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The following inscription is on a flagstone in the wall of Schloss Bühl, a 16th century chateau in southern Germany. It was built by David vom Stain ("David from the Stone"), who is named in the text.

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This is my transcription of the text:

hanc arcem, et muros, hortumque, ac horrea fecit
qui vetera a Saxo nomina David habet.
ille, bonas coluit iuvenis qui sedulus artes:
et vero doctos fovit amore viros.
ille, feri studiis clarum qui martis adeptus
nomen habet: cuius fortia facta patent.
qui musas igitur, vel tristia diligit arma,
hunc amet: hic vero est dignus amore coli.

And this is as far as I got with translating it:

This castle, and walls, as well as the garden, and barns made
he who had the old name David from the Stone.
He took care of the young property ...
and truly cared for the morals of educated men.

I understand a few of the other words, but can't make sense of the whole sentences.

Can you please help me?

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The inscription is written in elegiac couplets, and therefore somewhat unusual sentence structures are to be expected. I have offered a simplified prose version of the inscription below. The sentences are indeed not independent and cannot be parsed in isolation. Most of the lines are just an elaboration on the first two.

Here is my suggestion for a translation (and edits to punctuation of the original):

Hanc arcem, et muros, hortumque, ac horrea fecit
qui vetera a Saxo nomina David habet.
Ille, bonas coluit iuvenis qui sedulus artes
et vero doctos fovit amore viros.
Ille, feri studiis clarum qui Martis adeptus
nomen habet, cuius fortia facta patent.
Qui musas igitur, vel tristia diligit arma,
hunc amet: hic vero est dignus amore coli.

He who has the old names of David from Stone, built this castle and walls and garden and granaries. He, who carefully studied the good arts in his youth and cherished learned men with true love. He, who has excelled in studies of the fierce Mars and has a famous name, whose strong deeds are well known. Anyone who loves muses, or sad weapons, should love this man: he truly is worthy of cherishing with love.

Comments:

  • On the second line, I parsed David as a genitive of an indeclinable name. The builder has the old names (vetera nomina) of David. Since the names are in plural, I assume it refers that both parts of his name are old. For David it is clear, but for Vom Stain is less so — at least for me. (See the OP's comment below: the Vom Stain family is indeed a very old one.)
  • On the third line, artes can refer to "skills" or some other thing instead of "arts". Hard to tell without context.
  • On the last line I read coli as colendi, so that hic is dignus colendi. This is not unusual poetic licence. I don't recall seeing dignus with infinitive. (It could also be dignus amore, "worthy of love", but then coli is left alone. I don't think it's the dative or colis/caulis or the genitive of colus.)
  • It is not entirely clear who the ille, qui segments refer to. It could be David himself, to whom the relative clause on the second line refers. But it could also be "any good person who should love David", to whom the relative clause of the second last line refers. Since the references are quite precise, I believe they are all to David, but one should not blindly exclude the other option.

The structure is perhaps clearer with new word order [and some small parenthetical alterations]:

[Ille,] qui vetera nomina a Saxo David habet, hanc arcem et muros et hortum et horrea fecit.
Ille, qui iuvenis sedulus coluit bonas artes et fovit viros doctos vero amore.
ille, qui [est] adeptus studiis feri Martis [et] clarum nomen habet, cuius fortia facta patent.
[Si quis] diligit musas, vel tristia arma, amet hunc: hic vero dignus est amore [colendi].

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    Thank you both! @JoonasIlmavirta Re: vetera. The family Vom Stein is a family of ministeriales who are mentioned in documents dating as far back as 922, possibly 728, so they are one of the oldest noble families still existing in 16th century southern Germany. – user3041 Oct 27 '18 at 15:47
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hanc arcem, et muros, hortumque, ac horrea fecit

qui vetera a Saxo nomina David habet.

He who has (in the old name) David vom Stain

Made this castle, walls, garden, and barns;

ille, bonas coluit iuvenis qui sedulus artes:

et vero doctos fovit amore viros.

He who diligently studied the fine arts when young,

Supported learned men with true admiration;

ille, feri studiis clarum qui Martis adeptus

nomen habet: cuius fortia facta patent.

He who was quite adept at fierce Mars's pursuits

has the name of him whose mighty deeds are renowned;

qui Musas igitur, vel tristia diligit arma,

hunc amet.

He who loves the Muses, or somber weaponry,

Should admire him.

hic vero est dignus amore coli.

This man is worthy of being honored with true admiration.

vetera nomina seems to be in apposition to the accusative David (uninflected, as it's a foreign name), but I've translated it as if it's ablative.

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