QUESTIONS ARISING FROM 71st MEETING – 9/11/16 ( the record of earlier meetings can be downloaded from the main Circulus page)
There was the usual discussion of Latin names for dishes consumed. We had ordered Peking duck in advance (as required by the restaurant) and the standard Chinese for this is北京(填)鴨 (bàk gíng (tìhn) ngaap), which would translate as anatīna Pekingensis. The 填 (`stuffed’) character would be naturally translated as farta (from farciō, farcire, farsī, fartum, `stuff, cram’) but since anatīna refers to duck as food rather than the live animal (anas, anatis f), the extra word is better omitted. Colloquial Cantonese also refers to the dish as pín pèih tìhn ngaap (片皮填鴨 - `peeled skin stuffed duck’). John had not recognised this phrase when used over the telephone while he was making the reservation so he was relieved to find he had after all ordered the correct dish. On the question of whether Beijing Duck does in fact have any connection with Beijing, see http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/phorum/read.php?12,67074,page=2
Dishes ordered at the table included gallīnācea ex holeribus cōnfecta (`chicken made from vegetables’, i.e.vegetarian chicken), carō dulcis et acida (咕嚕肉, gulo yuhk, sweet and sour pork), frustum piscārium cum citreō (fish fillet in lemon sauce) and holera agitāta frīctaque (stir-fried vegetables). Again as usual, it was pointed out that咕嚕肉 is csometimes known as gweilo yuk (鬼佬肉) because it is so popular in Chinese restaurants in the West. An alternative name for stir-fried vegeatables could be holera dum agitantur frīcta (`vegetables fried whle being stirred’) to make it clear that the two processes are sumultaneous rather than sequential.
The puzzle of why testis means both `witness’ and `testicle’ came up and Don mentioned Joshua Katz’s theory that there was an old Italian practice of swearing an oath or making a solemn declaration whilst holding one’s own or someone else’s testicles. Katz’s article is conveniently summarized by Larry Myer in his blog at http://www.carmentablog.com/2014/09/26/witness-testicle-linguistic-analysis-latin-word-testis/. The evidence cited is principally the existence of a similar practice in West Asia and the reference in the Iguvine Tablets to a sacrificer dedicating an animal to Jupiter whilst holding in his hand urfeta, which, on rather convoluted reasoning, might mean `testicle’ The tablets are in Umbrian, an Italic language closely related to Latin, date from the 3rd to 1st century B.C. and were discovered in 1441 near the town of Gubbio (ancient Iguvium). For a description of their contents, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iguvine_Tablets .
The Iguvine Tablets on display in Gubbio’s Civic Museum
We also touched on the Opium Wars and on what if anything was taught about them in Western schools. Tan remembered hearing about them as a child in Australia but imagining that Britain must have been fighting to stop rather than protect the drug trade. John pointed out that at the time there was no legal restriction of drugs in the UK itself and that there were even records of Queen Victoria ordering cocaine-laced sweets. He himself was not sure what if anything he had learned on the issue at secondary school but had had to read about it as a graduate student working on 19th century Nepalese history. The First Opium War (1839-42) had coincided with tension between British India and Nepal which almost resulted in a second war between the two (there had already been a conflict in 1814-1816). Commissioner Lin, the Qing official who had tried to suppress the opium trade, was one of a faction within the mandarinate which hoped to encourage Nepal and other Asian powers to oppose the British as part of a strategy of `using barbarians to fight barbarians.’ On Lin and his associates, see James Polachek’s The Inner Opium War (details at https://www.amazon.com/Inner-Opium-Harvard-Asian-Monographs/dp/0674454464 ). The British side were anxious to sell opium in China to balance the outflow of silver need to pay for their purchase of tea, then becoming more and more popular in Europe. For a map of the territory ceded to Britain in 1842 and 1860 as a result of the conflict see http://linguae.weebly.com/acquisition-of-hong-kong.html
After dinner we read further sections of Ciceronis Filius, (see below), all dealing with Roman dining. Don wondered whther mulsum, the mead or honey-wine consumed during the first part of the meal, was etymologically connected with the verb mulgeō, mulgēre, mulsī, mulsum/mulctum, `milk.’ Lewis & Short connects it instead with mulceō, mulcēre, mulsī, mulsum/mulctum, `stroke, caress’. Since, however, the two verbs have identical perfects and perfect participles, some link still seems possible.
