Sunday, November 20, 2022

Is Patricia Engler Wrong in Some Detail?


She wrote an essay about the French Revolution:

AiG : Why the French Revolution Is a Warning for Christians Today
by Patricia Engler on October 7, 2022
Featured in Patricia Engler Blog
https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/patricia-engler/french-revolution-is-warning-for-christians-today/


She's absolutely right about something:

Similar festivals took place throughout France, with a “hymn” sung at one such event in 1794 including the line, “Convenez en, mes bons amis: Rousseau vaut miex que St. Pierre” (“Agree, my good friends: Rousseau is better than St. Peter”). Rousseau, an eighteenth-century philosopher who believed that humans are inherently good, had argued that a totalitarian government ruled by majority consensus would offer true liberty. But— ironically, given Rousseau’s faith in human goodness—the Revolution which championed Rousseau’s ideas hunted, imprisoned, and guillotined thousands of humans in the name of this “liberty.” Despite its destructiveness, later revolutionaries including Karl Marx deemed the French Revolution an admirable, if incomplete, success.


I would not put the main blame on Rousseau, as much as on Voltaire. In fact, one of the most prominent people in power during the most bloody period was Robespierre. And his politics about death penalty to a T mirror those of Beccaria who wasn't as much Rousseauist as Voltairean. But wasn't Beccaria against death penalty? Yes, in peace time. For revolutionary times, he was as much for executions as his disciple Robespierre. Was it a revolutionary period? Check. Was Lewis XVI a person hopes of the former régime and its loyalists could cluster on? Check. Beccaria would have approved as much of Robespierre voting the death of Lewis XVI (but he died in a Milan not yet conquered by Napoleon, as he died in 1794 an Napoleon came in 1796) as of his proposing (earlier on) the abolition of death penalty.

But Voltaire via Beccaria or Rousseau, there is no doubt that the Revolution was a bloody affair.

Here is the first major blooper:

Rome had conquered France before the time of Christ, leaving France officially Roman Catholic after the empire’s Christianization. But the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries brought two movements that would shake France’s religious landscape: the Reformation, which called people to embrace God’s Word as the authority for truth, and the Renaissance, which began promoting human thinking as the authority above God’s Word. These rumblings of humanism swelled to an explosion of unbiblical philosophy during the Enlightenment.


In fact, there is a first unbiblical philosophy humanism had let to first. Ultimately unbiblical, as Calvin had no real accounting for perseverance of miracles* and of the apostolic succession** in the Church, but pseudo-biblical. Could be made to sound biblical to people not very versed in the Bible - or taking their Bible lectures from such as Calvin.

Lesser blooper:

While multiple French Enlightenment philosophers (philosophes) helped create the worldview climate behind the Revolution, one especially notable philosophe is Voltaire. Voltaire, an avid deist, believed that an impersonal “Supreme Being” had created the world and had given humans consciences to deduce certain moral codes but had not revealed himself through Scripture.


As far as I can see, Deism is actually a belief in a personal god, but one who is unknowable, has no interest in communicating with his creatures - apart from putting the natural law in men's hearts. In the protests against Gay Marriage, some secularists who were opposed would actually quote Voltaire (on the natural law, arguably).

So, Voltaire rejected the biblical revelation of a personal, triune God who sent his Son to redeem fallen creation.


Replace "personal" with knowable, even by revelation, and you've nailed it. Especially he was allergic to creation being fallen.

Here we come into a new major blooper:

While Voltaire and other philosophes had no excuse for rejecting the Creator revealed in Scripture, it’s worth pointing out where their criticisms of religious institutions were biblically valid.


Except they weren't.

Blending biblical and Greek worldviews. While a biblical worldview emphasizes the importance of both physical (“earthly”) and spiritual (“heavenly”) realms,16 a branch of Greek philosophy called dualism viewed immaterial realities as separate from and superior to physical realities.17 As this unbiblical thinking slipped into the church, many Christians began to value permanently withdrawing from society to focus on solely “spiritual” pursuits.18 This opened the door for criticism from philosophes that Christendom had no practical value to society and needed a secular religion to replace it.19


For the monastic life, we have the promise of surviving in the wilderness (the first two hermits in Egypt, St. Paul the First Hermit and St. Anthony the Great, were fleeing from Decius and Diocletian, respectively), we have the injunction to always pray (Benedictines do in fact work as well, but spend more time a day praying than either Protestant or Catholic laymen would normally do), and for the monasticism in Palestine, which the Egyptian monks found already there when arriving, the heritage from Elijah and Elisha, probably involving the Essenians as well.

Actually, each of the footnotes needs some unpacking.

16) For instance, the Bible affirms that Jesus created, sustains, stepped into, has authority over, and will one day restore all physical creation. Meanwhile, biblical Christianity entails following Jesus in every aspect of physical life, serving others as he did (e.g., John 13:1–17; Philippians 2:3–11).


Is each Christian obliged to follow Jesus in every aspect - like each must be male, wear a beard, be unmarried, die on a cross at age 33 (or according to others 40)?

John 13:1 - 17 is followed in monasteries.

Philippians 2:3 - 11 is specifically adressed at those believing Luther's actual calumny that monastics became such out of vainglory, may have been Luther's own case, after he was told he was not bound to keep a promise to St. Anne if pronounced under fear of death, and he still went on with it, but he would have been wiser if he hadn't concluded from his own conditions to those of each and every Catholic trying to make his salvation in the system of the seven sacraments, specifically Confession, and to those of each and every monk.

