Saturday, August 05, 2006

Wromantic Isidore

The Spectator has a review of an edition of the Etymologies of Isidore of Seville that is rather interesting, particularly its comparison of the little-read Etymologies with the little-read Consolation of Philosophy of Beothius. My favorite section from the review:
The sort of thing we find in Isidore is: ‘The walking stick (baculus) is said to
have been invented by Bacchus, the discoverer of the grape vine, so that people
affected by wine might be supported by it.’ Wrong but wromantic.

"Wromantic," like so much other folk etymology. I rather like that term. Perhaps we do need to have respect for things that are wrong in interesting ways, or wrong for all the right reasons.

The review started a little discussion over at Bread and Circuses about Boethius, and whether he is a classical or medieval author. I would say that he is a late-classical philosopher that defined medieval thought. Perhaps he is best considered the intellectual bridge between classical and medieval philosophy, and like all bridges, has to have one side on each bank.

Thanks to Frank, the Bourgeois Nerd, for pointing it out to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment