Talk:Et in Arcadia ego

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how about creating a section at the bottom for referencing works, since there are 2 of them mentioned?--Andymussell 00:59, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Excellent helpful article! But one gripe: What the sentence "Et in Arcadia Ego" seems to be missing is a verb, not a subject. Literally word for word it says "And in Arcadia I" -- "I" being a perfect and obvious subject. --Andrew K Robinson 20 Jan 2006

Latin is happy to leave words out where English would include them. "Sum" ("am", "I am") would presuambly be the best fit here; however, as it is an inscription on a tomb, the past tense would be reasonable as well. Using both the nominative pronoun and the verb (especially the verb "to be") in a Latin sentence would be overkill; so the emphasis in this phrase is on the subject, not the verb.
"Et" has meanings in Latin beyond the primary meaning of "and" in modern English usage. It can mean "even" in the sense of "Even I am in Arcadia," or "I, too, am in Arcadia". Whether the idea is to remind the people of Arcadia that even there, Death exists, or to remind visitors to the grave that the entombed was once there, too, like the visitors...well, it's reasonable to presume that it's intentionally ambiguous, to convey both meanings: Death in the present tense, the entombed in the past tense; the verb is omitted to hide the tense, allowing both meanings to exist simultaneously.
If the sentence is intentionally ambiguous, as art often is, then the verb has to be omitted. So there's nothing weird or odd about its being "missing"; it's just an interesting choice by a thoughtful artist. Silarius 18:22, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Silarius, your remarks would do well in the body of the article itself. --Wetman 20:28, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, Wetman. Silarius' remarks are spot-on and quite articulate. SaulPerdomo

See "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" by Michael Baigent et al for the importance of this painting. Rearrange the letters to I Tego Arcana Dei (Begone! I conceal the secrets of God)

Sorry about my edit - at the computer I was at, I was getting an error that said the picture couldn't be found. Seems to be working now, though. Thanks for the quick fix of my mistake. MrCheshire 21:09, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Latin grammar doesn't like English, a verb isn't necessary. But the pronoun Ego is used instead of Sum, so the phrase is incomplete.

I wouldn't use The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail as a reference for anything factual. 00:37, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Although I could hardly claim expertise in Latin, I do know enough to know that, unless used in poetry, where grammar rules go out the window, the verb almost invariably comes at the end of a sentence (i.e. I! Arcana Dei Tego, not I! Tego Arcana Dei.) The first would be bad grammar, were the anagram theory to be true. Varlet16 04:08, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Varlet16, "Et in Arcadia Ego" does not need "sum" anywhere to be acceptable Latin. Fletcherbrian (talk) 04:35, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Article issues[edit]

Neutrality issues:

// Pseudohistorians unaware of that aspect of Latin grammar have concluded that the sentence is incomplete // - needs a citation in support. Also the term "pseudohistorian" presented as fact without evidence. In one sense, every historian that ever lived is a "pseudohistorian" from another historian's viewpoint.

Weasel Words:

// Conspiracy theories // // Pseudohistorians unaware // // dismissed by art historians // // Their argument assumes that // // Further conspiracy theories concerning // —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 25 November 2006.

None of these are "weasel" words, since they are clear and explicit. Paul B 19:44, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree with anonymous here. I don't know if I'd call them "weasel words" since I've never liked the term and I don't think everyone at wikipedia agrees on what it means. However, the use of the word "pseudohistorian", for example, is POV. Pseudohistory is defined by wikipedia as a pejorative term, and while I agree that only dumbasses or those with an agenda would look too much into the meaning of the phrase, going so far as to affirm there's a conspiracy in there somewhere, it still doesn't change the fact that the "Conspiracy Theories" section is not very NPOV. SaulPerdomo 00:12, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

A Real Landscape[edit]

Is it worth mentioning that the landscape in the painting is real? People thought that Poussin had invented it but it really exists in the French Pyrennes. This is one of the very few true discoveries made by the Holy Blood, Holy Grail authors. I think that there really is a tomb there too. Not sure if anyone's ever looked inside.  SmokeyTheCat  •TALK• 17:11, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

It may well be real, but it's not the one at Rennes le Chateau. Read the article. Paul B 17:20, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Useless trivia tarnishing the Wikipedia ideal Just a personal appeal to Wikipedians to please desist from posting useless and uninteresting trivia. The trivia section of this entry is a great example of how the Wikipedia ideal is being tarnished beyond redemption through the inclusion of such irrelevent nonsense. It weakens Wikipedia enormously. (talk) 18:44, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Conspiracy theories[edit]

