Ok. I’m going to try to move some ‘comments’ to a new venue.


  1. purplejulian

    don’t forget, as to the black sea, it wasn’t a sea, not even much of a body of water, until the rising med broke through catastrophically and probably gave rise to the Noah myth, I suppose not long after 10,000 years ago ..

  2. CJ

    Yep. A LOT of water moved around 13000-10000 BC. The ice-age meltdown sparked the St. Lawrence/Hudson floods, the Lake Missoula Flood that carved the Columbia and Snake; possibly the release of a lake that started the Grand Canyon via the Colorado River channel, sending that highlands drainage toward the sea…
    Corals grow at a pretty precise relationship to the sea surface/tidal extremes, and the height of ancient coral beds shows sea level change. The Med’s level rising to overpower the Bosphoros levels, ergo filling the Black Sea basin, is beginning to seem beyond theoretical…and the meltdown would also have dumped floods down the Volga and Don, which would have started raising levels of whatever lake was there…there’s no proof of that, but it would seem remarkable if rivers were either forming or cutting loose all over the northern hemisphere and those two great rivers weren’t increasing flow.

    {Another really spectacular sight on a similar order with the Black Sea rise would have been the Gibraltar land bridge failure, ca. 5-some-odd million years ago: no people around to see that one, but wow!

  3. BlueCatShip

    Greek question: Out of nowhere, a Greek-sounding word appeared while imagining, unrelated to anything I had in mind, something new. The, uh, idea didn’t last past sleep, but the name did.

    Who or What, if anything, is Epaniou? I hear this as epsilon, stressed alpha, iota, Greek (or French) ou not u/upsilon. What little I know about Greek says -ou, -iou is a name ending, maybe “of, child of.”

    And just for the heck of it, another: Was there a personal name, family or given name, male or female, something like Rhodas? Note “-as” rather than -ês or another vowel. If so, what does it mean, is it related to the island of Rhodes or (a guess) red or pink like roses? Would that spelling indicate a specific case declension marker, or a certain dialect?

    I ask the second one, trying to figure out if an old oddity was a misunderstanding or something altogether else. There was another name (person) associated with Rhodas in that, but I no longer recall clearly. Maybe Thisbê? It might’ve been Pyrrhus or Solon, but I think those two, and maybe Thisbê too, are intruding from later. (I’m trying to verify a “that can’t have been what you thought” sort of thing. But if there’s some basis and I’m mistaken, then I’m even more curious.) wish I could recall for sure the other name.

  4. CJ

    In Greek, epi is onto, upon. Ani is again. So epanistemi (EPanEEstaymee] is to set up again or cause to stand up again. Other than that and other similars, the word figures as a French name.

    Pyramus and Thisbe is a Roman story from Ovid, whether original or adapted from a Greek story, and Ovid set it in Babylon or Nineveh under the reign of Queen Semiramis. Rhodes is a Greek colony famous for its colossal statue of Apollo. Which has fallen down and disappeared. So perhaps it has something to do with standing the statue up again—or France. Pyramus and Thisbe is the likely inspiration for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

  5. BlueCatShip

    Thanks! From that, I’d say I somehow got random syllables for Epaniou, though it’s curious there’s a close word as a verb form. For the second, I’d guess Rhodas is either idiosyncratic dialectal, or random. I wish I could remember the supposed other name that went with it. I probably have run across ref to Pyramus and Thisbe plenty of times, but wasn’t catching the relation in connection to the bit with Rhodas. All in all, that reinforces my suspicion that it was misheard, misunderstood rather than anything else. (I’d bet it was actually “road was,” of all things.) but I thought I should check, in case.

  6. CJ

    Remember that a’s and e’s are switched between Spartan and Athenian Greek (Doric and Ionian) and also t’s and s’s. The Spartan “With this (shield) or on it” is sun ha e epi tautas in Doric and sun he e epi tautes in Ionic. The sea in Doric is ta thalatta, in Ionic ta thalassa, so don’t be surprised by a little a/e switching.