17) Dr. Joe Boot discusses dualism and its impact on Christian thinking in “The Root of Jesse: Unifying and Renewing a Divided Life,” Ezra Institute, January 5, 2021,
https://www.ezrainstitute.com/resource-library/articles/the-root-of-jesse-unifying-and-renewing-a-divided-life/.
You learn more from Dr. Boot in the Creation, Cross, and Culture video series available on Answers in Genesis–Canada’s YouTube channel and Answers.tv.


Dr. Joe Boot's blooper. I would have preferred if Patricia Engler hadn't shared it.

18 a) Boot, “The Root of Jesse.” Please note that pursuing spiritual disciplines and staying set apart from the world’s ungodliness are biblically imperative (Scripture references below).


Indeed. And there can be degrees of being set apart from it. A layman is less set apart than a monk.

18 b) But withdrawing from earthly society in the dualistically minded sense meant “going out of the world” (compare to 1 Corinthians 5:9–11) rather than remaining “in the world” (John 17:14–18) while being set apart from its ungodliness, as Scripture mandates (James 1:17, 4:4; 1 John 2:15–17).


James 1:17 - Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. - What if monasticism were a perfect gift from God?

James 4:4 - Adulterers, know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God. - An excellent reply to those that would take the first sentence of Gaudium et Spes as fully Catholic!***

I John 2:15-17 has probably been cited more than once when encouraging young people to embrace the monastic life, or certain versions of it.

Now, the key points in rejecting monasticism were I Cor. 5:9-11 and John 17:14-18, see here:

I wrote to you in an epistle,

So, St. Paul had written an epistle to the Corinthians before First Corinthians. An excellent answer to those who might think "if it's apostolically authored, it is canon" since that previous epistle to the Corinthians is not in the Bible.

not to keep company with fornicators. I mean not with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or the extortioners, or the servers of idols; otherwise you must needs go out of this world.

Aha, the injunction is not meant to oblige to monasticism. However, he does not say it is wrong to go out of this world, he says it would be wrong to oblige all the normal parishioners to become monks. Which Catholicism perfectly accounts for. Becoming monks is not the strict duty for everyone to save their souls.

But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat.

I think this verse may have been abused by my enemies and accuser to isolate me from Christians. St. Paul is giving the injunction about the "company to avoid" within the Christian world, as is apparent from "if any man that is named a brother." Now to John 17:14-18.

[14] I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world. [15] I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. [16] They are not of the world, as I also am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. [18] As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Did you know that some monks are sent back into the world? They are called bishops. And the bishops are the successors of these that Christ was praying for. Can we confirm this? Yes. While there is no passage at all for Christ sending all of His disciples into the world, there is for His doing so with the 72 and with the 12, before this occasion, and there also is for His doing so again after the Resurrection, namely in John 20.

[18] Mary Magdalen cometh, and telleth the disciples: I have seen the Lord, and these things he said to me.

This could not have been all of the disciples. Probably it was either the remaining eleven of the twelve, or a few more with them, with St. Thomas° lacking on this occasion.

[19] Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews,

They couldn't have been the 500 then, you are probably not able to gather that many in a house, and especially, a crowd of 500 would not be too fearful. They definitely were fewer, like the remainder of the twelve, and some more.

Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. [20] And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord.

In this context, I'll not withhold the Challoner comment:

[19] "The doors were shut": The same power which could bring Christ's whole body, entire in all its dimensions, through the doors, can without the least question make the same body really present in the sacrament; though both the one and the other be above our comprehension.


Now, what did He say?

[21] He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. [22] When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. [23] Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

Again, Challoner comment:

[23] "Whose sins": See here the commission, stamped by the broad seal of heaven, by virtue of which the pastors of Christ's church absolve repenting sinners upon their confession.


But back to 21 - As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.

The exact parallel to John 17:18, right?

Now, footnote 19:

E.g., Baron Paul-Henri d’Holbach, an atheistic philosophe, opined, “Nature tells man in society to cherish glory, to labour to render himself estimable, to be active, courageous, and industrious: religion tells him to be humble, abject, pusillanimous, to live in obscurity, to occupy himself with prayers, with meditations, and with ceremonies; it says to him, be useful to thyself, and do nothing for others.” (The System of Nature Vols. 1 & 2, trans. H. D. Robinson [Boston: J. P. Mendum, 1889], 280.)


Holbach pretty much echoes Luther and some of the antimonastic violences of the Revolution echoed those of the Reformation. Note two things:

in society to cherish glory,


Weren't there a few warnings against this ambition? I mean, somewhere in the Gospel?

to labour to render himself estimable


In other words - tough luck if you don't own the tools of your trade°° and don't get hired! We'll despise you, since by not labouring, you are not estimable.

It also tells people that any religious ambition is selfish:

religion ... says to him, be useful to thyself, and do nothing for others.


Since, obviously, being useful to others means being seen. Praying for them? Nah, won't make any difference ... only action counts.

This was the precise idea of Nimrod at building the tower of Babel - according to Josephus, it was meant to bring some of us into the place which couldn't be flooded, apparently, namely Heaven, since it was from there that God had flooded earth.

