In Praise of Bald Men (Ecloga de Calvis)

Beth Platte, the Instructional Technologist for Foreign Languages, informed me of this incredible feat of Latin. It’s medieval, but I couldn’t help but share. The following is the first four lines from the Ecloga de Calvis (“In Praise of Bald Men”), a ca. 9th century CE Latin poem by the Frankish monk Hucbald, with a translation by Thomas Klein:

Carmina convitii cerritus, carpere calves

Conatus, cecinit: celebrentur carmine calvi

Conspicuo clari; carmen cognoscite cuncti.

Carmina, clarisonae, calvis cantate, Camenae.

(A brainless bloke has badly abused the bald,

Composing crude carols: so commend in chorus

The blameless bald, and bellow the ballad besides.

Bless now the bald with bright ballads, O Bards.)

The poem goes on for 146 lines in total, and every single word beings with the letter “C”. Monks clearly knew how to have fun.

Here’s a link to Klein’s translation and the full Latin text:

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