Odious and Peculiar
Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.
O&P's Current Pick:
Saturday, March 24, 2012
On Things I did not Know Existed: An epic poem on syphilis. The author was apparently one of the more influential early proponents of the contagion theory of disease. My Latin does not permit me to translate; here you may find some englished excerpts.
Slowly a caries, born amid squalor in the body's shameful parts, became uncontrollable and began to eat the areas on either side and even the sexual organ. Then the symptoms of this defilement betrayed themselves more clearly. For as soon as the clean, kindly light of day had retreated and brought on the melancholy shades of night, and the innate heat, which at night usually makes for the deep internal parts, had abandoned the surface of the body, and no longer nursed the limbs now covered in a thick mass of humors, then the joints, arms, shoulder-blades and calves were tormented by intolerable pains.It is worth remembering that syphilis dropped off sharply in virulence, kill rate, and agonizing pain after its initial introduction into Europe; previously, it certainly earned its name of the "Great Pox".
Friday, March 23, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
It is St. Joseph's day, a good day for eating much and brewing beer. Here's what St. Teresa of Avila had to say of him:
I took for my advocate and lord the glorious Saint Joseph and commended myself earnestly to him; and I found that this my father and lord delivered me both from this trouble and also from other and greater troubles concerning my honor and the loss of my soul, and that he gave me greater blessings than I could ask of him. I do not remember even now that I have ever asked anything of him which he has failed to grant. I am astonished at the great favors which God has bestowed on me through this blessed saint, and at the perils from which He has freed me, both in body and in soul. To other saints the Lord seems to have given grace to succor us in some of our necessities but of this glorious saint my experience is that he succors us in them all and that the Lord wishes to teach us that as He was Himself subject to him on earth (for, being His guardian and being called His father, he could command Him) just so in Heaven He still does all that he asks. This has also been the experience of other persons whom I have advised to commend themselves to him; and even to-day there are many who have great devotion to him through having newly experienced this truth.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Red Deer Cave people: a possible new human species, unearthed in Yunnan Province, China.
Hat tip: Chas.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Apropos of John Bellairs, I didn't realize that Edward Gorey did his illustrations.
This'll really piss off the Greeks!
Turcophile though I am, I can't say this is in the best taste. Plotting papists notwithstanding, they're really stretching to portray the Ottomans as noble underdogs in this fight. But, historical nuance be damned, the giant cannon and the carrying of the ships over the hill to the Golden Horn are events which really deserve to be portrayed on film, and it wasn't likely to happen in any context besides Turkish nationalism (though John Bellairs' Trolley to Yesterday could make a good movie).
They should do the battle of Manzikert next. I'll bet it could be filmed largely on the actual location too: pretty sure it's still nice and empty out there in Muş. And Alp Arslan with his giant mustaches tied behind his head is surely a dream role for some actor.
Hat tip: Byzantine Blog.
I am prepared to believe any conspiracy theory whatsoever that involves the Denver airport.
Via Rod Dreher.
Monday, March 05, 2012