Sources of information on Florence

Hi,

I’m needing to get a copy of the Council of Florence, session 6, in July 6, 1439; in either the Greek (preferred) or the Latin version of the original, to see exactly how the declarations were phrased ? ( There are questions I’d like to verify before accepting the EWTN english translation that I can find. )

Although I’ve looked on Vatican.va, with Google, I’ve not been able to find any documents for that Council… even though it’s referenced in many other documents and even the CCC, but the original document does not show up in the searches.

Does anyone know of an online source (I need it before Monday night if possible), where I can view or download the document ?

It’s here in Latin from those lovely people at Documenta Catholica Omnia, and there is also an accessible Decreta Concilii Basiliensis (Latin in a 1511 typeface) on Google books, but no accessible version there of John of Segovia’s Monumenta Conciliorum Generalium Saeculi XV (to which the EWTN (Tanner?) introduction also refers).

Thanks,
Although I can’t find the session in that document, for when I follow the “anno domini” in the left hand columns, the document seems to only go through the year 1433, ( MCCCCXXXIII) so this is the previous council Basile but doesn’t appear to include the years or sessions of Florence ; at least the only session 6 “SESSIO VI” that I can find contains totally different subject matter.

I checked the document which followed,
documentacatholicaomnia.eu/20vs/200_Mansi/1692-1769,_Mansi_JD,_Sacrorum_Conciliorum_Nova_Amplissima_Collectio_Vol_030,_LT.pdf

And it does go to 1439, but I don’t see the month of July which is the one I need.

I found the indexes, but they only have Basel 1431 … and don’t indicate the years which documents actually span.

documentacatholicaomnia.eu/a_1010_Conspectus_Omnium_Rerum_Alphabeticus_Littera_C.html#Concilia

Do you have any idea of how to narrow down the search to which Latin document actually has the July 1439 decrees ? (Eg : to find the July 1939 session 6 definitions like the EWTN document has in English.)

ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/FLORENCE.HTM#3

Do you have any idea of how to narrow down the search to which Latin document actually has the July 1439 decrees ? (Eg : to find the July 1939 session 6 definitions like the EWTN document has in English.)

Sorry, I am an idiot. That other one was the acts, complete with enormous amounts of repetitive fluff. What you want is the the Laetentur Coeli decree, and it starts on p.1695 here.

:thumbsup:

I’m surprised something so basic isn’t posted on the vatican website.
I’m noticing in the document you linked, that much of it is both in Latin and Greek – but the definitions are only in Latin. Considering it was supposed to be oecumenical with the eastern rites – I find the definitions not having a parallel Greek coulumn, surprising; I am also very surprised that the vatican does not even appear to have a Latin copy online, nor even a translation in English, let alone a Greek one. (hopefully someone will fix that lacuna soon…)

I tried both a google search (eg) site:vatican.va “vel solo originali decedunt”
and also a site search directly from the vatican yields no results, nor does “concilium florentinum” nor even “florentino” find the document; although I can find dozens of references to the council of Florence…

It’s very disturbing that such a fundamental historical document is missing…

I’m looking it up because a Maronite deacon made some comments regarding a personal belief/opinion that all infants, eg: the unbaptized, he thinks are in heaven due to some scripture regarding ‘their angels’ (which I need to ask him more about, later); but I was under the impression the Maronites reunited with Rome just after Florence, and so that they would have read these definitions in Greek and that they reunited with the understanding that they agreed to the dogmas defined in the Council of Florence. ( I understand other Eastern rites repudiated their own delegates signing of the Council, but I didn’t think that was true of the Maronites. )

Is it possible that the Greek speaking Eastern rites never saw the definition I’m transcribing below in Latin, in their native lanuguage? Or is it just somewhere else in the document, and I overlooked it? (If there are any mistakes, let me know… I tried to be very careful to not make typographical errors, but my Latin is poor. )

Item si vere poenitentes in Dei caritate decesserint, antequam dignis poenitentiae fructibus de commissis satisfecerint, & omissis, eorum animas poenis purgatoriis post mortem purgari ; & ut a poenis hujusmodi releventur, prodesse eis fidelium vivorum suffragia, missarum scilicet sacrificia, orationes & eleemosynas, ac alia pietatis officia, quae a fidelibus pro aliis fidelibus fieri consueverunt secundum ecclesiae instituta, illorumque animas, qui post baptisma susceptum nullam omnino peccati maculam incurrerunt, illas etiam quae post contractam peccati maculam in suis corporibus, vel eisdem exutae corporibus ( prout superius dictum est ) sunt purgatae, in coelum mox recipi, & intueri clare ipsum Deum trinum & unum , sicuti est , pro meritorum tamen diversitare alium alio perfectius. Illorum autem animas, qui in actuali mortali peccato, vel solo originali decedunt, mox in infernum descendere, poenis tamen disparibus puniendas.