Ties in with lots of coastlines getting flooded in the Younger Dryas, since Nimrod had some apparent excuse of saying God wasn't keeping the promise. And he could then go on to say, those who didn't care about getting the top of a tower into heaven, were indifferent to mankind. In Göbekli Tepe, just after the Younger Dryas, we have found skulls that were decapitated and that were stringed onto one or two ropes on top of each other. Probably what Nimrod had in store for shirkers. Except he couldn't get rid of all the Hebrews that way. Anyway, when the mark of the beast comes (or if it is already here), expect that it will involve an appeal to altruism and pretending the opponents want to get selfish religious illusory security, instead of contributing to mankind's "real salvation."

Which such people obviously seek outside God.

Viewing humans as the authority for truth. Before the Reformation, Christians had increasingly begun to view the church as (more or less) equal to Scripture as the authority for truth—even if teachings by church spokespersons contradicted the Bible.20 Meanwhile, the French monarchy had grown so enmeshed with the mainstream church that being a French citizen meant identifying with royalty-approved Christendom.21 Whoever happened to reign had power to punish—including by exile or death—people whose convictions didn’t match official teachings,22 which had become untethered from the sole authority of God’s Word. This cleared the way for philosophes’ criticism that Christianity was all about having (and abusing) political power.23


Let's take it one piece at a time.

Before the Reformation, Christians had increasingly begun to view the church as (more or less) equal to Scripture as the authority for truth


I guess that St. Paul in fact does count as "before the Reformation" but I don't know about "increasingly" ....

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
[1 Timothy 3:15]

What did St. Paul just call "the pillar and ground of the truth"? The Bible? No. The Church. Yes, precisely the Church.

Some Protestant scholars would actually admit that the NT Church once upon a time was this pillar and ground of the truth, but by now we can't rely on the Church any longer, since it became corrupt.°°° Hence, the canonic books of the NT is a standin for the NT Church. But the proposition that the NT Church itself is gone is contrary to the Bible. See again Calvin's very clumsy attempt to engage in a kind of restorationism without heeding the apostolic succession that makes this superfluous.**

even if teachings by church spokespersons contradicted the Bible.


What would be examples of that one?

See “The Reformation,” in Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1976), 79–105.


So, Patricia Englen is not informing us where the Church is supposed to have contradicted the Bible, she's telling us to trust Schaeffer. I prefer trusting the kind of shepherd that is shepherd for Christ's sheep according to Christ's words (John 21:15-17). And by the way, if someone is:

  • not Christ Himself
  • legitimate shepherd for His sheep
  • and this according to His words.


.... how does that not add up to him being Vicar of Christ?

Meanwhile, the French monarchy had grown so enmeshed with the mainstream church that being a French citizen meant identifying with royalty-approved Christendom.


As long as the royalty-approved Christendom is also Christ-approved, why not?

Christ didn't tell the Apostles to "make disciples of individuals out of all nations" but to "make disciples of all nations" or "teach all nations" - meaning entire citizenries at a time. A bit like Moses had made citizenship of the twelve tribes and of the Levites dependent on loyalty to the Mosaic revelation, which prepared for Christs, as Patricia Englen will agree.

Whoever happened to reign had power to punish—including by exile or death—people whose convictions didn’t match official teachings,


This is not documented in relation to times before the Reformation, Patricia Englen prefers to cite, footnote 22:

A history of these times is documented in John Southerden Burn’s (remarkably titled) book, The History of the French, Walloon, Dutch and Other Foreign Protestant Refugees Settled in England from the Reign of Henry VIII to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes: With Notices of Their Trade and Commerce, Copious Extracts from the Registers, Lists of the Early Settlers, Ministers, &c., and an Appendix Containing Copies of the Charter of Edward VI, &c. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1846).


I don't see what's remarkable about the title. Some titles were meant to serve as blurbs, that's all. But when it says "from the Reign of Henry VIII to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes" this means that we are dealing with, when French, refugees into England which had been expelled (their relatives sometimes killed) only after the Reformation had shown itself violent and destructive.

which had become untethered from the sole authority of God’s Word


If by "God's Word" Patricia means the Bible, it is never in all of itself ever named the sole authority.

And here is the final part of this with footnote 23:

This cleared the way for philosophes’ criticism that Christianity was all about having (and abusing) political power.

E.g., some of Rousseau’s statements to this effect are documented in Arthur Melzer, “The Origin of the Counter-Enlightenment: Rousseau and the New Religion of Sincerity,” American Political Science Review 90, no. 2 (1996): 344–360. Melzer points out that Rousseau also criticized other Enlightenment intellectuals for making themselves absolute authorities for truth—the same mistake they criticized official church leaders of making—by viewing themselves as nature’s “supreme interpreters” (348).


Rousseau certainly got one thing right - Enlightenment philosophers were NOT absolute authorities on truth NOR nature's supreme interpreters.

The charge has arguably been made already by Albigensians from their viewing all of earthly society as inherently bad and therefore political authority as totally unholy, a sacrilege in matters of religion.

