Sunday, September 16, 2007

Homage to Catalaunia

Weber was mistranslated as

In the outstanding works of our historical colleagues we find that today instead of telling us about the warlike deeds of our ancestors they dilate at length about "matriarchy," that monstrous notion, and force into a subordinate clause the victory of the Huns on the Catalaunian Plain...


I note that this is impossible, as the Huns were defeated on the Catalaunian Plain.

Brad DeLong goes deep into the weeds of Teutonic Philology

Gothic Print Hunnenschlacht Blogging

Thanks to Ian Maitland, who points out the wikicommons scanned version of Weber's Freiberg inaugural lecture, "Der Nationalstaat und die Volkswirtschaftspolitik" http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/Max_Weber_-_Der_Nationalstaat_und_die_Volkswirtschaftspolitik_Seite_20.jpg, and thanks to the seventeen year old, who returns with a copy of I.F. Stone's The Trial of Socrates just in time to be of assistance, we decide that the right translation of Max Weber's reference to Aetius v. Attila:

...und die Hunnenschlacht auf den Catalaunischen Feldern in einen Nebensass gedraengt.

is:

...and stick in a minor clause the Hun-battle on the Catalaunian field.

Weber doesn't say it is a victory of the Huns. He just says that it is a Hun-battle. And so we presume that the translator is ignorant of the history of the 5th-century Western Roman Empire.


I swear the quote from Gibbon wasn't there when I posted my comment.

This post exists only because I like the title.

1 comment:

Roberto Iza said...

Not Catalonia in Iberia...I would have enjoyed that.