Don noted that magīrus, chef, was also the name of a German make of car, manufactured in Ulm. This reminded John of the origin of another car name `Audi,’ which is the Latin for `Listen!’ and was adopted because the founder’s of surname had the same meaning in his own German dialect. This in turn prompted mention of Don’s own surname, Gasper, which comes from the Persian word for `treasurer’ and in the slightly different form `Kaspar’ was also borne, according to medieval tradition, by one of the three Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus.
Out text contained several contracted forms of the pluperfect subjunctive (e.g. fermentāsset for fermentāvisset). These forms were the origin of the imperfect subjunctive in the modern Romance languages – e,g, Italian (io) amassi, French j’amasse and Spanish (yo) amase (all from amā(vi)ssem, `I would have loved’). The original Latin imperfect subjunctive, amārem, was lost completely in French and Italian but survived in the Spanish amara, actually now a common alternative to amase. To the dismay of most second language learners, the imperfect subjunctive is still very much alive in Spanish and Italian despite virtually disappearing from French. For details of evolution of the Spanish forms, see http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/Spanish/History/Subjunctive/Spanish-Subjunctive_Evolution-04.html
Finally, Don pointed out that garum, the fermented fish sauce so popular with the Romans, was rather similar to a Vietnamese sauce and that, as well as the parrot tongues (linguae psittacorum) mentioned in the text, the Romans were particularly fond of larks’ tongues (linguae alaudārum).
CICERONIS FILIUS – pp.23-26
Dē tribus cēnae temporibus Cēna, quae propriē dīcēbātur, post gustātiōnem initium habēbat; cēnam secundae mēnsae sequēbantur. Convīviī igitur haec tria tempora erant; gustātiō (vel gustus), cēna, secundae mēnsae. Sī forte secundae mēnsae usque ad multam noctem prōdūcēbantur, comissātiōnis nōmen accipiēbant. In cēnā nōn ūnum ferculum adpōnēbātur, sed complura. Fercula Rōmānī scrīptōrēs interdum cēnās vocant, ut prīma, altera, tertia cēna idem sit ac prīmum, alterum, tertium ferculum. Cēna igitur tribus modīs dīcitur, nam et ipsum convīvium siginificat, et medium convīviī tempus et ferculum.
Dē gustātiōne In gustātiōne, quamquam et lactūcīs et porrīs locus est, iī potissimum cibī adpōnēbantur, quī, ut crūdae ostreae vel thynnī frustula in sale adservāta, gulam pervellerent edendīque cupiditātem excitārent, Neque ōvum umquam dēerat, unde saepe illud ūsūrpātum `ab ōvō incipere’ in prōverbiī cōnsuētūdinem vēnit. Mulsum in gustū pōtāre mōs erat nōn vīnum; ea pōtiō ex melle cōnficiēbātur lēnī vīnō immixtō. Gustātiō igitur et prōmulsis dīcēbātur.
Dē cēnā ipsā In cēnā rōbustiōrēs cibī comedēbantur. Nec sōlum vitulīna et suilla carō adpōnēbātur, avēsque vel assae vel ēlixae vel in iūre suō natantēs, omnia īnsuper genera piscium bōlētīque illī quī inter fungōs suāvissimī habēbantur, sed et glīrēs cibō erant et onagrī, et psittacōrum linguae. Quīn etiam glīrēs in glīrāriīs sagīnābantur, ut in cortibus capōnēs; nec splendor plūmārum pavōnī prōderat, cum Rōmānī tam fōrmōsam avem necārent ut carnibus eius vescerentur, M. Cicerōnis epistulae docent quantī ille pavōnis carnēs fēcerit.
Dē Rōmānōrum culīnā Multa igitur et varia vāsa coquināria erant: ahēna caldāria, ollae, situlae , truae, caccabī, craticulae, hydriae, ligulae, clībanī, cyathī.