    Since Greek combines one prepositional prefix after another, ejecting spare vowels with abandon (supercalifragilistic)unbuilding a composite word sometimes takes a knowledge of the topic.

  7. warriorofworry

    Breathlessly passes on the news that “The Demotic Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago” is complete! In English, not in German! Demotic was the cursive, everyday version of Egyptian writing.
    I would stay to squee, but have to go back to work, from which I started playing hooky when I saw the NYT headline. . .

  8. Sgt Saturn

    I was at a ‘big box’ brick-and-mortar bookstore yesterday and discovered that their is now a Latin translation of The Hobbit, Hobbitus Ille. My Latin is pretty rusty; so, I did not buy a copy; though, I may yet go back. Tolkien fans whose Latin skills are more current may be interested.

  9. purplejulian

    what fun! I used to have Winnie the Pooh in Latin. 😀

  10. Andrew_W

    That does sound like fun. I was using Winnie Ille Pu as my primer for my continuing quest to learn Latin, but it is Medieval Latin and did not work well. A Latin Hobbit would be a treat.

  11. Andrew_W

    Still amazed at word relations in English and then stumbling across the original relationship in Latin.

    Valida, Invalida. English Valid Invalid. In English we would see this as “accurate inaccurate”, or maybe “correct incorrect”.

    In our house we thought were making a nonsense joke by referring to someone who is sick as In-Valid. It was supposed to be a pun on the word invalid describing some one with a debilitating condition and indicating that they were no longer a valid human being.

    Now I stumble on the Latin Valida, Invalida as meaning Healthy and sick.

    This sort of thing still makes me laugh. I had always heard there was a lot of Latin underlying English but when is jumps out of a page at me like that it’s great.

  12. Andrew_W

    ugh, L. manet, E. remain.

  13. BlueCatShip

    Russian Question: Kolya, nickname for Nikolai — what are the Cyrillic letters? K-o-ly-a or K-o-l-ya or K-o-l-i/y-a? — wanting to do a little in Cyrillic to go with an illustration.

    Is there a nickname for Sergei?

    And — is there a root name Kir- something, and if so, what, for Kirov/a?

    • paul

      From a movie of the junkie “Anna Karenina” I once saw, she called her son (phonetically) “Seriosha” .

  14. CJ

    KO(upside down V)(backwards R) KOL-YA. I don’t think there’s an abbreviation for Sergei; and Kirov I think is a district, but I’m sure it has a meaning of some kind.

  15. Andrew_W

    Kirov is a name. I know it from reading up on the Russian Navy. “The” Kirov was, probably still is, a medium sized anti submarine warfare aircraft carrier. Her compliment of aircraft included some vertical take of and landing type jets plus a bunch of Helicopters. She was the center piece of the old Soviet Northern Red Banner Fleet. My assumption is that this ship was named after an individual most likely this fella .

    • BlueCatShip

      Thanks, CJ and Andrew. — Yes, I understand from that what the letters are for Kol-ya, thanks!

      Andrew, what I was getting at was that Kirov analyzes as a stem Kir- + an ending -ov(a) for “son (daughter) of the family.” By comparison, Aleksandr –> Aleksandrov(a), Nikolai –> Nikolaiev(a) (or close to that), so I take it that the root “Kir-” has a meaning as a personal name or some other noun. I was just wondering what that might be.

      Hah, I have already “not been studying” Japanese enough. I may have to add a book on Russian to satisfy my curiosity. — With the Rusalka books and other Russian references I keep running across, it’s piqued my curiosity.

      Note to self: *Make* time to study languages each night. Get serious about reviewing past data and learn new stuff.

