Sic exemplum habemus in quodam milite qui fuit magnus praedo

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης

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I'm not sure why you think I'm some sort of enemy of the French language. I've said that I'm not, but I feel like Wilt in the Tom Sharpe novels, who said that he spoke nothing but the unvarnished truth, and nobody believed him. My main problem with it is that I don't know it very well, which is chiefly my fault. This doesn't mean I can't poke fun at it when the occasion arises, but then I poke fun at every language where I have enough information to do so, including English.
 

Clemens

Civis Illustris

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There are a lot of quotes in French that I remember and like, not because they're particularly pithy, but just because of the way they're worded.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member

I also love the word 'cephalophore' and attempt to work it into conversation wherever I can. For the most part I fail.
Here's one for ya, a (more or less) off-the-cuff lyric:

In strife to please his maker more
and thereby heaven's hope to gain,
did Denis, saint, cephalophore,
from Martis' mount his head sustain.


It's a bit redolent of what you would find in old Protetstant hymnals (the usual Fanny Crosby-type pap), and not exactly 'Tennysonesque', but is the best I can do on short notice.
 
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Clemens

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Here's one for ya, a (more or less) off-the-cuff lyric:

In strife to please his maker more
and thereby heaven's hope to gain,
did Denis, saint, cephalophore,
from Martis' mount his head sustain.


It's a bit redolent of what you would find in old Protetstant hymnals (the usual Fanny Crosby-type pap), and not exactly 'Tennysonesque', but is the best I can do on short notice.
Martis' mount? I don't get that term.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member

Martis' mount? I don't get that term.
Denis and the others were killed by beheading on Montmartre, the name of which is believed by many to represent a gallicization of the Latin Mons Martis, "the Hill of Mars". Others hold that the French name is a gallicization of Mons Martyrum, "the Hill of Martyrs'", which if proven true (though linguistically, that would explain the penultimate "r" in Montmartre, it may yet be a Christian mythologization after the fact) would force the last line of my lyric to change thusly:

...
from Martyrs' mount his head sustain.

EDIT: @Clemens, with your apparently wide reading, you are becoming "the essential man" in some of these discussions!
 
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Clemens

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  • Civis Illustris

Denis and others were killed by beheading on Montmartre, the name of which is believed by many to represent a gallicization of the Latin Mons Martis, "the Hill of Mars". Others hold that the French name is a gallicization of Mons Martyrum, "the Hill of Martyrs'", which if proven true would force the last line of my lyric to change thusly:

...
from Martyrs' mount his head sustain.

EDIT: @Clemens, with your apparently wide reading, you are becoming "the essential man" in some of these discussions!
I had never heard the Mons Martis etymology before—I had just assumed it was from Old French mont martre.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member

I had never heard the Mons Martis etymology before—I had just assumed it was from Old French mont martre.
Knowing no French, I assume that martre is Old French for "martyr"? I don't know the history of the place, but it could be that the hill was called Mons Martis by the Romans during the early imperial period, and changed to Mons Martyrum during an effort at Christianization during the Eastern imperial rule (after Constantine), or to Mont Martre in a similar effort even later than that.
 

Clemens

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Knowing no French, I assume that martre is Old French for "martyr"? I don't know the history of the place, but it could be that the hill was called Mons Martis by the Romans during the early imperial period, and changed to Mons Martyrum during an effort at Christianization during the Eastern imperial rule (after Constantine), or to Mont Martre in a similar effort even later than that.
My hunch is that it was called after Mars, but then the name got popularly reanalyzed as Mont Martre during the Middle Ages. I doubt it was consciously done, which, by the way, I think is true of most instances of Christianization of pagan names and practices.
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima

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Yes, "reanalysis" would be the term for this. @Pacifica, I seem to have double posted above. Will you please do me the favor of "nixing" one of those?
I'm sorry, I don't have that power, but I've "reported" your post so a mod can delete it.
 

Clemens

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To bring it all back to Latin, Montmartre would be an example of case usage still existing in Old French, where the oblique case (cas régime) does duty as the genitive. It survives in a lot of place names in modern French, such as Pont-l'Évêque, or Choisy-le-Roi, where modern French grammar might expect Pont-de-l'Évêque or Choisy-du-Roi.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member

If the hill was called Mons Martis until sometime after Constantine, then it was certainly so-called during the life of, and at the time of the death (~250 CE) of, Denis of Paris, which supports my use of that name in my rhyme.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member

To bring it all back to Latin, Montmartre would be an example of case usage still existing in Old French, where the oblique case (cas régime) does duty as the genitive.
Ah, I am beginning to discern that you are a French language scholar. That would explain your earlier contributions here!

Whatever else can be said, the name Montmartre derives ultimately from Latin; the name is certainly not derived from what the Celtic Parisii called the hill.
 
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