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They call it Gloria Mundi, but Tuesday’s just as bad

Jim Davila wonders how one would say Sic transit gloria mundi in Aramaic, a challenge that I can’t resist.

A literal translation would be something like כדין יעבר שבהורא דעלמא, but what might be a more idiomatic rendering? In modern Hebrew, אֵיךְ נָפְלוּ גִבּוֹרִים is used in almost exactly the same way as sic transit gloria mundi, so I looked up the Targum for that verse: איכדין איתקטלו גיבריא.

However, I’m not quite sure that that works: I think that the ambiguity of נפלו in the Hebrew is what allows the expression to be used in wider contexts, but by translating it as איתקטלו, “were killed”, the Aramaic limits its possible applications. The same is not true of the Peshitta, so if we were looking for a Syriac translation I would suggest ܐܝܟܢܐ ܢܦܠܘ ܓܢܒܪܐ

Going back to Aramaic, perhaps one could borrow a phrase from the Zohar (I 4a): כל עמודי נהורין דעלמא תיכול ותידוק.

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