Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A poet or bard who is divinely inspired.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin vātēs.

Examples

  • ` Madame, the Latin word vates means at once poet and prophet — a philological observation which most satisfactorily accounts for the striking phenomenon you have just mentioned.

    Tiger-lilies

  • But in ancient times the prophet and poet were often the same, and one word (as, in Latin, "vates") was used for both.

    Ten Great Religions An Essay in Comparative Theology

  • Among the Romans a poet was called vates, which is as much as a diviner, foreseer, or prophet, as by his conjoined words, vaticinium and vaticinari, is manifest; so heavenly a title did that excellent people bestow upon this heart-ravishing knowledge.

    The Defense of Poesy

  • This agrees with Sidney, who in The Defence of Poesie asserts: Among the Romans a poet was called vates, which is as much as a diviner, foreseer, or prophet (Duncan-Jones 214).

    Shepheardes Calendar

  • "'Madame,' says Aubrey, laying his hand on his heart with that dignity for which his family is distinguished: 'Madame, the Latin word vates means at once poet and prophet -- a philological observation which most satisfactorily accounts for the striking phenomenon you have just mentioned.

    Tiger-Lilies. A Novel.

  • How she received the sceptre of Cathay, Some bard of defter quill may sing some day; and this was no doubt a kind of prophecy, for poets are also called vates, that is to say diviners; and its truth was made plain; for since then a famous Andalusian poet has lamented and sung her tears, and another famous and rare poet, a Castilian, has sung her beauty. "

    Don Quixote

  • Some bard of defter quill may sing some day; and this was no doubt a kind of prophecy, for poets are also called vates, that is to say diviners; and its truth was made plain; for since then a famous Andalusian poet has lamented and sung her tears, and another famous and rare poet, a Castilian, has sung her beauty. "

    Don Quixote

  • These be they that, as the first and most noble sort may justly be termed vates, so these are waited on in the excellentest languages and best understandings with the fore-described name of poets.

    The Defense of Poesy

  • And may not I presume a little further to show the reasonableness of this word vates, and say that the holy David’s Psalms are a divine poem?

    The Defense of Poesy

  • And in this signification it is that the poets of the heathen, that composed hymns and other sorts of poems in the honor of their gods, were called vates, prophets, as is well enough known by all that are versed in the books of the Gentiles, and as is evident where St. Paul saith of the Cretans that a prophet of their own said they were liars; 132 not that St. Paul held their poets for poets for prophets, but acknowledgeth that the word prophet was commonly used to signify them that celebrated the honour of God in verse.

    Leviathan

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "I said, 'Your friend's neck has been broken.'

    He answered, 'You should know, vates.'

    'I broke it, then. I thought so.'"

    -- Gene Wolfe, The Urth of the New Sun

    October 6, 2008