Translation - Μετάφραση

Translation Assistance => Other language pairs => Ancient Greek->English translation forum => Topic started by: TheFated on 19 Jun, 2008, 23:59:51

Title: Θεοτόκε, βοήθεια. → Mother of God, help!
Post by: TheFated on 19 Jun, 2008, 23:59:51
Can soneone help translate this phrase it is found on an ancient byzantium Ring:

Theo Toke Bohia

Thank you

TheFated
Title: Re: Θεοτόκε, βοήθεια. → Mother of God, help!
Post by: billberg23 on 20 Jun, 2008, 03:16:53
This should probably read Θεοτόκε, βοήθεια!, i.e., "Mother of God, help!"  Theotokos (literally God-bearer) is a title of the Virgin Mary you can read about here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theotokos.
Title: Re: Θεοτόκε, βοήθεια. → Mother of God, help!
Post by: ChaceofSpades on 10 Sep, 2008, 05:59:40
is οή a diphthong, or are they pronounced as separate syllables?
Title: Re: Θεοτόκε, βοήθεια. → Mother of God, help!
Post by: billberg23 on 10 Sep, 2008, 06:42:56
The two vowels are pronounced separately, Chace.  By the way, this is an actual invocation of the Theotokos;  it's not a swearing like "by God!."
Title: Re: Θεοτόκε, βοήθεια. → Mother of God, help!
Post by: ChaceofSpades on 10 Sep, 2008, 06:56:53
So was it more of a prayer such as "god help us". And if so was it common to pray to the mother of Jesus rather than Jesus himself?
Title: Re: Θεοτόκε, βοήθεια. → Mother of God, help!
Post by: billberg23 on 10 Sep, 2008, 07:17:35
Still is, in both the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic churches.  Mary is conceived as a mediator and an intercessor between you and Jesus.  When you have a problem at work, you don't want to go straight to the CEO's office.
Title: Re: Θεοτόκε, βοήθεια. → Mother of God, help!
Post by: vbd. on 10 Sep, 2008, 07:34:03
Yes, it was very common to pray to Mary and it still is. In fact, Greeks still call out to Mary in many different occasions, such as "Help me, Madonna!", "Oh, Madonna!", and even when swearing: "F*ck your Madonna", one of the most profoundly insulting phrases for a regular Greek. In the Byzantine and modern Greek culture the Virgin Mary is I believe the most important religious figure, more so than Jesus himself. She is the typical tutelary saint, if not Goddess. The adoration and respect for Mary is so great that there are literally hundreds of adjectives that describe her and are used next to her name. One of the most usual is the one in this thread, "Theotokos".

Others off the top of my head: "Megalochari" (=graceful), "Theomitor" (=mother of God), "Ypermaxos" (=the defender, and theres a big story behind this, when with the help of Mary the Byzantines defended Constantinople against the Arabs, 7th cent.), "Kiria ton Aggelon" (=lady of the angels), "Vrefokratousa" (=holding a baby, used especially for a specific style of depicting Mary (https://www.eshops.gr/images/uploads/aff33/Brefokratousa-P..jpg)), "Pantanassa" (=queen of everything), "Odigitria" (=the one that leads the way), "Agia Skepi" (=holy roof, which sounds really weird but you have to interpret "roof" as protection) etc.
Title: Re: Θεοτόκε, βοήθεια. → Mother of God, help!
Post by: ChaceofSpades on 10 Sep, 2008, 07:38:18
Ευχαριστώ.

I did not know any of that. I also liked you CEO metaphor, billberg.