Romulus and Remus unhinged!

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Postby Linguist » Sat Jan 28, 2006 6:05 am

Hello RS,

Thank you for the link, I appreciate it. :D



Um,... Rocket Scientist, Image ... are you aware of the seed you have planted, deep in the hidden recesses of the readers' minds, by linking "Linguist", "illuminating", "DayBrown", and a website with a seal in Italian, that remarkably resembles the Vatican's together :shock: ...


... because all that will register in the collective consciousness is "Linguist", "Illuminati", "Dan Brown" and "Vatican"... Image


I have a feeling I'll never be able to live this one down... :roll: :lol:


... aaaaaannnd, Ladieeeees and Gentlemennnnn, that's how conspiracy theories are born... Image



Cheers! :lol:

PS Sorry for the smileys - I'm addicted to them... *sigh*
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linguistics

Postby stan gilliam » Sat Jan 28, 2006 7:40 am

Excuse me, I have to catch my breath, after reading linguist's post! :shock: :roll: :P :idea: :!:
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inscription for comparison

Postby Linguist » Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:54 am

Stan, I'm sorry - are you OK? :lol:

Image

Uh, oh! :shock: Upon closer inspection, I just realized what threw me off, when I earlier glanced at the little picture of the inscription that Minimalist posted... the letters appear to be backwards and should be rotated 180 degrees... it's like I'm looking through a transparent slide from the wrong side... Greek is read and written from left to right.

Just like Nordic Runes... a few of which I seem to recognize, if I imagine them reversed, such as the "lagu" (line 1, 3rd from the right), the "hagal", "as", "rad", "fe"... but what is really poking me in the eye here is the letter "A".

Image If written from left to right (by a right-handed person), the first stroke on the letter "A" is usually a straight line down, then the second stroke usually curves slightly, initiated from the start to the finish of the stroke, top to bottom. Depends on the surface of course... quill/ink on parchment or papyrus, a stilus on copper or other type of metal, or a chisel/hammer applied on a rock, can make a difference. When chiseling letters into a hard surface such as stone, a straight line is usually easier to execute than a curve, which takes more manual dexterity, effort, and "sophisticated" metal tools to achieve the desired result, but is relatively easy to execute on a softer surface and smaller "writing" tool and a liquid medium. It's very unusual, to see this order reversed on all the letters "A" in this picture... Only if one is writing letters of an alphabet from right to left, such as in Hebrew or Arabic, would the sequence as shown on the picture make more sense.

But then again, I'm no expert, and just because I can't tell what script or language it's supposed to be, doesn't mean it doesn't exist, so please be gentle with me... Image

At the moment, I can't come up with an elegant transition to the original subject either, so I bid you all a good day! :wink:

Cheers! :lol:
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Postby Frank Harrist » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:02 am

Maybe the negative of the picture was reversed, Linguist.
Frank Harrist
 

Postby Frank Harrist » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:10 am

Nah, looking at it again it probably ain't reversed. :oops:
Frank Harrist
 

Postby Minimalist » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:10 am

Thanks, Linguist, for bringing a little light to the subject and welcome aboard. You inspired me to go back to that web site and explore further.

First of all, here is the web site:

http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/course/79-104/Readings/Gallery/


(It's World History with slides, apparently.)


Mucking around this time I did find this particular photo and it announces as follows:

46. Mosaic with a wolf suckling Romulus and Remus at Ma'arrat al-Nu'man, Syria, with inscription showing that the mosaic came from a hospital built in 511.


This of course is fully in keeping with your observation as Syria had been Greek (or at least Hellenistic) for 3 centuries before the Romans got there having been overrun by that noted Macedonian, Big Alex, and then part of the Seleucid Empire, for a long time thereafter. Greek would have been well established as the language of the elite by the time this hospital was built.


In addition, on the same page, is this image of a bracelet modeled on a Roman coin.

Image

The caption here:

45. Germanic gold bracteate pendant from the late 5th to early 6th century. The design imitates an "Urbs Roma" coin, with the head of Roma above a wolf suckling Romulus and Remus.


is interesting because it is dated well after the "fall" of Rome yet still shows the mythology which would have been 1,300-1,500 years old.
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Postby Linguist » Sun Feb 05, 2006 6:01 am

Thank you, Minimalist! I appreciate it! :D You all have inspired me, too.

Hospital, you say... Huh!... Why then,... I suppose the "dress for success" is applicable... in more ways than one... :P

If you all don't mind, I'd like to hang out in this thread for a little while - it's a fun subject and rather rich :lol: ... mmmhhh, fashion, jewelry...

Something curious happened to me, and I'd like to share the thought process and insight with you all. It is remarkable, how much knowledge one acquires and then forgets. You don't use it, you lose it! I have to admit that I was shooting from the hip in my posts, drawing upon the knowledge one picks up in the course of time... I did not consult reference material. And, I promptly fell prey to the workings of my own mind. :roll: :lol:

The discussion amongst you was about the language on the mosaic and then Minimalist wrote "And the writing does look Etruscan if you compare it to this" and he posted the picture with the script.

To compare to - means emphasizing similarities (as opposed to "compare with", which draws attention to the difference - which is what my brain registered, since I knew the two were not the same...). I knew the letters on the mosaic were Greek. Mumbling "this isn't Greek!" I stared so hard at the little picture with the script, that the letters started to dance in front of my eyes. At that point, I reached for the bottle with the clear liquid... *sniff*... yep, still water... and I didn't pay any attention to the pesky thoughts that kept nudging into my frontal lobe... C.W. Ceram... ancient scripts... ETRUSCAN...