Reflecting the Pharisees. Importantly, Jesus had a lot to say about religious leaders—scribes and Pharisees—who hypocritically pursued power, prestige, and wealth but “neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness”24 (Matthew 23:23–24). Professing Christians who commit wrongdoings or otherwise act hypocritically do not change the truth of God’s Word; in fact, the truth of God’s Word provides a foundation for criticizing hypocrisy and wrongdoing in the first place. But while the philosophes’ unbiblical foundation didn’t grant them a consistent basis for criticizing wrongs, the wrongdoings of professing Christians opened channels for later anti-Christian propaganda.

It’s important to note that the biblical concept of justice does not align with later neo-Marxist representations of justice, due to differing views about oppression. For instance, Scripture repeatedly associates oppression with wrong actions committed against vulnerable people including orphans, widows, foreigners, and the poor. But neo-Marxism associates oppression with class identity, meaning that anyone who fits a certain social profile prejudged as “oppressive” must be unjust, regardless of their actions.


Neo-Marxism began with Calvinists and Albigensians, then.

A Cathar of the 13th C. arguably considered a Crusader as unjust even before the Crusade against Albigensians, simply because he was a knight, aligned with power.

A Calvinist of the 16th or early 17th C. considered St. Francis of Sales as too rich.

Why? He was riding in a beautiful and richly ornate carriage. He challenged St. Francis of Sales, "supposed" successor of the apostles, if he held with Apostolic poverty. With such a "princely" carriage. St. Francis of Sales told the Calvinist that St. Philip had ridden an a carriage that was arguably very ornate too. "Yes, but that belonged to the eunuch of the Candace" - "you were right to call this carriage princely, this one belongs to the prince of Savoy." Supposed case of hypocrisy unmasked as a Calvinist too eager to find something to condemn - perhaps also sth that Pharisees did from time to time in the Gospels.

And there is another blooper.

Take, for instance, this crucial line from the Declaration: “Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.”43 This might look reasonable at first glance. But if we stop and think about it, basing objective morality on anything but a personal God raises serious problems. For example, without God’s Word as the authority, who can absolutely, consistently define what harm means, or why harming someone else is wrong?


Actually, there is an other possibility of correctly identifying harm. Romans 2 has:

For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these having not the law are a law to themselves: Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them, and their thoughts between themselves accusing, or also defending one another,

So, the fact of being created in God's image is in fact enough to know what harm is, unless one willingly blinds oneself. Now what about "absolutely" or "consistently"? The views Patricia Englen has on the proportions between Church and Bible would make me suspect that even a man of the Church couldn't, even with the word of God - since she believes the Church is not infallible.

However, the real problem is:

These limits can only be determined by law.


It's what Voltaire and Beccaria had said, as opposed to both canon law and the equity exercised by courts of justice and by kings. This is one reason why French law is not "Common Law" jurisprudence with "case law" but the cases invoked as precedents are only meant to voice the actual text of the law along with the correct understanding of its concepts, and involve no more interpretation about equity, what legislators hadn't foreseen and so on. It's bad enough when a law pretends that a really harmful act, like abortion, is legal, and it can then lead on to innocent or useful acts becoming illegal (like Homeschooling in Germany)~ ... it's the exact sentiment of Voltaire being shocked that butchers could be punished for selling meat during Lent, while such punishment was not foreseen by the law - or in fact police.

The following is correct, but the point would not have needed the Bible, since many of the harmful laws recently made (and in some rare cases recently unmade) are opposed to what even Greco-Roman Pagans would have known.

Attempts to define good and bad apart from an external truth rooted in God’s unchanging character become arbitrarily circular. Saying that “harming” others causes “injury” and is therefore “wrong” is just another way of saying bad actions cause bad results and are therefore bad. But what makes “badness” fundamentally bad is grounded in nothing higher than capricious human calculation, opinion, and rhetoric. As a result, humans can redefine bad in ways that justify guillotining thousands of people—despite theoretically being opposed to harm and injury. Redefining language reflects humans’ attempts to redefine truth—and with it, morality, ethics, and justice.

When a collection of humans (like the National Assembly) makes itself the authority for truth in this way, the result is totalitarianism. In fact, nearly 200 years after the French Revolution, psychiatrist Robert Lifton observed that redefining morality and manipulating language were hallmarks of “thought reform” (brainwashing) in totalitarian communist regimes.44 To enforce their own power, totalitarian states must subjugate—or eliminate—anyone and anything that holds to a higher authority, including God’s Word. The result is the kind of dechristianization that unfolded during the French Revolution. Let’s investigate the key steps involved.


So, I think I have dealt with the bloopers, now you enjoy the study!

AiG : Why the French Revolution Is a Warning for Christians Today
by Patricia Engler on October 7, 2022
Featured in Patricia Engler Blog
https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/patricia-engler/french-revolution-is-warning-for-christians-today/


Hans Georg Lundahl
Paris
Lord's Day of Last Judgement
20.XI.2022

It would have been nice to actually contact AiG, but this is what happens:



No, I did very much not mean "hgl@qq.com" but I did mean "hgl@dr.com" - the one email they are not accepting. It is my "for correspondence of a more official or public nature" email. In Europe, it does not carry a connotation of my claiming to be a Doctor Medicinae or Medicinae Doctor. I chose it over "me.com" when "mail.com" was not available for my letters before the @. I hope no one is using "hgl@qq.com" to usurp my identity./HGL

