MORITIX LONDINIENSIUM

It was not until 2002 that epigraphic confirmation came of the Latin adjective for London and perhaps Londoners. This was in the form of a monumental inscription on a tablet of imported Turkish marble of about 12 inches by 16 inches found in autumn 2002 during a dig on Tabard Street, Southwark, south of the Thames. There had been occasional uncertainty as to whether the authentic form was Londinensis or Londiniensis. It turned out to be the latter. In addition an word unfamiliar to Latinists was found, moritix (elsewhere moritex). The word is of Celtic origin, mor- being ‘sea’.The inscription, probably of Antonine date (second century AD), reads:

NVM·AVGG

DEOMARTICA

 MVLO · TIBERINI

 VSCELERIANVS C · BELL·

(leaf ) MORITIX· LONDINIENSI

VM (leaf ) [PRI]IMVS ·

” To the Divine Powers of the Emperors and to the god Mars Camulus, Tiberinius Celerianus, citizen of the Bellovaci, moritix of the people of London [or shipper overseas of London trade items?] first to ….”

Tiberinius Celerianus was from the area around modern Beauvais (Caesaromagus Bellovacorum) in northern France and worshipped Mars Camulus, who was popular in  northern Gaul and Germany.

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Late Cornish: William Bodinar’s letter of 3 July 1776

William Bodinar’s letter, written at Mousehole on 3 July 1776, perhaps the last piece of prose written by a native Cornish speaker.

Bluth vee ew try egance a pemp. Thera vee dean bodgack an puscas. Me rig deskey Cornoack termen me vee mawe. Me vee de more gen seara vee a pemp dean mouy en cock. Me rig scantlower clowes eden ger Sowsnack cowes en cock rag sythen warebar. Na riga vee biscath gwellas lever Cornoack. Me deskey Cornoack moas da more gen tees coath. Nag es mouy vel pager po pemp en dreav nye ell clapia Cornoack leben, poble coath pager egance blouth. Cornoack ewe oll naceaves gen poble younk.

My age is three score and five. I am a poor fisher man. I learnt Cornish when I was a boy. I have been to sea with my father and five more men in a fishing boat and have not heard one word of English spoke in the boat for a week together. I have never seen a Cornish book. I learnt Cornish going to sea with old men. There is not more than four or five in our town that can talk Cornish now, old people, four score years old. Cornish is all forgot with young people.

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Jean-Paul Marat – another linguistic exercise

Жан-Поль Марат

Жан-Поль Марат родился 24 мая 1743 (двадцать четвёртого мая тысячa семьсот сорок третьего) года в селе Будри, в княжестве Невшатель, в том, что в настоящее время Швейцария. (Я видел дом, где он родился, потому что я использовал для изучения в библиотеке Невшателя.) Марат был врачом, а также политический теоретик, ученый и самый известный за свою карьеру во Франции, как радикальный журналист и политик во время Французской революции. Марат был одним из самых экстремальных голосых французской революции. Его журналистика славилaсь своим экстремизмом и своей бескомпромиссной позиции в отношении «врагов революции» и в отношении необходимости проведения реформ в интересах беднейших членов общества. Его ненависть к контрреволюционерaм поддерживалa много насилия, которая произошлa во время войн французской революции. 13 июля 1793 (тринадцатого июля тысячa семьсот девяносто третьего) года Марат был убит в ванне Шарлоттой Корде. Шарлотта Корде была Girondin, политически умереннaя. Она была из аристократической семьи и политический враг Марата. Она ненавидела его за «резню сентября», в котором половина заключённых в тюрьмах Парижa былa убитa. У Марата было заболeвание кожи, которое трeбовало его, чтобы он работал в ванне. Шарлотта Корде вошла в комнату Марата обещая ему детали контрреволюционного заговорa. Тогда она убилa Марата в ванной ножом. Было много крови. Шарлотта Корде не пыталaсь бежать, но затем былa казненa. Знаменитый художник Жан-Луи Давид нарисoвaл свою незабываемую картину под названием «Смерть Марата», которaя сталa одним из самых известных образов Французской революции.

Jean-Paul Marat

Jean-Paul Marat was born May 24, 1743 in the villageof Boudry, in the principality of Neuchâtel, which is now in Switzerland. (I have seen the house where he was born, because I used to study in the library of Neuchâtel.) Marat was a doctor, political theorist, scientist and is best known for his career in France as a radical journalist and politician during the French Revolution. Marat was one of the most extreme voices of the French Revolution. His journalism was famous for its extremism and his uncompromising stance against the ‘enemies of the revolution’ and the need for reform to benefit the poorest members of society. His hatred for counter-revolutionaries lent support to a lot of the violence which occurred during the wars of the French Revolution. On July 13, 1793 Marat was murdered in his bath by Charlotte Corday. Charlotte Corday was a Girondin, politically moderate. She was from an aristocratic family and a political enemy of Marat. She hated him for the ‘September massacre’ in which half of the prison population in Paris was murdered. Marat had a disease of the skin that forced him to work in his bathtub. Charlotte Corday went to Marat’s room, promising him details of a counter-revolutionary conspiracy. Then she killed Marat in his bath with a knife. There was a lot of blood. Charlotte Corday made no attempt to run away and was executed. The famous artist Jean-Louis David painted his unforgettable picture entitled The Death of Marat which became one of the most famous images of the French Revolution.