  16. Andrew_W

    I am stuck on a simple sentence. I am still in Cornellia, re-reading from the beginning and getting a better handle on things. But I have come to a part of the story where she and her dad are going to town. They have come across a house “Domum” occupied by some troops. These troops complain that their “Dux” is severely lacking in many things and they are tired of it all. The leader makes the following three statements, “Domum eo. Ire non debeo. Hoc intellego.”
    I am reading this, “Hence this house, , Be aware of this.” That middle statement has me baffled. Probably because I am too invested in my interpretation of the context. I am reading this scene as a confrontation with some disgruntled soldiers who have deserted, and hence have taken refuge at this house, and that Corneliea and her father need to be aware that “Ire non debeo”. Here is the full quote:
    “Eram miles bonus,” inquit miles. “Periculum non timeo,
    fortiter pugno. Sed defessus sum. Domum ire cupio. Dux
    non est benignus quod periculum est magnum, nullum auxilium
    habet, nullos socios habet, satis magnas copias non
    habet. Domum eo. Ire non debeo. Hoc intellego. . . ”

    (my temptation is read it as a warning, “we are not responsible” for what may happen. Or, and excuse, “It’s not our fault”. But, I just can’t quite be sure which way to go here.


  17. CJ

    There is a weird usage that has survived into English. Domum (house) and Romam can be used as a direction with a verb like *eo*—*I’m going.* I’m going home. Romam eo. I’m going (to) Rome.
    The quote says:
    “I used to be (one use of the imperfect) a good soldier,” said a soldier. “I’m not afraid of the danger. I fight hard (strongly/bravely). But I’m exhausted. (de-out/down fessus-tired). I want to go home. The general’s not kind, because there’s a huge danger, he’s got no relief (aid/help,) he’s got no allies, he hasn’t got (big enough) enough supplies (plenitude). I’m going home. I shouldn’t go. (I owe/ought not). I know it (this)….”

    The imperfect can always be translated ‘used to’ or ‘would’ ‘was—ing’ or ‘—ed a lot or often’ . The popular verb ‘got’ meaning must (I’ve got to) is debeo, which can also mean owe money… And the verb ‘got’ meaning acquired “I got a horse” can be ‘took” (cepi) if you stole it. The verb ‘I got up’ can be surrexi (I arose). And I’ve got a house…”casam habeo.” And Get out! “Exi!”—(i is imperative of eo) and exi is BTW, really, really, really rude, practically a swear word. Sometimes it’s not Latin that’s hard, it’s English. I used to counsel some of the Vietnamese evacuees re English, and one came to me asking what a ‘whacha’ was. I asked for it in a sentence. “whacha got?” I explained that got can mean have, and whacha was short for What do you………. Whacha got, whacha have, whereya goin?

  18. BlueCatShip

    Another hint about debere, debeo, debit, et cetera. As CJ says, “debere” means “to owe, ought to.” Through both Latin and Norman French, we get the words debit, debtor, debt, but also noun and verb due, dues. Your French homework, les devoirs, are your “works owed or due,” from the French infinitive, and “du(e)(s)” are the past participles for the verb.

    So when the soldier says, “debeo,” it’s “I owe, I ought to, I must, I should” or even “I’m indebted, I have this due someone.” (Hmm, duty is probably a false cognate from another root, though.) The Spanish “debeo” only changed pronunciation a tiny bit: The b sound is blurred to a bh, halfway between a b and a v in English, apparently like beta.

    “Timeo” is cognate to our “timid,” probably Latin “timidus.”

    I could read some of the roots there in the Latin, but just looking at it without studying Latin, I was having trouble telling if the verbs were simple future or past imperfect.

    — I have a question about GN in Latin. Is there any consensus on whether that’s G+N, or NG, or (later) NY? In classes and reading, there seemed to be two theories, or else both G+N and NG sounds occurred. — I’ve never been clear on when Latin pronunciation shifted to palatals, the “soft consonants” for C, G, T, D, N, L, J/Y, and when QU, GU, HU?, V went from W to V. (Obviously before Common Romance and the “Old” stages of the daughter languages.) — Or when AE and OE and Y went to E and I sounds instead of diphthongs or umlaut modified vowels. I’ve never seen the suggestion that AE became “a in cat” or “a in cat” plus “ee,” “aa-ee,” and yet the Anglo-Saxons used the AE ligature for exactly those.

    …Like I need another book on my To Read Pile… 😀

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