10.1 “Sub tālī ergō terrōre, trānsāctā diē, exīmus ad vesperam, vidimusque camēlōs, quōs ob nimiam vēlōcitātem dromedāriōs vocant, praeteritōs cibōs in ōre volvere, et in alvum missōs iterum retrahere. Quibus ascēnsīs, et novā sitarciā refocilātī, decimā tandem diē ad Rōmāna per dēsertum castra venimus, 10.2 oblātīque tribūnō, reī ōrdinem pandimus. Inde trānsmissī ad Sabīniānum, Mesopotamiae Ducem, camēlōrum accēpimus pretium. 10.3 Et quia iam abbās ille meus dormierat in Dominō, ad haec dēlātus loca, mē monachīs reddō; hanc trādō virginibus, dīligēns eam ut sorōrem, nōn tamen eī mē crēdēns ut sorōrī.”

    Malchus and his wife make it to a Roman camp. Malchus joins a monastery at Maroneia, and his wife joins a group of Christian virgins.

    trānsāctā diē: ablative absolute

    exīmus: probably historical present

    ad vesperam: “towards evening” or “at nightfall” (Gray)

    nimium: < nimius -a -um normally means “excessive” but here “very great, extraordinary” (OLD 4).

    dromedāriōs < dromedārius -iī m., “dromedary” (LL); Greek δρομεδάριος means “runner.” These are the same kind of camels as those mentioned in 4.2; Jerome is simply giving another name for them (Gray).

    volvere, et ... retrahere: acc. + inf. in indirect statement, depending on vidimusque. The camels were chewing the cud, though as Gray notes the information is given in the wrong order (hysteron proteron), since retrahere takes place before in ōre volvere. in alvum < alvus -ī m., “belly.”

    Quibus ascēnsīs = quibus (camēlīs) ascēnsīs, ablative absolute.

    novā sitarciā < sitarc(h)ia -ae f., “provisions for a journey” (the Greek cognate σιταρχία is rare, but based on the common word for food, σῖτος).

    refocilātī: “having been revived” > LL fōcilō (1), “to revive, relieve, refresh” (DMBLS refocilare; a CL equivalent would be focillō)


    pandimus: “we explained” < pandō -ere (LS II.B.2), historical present.

    Sabīniānum, Mesopotamiae Ducem: a Dux in the late empire was a military commander of a province or border area. Sabinianus is mentioned in Ammianus Marcellinus 18.7.7 as operating near Edessa in 359 CE.


    dormierat in Dominō: “had died,” euphemistic (DMLBS dormire 3).

    haec … loca: “this region,” “here,” Maroneia in Syria. This brings us back to the setting in which Jerome heard the story.

    hanc trādō virginibushanc refers to the woman Malchus escaped with; historical present (Gray).

    non tamen eī mē crēdēns ut sorōrī: “but not entrusting myself to her as to a sister” (Gray). Malchus joins the local monastic community and entrusts his wife to the nuns. But he is afraid at this point of being tempted to take up a sexual relationship with her despite their vows of chastity, if they live together like brother and sister. This remark is an important part of the answer to the question raised in the beginning: quaenam esset eōrum cōpula. When and how they meet and start living as “spiritual” spouses is again left without an explanation (Šubrt 2014, 210).

    core vocabulary

    terror terrōris m.: fear, terror

    trānsigō trānsigere trānsēgī trānsāctum: to drive through, stab through, pierce through; finish, complete, accomplish

    vespera -ae f.: the evening

    camēlus -ī m./f.: a camel

    vēlōcitās -ātis f.: swiftness, fleetness, speed, rapidity, velocity

    dromedārius -iī n.: dromedary, Arabian camel (late Latin)

    praetereō praeterīre praeterīvī/praeteriī praeteritus: to pass/go by; disregard/neglect/omit/miss; surpass/excel; go overdue; pass over

    volvō volvere voluī volūtum: to turn, roll; roll over in the mind, ponder

    alvus -ī f.: the abdomen, the belly; waist; body

    retrahō -ere -trāxī -trāctus: to draw back; lead back, recall; restrain

    sītarchia (sitarcia) -ae f. : provisions for a journey

    refocilō -āre: to revive, restore (late Latin)

    Rōmānus -a -um: belonging to Rome; Roman; subst., Romanus, i, m., a Roman (> Roma)

    dēserta -ōrum n. (desertum): desert, waste places; haunts

    pandō pandere pandī passus: to split, spread out; explain

    trānsmittō -ere -mīsī -missus: to send across; bear or convey across or over; give over; to cross, pass over, fly over, with acc. of the space crossed over; to make across, of a passage or voyage

    Mesopotamia -ae f.: Mesopotamia, the territory between the Tigris and the Euphrates, roughly modern Iraq

    abbās -ātis m.: the head of an ecclesiastical community, an abbot

    dominus dominī m.: master, lord

    monachus -ī m.: a monk

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