From the Rosae Nomen: Salvatore the Macaronic

Below is yet another passage I managed to transcribe from the medieval Latin Rosae Nomen of Adso Mellicensis. 
The figure of Salvatore in Adso's tale is an interesting one. Half out of his mind, he appears to speak in a garbled mixture of languages spoken in the various Romance-speaking regions he has lived in, as well as Latin. For example "Diavulu" is from central Umbrian, and "Smoardir" (to gnaw) appears to be from some Rhaetian dialect. 
Adso is a native speaker of an Alemannic or Bavarian variety of Middle High German, and of course knows Latin as well. He mentions elsewhere having heard a little Occitan and learned a smattering of a couple Italian Romance varieties, but is unfamiliar with the orthography normally used to write any of these down. Salvatore's speech as recorded in Adso's manuscript thus contains a lot of Romance words whose written form has been improvised by a Middle High German speaker accustomed to writing Latin. 
Many times Adso, in reporting Salvatore's speech, will fall back onto Upper German scribal habits to give a rough phonological spelling of a Romance word whose connection to its Latin cognate is not obvious. By which I mean not obvious to Adso. After all, Adso is unaware that the Romance languages have any historical relationship to Latin at all. Sometime after the diglossic relationship between (what speakers called) written Latin and spoken Latin was severed in the 9th-10th centuries to become a bilingual one between written Latin and spoken Romance, the very idea of any kind of historical relationship between the two disappeared. The fact that Romance languages come from Latin was not realized by scholars until the 16th century, and it took a while to become a matter of uncontroversial consensus. (Dante, who died six years before the date of Adso's story, appears to have believed — as would many others after him — that the Romans too used Latin in educated and written discourse, but spoke something else in quotidian contexts. So natural was the role of Latin in his own day that he failed to apprehend that it had not always been so.) 
Adso's manuscript, as it happens, furnishes us with the earliest attestation of the German idiom "unter der rose" when he responds out of shock in Middle High German vernacular, inducing Salvatore to declaim some verse in the same language about the dangers of confessing your heterodox beliefs to anyone.

Ille plasma retro nos erat specie monachus, quamquam tunica sordida et scisa eum assimulauit uagabundo, et uultus eius prebebat figuram non dissimilem monstris quos nuperrime uideram in capitulis. Nunquam in uita mihi contigit, uelut multis confratris mei, a Diabolo uisitari. Credo autem Aduersarium Nostrum si olim mihi apparet, diuino decreto prohibitum ne naturam suam plane celet quamuis se assimulare homini optasset, haut aliam speciem induturum esse preter illam quam mihi prebuit ipso tempore collocutor noster. Caput eius derasum fuit, set non per penitenciam quin per consequenciam remotam cuiusdam uiscidi eczematis. Frons adeo depressa fuit ut si capilas in capite ullas habuisset, confuse sint superciliis densis et hirsutis. Rotundi fuerunt illius oculi e quibus pupille ostendebantur paruule ac mobilissime. Quorum obtutus utrum innocens esset an malignus nescio, set forsan utroque per uices et momenta diuersa uersabatur. Nasus eius tali nomine dici non potuit, nam tantum fuit ossum quod incipiebat inter oculis set ascendendo a uultu iterum subsidebat in duas cauernas obscuras, nares amplissimas et hirtas. Bucca ad nares per cicatriculam coniuncta, lata fuit et informis, plus ad dexteram quam ad sinistram distensa. Inter labrum superius inexistens et inferius prominens ac carnoso, eminebant innormiter dentes nigri, acuti uelut canis mordices. 
Iste homo subrisit (uel saltem sic credidi) et digitum quasi ad admonendum leuans dixit: 
<Penitenciagite! Retinete en uisiun lu dragun ki es uenidur per rodegarla animam tuam! La morz e sübre nos! Pregi ke uiena lu papa seinte e deliwre nus deu mau de tuz li pecaz infernali! Ai ai, te pleizt kizta nigromancia deu seniwriws nostre Jesu cristo fiwl lui dumneseo! Ed anco dschueiz mes douz e plaseir mes dulurs... Cauete omnes ne sabir e pudir per sagrement dunaz al diauulu! Il sempro me aguaidat in alcuno anglu per me smoardir la cargania. Mai Saluatore nun es idiote, kel sap cum es e tei uœls nella swa testa. Desnaturat son li franzes che deu afar dieu disun nu, ma bonum e lu monasterium e hic se mania e se ruoga dominum. 
Nu kre ka la mort
Digus piws em port
Aueir ni arnei
Mas lus faz ke fei.
e lu reste nu uaut stercus in latrina. Ed amen amen ueritatamente. Nu?>
Hic ego, momentaliter mei oblitus, elocutus sum uulgariter <waz?> (id est, <quidnam?>)
Statim siluit, tunc oculis me tacite scrutatus respondit <tiu...uidetur ses Alemanz...>. 
Cui ego <ia> (id est <ita, recte dixisti>)
Et ille <io nu sape lu teu parladure ma alguno me diget isto olim ueritatamente, memento et tu!
Wann du hast ketzerie getuon,
daz niht fiurpruevung kum darvon
under der rosen halte dich,
nuor in din eigen herze sprich.>
Que omnia fere significant nostratim <Si quid heresis fecisti, ne ignis iudicium ob eo patiaris, teipsum sub rosa teneto, noli eloqui nisi cordi tuo>


  1. Many of these MHG spelling conventions weren't actually used, or only sporadically; they're basically products of 19th-century editors. For instance, ȥ is made up, and küener is just spelled kvner in the manuscript of the Nibelungenlied that is figured in Wikipedia.

    Incidentally, I'm a native speaker of German (indeed of a Bavarian dialect) and have never encountered unter der Rose...

    1. You're right. I'll have to rethink Adso's improvised orthography. "Unter der Rose" is now not much in use in German. My understanding is that people now use the Latin translation "Sub Rosa". But the idiom does seem to have originated in German and spread from there.

  2. Goody goody! I was HOPING you would do him!
    When I first read the English version, when it first came out, I went and bought the Italian because I was dying to see the garbled Romance in Eco's original version. Still have it on my shelves.

  3. Trying to read this aloud, I'm LLOL, literally laughing out loud. It's so funny!
    smoardir la cargania?