Urbi et orbi: the city ruling an Empire (III)

The saying “urbi et orbi” was remarkably successful in referring to a “city” that had a notable success in becoming the capital of the “orb” and also because in itself the phrase contains an attractive word game, apun, consisting of relating Words of different meaning but which differ only in a phoneme or a letter; that is because “urbi and orbi” is a paronomasia.

Urbi et orbi: the city ruling an Empire (I)

This Latin sentence, which means “for the city (Rome) and for the world”, is applied today in a literal sense exclusively to the blessings that the bishop of Rome, that is, the Pope, imparts to all the faithful Catholics of the World by granting them plenary indulgence and remission of sins. In a broader sense it is used to refer to any type of message addressed in a general way to all the inhabitants of the earth.

Let us quote correctly the Latin phrases, so concise and expressive, and that give so much cultural prestige.

“Urbi et orbi” is a Latin phrase constituted by two words related to each other by a copulative conjunction, that is united. It turns out that many Latin words, including nouns, have different forms or cases that differ by their termination; “” Casus “after all comes to mean” fall, termination “. In concrete these two words end in -i and for that reason we say that they are in “dative” case.

Prodigies, miracles, wonders, portents, phenomena, monsters (II)

Among these prodigies, the lightnings, the apparitions of divine beings wrapped in marvelous lights and halos stand out and impress the Romans. The appearance of some goddess to small shepherds is documented already in an Egyptian text of the time of The Middle Kingdom of Egypt (2.000-1800 b.Ch.) to which I dedicate a next article.

May your life be like your speech (talis oratio qualis vita) (II). Are the writings really the evident reflection of the life of the author?

If we accept absolutely the Stoic principle of the close relationship between life and language and we apply it absolutely to literary creation we will be forced to judge the writer’s life in relation to his writings: if his writings are elevated, his life will be morally high , If his writings are scabrous and scandalous, his life will be equally scandalous.

May your life be like your speech (talis oratio qualis vita) (I)

“The face is the mirror of the soul”, “By the way of expressing yourself, we know the way of being yourself”, “May your life be like your speech” or “think that you say and say that you think” are expressions and ideas that we have been using it since Greco-Roman antiquity in which Stoic thinkers generalized them.

Male/Female (Qui…Quae…)

It is a well-established question that women in general in the ancient world, in Greece and in Rome, hardly play any public, social and political role, remaining largely invisible, even in different stays within their own home; so we call “gynoecium”, γυναικεῖον, the rooms of the house for the exclusive use of women; the “andron”, Ἀνδρῶν, is the part of the house reserved for men.

The white blackbird and the black swan are a rare avis (rara avis)

“Rara avis”, “white blackbird”, “white crow”, “black swan” are ancient expressions that serve to express the rarity and scarce or exceptional existence of a being, person, animal, object and even idea and thought. We can affirm the antiquity of the expression “rare avis” (rare bird, strange bird) by the antiquity of its language, Latin, but also “blackbird” and “black swan” and even “white crow” are used from the Greco-Roman antiquity to our days.

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