Thursday, September 20, 2012

Diderot inventa l'encyclopédie? Non:

Vincent de Beauvais écrivit bien avant Diderot son Speculum Maius et Michel Psellos son Omnifaria doctrina aussi, dont par exemple cet info sur la Grande Année:
L'auteur byzantin du XIe Michel Psellos rapporte avec quelques avertissements que "la période cosmique embrasse 1 753 200 ans apres lesquels tous les astres errants se rencontrent au 30e degré du Cancer ou au 1er du Lion: alors arrive le déluge universel" (Omnifaria doctrina, cap. 125).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Marco, Donata, Fantina

Marco Polo was born in 1254. His wife Donata Badoer was born in 1280. 26 years of difference, as there were 25 between Georg von Trapp (widower rather than explorer) and Maria, born Kutschera, the heroine of Sound of Music. They - Marco and Donata - married in 1300, when she was 20 years old.* Their daughter Fantina was born in 1303, married a man jealous of her riches, since he - Marco Bragadin by name - took from her what according to her father's testament was her very personal property. When Bragadin dies, she gets her own back when appealing to judges like Marco Dandolo, Giovanni Michiel e Natale Ghezzo.

What lessons can be learnt from this?

One is that marrying late is for a man less bad than - for gynæcological reasons - it is for a woman. It has been done and can be done. In the same vein: a difference of age where the wife is younger than her husband is also within possible limits.

A third is that legal guarantees are not sufficient for a woman not to be oppressed by a rich husband. Now we get a lot of meddling with families where husband is or is supposed to be brutal, but usually they are poor men. And a fourth is that at least back then it was still possible for a woman if belatedly after widowhood to get her rights back. Nowadays I am less sure. Especially as often the oppressor is an organ of the Modern Welfare State, like psychiatry.

A sad fifth is that if a father dies soon, as can happen if he marries late, he is not there to protect the interests of his children. By the way, Fantina was not the only child, there were three daughters of Marco Polo and Donata: after Fantina came Bellela and Moreta.

And of course: famous people have real lives. Marco Polo's happiness was not living at the court of Kubilai Khan, but returning to Venice and marrying Donata. Although this one is very much less talked about.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Boulogne-Billancourt
San Giuseppe di Cupertino
Sacerdote, Franciscano
18-IX-2012

PS: I nearly forgot to mention it also involves a lesson about the fact that Enrique Dandolo (involved in IVth Crusade after a conflict with Byzance) was far from the only Dandolo in Venice. There were lots of Dandolos who were Doges. The line reaches back to twelfth century at least.

*For the von Trapp couple the year is 1927.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Le baltoslave et le germanique se valent, non?

Pour Hilaire Belloc, chantre de l'Entente Cordiale si en fût, et de Rome, les langues et tribus baltoslaves et germaniques n'étaient qu'un continuum assez flou, originairement de barbarie. Mais il y a des faits qui ont pu prêter à cette confusion, pour absurde qu'elle soit pour un linguiste. En letton on a pas mal des emprunts de l'allemand, puisque les Chevaliers de l'Épée étaient d'origine allemande:

Herzogtum Kurland und Semgallen
Kurzemes un Zemgales hercogiste


Quand au Sorabe, pas mal de leur toponyme passent en allemand: Lipsk devient Leipzig, Budyšin Bautsen, Chóśebuz Cottbus, et ainsi de suite. Et la région, Łužyca devient Lausitz. Même Berlin est un mot slave. Et dans les années formatives de Belloc, le si-dit-Empire prusso-germanique (usurpant les droits impériaux de l'Autriche qui était resté catholique et traditionnelle) comprenait encore des endroits dont les noms allemands en cachent des noms baltes ou slaves: Danzig ou Memel.

En plus le tribu des Hérules, réputé germanique et s'ayant en parti fondue dans une région suédoise (Wärend en Smaalandie) semble à une époque avoir parlé une langue balte. La prière dominicale en hérulien ne commence pas avec "fader unser/our/vor" ou quelque chose comme ça, mais avec "tewe musu" comme en lithuanien. Mais pour celui qui parle une de ces langues, par exemple le suédois en comprenant déjà avant d'apprendre pas mal en hollandais ou en allemand et presque tout en danois écrit, c'est embêtant d'être pris pour quelqu'un du groupe slave ou balte, dont on comprend miettes - grace à sa culture plus ou moins linguiste plutôt qu'à sa langue.

