In Avenged Sevenfold's "Requiem" there is a passage in Latin at the very beginning of the song. It says something like:

Prodigia comploratus
Silens, oro
Regnet exitium

I know nothing about this language but I assume that the written text above is Latin. What does that mean (if it means anything at all)?

You have got to realize that it's a song too. Grammar doesn't have much meaning in songs, at least in English.


Alas, @Tendero, I'm afraid that prodigia comploratus silens oro regnet exitium doesn't have a coherent meaning as a Latin expression.

Comploratus silens means something like "silent lamentation," but there isn't any way for prodigia (which means "wonders" or "miracles") to go along with it grammatically—"silent lamentation of wonders" would work in English but for the Latin to mean that, prodigia would have to be something like prodigiis. Oro ut regnet exitium would mean more or less "I beg destruction to reign" or "I beg that destruction might reign," but without the ut, as in the lines you quote, it doesn't really work either.

I hope this isn't too disappointing!

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  • It looks like someone fed an English sentence into an automated "translator" and the machine spewed out this gibberish. Maybe someone might feel like repeating the exercise in the opposite direction. – fdb May 13 '16 at 10:17
  • Well, translate.google.com gives me, "Prodigies bewailed Silent, please reign destruction." – Joel Derfner May 13 '16 at 10:19
  • The "English" and the "Latin" seem to be of similar quality. – fdb May 13 '16 at 10:21

Actually, I disagree: this sentence does have a coherent meaning in Latin, if my parsing is correct.

Rather than as a noun, I read comploratus as the past participle of comploro which has attested forms of taking the accusative (see the first example in the linked entry). It is rare and post-Augustinian, but it is not incorrect.

The rest is not hard to put together, if you understand comploratus as a past participle and silens as a present participle both modifying ego. The last trick would be to put a colon after oro and see "regnet exitium" as direct discourse:

Prodigia comploratus,       Having bewailed these [bad] portents,
silens, oro:                Keeping silence, I pray:
"Regnet exitium."           "Let destruction reign."


As @TKR pointed out in the comments, comploratus can only be interpreted as active ("having bewailed") rather than passive ("having been bewailed") if it is deponent. I do not see any precedent for this, so it turns out that the phrase is bad Latin, because a passive participle cannot take an accusative direct object in this way.

I still think that this is a more probable interpretation of what they were getting at and shows perhaps a little more effort on their part than visiting our friends at Google Translate.

Edit 2

Per Cerberus's comment, there is another grammatical interpretation, though its meaning is less clear. Since sileo (like taceo) can take an accusative object to mean, "to keep X silent", we could interpret complaratūs (4th declension) as genitive and prodigia as the object of silens. We thus get:

Keeping silence over these portents of grief, I pray: "Let destruction reign."

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