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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:22 pm 
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PeterX wrote:
OK now to your riddle.

Is it the Francs empire (I don't mean today's France)


Rather earlier. The source presented it - and the rest of the novel - as 'literary agency', that is to say, that it was written by the primary character but the 'original' was only recently discovered. It is one of the most famous English-language historical novels of the 20th century, and the basis of one of the most famous teleplays of all time, as well.

The identity of the hairy men might be best found with a bit a classic ingenuity and linguistic knowledge. The third in question is technically the second, but the prophecy included their predecessor.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:27 pm 
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Is the novel written by Nigel Tranter?

Does it play in medieval England/Scotland?

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:44 am 
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PeterX wrote:
Is the novel written by Nigel Tranter?

Does it play in medieval England/Scotland?


No, and no. It takes place several centuries before that, indeed, before the arrival of the Franks, Angles, and Saxons into Western Europe entirely, at a time when the Scoti were still in Ireland and the Brythons were still celebrating having driven Big Julie off their island.

That's a hint, BTW. A bald, hairy one. The first of many.

Oh, and the thing about the pillow is speculation based on certain historical accounts/court gossip, but entirely in keeping with the infamous nutcase who was the Hairy Fourth.

And another: "'Blood-soaked Mud' is your name. That's what [a once-famed but now obscure philosopher] called you, I'm told, when you attended his rhetoric classes..."

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:53 pm 
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Is the author Bernard Cornwell? And are we talking about Vikings?

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:36 pm 
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PeterX wrote:
Is the author Bernard Cornwell? And are we talking about Vikings?

No, and no. It is set much earlier than that. When I said 'English-language historical novel', I meant the language it was written in (well, officially it was written in Attic, with some glosses in Latin, but that's the literary agency part again), not the location of the events (though a small part of the second book is in southern England near the channel coast). Most of it takes place well to the south of there, though still in Europe, with some events taking place in Gaul, Judea, Greece, Rhodes, Capri, and a crude prison hut on a tiny little island near Naples.

(Seriously, just the mention of Capri is a huge, huge hint. With a pair of Little Boots next to him, readying that pillow. Humanity does need its sense of smell after all, I guess.)

I should mention that the teleplay based on the two books - a true Theatrical Masterpiece - was very, very English. And very BRIAN BLESSED! at times, as well, with what may be the closest to a calm and sedate performance he's ever given.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:22 am 
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I found this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Claudius_(TV_series)

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:58 pm 
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That's the source, yes, though I primarily had the novels in mind. Both the books and the mini-series are top-notch, I highly recommend them.

Did you figure out who the particular character/historical figure asked about in the question was?

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:46 am 
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I have no clue of Roman history. But from two facts
(a) a pillow is involved
(b) we seem to talk about a strange person
I conclude we are talking about Caligula.

I had Latin in school, so I should really know more about Roman history...

Greetings
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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:45 pm 
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PeterX wrote:
I have no clue of Roman history. But from two facts
(a) a pillow is involved
(b) we seem to talk about a strange person
I conclude we are talking about Caligula.

I had Latin in school, so I should really know more about Roman history...

Greetings
Peter


Close enough. The stanza refers to Tiberius, the second emperor (and hence the third of the Julio-Claudians) but the book (based on some of the ancient sources) holds that Caligula murdered him when he suddenly re-awoke out of a coma.

The poem was supposedly a lost Sibylline prophecy, which had come into Claudius' hands when Livia died; I don't know if Robert Graves (the actual author) based it on anything specific, or made it up whole cloth. The 'hairy men' part is from one of the possible literal translations of 'Caesar', 'hair'/'hairy'.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:00 am 
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Schol-R-LEA wrote:
The 'hairy men' part is from one of the possible literal translations of 'Caesar', 'hair'/'hairy'.

Didn't know that. Do you have a internet link for that?

BTW Caesar was the word from which German "Kaiser" and Russian "Czar" are derived (both meaning Emperor).

Greetings
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 Post subject: Re: Quiz chain
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:21 am 
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PeterX wrote:
Schol-R-LEA wrote:
The 'hairy men' part is from one of the possible literal translations of 'Caesar', 'hair'/'hairy'.

Didn't know that. Do you have a internet link for that?


I was going by what Graves had claimed, who may have been mistaken. According to Wicked-Pedo,
Wikipedia wrote:
In earlier times Caesar could originally have been a praenomen. The suffix –ar is highly unusual for Latin, but is a common suffix in the Sabine Oscan language. The etymology of the name Caesar is still unknown and was subject to many interpretations even in antiquity. Julius Caesar himself may have propagated the derivation from the elephant [...]

Several other interpretations were propagated in antiquity, all of which remain highly doubtful:
a caesiis oculis ("because of the blue eyes") [...]
a caesaries ("because of the hair"): Since Caesar was balding, this interpretation might have been part of the anti-Caesarian mockery.
a caeso matris utero ("born by Caesarean section") [...]

Another interpretation of Caesar deriving from the verb caedere ("to cut") [...]
The praenomen Kaeso (or Caeso) [...] The identification of the cognomina Kaeso and Caesar was indeed supposed by Pliny [...]


From the sounds of it, the cognomen was probably a loanword originally, and the Romans themselves didn't know what it meant because it wasn't actually Latin and the language it was from has vanished by the time of the late Republic. In any case, Graves almost certainly cherry-picked the possible meaning he felt fit his narrative best.

PeterX wrote:
BTW Caesar was the word from which German "Kaiser" and Russian "Czar" are derived (both meaning Emperor).

Just so.

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