Et pourtant, pour les francophones ce préjugé est assez encré. Temoin: la langue syldave inventé par Hergé est censée être parlé par un peuple slave, mais elle est très proche du Marrols, un dialect très populaire du flamand parlé à Bruxelles. Et, malgré ce préjugé, on lit volontiers Belloc ou Hergé. Mais c'est après avoir appris le français assez soigneusement un peu embêtant de se voir cantonné avec des Russes comme si on avait plus en commun avec eux qu'avec les français. Ils sont gentils (malgré leur préjugés souvent antilatins), mais s'ils ne parlent pas l'anglais c'est difficile de parler avec eux.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Paris
St Nom de Marie
12-IX-2012

Mise-à-jour:

Les langues nordiques sont germaniques, non slavones ni baltes

"Bon soir"
GermaniqueBaltoslave

Suédois
God afton, god qväll
Danois
God aften
Norvégien
God aften
Allemand
Guten Abend
Néerlandais
Goeie Avond
Anglais
Good Evening

Lithuanien
Geras Vakaras
Polonais
Dobry Wieczor
Croate
Dobar Vakar (?)
"un grand lac"
GermaniqueBaltoslave

Suédois
En stor sjö
Danois
En stor sø
Norvégien
En stor sjø? sø?
Allemand
Ein großer See
Néerlandais
Een groot zee (?)
Anglais
A great lake

Lithuanien
Didelis Ezheras
Polonais
?... Jezhór
Croate
? ?


Pour le Polonais, j'ai oublié comment dire "grand". "Bolszy" veut dire "plus grand" - comme les mots en -szy sont généralement des comparatifs. Pour le Croate, je n'ai même pas idée comment se dit lac. Pour le Croate je ne suis même pas sûr que "vakar" est "soir. Mais "dobar" est bien "bon", comme aussi "dobar dan"="bon jour". Quand au "zh" en Lituanien et Polonais, ce n'est pas comme ça qu'ils écrivent le son - c'est celui de "j" en français. Le "j" en Polonais par contre est un iod, comme y en français.

Pour "grand" les langues nordiques ont "stor", mot inconnu ailleurs en langues germaniques. La forme nordique pour groß / groot / great serait gröt / grød / grøt - mais ça veut dire bouilli, porridge. Et pour l'anglais certainement et le hollandais peut-être aussi la forme "sea" (hollandais "zee") veut dire "la mer". Alors, je ne sais pas si les hollandais disent "een groot meer" plutôt - mais en Allemand c'est "ein großes Meer" qui serait quelque chose comme l'Atlantique ou la Pacifique. L'anglais, où je sais que "sea" est la mer, utilise "lake" - emprunt du français "lac" - pour le lac.

Je crois que la distinction entre les langues Germaniques, y compris Nordiques, et les langues Baltoslaves est une distinction assez nette et indiscutable, ce que ces examples suffisent pleinement à illustrer.

C'est aussi assez indicustable que mon niveau en suédois et en allemand et en anglais est plus sûr qu'en danois, norvégien, néerlandais, mais que mon niveau est même beaucoup meilleur en néerlandais que dans les langues baltoslaves (lithuanien - deux cours de demi-temps pris en parallèle pour former quasi un en plein temps; polonais - un cours en demi-temps plus les deux premières semaines du cours suivant; croate - des informations orales et des regards en dictionnaire).

C'est donc assez embêtant d'être pris pour in plombier polonais par certains quand je suis un universitaire suédois. Pas que j'aurais honte d'être polonais ou d'être plombier, mais c'est embêtant de s'y mettre pour l'un et pour l'autre quand on a 44 ans.

C'est aussi embêtant parce que certains de nouveaux venus de Pologne ont pas très bien appris le français, et moi oui. Mon niveau en français est supérieur à celui en néerlandais.

Ces embêtements viennent pour des motifs qui ne sont pas exactement des observations honnêtes et intelligentes honnêtement transmises aux autres.

1/ Il y a des gens qui ne veulent pas qu'on me lise: si j'étais un plombier polonais j'aurais davantage des difficultés avec le français et les Français auraient davantage des difficultés de me lire que le cas échéant.