Notes:
* See his infamous exposition of Mark 16:17, available on StudyLight - as close as or closer than Cicero to being the real root of Enlightenment's antimiraculous prejudice, generalised against those in the Bible too.
** Great Bishop of Geneva! : Protestants - Not - Getting Around Matthew 28 Last Three Verses: John Calvin's Attempt
https://greatbishopofgeneva.blogspot.com/2014/07/protestants-not-getting-around-matthew.html

*** As some Protestants are not aware, some Catholics reject Vatican II and the Popes who convoked it or followed it up. Pope Michael confirmed he still believed this to be correct (otherwise his own election would have been a rogue one) I think less than two months before he died.
° St. Thomas often refers to Aquinas, but here obviously to the Apostle. I have met a priest named Thomas, who, unusually, was named for the Apostle rather than the Scholastic.
°° In the age of internet, and of cybers and libraries, I actually can labour even if only borrowing the tools of my trade.
°°° Not in the sense of Vatican II being corrupt while Sedevacantists and Pope Michael stay aloof, but in the sense of all of it being corrupt.
~ Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : HomeSchooling, Germany and US
https://assortedretorts.blogspot.com/2022/11/homeschooling-banned-in-germany-popular.html

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Oldest Manuscripts of Caesar are Ninth Century


Can they be verified as from his own time by ancient testimony?

Here is what good old wiki* has to say:

The original publication time of the Bello Gallico is uncertain. It had been definitely published by 46 BC, when Cicero reviewed it and gave it great praise.[15]


And the footnote 15 directs us to this** passage:

But Caesar, who was guided by the principles of art, has corrected the imperfections of a vicious custom, by adopting the rules and improvements of a good one, as he found them occasionally displayed in the course of polite conversation. Accordingly, to the purest elegance of expression, (which is equally necessary to every well-bred citizen, as to an orator) he has added all the various ornaments of eloquence; so that he seems to exhibit the finest painting in the most advantageous point of view. As he has such extraordinary merit even in the common run of his language, I must confess that there is no person I know of, to whom he should yield the preference. Besides, his manner of speaking, both as to his voice and gesture, is splendid and noble, without the least appearance of artifice or affectation: and there is a dignity in his very presence, which bespeaks a great and elevated mind."

[262] "Indeed," said Brutus, "his orations please me highly; for I have had the satisfaction to read several of them. He has likewise written some commentaries, or short memoirs, of his own transactions;"

"... and such," said I, "as merit the highest approbation: for they are plain, correct, and graceful, and divested of all the ornaments of language, so as to appear (if I may be allowed the expression) in a kind of undress. But while he pretended only to furnish the loose materials, for such as might be inclined to compose a regular history, he may, perhaps, have gratified the vanity of a few literary embroiderers; but he has certainly prevented all sensible men from attempting any improvement on his plan. For in history, nothing is more pleasing than a correct and elegant brevity of expression. With your leave, however, it is high time to return to those orators who have quitted the stage of life.


Two remarks.

First, this is not much more specific as to what the Commentaries were about than St Papias is specific about the content of the Gospels. Not having Papias at hand right now .... I look it up. We don't have him in the original, but referred to*** in St. Irenaeus and in Eusebius.

Irenaeus stated that Papias had heard the apostle John preach and also knew Polycarp. Eusebius mentioned his Explanation of the Sayings of the Lord. In the preface to this work Papias maintains that his primary purpose was to bring forth a truthful record of a collection of the words and deeds of the apostles that were told to him by a presbyter. Irenaeus understood him to be alluding to the apostle John, but Eusebius contended that he referred to two Johns, one who was the apostle and the other who was the companion of Aristion.°

Papias claimed that Mark, the Evangelist, who had never heard Christ, was the interpreter of Peter, and that he carefully gave an account of everything he remembered from the preaching of Peter. Papias affirmed the statement that Matthew wrote down sayings of Jesus in Hebrew. Irenaeus understood this as a reference to Hebraisms in Matthew’s Gospel, whereas Origen took this to mean that Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in Hebrew.


The little we have from Papias has been pretended to give us too little to identify the Gospels, but the passage in Brutus by Cicero doesn't actually tell us whether the Commentarii of his own transactions were from Bellum Gallicum, from Bellum Civile or from his fortunes as a soothsayer as Rex sacrificulus, when he invented the Julian calendar or about sth now completely unknown. They are equally bland.

Second ...

UN NOUVEAU MANUSCRIT DU " BRUTUS " DE CICÉRON
Le Monde : Publié le 21 octobre 1957 à 00h00 Mis à jour le 21 octobre 1957 à 00h00
https://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article/1957/10/21/un-nouveau-manuscrit-du-brutus-de-ciceron_2341156_1819218.html


There is a little hitch.

Article réservé aux abonnés


I'm not a subscriber to LeMonde.

Douglas Ross Thomas, Trinity College, University of Oxford may have provided a good way of obviating the lack, since A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Trinity 2021 is called THE TEXT AND TRANSMISSION OF CICERO’S BRUTUS.°°

I begin Part One with a catalogue of the c.109 extant manuscripts of Brut. The second chapter of this part is devoted to the oldest surviving manuscript, the Cremona fragment. I demonstrate, against the view of earlier scholars, that the Cremona fragment is a part of the long-lost Codex Laudensis (L), the archetype of the entire tradition.


It seems the Cremona fragment is from the IXth C. AD, like the Caesar manuscripts.