NOTES: gustātiō, -ōnis f, first, light dish of a meal; secundae mēnsae (lit. `second tables’), dessert course. convīvium, -ī n, banquet; gustus, -ūs m, tasting, light first course. forte, by chance; ad multam noctem, till late at night; comissātiō, -ōnis f, reveling. ferculum, -ī n, frame for carrying something, dish (s part of a meal);adpōnō, -ere, -posuī, positum, place besides, serve (a dish); complurēs, -(i)a, several ut….idem sit ac, ..’so that…is the same as…’ (a result clause in the subjunctive) lactuca, -ae f, lettuce; porrum, -ī n, leek; potissimum, most especially.. thynnus, -ī m, tuna; frustulum, -ī n, piece, morsel; sāl, salis n, salt; adservō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, preserve; gula, -ae f, throat; pervellō, -ere, -vellī, excite, tickle. The subjunctive pervellerent is used in a relative clause of characteristic (`foods…which were of the sort to stimulate..’) umquam, ever; dēsum, -esse, -fuī, be wanting, be lacking; ūsūrpō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, make use of, use regularly in speech (illud ūsūrpātum, that saying).. in proverbiī consuētūdinem vēnit, came into regular use as a proverb; mulsum, -ī n, mead, drink of honey and wine pōtiō, -ōnis f, drink; mel, mellis n, honey; cōnficiō, -ficere, -fēcī, -fectum, make produce; lēnis, lene, mild, low-strength; prōmulsis, prōmulsidis, f, appetizer, first course. comedō, comēsse, comēdī, comēsum/comēstum, eat up, consume; vitulīna [carō], vitulīnae [carnis] f, veal (lit. `calf flesh’); suilla [carō], -ae [carnis] f, pork (lit. `pig flesh’). assus, -a, -um, roast; ēlixus, -a, -um, boiled; iūs, iūris n, soup, sauce; natō, -āre, -āvī, - atum, swim; īnsuper, in addition. bōlētus, -ī m, mushroom, glīs, glīris m, doormouse; onager, onagrī m, wild ass. psittacus, -ī m, parrot; glīrārium,-iī, n, place for keeping doormice; sagīnō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, fatten; cors, cortis f, pen, enclosure; capō, capōnis m, capon (castrated cockrel). pāvō, pavōnis m, peacock; prōsum, prōdesse, prōfuī, be of advantage (to) vescor, vescī, fed on (with ablative); quantī fēcerit (perfect subjunctive in reported question), how much he valued vās, vāsis n, vessel, utensil; ahēnum, -ī n, bronze vessel; caldārius, -a, -um, for heating; olla, -ae f, jar, pot; situla, -ae f, bucket;, trua, -ae f, large, flat ladle used for skimming the surface of liquids, or removing vegetables etc, without taking up much water (see https://archive.org/stream/illustratedcompa00richuoft#page/692/mode/2up ), cācabus/caccabus, -ī m, cooking pot. craticula, -ae f, grid iron; hydria, -ae f, water jug; ligulae, -ae f, small spoon used for eating sweets, taking medicine or skimming liquids; clībanus, -ī m, vessel for baking bread; cyathus, -ī m, cup with one handle used for ladling wine from the mixing bowl into the drinkers’ cups; the handle could be a lot smaller than the ones shown on page 26 (see . https://archive.org/stream/illustratedcompa00richuoft#page/230/mode/2up )
Neque vērō simpliciter aut parvā cūrā cibī in culīnā parābantur; magnum quiddam esse coquōrum artificium pūtābātur. Quō magis quisque in arte coquināriā ēminuerat, eō plūris ēmēbātur. Coquōrum dux archimagīrus vocābātur, superbō superciliō ministrīs suīs praeerat, īnsignī sapientiā coquus, impēnsa pecūniā ā dominō parātus. At variōs illōs cibōs, quibus in cōnficiendīs Rōmānōrum ars coquināria excellēbat, quisnam hodiē nostrōrum hominum ferat? Quis nōn stomāchō labōret, sī fungōs melle confectōs comēderit, vel piscēs mālī Armeniacī sucō madidōs,  vel salsamentīs condita pōma, vel carnēs acrī illō iūre conditās quod garum dīcēbātur.
Dē iūre quod `garum’ dīcēbātur. Garum iūs quoddam erat ex piscibus cōnfectum, quōs minūtātim scissōs cum ipsīs extīs ad sōlem putrēscere sinēbant. Cum tempus et sōlis calor mixtūram illam fermentāssent, liquāmen inde fiēbat. Calathō deinde in liquāmen immersō, exsectābant dum liquāminis pars prior in calathum sēnsim permānāret ac, sīc liquāta, ā faece sēcernerētur; id garum erat; faex illa residua allēc dīcēbātur, et ipsum ad culīnae ūsum idōneum. Garum, in amphorīs conditum, in aedium cellīs servābātur; illud coquī ad complūrēs ūsūs adhibēbant. Ex omnibus piscibus ad garum cōnficiendum maximē idōneus scomber erat; sapōre scomber ille excellēbat quem Hispānī in aquīs suīs piscābantur. Garum optimum igitur ex Hispāniā importābātur magnōque pretiō Rōmae emēbātur.
