QUESTIONS ARISING FROM 84th. MEETING – 14/12/17 (the record of earlier meetings can be downloaded from the main Circulus page. The illustrated text of Genesis is available on the Genesis page)
With two new members attending, use was made of one of the standard forms for introductions, Tibi/vōbīs aliquem trādō, literally `I hand someone over to you.’ We had the usual discussion of words for food, whether on the table or not, including different ways of translating daufu/tofu (豆腐): this can be by simple transliteration (daufum, -ī n) or with a description or paraphrase using attested Latin words (caseus ē fabīs confectus, `cheese made from beans’, or caseus fabārum `cheese of beans’). We also again noted how Latin refers to meat by combining the generic word (carō, carnis f) with adjectives from the names of specific animals. As with other frequent noun-adjective collocations, the noun is normally omitted as context allows the listener/reader to supply it (e.g. (manus) dextera for `right-hand’). So (carō) gallinācea/bubula/angina/porcīna for chicken, beef, lamb, pork respectively.
We briefly discussed bacon, which Malcolm though had been originally introduced to Britain from Denmark. The origin of the word itself is explained as follows by www.etymonline.com: `early 14c., "meat from the back and sides of a hog" (originally either fresh or cured, but especially cured), from Old French bacon, from Proto-Germanic *bakkon "back meat" (source also of Old High German bahho, Old Dutch baken "bacon"). Slang phrase bring home the bacon first recorded 1908; bacon formerly being the staple meat of the working class and the rural population (in Shakespeare bacon is a derisive term for "a rustic")'
The Latin word for bacon is lārdum (or lāridum), -ī n, which can refer either to bacon in general or specifically to bacon fat, this secondsense, of curse, leading naturally to that of the English derivative `lard’.
Also touched upon was the poor but not entirely undeserved international reputation of British cuisine. Malcolm suggested that the absence of the salt tax, imposed throughout most of continental Europe but not in Britain, led the Brits to rely excessively on salt for seasoning while the continentals experimented instead with diverse sauces.
We were, as usual, drinking vīnum rubrum/sanguineum (red/`bloody’ wine) and discussed alcohol consumption in the UK. This peaked in 2004 and has fallen off since then. Since 1990 there has been a trend away from traditional beer drinking towards wine but beer still accounts for the largest share of alcohol drunk and wine consumption, after rising steadily till 2007, now seems to have leveled off,.
Malcolm, who has a strong interest in military history, recommended Stephen Dando-Collins’ book Legions of Rome (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legions-Rome-definitive-history-legion/dp/1849162301/) for histories of individual legions. Another useful reference on the army is Adrian Goldsworthy’s The Complete Roman Army (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Roman-Army/dp/0500288992/). Malcolm has himself comtemplated writing a history of the Vietnam War and regards a lot of existing accounts as obsessed with the American side and with guilt, though he recommended the PBS documentary series on the war. John asked whether China’s invasion of Vietnam shortly after the North’s victory in the conflict was motivated partly by concern for ethnic Chinese who were being dispossessed by the regime but Malclom though China was acting purely from geo-strategic considerations, wishing to punish Vietnam for its own invasion of Cambodia. On the history of Chinese-Vietnamese hostility, much more long-lasting than conflicts with the French and the American, he recommended the Penguin History of Modern Vietnam (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Penguin-History-Modern-Vietnam/dp/0141047011/). which, despite its title, devotes a lot of space to earlier periods. John also wondered whether, just as many people question whether the successful blocking of Germany’s bid for hegemeony in Europe in WWI was worth the human cost, one could aks whether the unification of Vietnam was worth the lives of 3 million Vietnamese. Malcolm thought that the Vietnamese today generally thought the sacrifice had been worthwhile.
https://www.zazzle.com/farang+tshirts We also discussed the term gweilo, one still resented by many of the group concerned though many others are happy to accept it as an informal alternative to `Caucasian’ or `Westerner.’ Malcolm suggested that an originally pejorative label was more readily accepted if the group in question was in a privileged position. John agreed but said he had observed in some gweilo the same kind of minority psychology. – including seeing slights even where they were not really intended- as displayed by less secure groups. An informative recent article on the g-word and other names for pale-skinned foreigners is at http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/2111173/where-word-gweilo-comes-and-other-names-east-asians-have There is a dispute within the Circulus on the best Latin translation of gweilo, John liked umbrivir (`ghost man’) whilst Pat preferred vir daimoniacus (`devilish man’).
