Throughout our translations we have tried to indicate in the notes par-
ticularly difficult or debatable terms. In some cases, we have made consistent
choices. Several terms are used to designate bishop, which we have reserved
as a translation for episcopus. The term antistes has been translated throughout as
primate and praesul as prelate. Pontiff has been left as is. Pietas is a complicated
concept that should be understood, not in its modem sense but in its antique
meaning, as a reciprocal relationship between unequals such as God and
human, parent and child, ruler and subject, compounded of respect for the
superior and care for the inferior. Virtus has many meanings. Where the text
allows, we have translated it Simplyas virtue, but in other cases we have used
power and even miracle.' Biblical quotes have been cited from the King
James version to retain a traditional liturgical flavor, and there virtue appears
as strength. The English language does not provide a workable alternative to
motherto express the distinction our texts make between genetrix, the natural
mother, and mater,the spiritual mother, or between
the physical
sister, and soror, the fellow nun.
is most common word for nun
found in our texts. In the early lives ofMonegund and Radegund, monachais
used, with a Single appearance of nonnain Baudonivia's text. We have there-
fore used
nun for sanctimonial and left the other usages intact. We have
retained the slightly pretentious optimates for nobles where it appears, and
Quadragesima for Lent. We have consistently translated Sabbath as Saturday.
Heffernan. Sacred Biography. 136-65. argues for translating virtutes as deeds and follows the thread of
this definition to its classical and emerging Christian meanings. He sees classical virtue as correct
social action and equates it to Jewish ideas of living correctly by the law prevalent in the Pharisaic
movement. With the Christians, sensibility shifts toward a God-direeted quality, divorced from
social or public behavior. Thus it moved toward becoming a synonym for miracle.
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