11. Haec mihi senex Malchus adulēscentulō rettulit; haec ego vōbīs nārrāvī senex. Castīs historiam castitātis expōnō; virginēs virginitātem cūstōdīre exhortor. Vōs nārrāte posterīs, ut sciant inter gladiōs, inter dēserta et bēstiās, pudīcitiam numquam esse captīvam, et hominem Christō dēditum posse morī, nōn posse superārī.

    Jerome spells out the basic lesson: chastity and devotion to Christ guarantee spiritual victory, if not physical safety.

    Castīs historiam castitātis expōnō: castīs = vōbīs; Jerome writes as though all his readers were already committed to lives of chastity, though in practice he was advocating chastity to those not yet convinced. castīs ... castitātis and virginēs virginitātem are figurae etymologicae.

    ut sciant: purpose clause

    inter gladiōs ... pudicītiam numquam esse captīvam: acc. and inf. in indirect statement; captivam is the predicate.

    et hominem Christō dēditum posse morī, non posse superārī: more indirect statement. The generalizing tone exalts the narrative into an exemplum of Christian heroism (Gray). Gray notes that in light of Malchus’ earlier failings “it might have been more appropriate to sum up the narrative as illustrating God’s grace in rescuing even sinners from both temptation and death.” That seems to me discount the central role of chastity in the forced marriage of Malchus and his wife: as readers we are meants to connect their spectacular escape, above all the intervention of the lioness, with their chastity as man and wife.

    core vocabulary

    senex senis: old, aged

    Malchus -ī m.: Malchus, a proper name (orig. Syriac or Hebrew for king)

    adolēscentulus adulēscentulī m.: young man

    historia -ae f.: a narrative of past events, history

    castitās castitātis f.: purity of morals, morality

    expōnō expōnere exposuī expositus: to set/put forth/out; abandon, expose; publish; explain, relate; disembark

    virginitās -ātis f.: virginity (> virgo)

    custōdiō custōdīre custōdīvī custōdītus: to guard

    exhortor -ātus sum: to encourage, rouse; advise; to spur

    dēsertus -a -um: desolate; abandoned; uninhabited, solitary, lonely

    bestia -ae f.: beast, creature

    pudīcitia -ae f.: chastity, modesty, virtue

    captīva -ae f.: a female captive, woman prisoner

    Christus -ī m.: Christ

    dēdō dēdere dēdidī dēditus: to give up, surrender, devote

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