In Moscow, nearby the Church of St. Louis of the French, a parish church of the French Catholic community in Moscow, embedded into the wall of the building that back in the day was the church’s orphanage home, there is a sundial entitled with a quote from psalm 101 (in Vulgate numbering):
(Click on the image above to see a higher resolution photo.)
The inscribed statement reads:
SICUT UMBR I DECLINAVERUNT
However, according to Vulgate, 101:12 reads:
Dies mei sicut umbra declinaverunt et ego sicut foenum arui.
My knowledge of Latin is limited, and I cannot help but wonder:
What might explain this deviation from the scripture?
Is there a context in which the form umbri can be correct? Or is it a mistake no matter what?
If it is indeed an error, what might explain it? (It does not seem easy to make a typo in a medium like that; the clock is handmade and was done before automated tools for inscribing text existed.)
Could that stroke after “UMBR” be meaningfully interpreted as something other than the letter “I” (that is also kerned so badly relative to the preceding “R” for some reason)?
Any guesses that might shed some light on this mistery are welcome!