In overall 107 extant manuscripts, the others are from XVth C. After a rapid scroll, I don't recall any that's older than 1421. Some are imprecisely dated "s. XV." or "1425 - 1500" and some have very precise dates, like

100. Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Lat. Z. 420 (1509) = Cy
Parchment; Parma; 11 February 1428.


"11 February 1428," that's as precise as a blog post! Some are in between, like

96. Vatican City, BAV, Vat. lat. 3238 = Cu
Parchment; Florence; 1423-c.1429?


It's not 75 years or 100 years, it's also not to the day, but it's within a decade.

The point is, all except the IX C Cremona fragment are centuries younger, more specifically the XVth C. than the oldest manuscripts of Caesar's either Gallic War or whole corpus.

A historian doubting the authorship of Matthew, Mark, and (within two possible candidates) John would logically also have to doubt Caesar's authorship to works he's said to have written.

But who said Freethinkers are above cherrypicking? Not me!

Hans Georg Lundahl
Paris
St. Gregory the Thaumaturge
17.XI.2022

Neocaesareae, in Ponto, natalis sancti Gregorii, Episcopi et Confessoris, doctrina et sanctitate illustris, qui propter signa atque miracula, quae cum multa Ecclesiarum gloria perpetravit, Thaumaturgus est appellatus.

Notes:
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commentarii_de_Bello_Gallico#Manuscripts_and_publication_history
** http://www.attalus.org/old/brutus4.html#262
*** Summary of both mentions from:
https://christianpublishinghouse.co/2020/06/10/papias-c-60-135-a-d-and-the-gospels-of-matthew-and-mark/
° According to the priest Jean Colson, precisely the presbyter was the beloved disciple - while all the Apostles fled (including the Sons of Zebedee), the beloved disciple was around next day at the Cross. If he was a Cohen, as Colson thinks, it explains also how he could the same day have the Blessed Virgin as adoptive mother in his home, without leaving Jerusalem.
°° https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:df155ad1-f08b-4104-9c68-a342e26ac356/download_file?file_format=&hyrax_fileset_id=dv979v332x&safe_filename=Thomas_Thesis.pdf&type_of_work=Thesis

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Commencer le roman avec une scène ? Pas forcément ...


Bonus si vous connaissez l'auteur et le roman, je vais juste vous dire que ceci est traduit de l'allemand :

Cher lecteur, connais-tu le sens exact du mot greenhorn ? C’est une épithète fortirrespectueuse et même vexatoire.

Green veut dire vert, et horn cornes d’escargot. Un greenhorn est donc un homme « vert »dans le sens qu’on donne à ce mot en parlant des fruits insuffisamment mûrs, autrement dit unhomme fraîchement débarqué dans le pays, un novice qui doit étendre prudemment ses antenness’il ne tient pas à courir le risque de se rendre ridicule.

Un greenhorn est un homme qui ne parle pas du tout anglais, ou qui, au contraire, s’exprime dans un anglais par trop châtié et fleuri. L’anglais yankee ou l’argot du Wild West blessent atrocement ses oreilles. Un greenhorn fume des cigarettes et abhorre le monsieur qui chique. Un greenhorn, lorsqu’il a reçu une gifle d’un paddy 1, court porter plainte devant le juge de paix, au lieu d’abattre son agresseur sur-le-champ, comme le ferait un véritable yankee. Un greenhorn n’ose pas poser ses bottes boueuses sur les genoux de son compagnon de voyage, ni savourer sa soupe en claquant de la langue avec le bruit d’un buffle agonisant. Le greenhorn, soucieux d’hygiène, emporte dans la Prairie une éponge grosse comme une citrouille, dix livres de savon fin et s’encombre par surcroît d’une boussole qui, dès le troisième jour, indique toutes les directions possibles, sauf celle du Nord. Un greenhorn note un tas d’expressions indiennes et quand, pour la première fois, il se trouve en face d’un Peau-Rouge, il s’aperçoit qu’il a envoyé ses précieuses notes à sa famille au lieu de la lettre qu’il garde dans sa poche.

Un greenhorn a mis dix ans à s’initier à l’astronomie, mais il lui faut mettre un temps aussi long avant de tâcher, sans succès d’ailleurs, de lire l’heure qu’il est dans le ciel étoilé. Un greenhorn, dans le Wild West, allume un énorme feu de camp dont les flammes montent dans l’air aussi haut qu’un arbre et s’étonne ensuite, quand il est découvert et enlevé par les Indiens, que ceux-ci aient pu trouver sa trace. Bref, un greenhorn est un greenhorn... et j’en étais un à l’époque dont je parle.

N’allez pas croire cependant que je me sois douté le moins du monde que cette épithète péjorative pût s’appliquer à ma personne. Pas le moins du monde, dis-je, car c’est encore une particularité dominante du greenhorn que d’attribuer ce caractère à tous, sauf à lui-même.


Et le roman est un des plus connus et aimés en allemagne ... et contient des personnages d'un roman du même auteur qui est encore plus connu, et en plus filmatisé.

Si vous ne savez toujours pas, vous êtes nuls en culture populaire allemande.

Par contre, le conseil d'abattre le Paddy ne me convient pas forcément ... je préfère ne m'en pas faire tabasser ...

