Well, it’s that time again. Lots of interesting articles have crossed my path, but I can’t post or comment on all of them, so it’s time for another series of what I might call “Potpourri Posts”. Or maybe I should just call them “Post-pourris”?
(Suggestions for titles are invited.)
You can go to the different articles by clicking on the links embedded in their titles.
“…So here we are in Yucatan. A strange sort of name for a place, that is! What do you think it means, Titus?”
“‘I don’t understand you.'”
“Pardon me? I thought I was speaking very clearly, Titus. I said, ‘What do you think it means?’ I was referring to Yucatan.”
Drusus chuckled. “I heard you. And I answered you. You asked a question, and ‘I don’t understand you’ is what I replied. All around the world for centuries now we’ve been going up to the natives of one far-off place or another and asking them in nice grammatical Latin what that place is called. And since they don’t know any Latin, they reply ‘I don’t understand you’ in their own language, and we put that down as the name of the place. … And so, when Haraldus or one of his friends asked the natives the name of their kingdom, they answered “Yucatan’, which I’m almost certain is not the name of the place at all, but merely means …”
“Yes,”, said Marcus Junianus, “I think I grasp the point.”
— From the book “Roma Eterna”, by Robert Silverberg (2003) in Chapter “The Second Wave, A.U.C. 1861”