(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘King Arthur

“Once there was a fleeting wisp of glory / Called Camelot”*…

The pages were disposed of as scrap and pasted into an unrelated book

13th-century pages, found by chance at a British library, show a different side of Merlin, the magician who advised Camelot’s king…

Thirteenth-century manuscript fragments discovered by chance at a library in Bristol, England, have revealed an alternative version of the story of Merlin, the famed wizard of Arthurian legend. A team of scholars translated the writings, known as the Bristol Merlin, from Old French to English and traced the pages’ medieval origins, reports Alison Flood for the Guardian.

The manuscript is part of a group of texts called the Vulgate Cycle, or the Lancelot-Grail Cycle. Using handwriting analysis, the researchers determined that someone in northern or northeastern France wrote the text between 1250 and 1275. That means it was committed to parchment shortly after the Vulgate Cycle was first composed, between 1220 and 1225.

“The medieval Arthurian legends were a bit like the Marvel Universe, in that they constituted a coherent fictional world that had certain rules and a set of well-known characters who appeared and interacted with each other in multiple different stories,” Laura Chuhan Campbell, a medieval language scholar at Durham University, tells Gizmodo’s Isaac Schultz. “This fragment comes from the second volume, which documents the rise of Merlin as Arthur’s advisor, and Arthur’s turbulent early years as king.”…

Rediscovered Medieval Manuscript Offers New Twist on Arthurian Legend,” from @SmithsonianMag.

* “Camelot,” lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner; in Camelot, based on The Once and Future King by T.H. White

###

As we meditate on the myth, we might recall that it was on this date in 1297 that François (or Francesco) Grimaldi, the leader of the Guelphs, disguised himself as a monk and led a group of his followers in the capture of the Rock of Monaco.

In the event, François (whose nickname was il Malizia, “the malicious“) was able to hold the territory for four years before being chased out by the Genoese. After his death, in 1309, he was succeeded by his cousin (and stepson), Rainier I of Monaco, Lord of Cagnes. His cousin’s descendants, the Grimaldi family, purchased Monaco from the crown of Aragon in 1419, and became the official and undisputed rulers of the principality, which they hold to this day.

François’ victory is commemorated on the Monegasque coat of arms (the emblem of the Grimaldi family), on which the supporters are two friars armed with swords.

Fresco with François Grimaldi, nickname “Malizia”, on a wall of the rue Comte Félix Castaldi in Monaco

source

“Common sense with big words”*…

 

John Dewey Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Sidney Morgenbesser was a celebrated scholar: and expert on the philosophy of social science, political philosophy, epistemology, and the history of American Pragmatism, and a mentor to the likes of Jerry Fodor, Raymond Geuss, Robert Nozick, and Derek Parfit.

But Morgenbesser was every equally well-known for his pointedly-relevant witticisms; for instance…

– In a lecture, the Oxford linguistic philosopher J. L. Austin made the claim that although a double negative in English implies a positive meaning, there is no language in which a double positive implies a negative. From the audience, Morgenbesser waved his arms and responded in a dismissive tone, “Yeah, yeah.”

– When asked his opinion of pragmatism, Morgenbesser replied “It’s all very well in theory but it doesn’t work in practice.”

– Asked to prove a questioner’s existence, Morgenbesser shot back, “Who’s asking?”

– Interrogated by a student whether he agreed with Chairman Mao’s view that a statement can be both true and false at the same time, Morgenbesser replied “Well, I do and I don’t.”

– Dissecting the difference between Christianity and Judaism, Morgenbesser described Gentile ethics as entailing “ought implies can” while in Jewish ethics “can implies don’t.”

More Morgenbesser mots here.

[Photo via Columbia University.]

*”Philosophy is common sense with big words.”  – James Madison

###

As we reckon that Wittgenstein was probably right when we suggested that “a serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes,” we might send fantastic birthday greetings to Terence Hanbury “T.H.” White; he was born on this date in 1906.  While he wrote over two dozen books, he is best known for his sequence of (four) Arthurian novels, The Once and Future King, first published together in 1958.  A best-seller in its own right, it was the basis of the musical Camelot and of the animated feature The Sword on the Stone, and an inspiration to other writers, from J.K. Rowling to Gregory Maguire.

Writing of the first of White’s Arthurian novels, The Sword in the Stone, in 1939, Time opined: “The book as a whole might be described as a shake-up of British rectory humor, Evelyn Waugh, Laurel & Hardy, John Erskine, and the Marquis de Sade, quite well enough blended to please the palate of Sword-in-the-Stone partisans, to assure its author definite standing among such cult men as A. P. Herbert, P. G. Wodehouse, Lewis Carroll.”

 source

 

Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 29, 2013 at 1:01 am

The Truth, Some of the Truth, Some of the Time…

source

“The problem with Internet quotations is that many are not genuine.”
– Abraham Lincoln

from Clayton Cramer, via Tomorrow Museum.

As we engage the elements of epistemology, we might recall that it was on this date in 1937 that Hal Foster debuted his long-running comic strip Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur, or more familiarly Prince Valiant.  Foster had earlier distinguished himself drawing Tarzan; when he pitched his original idea to William Randolph Hearst, the baron was so impressed that he (uncharacteristically) gave Foster full ownership of the strip.

The Arthurian saga is clearly meant to take place in the mid-Fifth century, but Foster juiced both the story and its setting with anachronistic elements: Viking longships, Muslims, alchemists and technological advances not made before the Renaissance all play roles; while many of the the fortifications, armor and armament used are from the High Middle Ages.

The strip continues to this day, now in the hands of Mark Schultz and Gary Gianni… and is available on the verisimilitudinally-challenged internet.

source

 

%d bloggers like this: