Friday, September 29, 2006

To hedgehog is human/ A Knight Hedgehog / Hedgehogos, son of Aphrodite

OK, first off, I'd just like to get the preamble out of the way:

I. HATE. LATIN., that statement was a lie, but still, its just good to get it off my chest. I will now commence with a short quatrain:

"Latin is a dead language
As dead as dead can be.
First it killed the Romans
And now its killing me."


So I'm three weeks into LAT100 and boy is my brain tired. Latin is easier than Czech and certainly easier than Greek. Out of the dozens of verbs we've learned so far only two, TWO, are irregular, and they're "to be" and "to be able to" (sum and possum). Its so simple I could cry...and so hard I could throw myself out a window.

The good news is that I've finally got to actually doing the studying work, and its starting to sink in. My phenomenal genius brain is finally paying off. Apparently I was meant to learn Latin. I have high hopes.

But you may be wondering, dutiful reader (not so duitiful seeing as how I've updated this damn blog maybe 12 times in the last 4 months), what the hell my little title means.

Well, as some who've met me know, I tend to run my mouth faster than my brain sometimes, which leads to the inevitable appearence of the word "er" rather frequently in my vocabulary.

In Latin, "er" translates as "hedgehog".

You get a few seconds to laugh before I continue.





This led one scholar to determine that since the word was so short and common, it must mean that the Romans had a proliferation of hedgehogs (this is not born out by any literature I've read, including Cattulus and Ovid who would surely have mentioned hedgehogs SOMEWHERE), but it DOES paint an amusing picture of Rome as a very hedgehogy state. Remember the world of nothing but shrimp?

Think of how history would have been different if writers had bothered to mention their hedgehog problems. Did Spartacus' rebels get their weapons by flinging hedgehogs from catapults at the Roman legions? Was it the shrill cry of a stomped on hedgehog that led the conspirators to believe that Caesar wasn't dead they might as well stab him a few more times for good measure? Did, god help me, Nero think of all the cute little hedegehogs he must have been killing when he burnt down half the city?

...though, to be honest, I'd always thought of hedgehogs as a uniquely British phenomenon (the only place you see them in Canada is pet stores and at Purdy's as their famous hazelnut hedgehog-shaped truffles). Maybe the Romans wiped them all out in Italy. I'll have to ask Frank when I go to work tomorrow. I have no clue where in Italy my boss is FROM, but presumably its somewhere where there were once Romans.

Which brings me back to thinking about that issue of Lucifer. "Mona, you shall be goddess of hedgehogs. And Elaine, you shall be goddess of everything BUT hedgehogs." Cue giant ghostly Mona and giant ghostly Elaine at the end, huge in the sky. Both are wearing togas. Mona has her arms full of hedeghogs (magna mater er [The Great Mother of Hedgehogs]), and Elaine just looking generally deific.

I've got a whole lot to say tomorrow, in which I go all Spider Jerusalem and go gonzo over NextWave. Its like Shakespeare, but with LOTS more punching.



Anonymous Frank/Dario said...

The Romans were all over Italy. Definitely better ask your boss for a specific location :p


9:42 a.m.  

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