I have tagged this as lacking sources. It frequently accuses "Holy blood, Holy Grail" of being "under a false impression" or other such things. I do not neccessarily disagree that the book is innaccurate but there are no sources to back up the sweeping statements made about Latin grammar AreaControl (talk) 14:29, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, the authors make no mention that they feel the phrase is grammatically incorrect, only that a direct English translation lacks a verb. (talk) 05:33, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Arcadia is a place[edit]

Someone has moved the title, acting on misplaced self-confidence but ignorant of the fact that Arcadia is a place, and places get capital letters. A return to the correct title Et in Arcadia ego could not be effected. A grown-up's help is needed. --Wetman (talk) 09:20, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

This is incorrect. In Latin the expression is "Et in arcadia ego" and "arcadia" is not capitalized. If it was an English expression it would be capitalized if it was actually referring to the place - but as it is a Latin expression that form needs to be followed. Afterwriting (talk) 09:42, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Is there a policy on this? Classical Latin did not use capitals at the beginning of sentences, or indeed punctuation at all, so "et in arcadia ego" or, more monumentally, "ET IN ARCADIA EGO", would be the way to go, if we were to be pedantic enough to follow them. Johnbod (talk) 09:49, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The modern distinct uses of uppercase and lowercase arose long after Roman times. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:02, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The move has been reversed (thanks AA!). If you still wish to pursue the matter, please follow the procedure at WP:Requested Moves, but I would suggest studying google searches on usage, & the origin of the term first. Johnbod (talk) 22:13, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

A trivial list?[edit]

A recent edit swept away the bulleted list of uses of the phrase, most of them part of adult culture since the Renaissance: was this a step forward?--Wetman (talk) 03:59, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

I don't think so. Someone could have assembled the various quotes into a paragraph describing literary and popular usages of the phrase. I don't have time to do it but I kept a copy of the list. Timothy Perper (talk) 14:25, 18 September 2010 (UTC)


Never seen such undocumented bullshit and tomfoolery on one page - you wikis are useful idiots, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

How about removing the speculative nonsense?[edit]

Specifically, the "Proposed hidden meanings" section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ari (talkcontribs) 21:06, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

No, but does need to be rewritten to remove POV and add citations. (talk) 05:33, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Other appearances - original research and notability[edit]

The 'Other appearances' section is comprised mostly of entries that are based on WP:Original Research. They either (1) lack a reference or (2) are based on a primary source rather than a published interpretation of the meaning and notability of the work. I'd like to see this section culled down to notable entries with supporting secondary sources. In the meantime, I've tagged the section for OR. —Waldhorn (talk) 00:13, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Earliest reference?[edit]

According to this very encyclopaedia Poussin's Les Bergers d’Arcadie is c. late 1630s, while Barbieri's The Arcadian Shepherds/Et in Arcadia ego is c. 1618–1622. Seems inappropriate to credit Poussin so prominently in the opening paragraph. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bnulat (talkcontribs) 08:15, 10 October 2014 (UTC)


This painting's title is NOT "Et in arcadia ego"! This page should be moved to "Le Bergers d'Arcadie". " Et in arcadia ego" is Guercino's one, madre before this (so, at least, that should be this page, with this one linked by disambiguation advert), this one features the same inscription but goes by another title.- (talk) 07:50, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Primary topic[edit]

Why is this the main page? There should be a disambiguation page featuring all of them at the least, 'cause I don't understand why this painting should be the "Main" Et in arcadia Ego, considering it was not the first and its acual title is not even Et in arcadia ego but The Arcadian Sheperds! This painting was INSPIRED by Guercino's one!-- (talk) 19:01, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

WP:PRIMARYTOPIC is the relevant guideline. Poussin's 1638 painting is much more likely than any other topic, and more likely than all the other topics combined—to be the topic sought when a reader searches for "Et in Arcadia ego", so it is appropriately located at this title. There is only one other article that we could direct the reader to, the one on the Guercino painting, and it is linked to in this article's hatnote. There is generally no need to create a disambiguation page for only two articles.
The painting is widely known both as The Arcadian Shepherds and Et in Arcadia ego; this article could plausibly be located at either title. Even if it were at The Arcadian Shepherds, though, Et in Arcadia ego should still redirect here, as this article is still the primary topic for that term.--Trystan (talk) 20:19, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Agreed - and 17th-century paintings don't have "actual titles". Johnbod (talk) 21:04, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
A'm also confused why it's in part about one artwork and in other about topic. Dominikmatus (talk) 12:31, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

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