Well, a little later, light hit marble head... for one, Minimalist never said that the script on the little picture was Greek... he compared the letters on the mosaic to the Etruscan script in the little picture - not the other way round... Image

Gods, Graves & Scholars by C.W. Ceram was the first book on archaeology I read as a child; and one of several lasting impression I got from it was a word in connection with ancient scripts, which I found fascinating: "bustrophedon" - wie der Ochse beim Pfluegen wendet - the way an ox-plow turns... In the beginning, Etruscan was written from right to left...
A quick search on "ancient scripts" on the internet brought it all back... Image Note to self: it's helpful to get all the parameters right, and reading clearly has its advantages... :twisted: Also, remembering that one is more comfortable and at home with modern languages, one should so their homework when it comes to ancient scripts :roll: It's hard enough to try and make sense of the languages we encounter today - live and in color. The opportunitities to get it wrong today are infinite... How much worse this all is when we try to understand languages that have been "dead" for a few centuries or millenia...

When I say "yep, still water" - what does it really mean? Water contained in a non-porous vessel is without sound or silent. If the vessel is not picked up or shaken, it is also not moving or stationary. The description of "tranquil" or "calm" is also applicable. If I took a video of the bottle containing a clear liquid I identify as water, and used a snap-shot, i.e. a single photograph, I'd also get a still still. If I move from the adjectives describing the word "still" to the adverbs, I can confirm that at or up to the time indicated, the vessel contained an odorless clear liquid I identified as water (earlier, when I took a swig it was water, and since I didn't leave the vessel unattended and thereby excluding the possibility of someone swapping the contents of the bottle with something more potent without my knowledge, the content should be water), so the synonyms "even" (ha! the surface of water could be described as even, if the table is perfectly level!) "yet" and "nevertheless" all make some sense, too! And doesn't a still - an apparatus used for distilling liquids, esp. alcoholic liquids - add a hilarious touch in this context? Did the "still" describe non-carbonated water, refer to a point in time, or maybe both???? Um, good question...! If nothing else, now you know how the "anal" got into "analysis"... :twisted: :lol:

So many words, and I haven't even touched the subject of fashion yet... history - and its myths and legends - is very much alive today. Why would an African dictator rebuild the Vatican - a few centuries after the original was made? Why would a Russian magnate have a private villa built that mirrors the styles of times gone by? What makes fashion designers drag out elements of clothing that have been around for centuries and in a variety of cultures all over the world and sell them as THE newest and hottest style - every few years over...? :shock: Platform shoes??? Oh, no!!! Not again!!!!!

You walk into any jewelry store in Northern Greece, and the first thing you see is "traditional" jewelry with coins depicting Alexander the Great in various renditions - to include those that look like "Urbs Roma" (who by the way, if a city is female - what with the Latin "-a" ending - could use a razor - that stubble is just not very lady-like!)... The mind boggles... :wink: :lol: :lol: I'll think about it some more... :P
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Postby Rokcet Scientist » Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:33 am

Good plan
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Postby Minimalist » Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:48 am

for one, Minimalist never said that the script on the little picture was Greek... he compared the letters on the mosaic to the Etruscan script in the little picture




Truthfully, Linguist, not that much thought went into it. It was obvious that it wasn't Cuneiform, hieroglyphics, or Phoenician and there always were those lingering doubts that the Etruscans were Trojan refugees and the Trojans may have been closely related to the Mycaenean Greeks.
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Postby Guest » Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:17 pm

Well, that doesn't really through much of a wrench into my idea of Rome's founding. I actually believe in a historical foundation for the story. From what I've heard the date for the Trojan war would have been sometime in the 13th c. so that leaves plenty of time for some Trojans to move in with the native Etruscans and Romulus and Remus could have been born sooner or later. The part about the wolf though, I'll just go with Livy for now.
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Postby Morgana » Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:18 pm

Oops, that was me.
That Etruscan writting does look similar to runes. Runes could be written both ways too. I wonder if there could have been some influence.
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Postby Rokcet Scientist » Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:40 pm

Please enlighten me, Morgana, what does Livy have to offer on the subject?
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Postby Morgana » Sun Feb 05, 2006 6:49 pm

From Minimalist's quote of Livy (page 3 of this thread):
Some writers think that Larentia, from her unchaste life, had got the nickname of "She-wolf" amongst the shepherds, and that this was the origin of the marvellous story.

Or something similar.
Sounds a lot more reasonable as a name for a person than an actuall wolf but who knows where that part of the story came from.
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linguist

Postby stan » Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:14 pm

Hey, linguist, I really like your writing!! :D :D
The deeper you go, the higher you fly.
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Postby Minimalist » Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:53 pm

Rokcet Scientist wrote:Please enlighten me, Morgana, what does Livy have to offer on the subject?



From page 3 of this discussion, Livy's telling of the tale. The reference to "some writers" would have been Livy's way of footnoting earlier writers of Roman history who had first told the tale.

The locality was then a wild solitude. The tradition goes on to say that after the floating cradle in which the boys had been exposed had been left by the retreating water on dry land, a thirsty she-wolf from the surrounding hills, attracted by the crying of the children, came to them, gave them her teats to suck and was so gentle towards them that the king's flock-master found her licking the boys with her tongue. According to the story, his name was Faustulus. He took the children to his hut and gave them to his wife Larentia to bring up. Some writers think that Larentia, from her unchaste life, had got the nickname of "She-wolf" amongst the shepherds, and that this was the origin of the marvellous story.
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