Dē secundīs mēnsīs Perfectā cēnā, nōn ante secundārum mēnsārum initium fīēbat, quam dominus Laribus, vīnō mērō in mēnsam effūsō, lībāsset. Larium parva signa in mēnsā ad id statuēbantur; omnēs bona ōmina prōferēbant. In secundīs mēnsīs placentae adpōnēbantur melle vel caseō cōnfectae, variīs cum pōmīs, atque ad irrītandam gulam, quō libentius convīvae pōtārent, sicca bellāria, ūvae passae, arida fīcus. Tempus enim pōtandī erat, nec ūlla iam ēdendī  cupiditāte satur convīva tenēbātur.
NOTES: magnum quiddam, literally `a certain great thing’, i.e. something important quō magis quisque…eō plūris ēminuerat, `by what [amount] each…..by [that] at higher cost he was bought’, i.e the more each cook...the more he cost to buy (cooks were normally slaves); ēmineō, ēminēre, ēminuī, stand out, excel; plūris is a genitive of value. archimagīrus, -ī m, head-cook, chef; supercilium, -ī n, eyebrow, pride, superciliousness; minister, ministrī m, servant, assistant. praesum, -esse, -fuī, be in charge of (with dative); īnsignis, -e, notable (īnsignī sapientiā is ablative of description, `with/of notable expertise’); impendō, -ere, impendī, -pēnsum, spend. quibus in conficiendīs, `which in being made’ (gerundive phrase-, i.e. `in the making of which; quisnam. `who, tell me’ (a stronger version of the standard interrogative quis. stomāchō labōret, would get stomach ache (literally `would have trouble in the stomach). The present subjunctive is used in a conditional sentence whose future fulfillment is unlikely. The perfect subjunctive comēderit, rather than present tense comedat, is used in the result clause because the eating has to precede the pain in the stomach. fungōs melle confectōs, fungus prepared with honey, mālum Armeniacum, malī Armeniacī n, apricot; madidus, -a, -um, soaked salsamentīs condita pōma, fruits pickled in salted fish; acer, acris, acre, pugent, hot (spicy). condō, condere, condidī, conditum basically means bury or cover something but the meaning is extended to cover both founding (a city etc.), which involves putting foundations in the ground, and pickling. garum, probably best-known to modern Latinists as the delicacy Salvius poisoned to kill Belimicus in Book III of the Cambridge Latin Course, was a sauce (iūs, iūris n, also meaning soup as well as law!) rich, like soy sauce, in monosodium glutomate minūtātim, in(to) small pieces; scindō, scindere, scidī, scissum, cut, tear; exta, -ōrum n pl, entrails, intestines putrēscō, -ere, putrefy, moulder; fermentāssent is a contraction of fermentāvīssent, pluperfect subjunctive of fermentō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, liquāmen, liquāminis n is a general word for liquid or mixture but also originally denoted a fish sauce slightly different from garum, though the two words later became synonyms (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garum). The text uses it for the mixture before its separation into liquid garum and the residue of allēc. calathus, -ī m, basket; exsectō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, cut out, divide sēnsim, gradually; permānō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum; liquō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, melt, strain; faex, faecis f, dregs, sediment; sēcernō, -ere, secrēvī, secrētum, separate. cella, -ae f, cellar, storeroom; adhibeō, -ēre, -hibuī, -hibitum. scomber, scombrī m, mackerel; sapor, saporis m, flavour piscor, piscārī, piscātus sum, fish (for)  The conjnction antequam is sometimes separated into two parts, ante going with the earlier and quam with the later event. Translate: `dessert was not begum before the master… The Larēs were the spirits of departed ancestors, normally worshipped in the larārium (household shrine). vīnum mērum was undiluted wine; lībāsset is the contracted pluperfect subjunctive (lībāvisset) of lībō, pour a libation; signum, -ī n, statue; ad id, for this purpose; statuō, --ere, statuī, statūtum, set up. omnēs bona ōmina prōferēbant, `all brought forth good omens’, i.e all the guests wished aloud fr good luck. placenta, -ae f, cake; cāseus, cāseī m, cheese. irrītō,-āre, -āvī, -ātum, provoke, stimulate; gula, -ae f, throat, appetite; libentius, with greater pleasure (quō is used with a comparative adverb or adjective in a purpose clauses instead of the usual ut, the literal meaning being `whereby the guests might drink more pleasurably siccus, -a, -um, dry; bellāria, -ōrum n pl, confectionery, dessert; ūvae passae, raisins (from ūva, grape and the perfect participle of pandō, -ere, pandī, pānsum/passum, spread out, unfold; fīcus, -ī f, fig, fig-tree; pōtō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, satur, satura, saturum, well-fed, replete