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Sergei Rakhmaninov – a linguistic exercise

Сергей Рахманинов

Когда кто-то ищет кого-то дружить, личные качества этого человека очень важные. Ничем не отличается с исторической фигурой. Был ли он отзывчивый, лояльный, забавный со своими друзьями? Тогда, как художник, у него были ли проницательный ум и чувствительность? Разве он сделал ли уникальный вклад в русскую культуру? По-моему oтвет на все эти вопросы был «Да» в случае композитора Сергея Рахманинова.

Слушая его музыку, чувствуется, что он знал тоски, душевной боли и потери. Он должен был бороться, чтобы жениться на женщине, которую он любил, но которую родители не одобряли. Смертей своих друзей Чайковского и Скрябина нанесли глубокие эмоциональные раны на его. И, конечно, Октябрьская революция выгнала его на вечное поселение в Соединенных Штатах.

И все же в этой стране он не отчаивался. У него там были много лояльных русских друзей и перестроил его жизни. Возможно, самая трогательная характеристика этого человека с гением для дружбы было его чувство юмора. Он дразнил свою аудиторию о его знаменитой Прелюдии до-диез минор и спрашивал их: “Ну я должен играть?” Или он делал вид, что он не мог вспомнить её! Эти превосходные качества обязывает меня желать, чтобы у меня был композитор как друг.

Sergei Rachmaninov

When someone is looking for a friend, the personal qualities of the man are very important. It is no different with an historical figure. Was he likeable, loyal, fun to be with? Then, as an artist, did he have a shrewd mind and sensibility? Did he make a unique contribution to Russian culture? For me the answer to all of these questions was “yes” in the case of the composer Sergei Rachmaninov.

Listening to his music, one feels that he had known anguish, heartache and loss. He had to struggle to marry the woman he loved, but of whom his parents do not approve. The deaths of his friends Tchaikovsky and Scriabin left deep emotional wounds. And of course the October Revolution drove him into permanent exile in the United States.

And yet in that country, he did not despair. He had many loyal Russian friends there and rebuilt his life. Perhaps the most touching aspect of this man with a genius for friendship was his sense of humour. He would tease his audience about his famous Prelude in C sharp minor and ask them: “Do you really want me to play it?” Or he would pretend that he could not remember it… These excellent qualities make me to wish that I had had the composer as a friend.

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A souvenir from Russia

У невестки есть хорошее чувство юмора. Как рождественский подарок она подарила мне сувенир из России. Этa книга имеет зaглaвие: Домовoдствo для мужчин. Она начинается словами :‘Маленький шагoк для мужчин – новая эра для женщин’. Было бы подвиг сравнимый с космонавтом Нил Армстронг уйдя на поверхность Луны, если бы я мог стучать гвоздь в доску, а не ушиб большой палец! Когда я был мальчиком, мой отец, который был очень практичный, всегда отчаялся мои шансы на выживание, как взрослый человек, потому что я не мог заменить предохранитель в вилке. Я всегда говорил ему весело: “Когда я вырос, у меня будет достаточно денег, чтобы платить кому-то сделать эти маленькие рабочие места для меня”. Увы! – я был неправ! Я никогда не буду настолько богаты, чтобы платить рабочим каждый раз, когда мне нужно декоратором, сантехником, электриком. И поэтому разрешение моего нового года заключается в следующем: прочитать это маленькое руководство до конца. Я надеюсь, что когда-нибудь скоро я смогу гладить брюки, варить яйца и чистить плиту. Будем надеяться, что я могу стать практическим человеком, прежде чем моя жена разводится меня… Кaкой полезный русский сувенир!

My daughter-in-law has a good sense of humour. As a Christmas gift she gave me a souvenir from Russia. It is a book entitled Household Management for Men. It begins with the words: “One small step for men – a new era for women.” It would be a feat comparable with astronaut Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon if I could knock a nail into a plank without hurting my thumb! When I was a boy, my father, who was very practical, always despaired of my chances of survival as an adult, because I couldn’t replace the fuse in a plug. I always told him cheerfully: “When I grow up, I’ll have enough money to pay somebody to do these little jobs for me.” Alas! – I was wrong. I’ll never be rich enough to pay workmen every time I need a decorator, plumber, electrician. And so my New Year resolution is: to read this little guide to the end. I hope that some day soon I’ll be able to iron trousers, boil an egg and clean the stove. Hopefully, I can become a practical man before my wife divorces me … What a useful Russian souvenir!

