Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Latin Conundrum at BH


Ever wondered what the Latin text above the entrance at the BBC Langham entrance actually means? I always thought that was a trick question BBC recruiters might ask back in the 1980's. Remember looking it up one lazy Sunday afternoon. But then forgot about it. Until I passed that way again and see that they have refurbished the place again. So let's bang the text into Google Translate.


TEMPLUM HOC ARTIUM ET MUSARUM ANNO DOMINI MCMXXXI RECTORE JOHANNI REITH PRIMI DEDICANT GUBERNATORES PRECANTES UT MESSEM BONAM BONA PROFERAT SEMENTIS UT IMMUNDA OMNIA ET INIMICA PACI EXPELLANTUR UT QUAECUNQUE PULCHRA SUNT ET SINCERA QUACUNQUE BONAE FAMAE AD HAEC AVREM INCLINANS POPULUS VIRTUTIS ET SAPIENTIAE SEMITAM INSISTAT.


It comes out at as


This area of the year 1931, rector of the Arts and the Muses JOHN DEDICATES REITH the first Governors of prayer as the harvest to bring forth GOOD IN ALL PLANTING places against the peace be driven out so that all things are beautiful and sincere good name SOME PEOPLE TO THIS AVREM bowing of virtue and wisdom PATH is set up.


Er. not quite. 


A great site by Robert Beckwith comes to the rescue and provides photos of the original hall and what must have been the original English text that some whiz put into Latin. 


This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director- General. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.


Hope Robert adds more about the billion pound extension...

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