2/ Il y a des gens qui voudraient me tamponner comme étranger à la France, et certains pays Baltoslaves doivent culturellement plus à Constantinople qu'à Paris. Ce n'est pas le cas avec la Suède.

3/ Il y a des gens de l'Est qui boivent beaucoup qu'on voit dans les rues de Paris (pas si nombreux, mais beaucoup notés) - et il y a des gens qui voudraient me tamponner comme un buveur.

4/ Il y a des gens de l'Est qui ont récemment quitté leurs pays soit pour motif économique dans une économie détruite dans le post-communisme ou pour échapper à des conditions plus difficiles pour les homosexuels dans le post-communisme. Et il y a des gens qui voudraient me confondre avec l'une ou l'autre groupe.

Donc, écrire des messages en polonais ou russe courant dans mon livre d'or, ou promouvoir des filles - même très belles et même de très bon renommé - venues de ces pays n'est pas si bien ciblé à propos de moi.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Dimanche en Octave de Noël
30-XII-2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Was Peter the Aleut a Martyr?


In 1815 a group of Aleut seal and otter hunters, including Peter, were captured by Spanish sailors, who took them to San Francisco for interrogation. With threats of torture, the Roman Catholic priests in California attempted to force the Aleuts to deny their Orthodox faith and to convert to Roman Catholicism.

When the Aleuts refused, the priest had a toe severed from each of Peter's feet. et c.[from Orthodox Wiki]


The following account seems very suspect of being plagiarised from the Martyrdom of St John the Persian. Martyred under Pagan Sassanids, not Christian priests of any confession at all.

Here is where the story is from:

Upon receiving the report of Peter's death from Simeon Yanovsky, St. Herman back on Kodiak Island was moved to cry out, "Holy new-martyr Peter, pray to God for us!" Peter the Aleut was formally recognized as a saint, as the "Martyr of San Francisco", in 1980. We have the account of St. Peter's martyrdom from Simeon Yanovsky as related him by St. Peter's cellmate who escaped torture. Simeon Yanovsky ended his life as the schemamonk Sergius in the St. Tikhon of Kaluga Monastery, and is the author of The Life of St. Herman of Alaska.


So though Simeon Yanovsky is our authority, he is no witness, and his source is "St. Peter's cellmate who escaped torture".

Is this at all credible? If not, why would the Aleut's cell-mate have lied?

Let us have a look at the situation of the Catholic Church in California back then:

1813


The Spaniard Cortés passes a decree looking toward the secularization of the missions. From the beginning the idea had been that the mission system was only a temporary expedient for the civilization of the natives, and was supposed to last but ten years. This time was extended as it was seen to be too short. But there began to grow a feeling of dissatisfaction with the system as it was felt the Indians were not trained in independence and in the knowledge of citizenship. The government decided that the missions should be secularized, that is the Indians were to receive their lands to use individually - the missions had only ostensibly been keepers of the lands for the rightful owners, the Indians. The religious work was to be turned over to parish priests, and the missionaries were to seek new fields. The Indians were to be gathered into pueblos to learn the duties of self government and self-support. This plan was not carried out for twenty years, though it came up again and again in the intervening years. This scheme of secularizing the California missions amounted in effect to government confiscation.


So Roman Catholic priests, heavily persecuted by the Masonic Government, nevertheless have the zeal to persecute an Orthodox for refusing to communicate in azymes? And they carry out the death penalty themselves? And they are inventive about mortal tortures, like the old pagan persecutors?

None of this rings the least true.

For one thing, Schism ecclesiastically was not punishable by death, unlike heresy. A burning of Avvakum for dissent about the proper liturgy could not have occurred with one sharing the creed of Nicea, even without the filioque, though it has old roots in Spain, previous to any Germanic occupation.

For another thing, priests never did the actual burning themselves. Not even when they doubled the role of secular judges meting it out: the burning was left to secular servants.

And thirdly, if heresy was punished by death rather than penance or lifelong prison, the death penalty was uniformly fire. Disembowelling occurred among English, when they punished Catholics for treason, but not among Catholics when they punished heresy.

Look at another circumstance:

They were about to torture the next Aleut when orders were received to release them under escort to their monastery in Monterey.


Martyrdom is in San Francisco, but monastery is in Monterey?

Distance de San Francisco à Monterey
calcul itinéraire, carte routière, distance kilométrique, temps estimé,
118 miles


I have seen a shorter account, maybe another route:

What is the distance between San Francisco AND Monterey?
The distance between San Francisco and Monterey in a straight line is 87 miles or 139.98 Kilometers


Ah, indeed a shorter route: key words in a straight line (highlighted in text by me).

Can there have been interests in arranging for a lie to be told to St Herman of Alaska?

One can maybe rule out political interests. Even though such were there.

1806


Nikolai Petrovich Rezanoff, representative of the Czar of Russia, visits the Russian colony in Alaska and, seeing the immediate necessity of providing the colony with food nearer than that sent from China, decides to visit California to open negotiations with the government for the purchase of breadstuffs, of which California had a surplus; and also with the ultimate end in view of founding within the limits of California a Russian colony.

...

1816


Otto von Kotzebue, commanding a scientific expedition from Russia, visits California. In the party was Dr. Eschscholtz, for whom the California poppy was named Eschscholtzia California. The published account of this expedition forms a very valuable contribution to the scientific literature of the period and the place.


But maybe the cellmate of Peter the Aleut was neither himself into Russian Politics, nor bribed or threatened into lying by Freemasons involved in such politics (remember, as late as 1809 Czar Alexander was still a progressive, who agressed the Swedish king Gustav IV Adolf because the same swedish King refused to side with Napoleon whom he considered Antichrist). Even though intriguers have their ways of bribing or threatening simple, otherwise honest, people into lying and into lying catastrophically.

Maybe the reason was the cellmate wanted to spare Peter from the curse of bishop Herman, who had threatened eternal death and the excommunication of the Orthodox Church, thus also his own curse, if they communicated in azymes. For maybe Peter the Aleut was indeed once one of Herman's Alaskan fold and became for love of a Californian girl and by honesty of marriage, one of the sheep in some Latin Bishop's fold, in California. I read on an earlier version of the Orthodox wiki that the first miracle was recorded 50 years later. Might be he lived a holy married life as a Roman Catholic and indeed was a saint when much later than 1815 he died.

Peter the Aleut was as far as I can see no liar, only lied about. He might have been a saint. Herman of Alaska was, as far as I can see, only lied to, and thus no liar either. He might have been a saint.

But one Paul Balaster was also at least at one time certainly saying an untrue thing about St Robert Bellarmine's text (unless his "Why I left Roman Catholicism" is a complete forgery, but this has not been verified), which it is very improbable he could have picked up from where he said he found the quote.

Here is why I think St Robert Bellarmine was not Papalatrous, and why I think Paul Balaster was not, at least not when writing the text, a saint.

Link
deretour
Pseudoquote identified. What De Romano Pontifice, book IV, chapter V really says (quote)


He credits the Pope with less infallibility about particulars than Modern Culture credit shrinks with:

Dicimus PRIMVM, non posse errare Pontificem in iis praeceptis, quae toti Ecclesiae praescribuntur; quia, vt suprà diximus, in praeceptis, & iudiciis particularibus, non est absurdum Pontificem errare.


Which I translated as:

FIRSTLY we say, that the Pontiff cannot err in precepts, which are prescribed for all the Church; since, as we said above, it is not absurd that a Pontiff err in precepts or judgements on particular matters.


But Modern Culture generally treats shrinks as in practise infallible about whomever they decide to call their patients and claim expertise about. Sadly enough. A man may be stamped as homosexual because a shrink thinks so, and nobady asks if the shrink is seing his neighbours hearts and reins. Such deadly infallibility was not what St Robert Bellarmine attributed to whoever has supreme authority in the Church, which on his view was the Pope. I may not be sure he was right, but I cannot say he must have been wrong.

This lie was what I was not wanting to be in Communion with in 2009, and which I still do not want to be in Communion with now. And if Herman of Alaska was honestly mistaken about Peter the Aleut, I would not be if I pretended to believe him martyred in the way his cellmate described to Symeon Yanovsky.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard / Paris
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
8 - IX - 2012

Sources:

http://www.srcalifornia.com/cal-chron.htm

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Peter_the_Aleut

De Quoi=De Ce Que


On le trouve en Montaigne. "Se plaindre de quoi ..." = "se plaindre de ce que ..."