European merchant in Hong Kong in 1858
Mention was naturally made also of Martin Booth’s Gweilo: a Memoir of a Hong Kong Childhood, a magical recreation of life in the territory in the early 1950s seen through the eyes of a 7-year-old (many favourable reviews can be found at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gweilo-Memories-Hong-Kong-Childhood/dp/0553816721/). John recommends the book as a good present for gweilos who object to the term itself, since if reading it does not cure them they are simply beyond help! The American title is Golden Boy, reflecting the tendency of many locals to regard Martin’s blonde hair as a good luck talisman. John thought this change was not so much an attempt to avoid politically incorrect language as part of an American tendency to steer clear of words that might not be instantly recognised by all readers- the publication in the USA of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone under the title Harry Potter and the Wizard’s Stone was another example.Martin Booth who wrote Gweilo at his children’s request when he knew he was dying of brain cancer, was a prolific writer, his output including Opium: a History and Cannabis: a History.
We briefly discussed other informal ethnic labels, including 紅毛 (`red-hair’) and the still current hung sou lok ngaan (紅鬚綠眼. `red beard green eyes’). The first of these is included in the title of one of the earliest known English textbooks for Chinese learners, Hong Mao Tong Yong Fan Hua (literally 'Common Foreign Expressions of the Red-Haired People') Bob Adamson includes this description of it in his China’s English: a History of English in Chinese Education (https://books.google.com.hk/books?isbn=9622096638):
`Dating back to the 1830s, [the book] presents approximate transliterations in Chinese characters, which, when pronounced in the Cantonese dialect, resemble English and other European terms for numbers, weights, measures, jobs, commodities, relationships, geographical locations, colours, common adjectives, furniture, utensils and colloquial expressions for trade and conversation.’
Copy of Hong Mao Tong Yong Fan Hua in the British Library (reproduced in Frances Wood, The Lure of China: History and Literature from Marco Polo to J.G. Ballard.
Reconstruction of Tycho Brae’s observatory on Ven island in the strait between Denmark and Sweden
We noted Kepler’s rather unclassical use of present participles to refer to actions taking place before that of the main verb, as in English `Leaping into the saddle, he rode off into the sunset.’ His style also involved a rather lose piling up of subordinate clauses which made it a little difficult to read. John was a little surprised by the reference to St. John the Baptist as Dīvus Iōhannēs, since he understood the adjective to imply someone was actually a god (as in its use to refer to Roman emperors who had been deified by the Senate after their death). He realized later, however, that it could mean simply possessing a special connection to or knowledge of God, as in the English phrase `St John the Divine’. We also noted that Kepler was a deeply religious man and Keith tracked down a quote from him about the knowledge of astronomy enabling us to share in God’s thoughts.
We finally set out to read chapter 13 of Genesis (the continuing story of Abraham after his return from Egypt) but only reached verse 10 before the staff told us they were closing. The text is given below and the full chapter with maps of Palestine and the Nile Delta is in genesis.doc, a download from https://linguae.weebly.com/biblia-sacra.html
Shortly before that we had discussed briefly the forced conversion of the Baltic states to Christianity and Tanya explained how in the 19th centrury some Lavian nationalists had advocated a return to paganism. Her own grandfather had been one of this group and her grandmother, a Catholic, had been excommunicated by the church for marrying him.
