I am reading John 1:27, and I'd like to know how do you make sense of cuius in this verse, and what does corrigiam mean?

Ipse est qui post me venturus est, qui ante me factus est: cujus ego non sum dignus ut solvam ejus corrigiam calceamenti.

1 Answer 1


The Douay-Rheims (http://www.drbo.org/drl/chapter/50001.htm) has:

The same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose.

Therefore "cujus ... corrigiam calceamenti" means "the latchet of whose shoe."

Cujus = 'whose' (Jesus's) and corrigiam = 'latchet' (object of solvam, 'I [may] loose[n]'). A latchet is a 'narrow leather strap, thong, or lace that fastens a shoe or sandal on the foot' (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/latchet).

The extra 'ejus' is not translated in the DR. The second part literally says: "of whom I am not worthy to loose the latchet of his shoe / his shoe latchet," or "whose latchet of his shoe..." / "his latchet of whose shoe...": perhaps to emphasize that both the latchet and the shoe directly belong to Jesus.

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    As a note on cuius/eius (which look redundant), the Latin is closely following the original Greek: οὗ ἐγὼ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἄξιος ἵνα λύσω αὐτοῦ τὸν ἱμάντα τοῦ ὑποδήματος, where the genitive relative pronoun οὗ is pretty clearly going with ἄξιος "worthy". So cuius can be likewise taken with dignus, i.e. "I am not worthy of him, [not even] to loose..."
    – TKR
    May 28, 2020 at 18:48
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    Thanks, that is also possible, or even preferable. "Dīgnus and indīgnus sometimes take the Genitive in colloquial usage and in poetry" (dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/ablative-specification).
    – Jasper May
    May 28, 2020 at 18:57

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