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De cuculi itinere – About the cuckoo’s migration

Dionysius Silvanus omnibus sodalibus s.d.p.

 Cantus cuculi in Britannia initium semper designat veris. Sunt enim musicorum modorum scriptores qui eo cantu afflati musica nobis dederunt perpulchra, exempli causa Fredericus Delius anno 1912 p. Chr. n. (De cantum audiendo primi coccygis ineunte vere):

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHaZ0rxdxnI

Quae aves multas per gentes vectae et multa per aequora in hanc frigidam insulam continuis imbribus vexatam perveniunt ut maritentur ovaque in alienis nidis edant. Sed unde et quo itinere? Nobis rogantibus periti responsum nuper dederunt:

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/17895997

Nam cuculi vel coccyges prope ingens flumen cui nomen Congo hiemant, deinde incredibili celeritate maria solitudinesque Africae occidentalis transvolant necnon fines Hispaniae Galliaeque ut apud Britannos aestivos dies tranquille degant. Non omnes – eheu! – ad locos uliginosos et virgultis obsitos Africae exeunte anno incolumes remigrant. Quo fit ut paullatim copia avium recens in Europa sit imminuta.

Opto vos bene valere omnes.

Dabam a.d. III Non. Mai. a.s.n. MMXII e Britannia.

 

Loose translation:

About the cuckoo’s journey.

The song of the cuckoo always marks the beginning of Spring in Britain. And there are composers who have been inspired by its song to give us beautiful music e.g. Delius in 1912, On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring.

These birds fly ‘across many peoples and lands’ (= quotation from Catullus) to this cold, rainswept island to mate and lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. But where do they come from and by what route? Experts have now answered our question.

For cuckoos overwinter by the mighty River Congo, then fly with inceredible speed across the seas and deserts of Africa and Spain and France to pass quiet summer days among the Britons.

Alas! not all of them make it back to the jungles of Africa unscathed at the end of the year. Hence the recent diminution in their numbers in Europe.

Take care, all of you.

5th May 2012.

 

 

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Anecdotes about Oldbury, Worcestershire (Sandwell) told to me by my Uncles Tom and Frank Wood and father Bernard Wood