I. Cum annō 1608 fervērent dissidia inter frātrēs Imp. Rudolphum et Matthiam When in-year 1608 were-raging quarrels between brothers Emperor Rudolph and Matthias Archiducem, eōrumque actiōnēs vulgō ad exempla referrent ex historiā Bohemicā arch-duke and-their actions commonly to precedents referred form history Bohemian petīta, ego pūblicā vulgī cūriōsitāte excitus ad Bohemica legenda animum appulī. sought I by-public of-masses curiosity aroused to Bohemian-things being—read mind applied Cumque incidissem in historiam Libussae virāginis, arte magicā celebrātissimae, And-when I-had-fallen into story of-Libussa virago from-art magic most-famous factum quādam nocte, ut post contemplātiōnem sīderum et Lūnae lectō compositus it-came-about on-a-certain night that after contemplation of-stars and of-moon on-bed placed altius obdormiscerem , atque mihi per somnum vīsus sum librum ex nūndīnis allātum quite-deeply I-fell-asleep and to-myself in sleep seem I-did book from market brought perlegere, cujus hic erat tenor: to-read-through of-which this was content
NOTES  Rudolph II, a member of the Habsburg dynasty, was Holy Roman Emperor from 1576 to 1612. Hungary was part of his dominions but after its people, exhausted by a never-ending war against Turkey, revolted, his family in 1605 forced him to put his brother, Archduke Matthias, in charge of Hungarian affairs. In 1608, after Rudolph opposed Matthias’s concessions to the Turks and the Hungarian rebels, his brother forced him to cede the thrones of both Hungary and Austria to him. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_II,_Holy_Roman_Emperor Matthias also assisted Bohemian (i.e. Czech) Protestant rebels against Rudolph and supplanted him as King of Bohemia in 1611. Rudolph had a great interest in astrology and both Kepler and Tycho Brahe enjoyed his patronage.  Taking actionēs as subject, this means that their actions caused people to recall events in Bohemia. Alternatively, actiōnēs is object and the subject is `they’ (people in general) implicit in referrent . Bohemica legenda: gerundive phrase, most naturally translated into English with a gerund: `reading Bohemian material’  Libussa was a mythical Czech ruler who had faced a revolt by males.  The word virāgō (a war-like, heroic woman) has been used in literary English and is also the name of a well-known feminist publish company (https://www.virago.co.uk/)
II.Mihi Duracōto 1 nōmen est, patria Islandia ^2, quam veterēs Thūlēn dīxēre, To-me Duracoto name is country Iceland which ancients Thule called māter erat Fiolxhildis ^3, quae nuper mortua ^4, scrībendī mihi peperit licentiam, mother was Fiolxhilde who recently dead of-writing for-me has-brought permission cujus reī cupiditāte prīdem arsī. Dum vīveret, hoc diligenter ēgit, nē scrīberem ^5. of-which thing from-desire earlier I-burned while she-lived this diligently she-secured that-not I-should-write Dīcēbat enim, multōs esse perniciōsōs ōsōres artium ^6 quī quod prae hebetūdine She-said for many to-be pernicious haters of-arts who what from slowness mentis nōn capiunt, id calumnientur lēgēsque fīgant injūriōsās hūmānō generī ^7; of-mind not understand that they-slander and-laws fix injurious to-humjan race quibus sānē lēgibus nōn paucī damnātī ^8 Heclae vorāginibus fuerint absorptī ^9. By-which indeed lawa not few condemned of-Hekla by-chasms were absorbed Quod nōmen esset patrī meo ^10 ipsa nunquam dīxit, piscātōrem fuisse et centum What name was to-father my she-herself never said fisherman to-have-been and hundred quīnquāgintā annōrum senem dēcessisse perhibēbat, mē tertium aetātis annum agente, fifty of-years old-man to-have-died she-used-to-maintain with-me third of-age year doing cum ille septuāgēsimum plūs minus annum in suō vīxisset mātrimōniō ^11. Prīmīs when he seventieth more less year in his had-lived marriage in-first pueritiae annīs māter mē manū trahēns interdumque humerīs sublevāns crebrō of-childhood years mother me by-hand pulling and-sometimes on-shoulder lifting-up frequently addūcere est solita in