the look of God, namely so that they may burn inside and outside in the eternity going to come. We cannot otherwise be free judges before his gaze, to whom the thought of man is confessed, unless we say true things truly from heart and mouth, since then we may judge justly and that also with fear and trembling, but perhaps we sin through ignorance, since it may be said (?): In the judgement you should judge it will be judged about you, and: If our heart does not censure us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things. And therefore in these things also, which are certain before men, we cannot be secure, knowing, as Paul says, that it is the Lord who judges us, who are often justified by human judgement.

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