Oldbury places and characters c. 1900-1930, recorded in 1974 by Dennis Wood

  1. There  were at least two breweries in Oldbury, Showell’s and Jordan’s. [Also      Oliver’s?] Jordan’s   son became a vicar and then closed the brewery down.
  2. There      were fields and farms all around Oldbury. Tom and Maggie Wood used to walk      from Oldbury to the Queen’s Head through fields and end at the Pheasant,      she would drink a port and lemon, he an ale.
  3. The Padding Can was an Oldbury doss      house for tramps, near the Traveller’s Rest. They would come into the      greengrocer’s at 2 New Street      crawling with fleas and ask for one      of each vegetable, a penny for the lot, or “Have you got any potting      herbs?”
  4. Characters: “Dr Batty” (his name      was James) in a big black cloak, sinister, like Dracula, with mad eyes.
  5. “Batty      Tolley”, who was simple. ‘When he was in the pub drinking, someone would      say “Hey, Batty, see that copper over there, I’ll give you a bob if you go      and knock his hat off”. He was up 68 times in court – and he had a wife      too. They would put pigeons’ eggs in his hat and pat him on the head so      that it all ran down his face.’
  6. “Dicky      Boss-Eye”, real name Richard Beard, who had a large lump over his eye. He      was simple, but he had a relative who was “the finest musician inEngland”.
  7. “Billy      Black-A-Duck”, who painted toys for a living.
  8.  There was a man who played a tune, a      Mozart air, on a tin whistle opposite the shop, at the end ofNew Street.
  9. A      one-eyed beggar who sang “I’m going to run all the way home”.
  10. The Brown Lion pub: there were      rat-catchers who went to all the farms and canals around and caught rats      alive. They would bite [sic]      their teeth out. In the Brown Lion pub they would fetch rats out from all      over their body, take bets and then set terriers on them.
  11. Seen in the Perrott Arms: a man      came in with six rats in a wire cage, released them and set his whippet on      them. The dog killed them all in a minute. The man was turned out by an      angry landlord.
  12. Oldbury      town was alive then at 9pm when work finished. Then the unions put the      clock back for the end of work from 8pm to 6pm, and the town became dead      at night.
  13. Horses: Cyril Holdcroft was a      blacksmith (there were many in      Oldbury) with a forge by the George pub on theBirmingham Road. He would take a      strip of metal, heat it, hammer ot round, put two lips on it and make      holes for nails, cool it, put in the wedge-shaped nails at right angles      (of course he made each shoe to fit, there were no off-the-peg      horseshoes). There was a smell of burnt hoof. When painted round with oil,      the shoes looked lovely. There were shire horses, Cyril’s father held them      by a rope to the nose, he would twist it if the horse got irritable to      call it to order. When the horses were worn out, their legs went wobbly.      The forge was full of horse manure and wet, they swept it clean      constantly. He needed a wheelwright to make wheels, he would hire the      services of one who lived nearby. He made the hub, spokes and hoop, but      then it went back to the smith for the tyre.
  14. There      were ponies for milkmen, but there were also great shire horses for      drawing metal and wood from the railyards to the foundries, for example on     Bromford Lane.      They were mostly LMS railway horses, but there were some GWR. They also      hauled wood for Chambers from the woods and farms around. “I saw as many      as 30 horses once, harnessed in twos, drawing metal over theAnchorBridge”.
  15.  Mines:      there was a “water burst” at Jed Naps [the Titford Colliery], we talked to      some of the survivors, the mine was closed afterwards. The same happened      at the Cakemore claypit, the water just rushed in. “There were collieries      all around Oldbury – the Twin Man, the Ram Rod, the Jolly Collier etc. We      saw them loading large and small coal from the shaker (belt sorter) into barges by theWhimseyBridge.      We saw glassblowers at Chance’s in Churchbridge. Uncle Jack Wood had been      a glass worker and died as a result of the furnace heat etc.”
  16. The Tank Men: the Wood family inNew Street had      a family pony called Pasha for greengrocery deliveries. They had to catch      the pony before they could go out, it was kept in a fold, in fields nearPinfold Street.      The pony was driven hell for leather, especially by young Tom Wood. There      were “tank men” making tanks during the 1914-18 War at the Birmingham      Carriage Works. On one occasion a lot of these “tank men” picked Tom up,      put his knees together like a jockey and sent him off on the cart. It tore      down the street at 60 mph, but the wise horse turned into an alley and      stopped.
  17. Albright and Wilson : the firm gave      a “free pension” to its workers. Very few ever lived to draw it. There was      a man with a hump in his back from struggling with his lungs to breathe      because of the chemicals. Finally he forced out the lump.
  18.  The      Birdcage: a music hall for variety acts opposite Oldbury police      station. Tom and Maggie Wood went there to see Vesta Tilley etc. It was      turned into a cinema where their son Bernard saw Hoot Gibson and Tom Mix      cowboy films, W. C. Fields (“my little chickabiddy”) whom he never liked,      Buster Keaton (whom he liked), Laurel and Hardy (whom he loved) etc. There      was a man with a pole made out of cardboard who tapped children on the      head at the matinees. The children who were on the balcony, which cost      twopence, would throw orange peel etc. down at the one penny kids below.
  19. Oldbury families: Adams, who were      Non-Conformist, Hadley (above all, with a big monument with the single      word “Hadley” in the graveyard), Vickers the pork butchers. The big      families were mostly Non-Conformist and ran Oldbury. Now the families have      died out the town has become impoverished and died [1974], hence the      proposal to build a new shopping precinct.
  20. A      dancing bear came to Oldbury town when Tom was a child, before WWI, there      was also a roundabout worked by hand and drawn about by a horse. You paid      by giving jam jars, not money. “It was amazing the variety of things that      people did for a living back then”.
  21. Trains: there was a train that went      fromLangley      across theOldbury Road,      it took goods to Accles, the “Penny Oldbury Flier”. There were abattoirs,      cattle would be driven fromLangley      [from the station?] downNew        Street andSimpson Street before being      slaughtered. Once a bull got loose near Uncle Ben’s Bridge inLangley, it had to      be locked overnight in Langley Park.
  22. “We      never saw any didicois (gypsies)      in Oldbury town, but once a whale was brought in by lorry. It was put on      show in Batty’s Field and you paid to see it. There had once been      set-piece fights in the same field.”
  23. Poverty before 1914: a man who had      once been well paid for cutting corn used to go down past the Wakes ground      to a farm, would dig up grass and make broth for his family from roots      etc.
  24. Workhouse: for a pauper’s funeral      the body would be carried on a stretcher. The bearers were allowed by      statute to stop for half a pint. A few prayers were said and then the body      was dropped into the grave as it was.
  25. Cakemore Marlhole: the brothers had      rafts in the middle. “The water was ice cold. When you looked into it      there was like a camber, you could see the sides sloping away down 80 feet      and more.” Tom was taught to swim there by a Tommy Lenton.
  26. Shell shock: a Wood cousin had been      shell-shocked in WWI. “He spoke very quickly and was very nervous. When he      was in St Francis’s church in Pinfold        Street, Oldbury, in a confined space, he      would go mad. He shook all over like a man with a devil digger [pneumatic road drill] and had to be held by his      father. It often happened.”
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