Quite an interesting book, collecting various works of the early church fathers, viewable here:


There is one line in here that I would very much like to translate into Latin (pg 26):

Satan will bring forth his special instrument from an impure maid who appears as a maiden. She will be filled with every vice and satanic filth.

Sinking suspicion this is very flawed:

Satanas educet instrumentum suum ab immunda ancilla, quae apparet ut virgo. omni vitio et satanica sordibus replebitur.

Scribal style would be ideal, but aiming for accuracy at this point. Any help appreciated, cheers.

  • 3
    The Patrologia Graeca includes a Latin translation of all Greek works, and it appears that this reference is to a spurious work by St. Hippolytus. It appears to be an inexact paraphrase taken from the end of XIX and XXII. Is it just a translation exercise to make it Latin?
    – brianpck
    Feb 10, 2023 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


Several point I see:

  1. apparet ut virgo: I'm not saying this is wrong, but it does strike me as somewhat odd. The verb appareo is usually used with an active meaning - many times even in the sense of be ready to serve/obey; while "appears as virgo" is really passive perceived look. The most naive substitution is replace the verb to videtur; Also there are other nice options: something like similis aspectu virginis or sub/in specie/persona virginis or vultu virginis or in vestimentis verginis or in faciem virginis that would make the meaning clearer. The selection between the options, as well as the verb to be supplied above depends on the meaning which is not totally clear to me (for example: is it the act of the Satan to render her in a specific form? or a general condition)

  2. satanica sordibus: Note that there is no agreement here between the noun and the adjective in number. or the idea is satanic is an apposition to the ancilla?

  3. omni.. .replibetur: I would prefer to be somewhat clear this clause refers to the ancilla and not to the Satanas; in English we have "She" but in Latin we don't? Maybe one can supply the agent and change the verb to active. Anohter option, if indeed this the act of the Satan, is to have ut + subjenctive

  4. quae apparet ut virgo: if this clause is a mandatory condition for the act of the Satan in which that it defines the "impure maiden" (i.e. impure on account of this), or restrict the selection pool, I believe the subjenctive should be preferred.

  • In my reading, "will be filled with" describes not an action but a state, so I would prefer repleta or plena (ideally the latter to draw a contrast with the Virgin Mary, who is famously gratia plena), such as: quae plena erit quoque vitio ac diabolicis sordibus. Feb 10, 2023 at 18:40
  • 1
    @SebastianKoppehel, I guess you are right. Luckily, I have no experience (or simply unaware) on how the Satan operates.
    – d_e
    Feb 10, 2023 at 21:03

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