"NEC OBSCVRANT NEC MORANTVR"?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by lordmarcovan, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    No, this 17th century French jeton of "Sun King" Louis XIV (1643-1715) is neither ancient, nor even a coin, technically. It's just that I figured I'd get the best assistance with that Latin phrase here.

    Best I can figure out, NEC OBSCVRANT NEC MORANTVR is something like "Neither darkened nor hindered"?

    (... or "delayed" rather than "hindered"?)

    Too bad about the scratch across the sun's face, but I can't complain, since this cost me mere pennies as a World coin bulk bag find.

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  3. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    Both verbs are in the 3rd person plural present, active indicative. "Morantur" looks like a passive form but is a deponent and thus has to be translated as active.

    I'd therefore translate the phrase as "They neither conceal/obscure/darken/hide nor linger/loiter/delay."

    This is obviously a reference to the rays of light penetrating through the clouds shown on the reverse. It is generally interesting to see how such jetons often resemble the printed emblemata that were very popular in the 16th to 18th centuries. Below is an example from Peter Isselburg: Emblemata Politica, Nuremberg 1617. The title translates as "The small are food for the big:"

    Emblemata_Politica-Minor_esca_maioris.jpg
     
    Orfew, +VGO.DVCKS, ominus1 and 6 others like this.
  4. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I love parsing grammar. Deponent verbs, passive in form, active in meaning. Perhaps you could find something with an ablative absolute construction and throw in a verb or two that is in the subjunctive mood.
     
    +VGO.DVCKS and Alegandron like this.
  5. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Do that in Chinese. :)
     
  6. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    I guess it has to do with the grammatical gymnastics (with thanks to the experts above), but the Latin on jetons, especially through the 17th c., has always given me fits. Totally different beast from Roman --or even medieval, replete with all the improvisational orthography.
     
  7. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    This'll be redundant --see esp. Orielensis above-- but this is The Louis XIV to own, for obvious reasons!
     
    Orielensis likes this.
  8. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    OK, I guess I'll go with, "They neither darken nor delay".
     
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