humiliōra juga montis Heclae ^12, praesertim circā festum dīvī to-take was accustomed onto lower ridges of-Mount Hekla especially around feast of-godly Joannis, quandō Sol tōtīs 24 hōrīs cōnspicuus noctī nūllum relinquit locum ^13. John when sun for-all 24 hours visible for-night no left place Ipsa herbās nōnnūllās legēns multīs caeremōniīs domīque coquēns ^14 sacculōs She-herself herbs some picking with-many rituals and-at-home cooking little-sacks factitābat ex pellibus caprīnīs , quōs īnflātōs ad vīcīnum portum venum importāns prō she-used-to-make from skins of-goats which filled to neighbouring port for-sale carrying for nāvium patrōnīs ^15 victum hōc pactō sustentābat. ships’ captains living by-this arrangement she-used-to-earn
NOTES Thūlē is described in classical authors as an island in the far north of Europe and this is generally taken as a reference to Iceland or to Mainland, the largest island in the Shetlands. dīxēre = dīxērunt.  Kepler, whose own mother was accused of witchcraft in 1620, explains he combined the name `Fiolx’ for places in Iceland on an old map and the `hilda’ element in names such as `Brunhilda’. `Fiolx’’ might be a misreading of `fjörđr’ (`fjord’)  English would prefer an abstract subject: `whose recent death’.  Hekla, a large volcano in the south of Iceland, known in the Middle Ages as the `Gateway to Hell.’ Kepler himself in his note 2 mentions the idea that Hekla was actually the gateway to Purgatory, a notion probably derived from the writings of the 16th century Swedish bishop Olaus Magnus (see Rosen, Kepler’s Somnium pg, 48, fn,76, https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=OdCJAS0eQ64C ) fuerint absorptī (with perfect subjunctive of the auxiliary verb itself) is an alternative to the more usual sint absorptī (present subjunctive auxiliary producing the perfect subjunctive verb phrase). The subjunctive is required by the subordinate clauses within reported speech.  The Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist on 24 June. hōrīs: ablative plural for length of time, instead of classical accusative, is also found in the Vulgate.
III.Cum aliquandō per cūriōsitātem rescissō sacculō, quem māter ignara vēndēbat, When once out-of curiosity having-been-cut bag which mother unaware was-trying-to-sell herbīsque et linteīs ^16, quae acū picta variōs praeferēbant charactērēs, explicātīs, and-with-herbs and linen-strips which with-needle embroidered various carried symbols spilled-out ipsam hōc lucellō fraudāssem: māter īrā succēnsa mē locō sacculī nauclērō her out-of-this little-profit I-had-cheated mother with-anger on-fire me in-place of-sack to-captain proprium addīxit, ut ipsa pecuniam retinēret. Atque is postrīdiē ex īnspērātō solvēns as-his-own bound so-that she-herself money might-retain and he next-day from unexpected setting-sail ē portū, secundō ventō quasī Bergās Nordwegiae tendēbat ^17. Post aliquot diēs from port with-favourable wind roughly to-Bergen of-Norway was-heading after some days boreā surgente ^18 inter Nordwegiam et Angliam dēlātus Dāniam petiit with-north-wind arising between Norway and England carried-down Denmark made-for frētumque ēmēnsus, cum habēret literās episcopī islandicī^19, trādendās Tychōnī and-strait having-passed-through since he-had letter of-bishop of-Iceland for-being-handed-over to-Tycho Brahe Dānō, quī in īnsulā Wenā habitābat, ego vērō vehementer aegrōtārem ex Brahe the-Dane who in island Hven lived I indeed immensely was-ill from jactātiōne et aurae tepōre insuētō ^20, quippe quatuordecim annōrum adolescēns: nāvī the-tossing and of-air warmth unfamiliar in-as-much-as fourteen of-years adolescent with-ship ad lītus appulsā mē apud piscātōrem insulānum ^21 exposuit cum literīs et spē reditūs to shore driven me with fisherman belonging-to-island put-ashore with letter and hope of-return factā solvit. made set-sail
