In the beginning of the first Dialogue ("Surrectio Matutina") in Linguae Latinae Exercitatio of Juan Luis Vives we read:

Beatrix: Jesus Christus exuscitet vos a somno vitiorum. Heus pueri estis ne hodie evigilaturi?

Eusebius: Nescio quid incidit mihi in oculos, ita videor eos habere plenos arenae.

Beatrix: Haec est tua prima cantio matutina, et bene vetus. aperiam fenestras hasce ambas, ligneam et vitream, ut feriat clarum mane vestros amborum oculos. Surgite, surgite.

an English translation reads:

Beat. May Jesus Christ awake you from the sleep of all vice. O you boys, are you ever going to wake up to-day?

Euseb. I don’t know what has fallen on my eyes. I seem to have them full of sand.

Beat. That is always your morning song—quite an old one. I shall open both the wooden and the glass windows, so that the morning shall strike brightly on your eyes from both. Get up! Get up!

I have problem in understanding the usage of amborum here. If that's indeed related to the windows, as the translation suggests, I don't understand why there is usage of masc/neur instead of the feminine ambarom. Also, if that's relate to the "clarum mane" why shouldn't it be nonnative? or rather should it relate to the two young boys? (i.e "will strike in your eyes, of you both")that's also seem strange to me.

  • 1
    This translation also interprets it to refer to the two pueri. I also see no other possible reading. But I agree that it seems wacky, because it reads a bit like vestros vestrum oculos. Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 11:58
  • What a great find, these dialogues.
    – Jasper May
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 15:17
  • @JasperMay You may also like the Colloquia Scholastica by Maturinus Corderius and the Paedologia by Petrus Mosellanus (properly formatted digital version of these seem to remain desiderata). Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 16:37
  • I am especially interested in Roman Catholic dialogues, phrasebooks and textbooks.
    – Jasper May
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


As @sebastian-koppehel comment suggests, amborum refers to two pueri. The correct translation would be:

"I shall open both the wooden and the glass windows, so that the morning light strikes on the eyes of you both".

Amborum is used here to describe the implied pronoun - the possessor(s) of the eyes.
As explained clearly in this short video, this is done by using the genitive case corresponds to the implied pronoun. In our this case those are the two pueri. Thus the use of amborum.

In the context of the dialogue, This additional descriptor further stresses the idea of the eyes are of both pueri. If we would like to stress in the case of one child as the possessor of the eyes, we would have:

ut feriat clarum mane tuos solius oculos.

to mean "eyes of you alone".

Note that solius is singular (while oculos are plural), since solius is the genitive appropriate of the implied noun: in this case- the one child.

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    If it were one child we wouldn't have vestros, but tuos.
    – TKR
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 17:52
  • @TKR, hmmm... thanks for that. got confused with all that :) . I'll edit my answer. so basically amborum was indeed unnecessary here?
    – d_e
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 18:07
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    Well, it adds some emphasis, but yes, logically it's unnecessary.
    – TKR
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 18:46
  • @d_e I retract my comment that this is “wacky” :) That video (or rather the grammar explained in it) was the missing piece of the puzzle. I suspected there must be such a puzzle piece, as Vives wrote his little colloquia very carefully to demonstrate good, classical grammar. Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 10:21
  • @SebastianKoppehel, Completely agree with that. Reading a little bit more of his work, you can see how Vives wisely choosing his words and phrases. "ut feriat clarum mane", for example, is clearly allusion to "Jam clarum mane fenestras Intrat" of Persius - showing the less-usual and somewhat poetical usage of "mane" as substantive. I'm sure I can learn a lot from this work, trying to solve Vive's "puzzles" - and my guess they are not only related to the Latin. After all, as my linked-translation book nicely observes, to have a translation stands of it's own right, is quite remarkable.
    – d_e
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 11:18

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