Daily Archives: November 11, 2011

Violette Malan

Just read her latest book, Path of the Sun. It’s part of a sword and sorcery series about a couple of honorable mercenary soldiers (they’re part of a worldwide guild/club/order of extremely skilled mercenaries) and the various sorts of magical and political trouble they get into, along with their friends. The worldbuilding is interesting and you learn a lot as the book goes along, but there’s no long lectures to bore you. (I wish more famous authors would learn this.)

It’s nice to read a fantasy book that both isn’t ashamed of itself for being fantasy, and which gives its characters values and motives that actually drive them. It’s not “epic”, per se; but it’s got plenty of scope to keep the characters guessing. The protagonists aren’t perfect or invulnerable, but they’ve got plenty of oomph to get things done. And that’s good, because the villains are pretty formidable. I did expect a little bit more of an Exciting Climax; but the climax was plenty satisfying without being the same old thing. All in all, an interesting book.

I think that I ran across one of the earlier books in this series, though, and they had some kind of incomprehensible “I the author will do something different!” moments that scared me off. (I think it was one of those unnecessary complication things, like “We love each other, and therefore we will date other people!”, based on something said in this book.) But I don’t remember enough about it to be sure.

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Easy Latin for Sight Reading, by B.L. D’Ooge

This guy apparently wrote a lot of textbooks that are now public domain and online.

But Easy Latin for Sight Reading probably will interest those of my readers with a need for speed. :)

“We translate far too much, we read the original far too little. Students should be taught to read, and understand as they read, without translation, from the very beginning.”

He seems solidly in touch with today’s cognitive theory: “Latin that is too hard is worse than useless, and leads to nothing but discouragement and self-depreciation. Students must feel that they can conquer and are conquering from day to day.”

“It is suggested that teachers make frequent use of the selections for oral reading. Our methods of teaching are apt to neglect the ear….”

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“Estne ita ut tibi dixi?” (I told you so, Latin edition.)

Hmm. Seems like Catholic Charities in the Belleville IL diocese decided that they weren’t really Catholic. They dropped their archbishop, their heritage, their moral principles, and their name like a dirty shirt.

And yet, this is something people didn’t want to hear, from Rich Leonardi in our archdiocese, about some of the groups our archdiocese gives money to.

Weeeell, maybe all our folks are now better at being consistent with Catholic ethical standards than the folks over in Illinois. Certainly we can hope so. But I don’t see much use throwing money down a rathole, if the rats will then run off with our money and do their own thing. So I hope there really is more oversight about these things here than there.

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Happy St. Martin’s Day to All Veterans!

And a solemn remembrance of Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day, and Remembrance Day to all.

Here’s an old post about Martinmas.

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Mulio and Mulier

I didn’t mention in my previous post that St. Beatus had made yet another horrible pun on mulier. (One of the Latin words for an adult woman, or in Spain, wife. The Spanish still use “mujer” for wife and woman both.)

Before, we got the standard horrible Latin pun of “mulier” and “molliter”, soft or fleecy.

This time, it was mulier (in the wife meaning) and “mulio”, muledriver. (Which means that a husband and kids are the mules, I guess….)

However, it seems that a “mulio” (civilian or military) was almost always a slave, in the Roman Empire, and it seems to have been a serf or slave job during most of the early Middle Ages, until times got better and reforms set in. So that’s why there was all the talk about the mulio being “cheap” or “worthless”, and also being powerless before authority.

Of course, in most of the early Middle Ages, religious sisters of various sorts were often under strong pressure by their families to leave the convent, if the family suddenly had an advantageous marriage prospect and another daughter home would be useful. (In many cases, even if she had already married and been widowed or divorced.)

But the mulio and field exemplae seem to be directed primarily at sisters who wanted to leave and get married because they felt like it.

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