Compare the document to the EWTN translation:

Also, if truly penitent people die in the love of God before they have made satisfaction for acts and omissions by worthy fruits of repentance, their souls are cleansed after death by cleansing pains; and the suffrages of the living faithful avail them in giving relief from such pains, that is, sacrifices of masses, prayers, almsgiving and other acts of devotion which have been customarily performed by some of the faithful for others of the faithful in accordance with the church’s ordinances.

Also, the souls of those who have incurred no stain of sin whatsoever after baptism, as well as souls who after incurring the stain of sin have been cleansed whether in their bodies or outside their bodies, as was stated above, are straightaway received into heaven and clearly behold the triune God as he is, yet one person more perfectly than another according to the difference of their merits. But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains.

To the best of my limited knowledge, the EWTN translation is pretty accurate about the last sentence, as I think “solo” is dative form of “alone”, but I’m wondering if it is it possible that “mox” means “soon” – and not necessarily ‘straight-away’ / ‘immediately’ ?

Perhaps it did not survive. That happens easily enough with things which people actually *do want *to preserve.

Is it possible that the Greek speaking Eastern rites never saw the definition I’m transcribing below in Latin, in their native lanuguage? Or is it just somewhere else in the document, and I overlooked it? (If there are any mistakes, let me know… I tried to be very careful to not make typographical errors, but my Latin is poor. )

Schaff says, “On July 6, 1439, the articles were publicly read in the cathedral of Florence, the Greek text by Bessarion”, which indicates the existence of that text then. Those pdfs are loading too slowly for me, but I think that, judging by Schaff’s later note, you might want the one before that: Mansi 31[1], off the DocCathOmn main page.

To the best of my limited knowledge, the EWTN translation is pretty accurate about the last sentence, as I think “solo” is dative form of “alone”, but I’m wondering if it is it possible that “mox” means “soon” – and not necessarily ‘straight-away’ / ‘immediately’ ?

It looks fine to me, which is not saying much, but solo is “alone/only” (presumably ablative, not that it matters). Since my (poor) Latin is only classical, I have tried a few sources for mediaeval, and they show much what you are thinking: mox is close to ταχα, “soon”, as distinct from statim/παραυτα, “immediately”. Vulgate Php 2:23 uses mox: hunc igitur spero me mittere mox ut videro quae circa me sunt, thus not “immediately”.

Mystophilus, thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it.

Well, considering many other modern Vatican documents quote Florence, eg: even the catechism CCC, and later councils such as Vatican II; I tend to doubt it’s entirely lost; it’s more likely the computer geeks for the Vatican website just don’t have a digital copy, and someone’s too lazy or busy to transcribe it.

I’m not even sure how to contact them to report the oversight, and quite possibly – they don’t advertise the contact address because it’s impractical due to cyber attacks. :shrug:

Schaff says, “On July 6, 1439, the articles were publicly read in the cathedral of Florence, the Greek text by Bessarion”, which indicates the existence of that text then. Those pdfs are loading too slowly for me, but I think that, judging by Schaff’s later note, you might want the one before that: Mansi 31[1], off the DocCathOmn main page.

I don’t have any idea how to tell what parts are by Bessarion, and which one’s aren’t…
But I did find a Greek text in that document which corresponds to the latin; although the Greek typeface and abbreviations are making it difficult to transcribe. I’m not sure what certain letters are… it’s on page 1029, and 1032 of the file:
1692-1769,_Mansi_JD,Sacrorum_Conciliorum_Nova_Amplissima_Collectio_Vol_031(1),_LT.pdf

I attached a facsimilie of the Greek of the relevant paragraph – so people don’t have to load the whole PDF just to see a few sentences of it…

It looks fine to me, which is not saying much, but solo is “alone/only” (presumably ablative, not that it matters). Since my (poor) Latin is only classical, I have tried a few sources for mediaeval, and they show much what you are thinking: mox is close to ταχα, “soon”, as distinct from statim/παραυτα, “immediately”. Vulgate Php 2:23 uses mox: hunc igitur spero me mittere mox ut videro quae circa me sunt, thus not “immediately”.

I learned Greek first… :o … I always think ‘dative’ as a paradigm regardless of how it’s used in context. But, yeah… ablative for Latin.

In the Greek, I can see the word for alone, eg: μον-?η? – although I can’t quite make out the word used for ‘original’. But it doesn’t look like they used either παραυτα or ταχα. Hmm… I’ll have to spend a little time studying the facsimile, or finding someone who is more familiar with the minuscules used so I can figure out exactly what was said.

Help? Oh, you mean the excuse to procrastinate by reading Greek? :wink: A pleasure.

I tend to doubt it’s entirely lost.

What I was thinking was that it might have been destroyed deliberately.

But I did find a Greek text in that document which corresponds to the latin; although the Greek typeface and abbreviations are making it difficult to transcribe. I’m not sure what certain letters are…

I know what you mean: ancient inscriptions are easier to read.

I learned Greek first.

I studied Latin first (and would not say that I have learnt Greek yet, given the number of mistakes I still make when sight-reading), and find it frustrating that the critical apparatus in so many editions is in Latin: all too often, I can read the text but I struggle with the footnotes.

In the Greek, I can see the word for alone, eg: μον-?η? – although I can’t quite make out the word used for ‘original’.

Got it! ευθεως καταβαινεν εις αιδου, at the start of the penultimate line of your image. Just check Lampe to see whether ευθυς changes in later Greek.

If you do a search of New Advent for “Council of Florence” it will give a number of articles.
Here’s the link: newadvent.org/utility/search.htm?safe=active&cx=000299817191393086628%3Aifmbhlr-8x0&q=Council+of+Florence&sa=Search&cof=FORID%3A9

Lampe shows no change, and my modern Greek dictionary still says, “immediately”.

I don’t see any there in the source languages. Do they have anything untranslated?

This has been an exciting conversation for me, honestly. I hope someday I can read Greek and Latin and make contributions like this.

Yesterday I translated a sentence from Latin without even using Google Translate. Later I found that somebody had already translated it, and I liked my translation better.

Baby steps.

That blob at the start of that penultimate line is “eu”… ?! You must have good eyes…
Assuming you are right, I would definitely conclude that the word means ‘immediately’ and not just soon.

I’ve been poking around a little for the etymology of the word, out of curiosity, because it seems θεως might be a variant of Zeus… as in lightning fast. :wink: A bit of a pun, but I’ve noticed for example that another variant of Zeus eg: ‘dio’ often means divine when christians/jews use the word with regard to anything considered divine, eg:angels but especially when trying NOT to invoke specific Greek mythology… So, I wonder about the connotation of ‘ευ-θεως’ perhaps divinely-well-sent…

I’ll have to remember to do an exhaustive Christian word study in koine Greek to see contextually if the word favors a divine sort of sending or not…

In any event, the denotation of the word is clearly – surprisingly fast.
It’s something of an emphatic word, so if anything … the Greek Dogma is more strongly worded than even the Latin “mox”. Greek “descending” happens RIGHT AWAY!

But, OTOH, when I compare hell against eg: Matthew 5:22 – that’s “γέενναν” not “`αιδου”, so I notice the official dogmatic word used is Hades, not Gehenna; a place which is not necessarily on fire in the Greek mind; and I definitely don’t see the word for fire, in the last sentence of Florence so it’s not a circumlocution either …

So… how do we know if it’s an eternal descending, eg: a hell of damnation or not…

I suppose I need to look for the words “to be punished” in the Greek… and, aha!, I do see what looks like τιμωρεω ,hmm… maybe it’s τιμωρι-αις ‘to-exact-atonement’ AKA punishments… ?

But that seems like it could be purgatory, too… for purgatory ends, and has time associtated with it – and I’m wondering if the etymology of that word is associated with ‘for a time’ ?

Hmmm… I don’t know. I’m going to have to actually get out some tools and do word searches, it’s a bit more than I can remember off the top of my head.

:slight_smile:

What I was thinking was that it might have been destroyed deliberately.

Oh ? why / by whom ?

:thumbsup:
Well done!

You know that I’m going to start asking you questions about rendering Latin from now on, right? :wink:

The Orthodox were not happy about it at the time, and it wouldn’t have been the first peace treaty to be shredded.

My Beloved, who is a mediaevalist, has taught me a thing or two about palaeography: if you look down the page, you’ll see that the scribe has used the same ε-υ ligature in various forms of δευτερος. He uses a few other ligatures, too. That, by the way, is something which I only just noticed looking at it now: the Greek is hand written, as demonstrated by the variance in his letter shapes.

I suppose I need to look for the words “to be punished” in the Greek… and, aha!, I do see what looks like τιμωρεω ,hmm… maybe it’s τιμωρι-αις ‘to-exact-atonement’ AKA punishments… ?

That is how it looks to me, too.

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