NOTES fraudāssem = fraudāvissem, pluperfect subjunctive of fraudō (1). Cheat, defraud.  Both Berga (singular) and Bergae (plural) were used for Bergen in medieval Latin.  The island of Hven (Danish) or Ven (Swedish), halfway between Denmark and Sweden, was the site of Tycho Brahe’s observatory and Kepler, who had been Brahe’s apprentice, may have himself spent ti me there. The island was under Danish control until 1658 when it passed to Sweden.  A word like et is really needed here as ego…adolēscēns is also part of the long cum clause starting in the line above.  i.e. after promising to return
1 Ascendit ergō Ābram dē Ægyptō, ipse et uxor ejus, et omnia quæ habēbat, et Lot went-up therefore Abram from Egypt himself and wife his and all-things that he-had and Lot cum eō, ad austrālem plagam. with him to southern region 2 Erat autem dīves valdē in possessiōne aurī et argentī. he-was moreover rich very in possession of-gold and of-silver 3 Reversusque est per iter, quō vēnerat, ā merīdiē in Bethel, usque ad locum ubi prius returned-and is along route by-which he-had -comefrom south into Bethel up to place where before fīxerat tabernāculum inter Bethel et Hai, he-had-fixed tent between Bethel and Hai 4 in locō altāris quod fēcerat prius: et invocāvit ibi nōmen Dominī. in the-place of-altar which he-had-made before and he-invoked there name of-Lord 5 Sed et Lot quī erat cum Ābram, fuērunt gregēs ovium, et armenta, et tabernācula. but also to--Lot who was with Abram were flocks of-sheep and herds and tents 6 Nec poterat eōs capere terra, ut habitārent simul: erat quippe substantia eorum and-not was-able them to-contain the-land so-that they-might-inhabit at-same-time was since wealth of-them multa et nequībant habitāre commūniter. much and thy-were-unable to-live jointly 7 Unde et facta est rixa inter pāstōrēs gregum Ābram et Lot. Eō autem tempore For-which-reason also made was quarrel between shepherds of-flocks of Abram and Lot At-that moreover time Chananæus et Pherezæus habitābant in terrā illā. Canaanite and Perizzite were-living in land that 8 Dīxit ergō Ābram ad Lot: Nē quæsō sit jurgium inter mē et tē, et inter pāstōrēs meōs said therefore Abram to Lot Not please let-there-be quarrel between me and you and between shepherds my et pāstōrēs tuōs: frātrēs enim sumus. and shepherds your brothers for we-are 9 Ecce ūniversa terra cōram tē est: recēde ā mē, obsecrō: sī ad sinistram īeris, ego Behold whole land before you is withdraw from me I-beg if to left you-will-have-gone I dexteram tenēbō: sī tū dexteram ēlēgeris, ego ad sinistram pergam. right will-keep if you right will-havde-chosen I to left will-keep 10 Ēlevātīs itaque Lot oculīs, vīdit omnem circā regiōnem Jordānis, quæ ūniversa Raised therefore Lot with-eyes he-saw all around region of-Jordan which all irrigābātur antequam subverteret Dominus Sodomam et Gomorrham, sīcut paradīsus was-watered before over-threw the-Lord Sodom and Gomorrha as garden Dominī, et sīcut Ægyptus venientibus in Segor. of-Lord and as Egypt to-those-coming into Segor
NOTES  Because Lot is an indeclinable noun it could be regarded here as either dative (as assumed in the translation) or as a genitive. In either case, this is a straightforward statement of possession.  The Perizzites are a frequently mentioned group but nothing is known for certain about them.  Segor (Zoar in the Hebrew) is the name of a city in the Jordan plain, probably SE of the Dead Sea (see below, 14:2). However as this is not on the route from Canaan into Egypt it has been suggested that Zoar is an error for Zoan (the form of the name used in this verse in the Syriac Bible), a city on the eastern side of the Nile Delta, called Tanis in Greek. alternatively the refence is to a fortress on the eastern border of Egypt known as Zor or Zar (http://bibleatlas.org/zoan.htm). If the reading Zoar is correct, the phrase in Segor needs to be connected with omnem circā regiōnem Jordānis and the words between taken as in parenthesis (see http://biblehub.com/commentaries/genesis/13-10.htm). The Latin might then mean `he saw the whole region around the Jordan up to Zoar, which was irrigated..’ and of the Hebrew and Greek `he saw that the whole region……up to Zoar was irrigated…’