Latin question: Prayer to St. Michael

I have very little knowledge of Latin… only took a semester in a class that was way too advanced (we were diving right away into Tertullian!).

My question is this: Does one include the accent marks when writing out the prayer to St. Michael or not. On various websites I have seen them alternately with or without the accent marks. Are the accent marks only to aid in pronunciation or should they be written as well?

I am finishing writing an icon of St. Michael. As a tribute to the “two lungs” of Holy Mother Church, I wrote his name at the top in Greek, and I want to write the rest of the first line of the prayer at the bottom in Latin (afterall, the Greeks don’t own St. Michael):

Is it: defende nos in proelio
OR
defénde nos in proélio

Does it matter? The devil is in the details. :thumbsup:

Probably doesn’t matter, but I like the accents myself. Also the long marks over the vowels, forget what you call them.

Don’t forget, though, Romans used all upper case letters and no spaces between words. We got it easy. :slight_smile:

Uh oh, what are the long marks over the vowels? I also thought about using all capital letters. … no spaces between the words… hhhmmmm… now you have me thinking.
Does anyone have a link to how this phrase reads in all caps Latin (every book and website that I have consulted has the prayer in lower case characters). Do the o and the e merge when capitalized? I am a total ignoramus when it comes to Latin. I need to learn more but lack time and energy. Thanks for help all.

Accents make it easier to pronounce correctly. Best to include them.

Yep, J was an I and U was a V too. I think you’ll still see some of these inscriptions inside the old churches.

ADDEUMQUILAETIFICATIVVENTVTEMMEAM.

Help! We need accent marks.

:slight_smile:

The “long marks over the vowels” are called macrons:wave:

to answer the original poster’s question: the ancient romans did not use accent marks - it’s a pronunciation guide particularly (but not exclusively) for modern english speakers.

if “defend us in battle” reads as
defende nos in proelio (w/o the accent marks)

Would this in caps look like this:

" DEFENDENOSINPROELIO " ?

  1. What does the macron look like? I have not seen them in any (contemporary) written form. Should the macrons be included in the written phrase on such an icon?

Basically, could any one reproduce how the phrase should appear on the icon? Thanks all.

Whatever you do, DON’T place the texts all in caps. :crying:

If it’s for art’s sake, I like the ALLCAPSWITHOUTSPACES. If it’s for actual recitation, then I’d say write it with lowercases and spaces - no accent marks. I also like the ae combo symbol. It prevents novices from separating the sound into two sounds - especially on Michael.

I hope you can post your finished work here for us to admire!:slight_smile:

Is this request based on aesthetics… or a linguistic preference?

I hope it’s OK I ask this…this probably is a dumb question but how do you apply the accents; from my keyboard I can’t do it.

Sorry to have bothered you, I think I figured it out.:rolleyes:

Sancte Míchaël Archángele

Quote:
If it’s for art’s sake, I like the ALLCAPSWITHOUTSPACES. If it’s for actual recitation, then I’d say write it with lowercases and spaces - no accent marks. I also like the ae combo symbol. It prevents novices from separating the sound into two sounds - especially on Michael.

I hope you can post your finished work here for us to admire!:slight_smile:

I will post my finished work… hopefully, I should finish it by this weekend at the latest God and St. Michael willing.
I guess that I am leaning toward:
DEFENDENOSINPROELIO (without accents, and all caps… and I still do not know what a “macron” is, where they go, and if they are necessary on an item of sacred art.

I guess that I do not have any old Latin holy cards, or old Latin paintings… did those use all caps? I know that I have seen old caps of Latin on buildings… this is a bit of a quandry for me.

Is there a specialist on this board who is expert in the printing of Latin words on religious art?.. (icons rarely use Latin, of course, so I am not sure how much of a precedent there is for me to look for there).

I just got back from Rome, which is chock-full of churches labelled in Latin. What they do there is to have a dot between each word–the size of a period, but in the middle instead of at the bottom. DEFENDE-NOS-IN-PROELIO except a small dot instead of a hyphen. That makes it easy to read but still classical looking. On that note, if I were you I would do it in a serifed hand, something like Times New Roman; if you were planning on writing it without serifs you might as well use lowercases, it would just not look the same.

No Place: Thanks. I think I am going to go with this advice… sounds sensible. In any case, St. Michael will be pleased I hope. I owe him big time for all of the protection. I will post a pic when I finish.

BTW, macrons look like these: A E I O U Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū

I don’t write them myself, nor accents (if naked vowels were good enough for the Romans, they are good enough for me), but I’m sure I have seen them on some traditional icons. Being hand lettered, the macrons over A and O are often balanced on top of the letter, rather than floated over it.

NB: I don’t think I’ve ever seen macrons and accents mixed – Use one OR the other OR neither, BUT NOT BOTH. :twocents:

But for the classissiest and most classical look, I do like the idea of ALL·CAPS·WITH·INTERPUNCTA (that floating dot is an interpunctum, plural interpuncta – A “point between”).

There are other things you can do for a classical look, which I cannot reproduce in typed text. A short word like NOS might be written with a normal sized N, with O and S written smaller and stacked vertically next to it. Study some examples, if you have a chance.

tee

http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ug61LaRz-Qo/RoiUMYBzGNI/AAAAAAAAAHY/u2xEH978uMw
I am trying to post a picture of the finished icon. Not sure if this will work. If not, please go to my blog at www.swallowedscroll.blogspot.com to see the image.
The Latin lettering did not come off as smooth as I would have liked, but oh well, nothing is perfect this side of heaven. Thank you all for your help. I will continue to do more research on Latin lettering because I like the use of Latin in iconography.

OK, I think that I have it now. If you click on the photo (at least as it is displayed on my website) you can see more detail.

http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ug61LaRz-Qo/RoiUMYBzGNI/AAAAAAAAAHY/u2xEH978uMw/s400/StMichaelIcon.JPG%between%

That is a beautiful icon, you are very talented. Thanks for sharing it.

tee

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