I found the following sentence in https://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Victimae_paschali_laudes:

Credendum est magis soli Mariae veraci quam ...

This appears to be literally translated into

More trust should be placed in truthful Mary than ...

but I don't see any counterpart for soli, nor do I understand what soli means. Can you please explain this to me?

I understand the following:

  • Credendum est: the following should be trusted
  • magis quam B: (adverb) more than B
  • Mariae veraci: dative of Marīa vērax
  • 3
    It might be useful to include the second part: ... quam Judaeorum turbae fallaci; from there it is natural to see the contrast between turbae and soli (though one is adjective another is noun)
    – d_e
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 4:21
  • I thought this part quam Judaeorum turbae fallaci was irrelevant. Thank you for pointing this out! Since your comment already states the relevance, and since there is already an answer, I guess I'll leave the question itself unamended.
    – H Koba
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 7:08

2 Answers 2


The entire verse is as follows:

Credendum est magis soli
Mariae veraci
Quam Judaeorum Turbae fallaci.

The grammar is clear: "We should believe more in A than in B." Credere can take the dative, and that is the case of soli Mariae veraci and turbae fallaci.

The contrast is between the witness of Mary Magdalene, who in John's account was alone when she saw the resurrected Jesus (see, for instance, John 20:18), and what the guards of the tomb were told to say by the chief priests (Matthew 28:13).

The only reason I'm making this answer is that Asteroides' offered translation allows the interpretation that they "only" believe in Mary, but the point is rather that they believe in Mary, who was alone. A full translation:

We should believe more in truthful Mary, who was alone, than in the deceitful crowd of the Jews.

(I should note that this verse has now been removed from the Victimae Paschali laudes, apparently since 1570, because of its "pejorative reference to the Jews.")

  • I interpreted Asteroides' translation exactly the same way you pointed out (they "only" believe in Mary), thank you!
    – H Koba
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 12:22
  • To me the most natural sense of soli is not that she was alone at the time but that her testimony alone, since she is truthful, outweighs that of the fallax turba.
    – TKR
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 20:35
  • @TKR I think that reading is permissible, but it would lose the contrast between "solus" and "turba" (as d_e notes above). The juxtaposition of "sola verax" and "turba fallax" strongly recommends my reading, I think.
    – brianpck
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 21:09
  • I don't see how it loses the contrast: the idea is that a single truthful person is more to be believed than a whole crowd of liars.
    – TKR
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 0:06
  • 1
    @TKR Ah, I was missing the contrast you were underlining. I was reading your "alone" as "only," i.e. "we should only believe Mary's testimony," but I think you're saying--and I agree--that "we should believe in the testimony of one person, Mary."
    – brianpck
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 20:56

Soli goes with Mariae, so you can translate soli Mariae veraci as "(in) truthful Mary alone" (as brianpck points out, "alone" in this case needs to be understood as an adjective rather than an adverb, so it would have been clearer for me to offer a translation like "Mary on her own/by herself"). Sōlus is one of the adjectives with an unusual declension where the genitive singular ends in -īus and the dative in for all genders. There is a mnemonic "UNUS NAUTA".

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