Alors, on pourrait écrire aussi "Que Quoi" pour "Que Ce Que"="Quam Ut"/"Quam Quod"?

La phrase est indetté à la Syntaxe du Grec Attique: "de quo" pour "de eo quod" n'est pas si bon Latin (ou alors c'est ma lecture thomasienne qui me trompe, référence cicéronienne ou tacitienne reste à vérifier) que les phrases correspondantes sont égales ou la plus courte même meilleure en Grec. Avec le Datif, par exemple: 'oi paides proseikousi tois 'oi goneis eisin e autois eikousi = 'oi paides proseikousi 'ois goneis eisin e autois eikousi. Les progénitures ressemblent à ceux qui sont leur parents ou ressemblent à eux. 'ois= tois 'oi.

Si on peut faire la phrase "que quoi" dans le sens de "quam ut" / "quam quod", alors la syntaxe française a une liberté que manquent les autres langues romanes. La phrase "que ce que" est atroce par l'homonymie entre "que" = "quam" et "[ce] que" = "quod" / "ut".

Ex: "Sous Mola aurait été plus important que vivent les hommes que quoi passent les voitures."

Ceci est inspiré par une épisode peu récommendable du régime Franco, lu dans un livre d'instruction de la langue castellane. Il imposait à un village un réaménagement infrastructurel, les villageois se sont assis pour bloquer, et si ce n'est pas un mensone, les soldats ont tiré sur les villageois et il y a eu des morts. Le carlisme me semble plus respectueux des libertés locales que le franquisme proprement dit.

L'espagnol doit dire:

Ex à éviter: "Bajo Mola habría sido más importante lo que viva la gente que lo que pasen los coches."

Ex corrigé: "Bajo Mola habría sido más importante la vida de la gente que el pasaje de los coches."

D'où certaines différences syntactiques entre les langues romanes et germaniques. En anglais, allemand ou suédois la traduction de "quam ut" ne pose pas de problème:

Ex "Under Mola it would have been more important that the people live than that the cars pass."

Ex "Under Mola hade det vägt tyngre att låta menniskor lefva än att låta bilar passera."

Ex "Unter Mola wäre es wichtiger gewesen daß die Menschen leben als daß die Autos passieren."

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard / Paris
Nativité de Notre Dame
la Bienheureuse Vierge Ma rie
le 8-IX-2012

PS, l'épisode en question (même si elle est vraie) n'empêche pas une gratitude envers Franco pour avoir battu l'épouvantable Azaña.

Will There Be a Real Hobbiton or Beruna? There Is California.


The fact is, there was a novel of the not exactly "other world" but at least "exotic imaginary countries" type (like Opar in the Tarzan novels) where the Queen of some Black Amazons was named Calafia and the land she ruled - an island - was named California.

Then Spanish explorers found California La Baja (Californian Peninsula) and named it after the land in the novel. It might have helped that some indigenous tribe referred to "high mountains" as "kali forno" (and Baja California has a Sierra), but it seems the novel was written before the explorers came to the place. Novel came out in 1510, explorations leading to discovery started in 1511.

In case you wonder, there are already real world places called Narnia (in Umbria, Italy, origin of Emperor Nerva), Shasta and Aravis (mountain and mountain range in California! and in France, same order), Miraz (Torre de Miraz - Lookout Tower - Northern Road to Santiago). That was obviously the case before the Narniad was written.

The novel's name was Las sergas de Esplandián, and it was a sequel to Amadis of Gaul. The name may have been inspired by "Califerne" in the Song of Roland, which may refer to "Calahorra" (Spain) or "Calafornina" or "Californo" (in Sicily). Like the land of Queen Calafia, Califerne is supposed to be a non-Christian land.

But California became a Christian land, both sides of the border.

If part of N.Z. were renamed Hobbiton (supposing for instance the village built for the film is reused as housing) or some part of Tunisia is renamed Tatwiin, I will not be surprised.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard, Paris
Nativity of Our Lady
8-IX-2012

PS, the main fact is from the Wiki article: Origin of the name California; and corresponding Spanish one Toponimia de California.