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Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol. CXII

March 18, 2016

As referenced earlier in the week, this is a busy and fun time of the year for people who enjoy classical history and dipping into the hagiography of the Catholic church.  Which is true:  I haven't been quite this busy blogging for three or four years, at least.  Four entries in one week?  Amazing.


And what have I talked about?  Oh, the usual things.  I've just rehashed the fact that I like desserts (especially pie), drinking, and redheads.  Nothing new here, I know.  Hope you were sitting down for that shocking revelation.


I glossed over the murder of Caesar for the Ides of March post in favor of the murder of Odoacer, Rex Italiae, since I felt like mixing things up a bit for the Ides of March post this year.  Same with St. Patrick:  I didn't so much discuss Patrick's life, legend, and legacy so much as I focused on some of the peripherals that are associated with Irish "history" and St. Patrick's Day celebrations.


Anyway, as is known, Julius Caesar was murdered in the Theater of Pompey on the Ides of March--March 15th--because various senators were worried that he had accrued too much power for himself and the Republic was moving toward rule by a single citizen...which, of course, happened a few years after Caesar's murder.  His murder was the thing that precipitated the end of the Republic; I think we call that irony.


Caesar was stabbed 23 times, and according to some "forensic" studies I've read, only one of the stab wounds was really deep enough to kill him.  It may have been that murder was not what was on the senators' minds when they attacked him, but more just to teach him a lesson.  Although, 23 stab wounds is quite a lesson.  What they didn't tell you is that there was one last senator in the group who had a bunch of lemon juice to pour in those wounds.  Talk about cruel and unusual punishment!


Famously (thanks in part to Shakespeare's dramatization of the event), Caesar withstood the attack until he saw his friend Brutus among the attackers.  In the play, Caesar asked aloud "Et tu, Brute? Then here falls Caesar."  In actually, he probably said "Kai su, teknon?" (according to Roman historian Suetonius, at least), which means "And you, child?" in Greek.  Whichever is more correct is debatable (not like we can ask anyone, unless the Doctor shows up to clarify Caesar's final moments), but I like to think that right before asking either of these questions, Caesar queried the senators as such:


"Estne pugio in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?"

Pronounced: "Est-nay poo-gee-oh in toh-ga, ahn so-loom tee-bee lee-bet may wee-dare-ay?"




That's no dagger.
Translation in the hovertext (I remembered how to do it).

Pugio was the Latin term for a dagger.  It's related to the word pugno which means "I fight" or "I combat" and several terms in English have been derived from this root, including "pugilist" which is a fancy word for "fighter" or "boxer."  To tie this all up together, my beloved Fighting Irish play their opening round tournament game today against the hated skunkbears from Michigan.  In Latin, the term for "Fighting Irish" would be "Hibernii Pugnaces," ergo I shall be watching the game tonight and shouting "Imus Hibernii Pugnaces!" at my computer screen.

Well, not really, but you get the idea.

In case you can't hovertext:  "Is that a dagger in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?"

2 comments:

Wynn said...

You do know I’m a red head right? Just pointing it out. You can do whatever you want with that information.

Also, still loving that you’re back. And also, you may update the link to my blog, I believe the one you have on your page is my old one!

MJenks said...

I did not know that you were a redhead. Thank you for pointing that out. That is definitely not a dagger in my pocket...

As for what I can do with that information...you probably don't want to know, but it will involve giving myself carpal tunnel syndrome...

And, I know I need to update my links and a lot of stuff. I've just been lazy.