Help with some French

I’m trying to understand a passage of Agapius.  Here is the French translation: can anyone tell me what it means?

Il faut que nous sachions d’abord que la terre est ronde comme une boule; son centre cul­tivé et habité représente une élévation; ses côtés touchent les quatre parties qui sont situées en bas; à cause de son élévation le centre est plus rapproché du cours du soleil dans la partie orientale de la terre, c’est-à-dire la région de la terre brûlée. A mesure que l’homme passe et avance par son intelli­gence et sa pensée jusqu’à la région septentrionale vers les extrêmes limites de la terre et l’examine attentivement, il trouve que l’augmentation de la longueur du jour s’y fait constamment à la montée du soleil sur la voie sep­tentrionale des douze signes du Zodiaque au signe du Cancer, et l’augmen­tation de la longueur de la nuit – à le descente du soleil au Zodiaque du sud; il le percevra par son intelligence et le comprendra.


It is necessary to know first that the earth is round like a ball;  its cultivated and inhabited centre represents an elevation;  its sides touch the four parts which are located below;  because of its elevation the centre is closer to the course of the sun in the Eastern part of the earth, i.e. the area of the scorched earth. As a man moves and advances in his mind and thought from the northern area towards the extreme limits of the earth and examines it attentively, he finds that the increase in the length of the day ??? there constantly from the rise of the sun on the northern way of the twelve signs of the zodiac to the sign of Cancer, and the increase of the length of the night – to the descent of the sun to the Zodiac of the south;  he will perceive this by his intelligence and will understand it. 

3 thoughts on “Help with some French

  1. I would suggest instead of “he finds that the increase in the length of the day ??? there constantly from the rise of the sun on the northern way of the twelve signs” the following “he finds that the increase in the length of the day correlates to a constant of the ascending (-ant)path of the sun through the 12 signs of the zodiac in the northern sky”

    Could be “at the sign of Cancer” as much as “to the sign”.. and then the night starts to get longer as the sun travels through the southern sky (and the zodiac signs therein). or not?

  2. It seems to refer to the fact that as one approaches the pole, the day and especially the night gets longer. Here’s how Google French-English translator put it:|en|A%20mesure%20que%20l%E2%80%99homme%20passe%20et%20avance%20par%20son%20intelli%C2%ADgence%20et%20sa%20pens%C3%A9e%20jusqu%E2%80%99%C3%A0%20la%20r%C3%A9gion%20septentrionale%20vers%20les%20extr%C3%AAmes%20limites%20de%20la%20terre%20et%20l%E2%80%99examine%20attentivement%2C%20il%20trouve%20que%20l%E2%80%99augmentation%20de%20la%20longueur%20du%20jour%20s%E2%80%99y%20fait%20constamment%20%C3%A0%20la%20mont%C3%A9e%20du%20soleil%20sur%20la%20voie%20sep%C2%ADtentrionale%20des%20douze%20signes%20du%20Zodiaque%20au%20signe%20du%20Cancer%2C%20et%20l%E2%80%99augmen%C2%ADtation%20de%20la%20longueur%20de%20la%20nuit%20-%20%C3%A0%20le%20descente%20du%20soleil%20au%20Zodiaque%20du%20sud%3B%20il%20le%20percevra%20par%20son%20intelligence%20et%20le%20comprendra.%0A%0A%20

    As the man goes ahead and with his intelligence and his thinking to the north to the extreme limits of the earth and looks closely, he found that the increase in day length are constantly the rising sun on the northern route of the twelve signs of the Zodiac sign of Cancer, and increasing the length of the night – to the descent of the sun at South Zodiac; he will receive his intelligence and understand.

  3. Thank you both for your thoughts. I couldn’t grasp what he was trying to say here, even with machine-aided translation. Chris, I think your version works. Many thanks!

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