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Ever invest a lot of time in something, only to forget about it? I spent over a decade working with Latin and it’s been nearly a decade since I used it. So, I’m rusty.

To get back into practice I’m starting a project to translate short passages I haven’t seen before. And I’m going old school. Pen and paper. Double-spaced copying for space to scratch out a parsing. And then a fair copy English version – albeit at a basic, I’m sure error-filled, level.

The scene for this short is early medieval Northern England. King Edwin’s baptism is the first recorded history of a church in York. A small wooden building that will eventually become the mighty York Minster.

baptizatus est autem eburaci die sancto paschae pridie iduum aprilium in ecclesia petri apostoli quam ibidem ipse de ligno cum catechizaretur atque ad percipiendum baptisma imbueretur citato opere construxit. in qua etiam civitate ipsi doctori atque antistiti suo paulino sedem episcopatus donavit. mox autem ut baptisma consecutus est curavit docente eodem paulino maiorem ipso in loco et augustiorem de lapide fabricare basilicam in cuius medio ipsum quod prius fecerat oratorium includeretur.

Now, [King Edwin] was baptized in York on the holy day of Easter – the day before the ides of April – in the church of Peter the Apostle, which, when he was being instructed and catechized for receiving baptism, he himself quickly built from wood. In this city he also granted an episcopal seat to his teacher and bishop, Paulinus. Soon after he had obtained his baptism, on instruction from the same Paulinus he ordered a greater and more majestic basilica to be built from stone, in the middle of which was enclosed the oratory he had previously made.

-Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, II.XIV

Fourteen hundred years later, as far as I know, any remains of this church are lost. But medievals loved their traditions and it would not surprise me if later Minsters were built on the same land as the first.

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