De toute manière, ceci sont les premiers mots de ce roman, ultraconnu./HGL

Monday, November 7, 2022

On est d'accord que Narnia n'existe pas


Oui. Hormis la ville en Italie ou le monde fictif.

Le monde fictif n'existe pas, parce qu'il est fictif.

À peu près comme la Syldavie n'existe pas parce que c'est un pays fictif (mais dans notre monde).

California, Centennial du Colorado, et Baker Street 221 B ont commencé comme endroits fictifs pour ensuite devenir des endroits réels (un état des États-Unis, une ville bâti après le roman de Mitchener, et un musée de Sherlock Holmes). Si Dieu aurait décidé (c'est Lui qui peut créer des mondes) de rendre Narnia réel, nous n'en savons rien.

Si les romans de C. S. Lewis avaient été de la réalité, alors la seule à en pouvoir parler après un certain accident de train aurait été Susan Pevensie. Les années 50 nous n'ont pas fourni une Susan Pevensie en train de parler de son passé comme reine, ni même de ses frères et de sa sœur, de Eustace, Jill et Digory et Polly, nous n'en avons aucune documentation hormis les romans de C. S. Lewis, reçus comme des romans, et donc, pour ce fait, il faut classer Narnia comme la Syldavie, comme endroit fictif.

Pour la ville en Italie* (nom moderne : Narni) et pour Sœur Lucie de Narni (contrairement à Lucy Pevensie, reine de Narnia), ce n'est pas fictif. Cette sainte ou bienheureuse a réellement vécu, réellement supporté de ne pas du tout être cru sur ses paroles quand même vraies sur une expérience extraordinaire et miraculeuse, ses stigmates. Et elle a réellement aimé Jésus.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Paris
St. Prosdocime de Padoue
7.XI.2022

Patavii depositio sancti Prosdocimi, qui fuit primus ejusdem civitatis Episcopus. Hic, a beato Petro Apostolo Episcopus ordinatus, ad praedicandum Dei verbum ad praedictam civitatem missus est; ibique, multis virtutibus et prodigiis coruscans, beato fine quievit.

* 42° 31′ N, 12° 31′ E

Yamnaya Already a Mix


According to this one here, yes:

Geneticists have detected a fourth ancestral "tribe" which contributed to the modern European gene pool.
16 November 2015, BBC, News, Science / Environment
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34832781


Research shows Europeans are a mixture of three major ancestral populations - indigenous hunters, Middle Eastern farmers and a population that arrived from the east in the Bronze Age.


The latter being, obviously, Yamnaya.

About 5,000 years ago, herders called the Yamnaya entered Europe from the eastern Steppe region - in present day Ukraine and Russia.


Typical indigenous hunter (or more so than others) - a Basque.
Typical Middle Eastern farmer - Southern Europe.
Typical (or least untypical) Yamnaya (over 50 %) - Danes and Norwegians.

Now, Yamnaya seems to be a mix.

But the Yamnaya were themselves a mixed population. Around half of their ancestry came from a sister group to the hunter-gatherers who inhabited Europe before farming, while the other half appears to be from a population related to - but noticeably different from - the Middle Eastern migrants who introduced farming.

Researchers have now analysed genomes from two hunter-gatherers from Georgia that are 13,300 and 9,700 years old. The results show that these Caucasus hunters were probably the source of the farmer-like DNA in the Yamnaya.

The Caucasus hunter-gatherer genomes show a continued mixture with their Middle Eastern cousins to the south, who would go on to invent farming 10,000 years ago. However, this mixing ended about 25,000 years ago - just before the time of the last glacial maximum, or peak of the Ice Age.


Let me underline:

However, this mixing ended about 25,000 years ago - just before the time of the last glacial maximum, or peak of the Ice Age.


In the timeline below, I will refer to this as "end of mixture"

Timeline

Arphaxad *
2955 BC
2912 B. Chr.
0.066161 pmC/100, so dated as 25 362 B. Chr.
End of mixture
23 000 BC = 2912~2890 BC
2890 B. Chr.
0.09274 pmC/100, so dated as 22 540 B. Chr.
Shelah *
2820 BC

Eber *
2690 - 91 BC
2688 B. Chr.
0.328739 pmC/100, so dated as 11 888 B. Chr.
Georgia I
11 300 BC = 2688~2666 BC
2666 B. Chr.
0.354608 pmC/100, so dated as 11 216 B. Chr.
Noah +
2607 BC

Babel begins
2602 BC
Babel ends
2562 BC
Peleg *
2556 BC

2489 B. Chr.
0.519918 pmC/100, so dated as 7889 B. Chr.
Georgia II
7700 BC = 2489~2466 BC
2466 B. Chr.
0.532551 pmC/100, so dated as 7666 B. Chr.

Shem +
2455 BC
Reu *
2426 BC
Arphaxad +
2390 BC
Shelah +
2360 BC
Serug *
2294 BC
Peleg +
2217 BC
Eber +
2186 BC
Nahor *
2164 BC
Reu +
2087 BC
Terah *
2085 BC
Abraham *
2015 BC
Serug +
1964 BC
Nahor +
1956 BC
Isaac *
1915 BC

1890 B. Chr.
0.836622 pmC/100, so dated as 3390 B. Chr.
Yamnaya begins
3300 BC = 1890~1868 BC
1868 B. Chr.
0.841262 pmC/100, so dated as 3318 B. Chr.

