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Anglo-Norman
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PostSubject: Latin translation   Fri 08 Jun 2012, 11:12

I've been trying to translate the Latin inscription on a late 17th century bust of William III (as you do!) but my Latin is sketchy at best (and confined mainly to the ancient Roman military) and I've been stumped by some of the abbreviations. I hope the erudite denizens of this forum might be able to help. The inscription reads:

D.F.A.
GUILELMO HENRICO
D.G.
P. ARAUSIO. BELG. GUB.
M. BRIT. R.
FIDEI. LIBERTATISQ
VINDICI. 1689

My own suggested reconstrustion, so far as I could do it, runs:

(D.F.A.)
GUILELMO HENRICO
DEO GRACIAS
PRINCEPS ARAUSIO BELGICA (GUB.)
MAGNA BRITANNIA REX
FIDEI. LIBERTATISQUE
VINDICI. 1689

Which I would translate as

(???)
WILLIAM HENRY
BY THE GRACE OF GOD
PRINCE OF ORANGE, BELIGIUM (AND ???)
KING OF GREAT BRITAIN
LIBERATOR OF THE FAITH
AND AVENGER, 1689

I would be grateful for your thoughts on my accuracy, and filling in the gaps.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Latin translation   Fri 08 Jun 2012, 12:13

Hi AN

BELG.GUB wis intended to mean "Governor of Holland". The term was one which went back to Spanish control of the Netherlands. When John of Austria's death led to the rebel William of Orange (the original version) assuming the title in his own right then Belgii Gubernatori started popping up on Dutch statues too. The BELG bit comes from the Spanish administration being based in Brussels and with them not distinguishing between anyone who lived from Flanders up to the Lowlands except perhaps by their faith. The Orange mob took that title as their own as a prize during the 80 Years War, though strictly speaking their electorate covered the area traditionally known as Batavia, not Belgia.

"Vindici" (vindicator) was a favourite term on Williamite inscriptions. It appeared on the money too.


Last edited by nordmann on Fri 08 Jun 2012, 12:19; edited 1 time in total
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Anglo-Norman
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PostSubject: Re: Latin translation   Fri 08 Jun 2012, 12:19

Great, thank you! I knew someone here would be able to help. Now it's just the 'D.F.A.' to sort out.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Latin translation   Fri 08 Jun 2012, 13:04

I haven't really got a clue, but could the F.A. bit stand for Fidus Achates - faithful follower/friend/servant? Perhaps the D. is short for Dei? The faithful servant of God?

A wild guess and probably completely wrong, but worth a try!
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Latin translation   Fri 08 Jun 2012, 13:12

Hi again AN

Sorry, I'd missed that first bit.

DFA is normally the abbreviation for Defunctus Annorum, I have never seen it used to mean anything else on statuary. But that doesn't make sense in this context. Unless it's then followed by a number or event it makes no sense whatsoever (Died in the year ...).
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