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lictor

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lictor

Postby sardith » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:00 pm

Dr. Goodword,

I have an interesting translation of the New Testament that is very true to the Greek language of the time, in which I often find interesting words. Just today, I was perusing Acts 16, (the story of one of the Apostle Paul's imprisonments), and saw this one: 'lictor'.

Can you help me with the history of this one, and how it relates to the word, 'ligament', which was suggested by one internet site, since you are so much better at 'connecting the dots' than they are?

Thanks so much for your assistance,
Susan Ardith Lee :)
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Postby Slava » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:24 pm

How is lictor used in context? Could you give us the sentence?
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Postby sardith » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:08 pm

Here you go:
"And day having come, the magistrates sent the lictors on a mission saying, 'Release those men at once.' Then the jailer reported these words to Paul, 'The magistrates have sent men with a commission to release you. Therefore, now having gone out, be proceeding on your way in peace.'
But Paul said to them publicly, 'We who are uncondemned, men who are Romans, they threw us into prison. And, as for us, in secret are they now thrusting us out? No indeed, but having come themselves, let them bring us out.' Then the lictors reported to the magistrates these words. And they became afraid, having heard that they were Romans. And having come, they begged them, and having brought them out, they went to asking them to go away from the city. And having come out of the prison, they went to the home of Lydia, and having seen the brethren, they encouraged them and went off." Acts 16:35-40 Wuest Translation
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Postby Slava » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:29 pm

Thanks sardith, now I can more confidently put forth my theories on the relationship between lictor and ligament.

The lictors were those whose duty it was to enforce the laws, in other words to "bind" the populace to obeisance, or obedience at least. They also carried fasces as symbols of their station. And fasces are "bound" bundles of sticks.

I'm no pro, so take these with a large grain of salt, but they make sense to me.

Let's see if the GD accepts your challenge and operates on this one.
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Postby sardith » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:03 am

I like the way you are thinking, Slava, and hope, as you do, that GD helps us out.

Thanks for your help,
Sardith :)
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:26 pm

Think Police, with the fasces.
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Postby Stargzer » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:19 pm

Funny that this word should pop up; I just read it last night (see below). The translation may be from Greek, but I think it's a Latin word.

From the Perseus Project:
lictor (pronounced līctor, Gell. 12, 3, 4), ōris, m. 1. ligo; cf. Gell. 12, 3, 1 sqq.,
I. a lictor, i. e. an attendant granted to a magistrate, as a sign of official dignity. The Romans adopted this custom from the Etrurians: ... The lictors bore a bundle of rods, from which an axe projected. Their duty was to walk before the magistrate in a line, one after the other; to call out to the people to make way (submovere turbam); ... “and to remind them of paying their respects to him (animadvertere, v. h. v.). The foremost one was called primus lictor: apud quem primus quievit lictor,” Cic. Q. Fr. 1, 1, 7, § 21; “the last and nearest to the consul, proximus lictor,” Liv. 24, 44 fin. The lictors had also to execute sentences of judgment, to bind criminals to a stake, to scourge them, and to behead them, Liv. 1, 26; 8, 7; 38; “26, 16.— ...


I found word in this document, William Gardner Hale, The Art of Reading Latin: How To Teach It. The article is an interesting read, which probably applies to learning all languages, and makes sense when you think about it. He says you have to translate a Latin sentence word by word as the words appear, as if you are hearing it the way a Roman child would hear it and have to make instantaneous decisions until the sentence was finished.

Lictor doesn't appear until Section 7 (you can click the section in the menu on the left), in its plural, lictores, used here to mean the king's bodyguard. It's in Section 7 that the author gives an extended example of his method.

Note that this article is an address presented on December 28, 1886.
Regards//Larry

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Postby sardith » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:35 pm

Very interesting reading.

Thank you, Stargzer
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:42 pm

And Latin has the verb at the end of the sentence.
So decision making has to wait until the action word
is given. Poor child.
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Postby sardith » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:52 pm

One more interesting development on the ligament/lictor connection:

My RN sister just told me that her daughter tripped and tore the ligaments in her knee, so I was looking for a picture on the net to see where she was describing the injury, and it turns out that ligaments and fascia are related in that they are 'binding' elements for parts of the body, in this case, the kneecap. I was thinking about what you said, Slava, about 'binding' and I wondered about that word 'fasces' and 'fascia' sounding so alike.

How words go round and round in connection.

Sardith :?
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Postby sardith » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:58 pm

My daughter took Latin in High School. She fortunately went to one where it was required for 2 or 3 years. It's not an easy one though.
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Postby Slava » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:14 pm

How the mighty have fallen!

First, from dictionary.com and its related links we learn:

Word Origin & History
fasces
1598, from L. fasces "bundle of rods containing an axe with the blade projecting" (pl. of fascis "bundle" of wood, etc.), carried before a lictor, a superior Roman magistrate, as a symbol of power over life and limb: the sticks symbolized punishment by whipping, the axe head execution by beheading. Probably cognate with M.Ir. basc "neckband," Welsh baich "load, burden," O.E. bæst "inner bark of the linden tree."

Encyclopedia

fasces
(plural form of Latin fascis: "bundle") in ancient Rome, insignia of official authority. It was carried by the lictors, or attendants, and was characterized by an ax head projecting from a bundle of elm or birch rods about 5 feet (1.5 metres) long and tied together with a red strap; it symbolized penal power. When carried inside Rome, the ax was removed (unless the magistrate was a dictator or general celebrating a triumph) as recognition of the right of a Roman citizen to appeal a magistrate's ruling. The discovery of a miniature iron set of fasces in a 7th-century BC Etruscan tomb at Vetulonia confirms the traditional view that Rome derived the fasces from the Etruscans. The Roman emperors, beginning with Augustus in 19 BC, had 12 fasces, but, after Domitian (reigned AD 81-96), they had 24; dictators, 24; consuls, 12; praetors, 6; legates, 5; priests, 1. Lowering of the fasces was a form of salute to a higher official.

Second, we have the related "binding" term fascia:

A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.

Then we get hit with one of the more modern definitions of "fascia":

6. a casing that fits over a mobile phone, with spaces for the buttons.

I am reminded of the refrain to the limbo, "How low can you go?"
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Postby sardith » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:27 am

Slava,

Pardon my shorthand, but it is early and I truly did lol!

Sardith :lol:
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:12 pm

When I was in school it was required four years.
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