[Bards] Ansteorran History and trival
rudin at ev1.net
Mon Jun 11 19:14:17 PDT 2007
Alden Drake wrote:
> To the best of my knowledge, "vivat" is incorrect. Vivo, vivere, vixi,
> victum (live) looks to me like a third conjugation verb, with the present
> stem vive-. So "he/she/it lives" would be vivet, not vivat. Were that
> we were shouting "Vivet!", as "It lives", it could be in reference to
> "The dream of the SCA", which I find rather fitting, as anyone getting
> an award, or otherwise recognized or honored, is generally doing so
> for living the dream, and so we recognize the dream lives in that person.
This sounds reasonable, but very few verbs are completely regular. I
looked up the actual conjugation in *501 Latin Verbs, Fully Conjugated and
in All the Tenses*, by Richard E. Prior and Joseph Wohlberg, Barron's
Educational Series, Inc., Haupaugge, NY, 1995. ISBN 780812-090505
"Vivet" is third person singular future -- "he/she/it will live". "Vivit"
is third person singular present - "he/she/it lives". And both are equally
incorrect for our purposes. They are not grammatically correct, but more
importantly, they aren't what was (and is) really used.
"Vivat", which we are using. is third person singular subjunctive. "Vivat
Rex" therefore literally means "The King should live." It's usually
translated as "Long live the King," and has been for hundreds of years.
There's an old Epicurean motto, used by the Porcellian Club (Pig Club) at
Harvard and by Robert Heinlein in *Glory Road*: "Dum vivimus, vivamus",
which means "While we live, let us live".
So when somebody gets an award, and we are shouting "Vivat!", we are
actually expressing the desire that they should continue to live. The only
thing we do that is grammatically incorrect is that when we are cheering
more than one person, we should say "Vivant!" More importantly, we are
following a period practice.
The earliest reference I can find to the phrase "Vivat Rex" is the Old
Testament. 1 Kings Chapter 1, verse 34, ends "And you shall sound the
trumpet and say God save King Solomon". In the Vulgate, this is "et
canetis buccina, atque dicetis: Vivat rex Salomon"
It's found in Coronation ceremonies in the second recension of England's
Coronation Ordo (Order of Coronation). It was also in the fourth
recension, in 1308, for the Coronation of Edward II. Manuscripts don't
agree on the form used. Some have "Vivat rex, vivat rex, vivat rex in
eternum", but one has "Vivat rex, vivat rex in eternum. Alleluya".
As near as I can tell, it's been used in all coronations since, including
Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. As she entered the Quire, the Scholars of
Westminster School shouted "Vivat Regina Elizabetha! Vivat! Vivat! Vivat!".
Under the canopy of state in the royal palace of Hampton Court are the
words "Vivat Henricus Octavus" embroidered in pearl.
Sherborne School, which was refounded after the dissolution of the
monasteries as King Edward's School, has the following words in its school
song: " Vivat Rex Eduardus Sextus! Vivat!"
A map of Mounster made not long after the rebellion was put down has a
motto "Vivat Regina Elizabeth".
The phrase "Vivat Rex" was used as the title of sermon preached on the
subject of treason in 1683 at St. James 's Church in Bristol.
The hymn "Non nobis Domine" has the following lines
Ergo clamamus in coelum,
Therefore we shall shout to heaven:
Vivat Rex in aeternum! May
the king live forever;
Vivat Rex et Regina!
Long live the king and queen!
Moliere's *La Malade Imaginaire* ends with a verse that starts "Vivat,
vivat, vivat, vivat", cheering for the doctor.
There's is nothing wrong with "Vivat Rex! Vivat Regina! Vivat Ansteorra!"
There's nothing wrong with "Vivat! as a cheer for a single person. They
are both grammatical and a documented period usage. We use it a lot more
than they did, but there's no intent on our part to allocate our ceremonies
in the same ratio that they did. We have Coronations more often than they
did. And a *much* higher percentage of our people get titles.
Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin
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