Jacob and Esau *
1855 BC
Abraham +
1840 BC


Sources - quotes from article, New Tables, Refining table Flood to Abraham - and a doubt.

So, as the Yamnaya culture is found between Isaac's birth and Abraham's death, are the Yamnaya too mixed to be from Table of Nations, or is the mixture from so early that we are still speaking of a person within it and some inlaw?

Hans Georg Lundahl
Paris
Dep. of St. Prosdocim of Padua
7.XI.2022

Patavii depositio sancti Prosdocimi, qui fuit primus ejusdem civitatis Episcopus. Hic, a beato Petro Apostolo Episcopus ordinatus, ad praedicandum Dei verbum ad praedictam civitatem missus est; ibique, multis virtutibus et prodigiis coruscans, beato fine quievit.

Aymara and Quechua are Not Same Family


Are they?

Some linguists have claimed that Aymara is related to its more widely spoken neighbor, Quechua. That claim, however, is disputed. Although there are indeed similarities, like the nearly identical phonologies, the majority position among linguists today is that the similarities are better explained as areal features rising from prolonged cohabitation, rather than natural genealogical changes that would stem from a common protolanguage.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aymara_language

  Quechua Aymara
1 huk maya
2 iskay paya
3 kimsa kimsa
4 tawa pusi
5 pisqa phisca
6 suqta suxta
7 qanchis paqalqu
8 pusaq kimsaqalqu
9 isqun llatunka
10 chunka tunka


Source : QUECHUA & AYMARA LANGUAGES
ILoveLanguages! | 7 Nov. 2022
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pfiYsXXOmo

Monday, October 31, 2022

I have really heard these Tolkien names with the wrong stress


You will get the complete list at the end, here we get started with correcting it.

You recall the rules. In words of three or more syllables, the length of last or third last syllable are immaterial, the important thing is the length of the second last syllable - stressed if long, following the stress if short.

A long syllable is one which a) has a long vowel, including a diphthong, or b) has a vowel followed by two consonants, including double consonant, excluding muta cum liquida.

Muta cum liquida are P, T, K (C), B, D, G or even F followed by (and not following) R or L.

Mórinehtar. HT = German ach-Laut plus T (or ich-Laut plus T).

This means the second to last syllable has the vowel E followed by TWO consonants, namely HT. They are not muta cum liquida, so the stress is on the second syllable.

Elessar. SS = long S, counts as two consonants, so, the second E is followed by two consonants that are not muta cum liquida. Hence, if you look for a rhyme on Elessar, try "lesser".

Isildur and Imladris. Their stress patterns get reversed.

With Isil and dur as two consecutive words, the stress would arguably be on the first and last syllable, but* when they are put together as one word, a name, the second I is followed by LD, two consonants, and they are not muta cum liquida, but on the contrary, liquida cum muta. So, Isildur would rhyme (very roughly) with Tilda.

In Imladris on the other hand, DR are precisely muta cum liquida, so, the second syllable is unstressed. This gives the first syllable the main stress - and the last a subsidiary one. If you want to rhyme on Imladris, try "kiss" or "miss" - though it's a bit sloppy to end a line in English with just a subsidiary stress where a main stress should be.

If the A had been long in itself, it would have had an accent (á, like the ó in Mórinehtar). So, the A is short in itself, it is followed by muta cum liquida which kind of counts as one consonant, because the muta adds so little to the liquida, so, it is unstressed as said.

If you want external confirmation, take the line:

In Imladris it dwells;

It should be pronounced, in exaggerated scanning, as:

in IM la DRIS it DWELLS

because all the other lines have three stresses. Here is a correct scan of the entire** poem:

SEEK for the SWORD that was BRO-ken;
in IM la DRIS it DWELLS;
THERE shall COUN-cils be TA-ken;
STRONG-er than MOR-gul-SPELLS.
THERE shall be SHOWN a TO-ken
that DOOM is NEAR at HAND,
for i-SIL-dur's BANE shall WA-ken,
and the HALF-ling FORTH shall STAND.

It doesn't help for Isildur, the wrong pronunciation would still be metrical, the line would either way have three stressed syllables, but you can see that the second line of the first half has the same rhythm as the second line of the second half, namely:

in IM la DRIS it DWELLS
confer
that DOOM is NEAR at HAND

None of the lines has just two stressed syllables, so the wrong pronunciation of Imladris is atrocious to the metre.

Mórinehtar, Elessar, Isildur and Imladris - next time you read them, you know how to pronounce them. Incidentally, in the English original, Tolkien is a great poet.***

Hans Georg Lundahl
Paris
All Hallows' Eve
31.X.2022

It seems the separate word for finishing -dur or -ndur in Quenya is actually núro - servant. Nothing with d- in Quenya. Original d- become l- and original nd- become n- - but get the d back in median position, either with or without n, -nd- after vowel or -d- after r or l./HGL

PPS - two more, but this is not about placing of the stress accent. Uinen and Cuivénen involve the diphthong UI - it is not meant to be WEE, but OOY, please!/HGL

* Consider in English how "insight" has stress on IN, but (in US or parts of) "insightful" has stress on SIGHT.
** The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum : Faramir's (and Boromir's) Dream
http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showthread.php?t=12756

*** This is not the case for all translations!