Recently in History Category

The Supine: Latin: Wheelock

| | TrackBacks (0)

The Supine: Wheelock's Grammar

A seldom-seen Latin construction to indicate purpose or point-of-view.


Latin Verbal: Supine: ThoughtCo
Supine: The Latin Library

Latin Pronunciation

| | TrackBacks (0)

THE PRONUNCIATION OF LATIN: Ancient and Modern Pronunciations

"A great deal of heat, if not light, has been spent on the problem of the "correct pronunciation of Latin". Probably most students will go with the method that their teachers use, but whichever way you follow, remember that this is a matter of scholarship, not of religion or faith. If there is any overriding parameter of judgment, it should probably be on the side of convenience, but in the last analysis the student who is really concerned with the way Latin may have sounded, as a part of his esthetic appreciation of a poet like Vergil, must try to find out the best way, so far as he can determine it, and follow it....

"Incidentally much the same misfortune has accrued to the sensitive and lovely Classical Greek language, where a perfectly attested pitch inflection of a musical fifth (marked by an acute accent in the Alexandrian period for the benefit of benighted foreigners like us) is regularly replaced by a heavy stress...."

From a collection of background essays on Latin by William Harris, Professor Emeritus of Middlebury College.

Here is a more comprehensive guide to Latin pronunciation with discussion of its evolution over time, part of the Orbis Latinus Descriptive Latin Grammar, which also has this helpful guide to alternative verb endings often found in Latin poetry.

Were Confederate Generals Traitors?, by Walter E.Williams | Creators Syndicate

From the brilliant professor of economics at George Mason U. (who happens to be an African American):

"America's first secessionist movement started in New England after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Many were infuriated by what they saw as an unconstitutional act by President Thomas Jefferson. The movement was led by Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts, George Washington's secretary of war and secretary of state. He later became a congressman and senator. 'The principles of our Revolution point to the remedy -- a separation,' Pickering wrote to George Cabot in 1803, for "the people of the East cannot reconcile their habits, views, and interests with those of the South and West." His Senate colleague James Hillhouse of Connecticut agreed, saying, "The Eastern states must and will dissolve the union and form a separate government." This call for secession was shared by other prominent Americans, such as John Quincy Adams, Elbridge Gerry, Fisher Ames, Josiah Quincy III and Joseph Story. The call failed to garner support at the 1814-15 Hartford Convention.

"The U.S. Constitution would have never been ratified -- and a union never created -- if the people of those 13 'free sovereign and Independent States' did not believe that they had the right to secede. Even on the eve of the War of 1861, unionist politicians saw secession as a right that states had. Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel of Maryland said, 'Any attempt to preserve the union between the states of this Confederacy by force would be impractical and destructive of republican liberty.' The Northern Democratic and Republican parties favored allowing the South to secede in peace....

"Confederate generals were fighting for independence from the Union just as George Washington and other generals fought for independence from Great Britain. Those who'd label Gen. Robert E. Lee as a traitor might also label George Washington as a traitor. I'm sure Great Britain's King George III would have agreed."

Donald Trump is making the 'Great Man' theory of history great again - Business Insider

Interesting article by David A. Bell, a professor of history at Princeton. Bell begins by reciting some cases in which the personalities of world leaders appear to have been decisive in the course of world history -- Lincoln, Churchill, Hitler, Stalin are given as examples -- reinforcing the "Great Man" theory of history, a theory often dismissed by modern historians.

"Despite the vast power at the disposal of the American president, most occupants of that office, even when commanding congressional majorities, have felt constrained by a host of structural conditions of one sort or another. They want to avoid spooking the stock market, damaging their party's chances in future elections, upsetting carefully negotiated diplomatic agreements, and so on and so forth. They almost certainly have a lower estimate of their own power than almost anyone else. But these constraints, which change far more slowly than a president's moods, make the actions they take more predictable and therefore more easily subject to social scientific analysis.

"Donald Trump, however, is so willful and thin-skinned, so convinced of his own abilities, so enamored of his own unpredictability, and at the same time so unable to concentrate on any particular issue, that he is far less likely to appreciate the constraints that have weighed so heavily on his predecessors or even to understand them. He is also far less likely to listen to his advisors, and these advisers themselves are, overall, far more ignorant of their supposed areas of expertise than any other group of high-level administration officials in American history.

"Even in crisis situations, U.S. presidents have generally done their best to follow predictable, well-established decision-making protocols. The television shows that present a president making hugely consequential decisions under pressure, from the gut, with only a handful of close aides in the room, eliminate from the picture the vast bureaucratic operations that exist to provide information, to evaluate the reliability of that information, to analyze it, and to game out the possible consequences of different courses of action. Up to now, presidents have generally respected these bureaucracies in most cases. They know how important it is, in a world of nuclear weapons, for there to be steady, predictable protocols for resolving crises. They remember all too well that during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, only the steadfastness of a single Soviet military officer kept a submarine commander from launching a tactical nuclear weapon against an American destroyer, possibly provoking nuclear war (if you don't know the story, read this). Donald Trump, alas, is almost certainly less likely to follow established protocols than any of his predecessors. In a crisis situation, how is he likely to react? Can anyone know?"

Local effects of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack

How a central California newspaper reacted to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

"An article, titled 'What to do in the Event of an Air Raid,' listed several practical suggestions. A few were terrifying.

  • When the alarm sounds, householders must extinguish all lights.
  • Don't go into streets. Stay indoors and find a place safe from flying glass.
  • All motorists must pull over to the curb. Extinguish lights, abandon car and seek shelter.
  • Householders should supply themselves with bags of sand to be placed throughout their dwellings.
  • Fill all household receptacles including bathtubs with water as a precaution against fires.
  • The blast of a high-explosive bomb may cause injury within 150 yards. Get behind any solid cover and lie down.
  • If an incendiary or burning bomb penetrates your house, DO NOT THROW WATER on the bomb as this will cause an explosion. Throw sand or dirt.

After 74 years, bones from Pearl Harbor tomb ship may be identified

Renewed efforts at Offutt AFB to identify the remains of USS Oklahoma crew who died on December 7, 1941:

"Inside an old aircraft factory here, behind the glass windows of a pristine laboratory, the lost crew of the USS Oklahoma rests on special tables covered in black foam.

"Their bones are brown with age after 50 years in the ground and, before that, months entombed in their sunken battleship beneath the oily waters of Pearl Harbor.

"Legs, arms, ribs, vertebrae. Some have blue tags tied with string, identifying the type of bone. Some have beige tags, indicating that experts also want samples for DNA testing.

"They are the unidentified remains of hundreds of sailors and Marines who perished 74 years ago Monday, when Japan launched a surprise air attack on Hawaii and plunged the United States into World War II.

"Now, seven decades later, the government is trying to put names to the old salts and teenage sailors who died when their ship was sunk by enemy torpedoes Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941.

"Over the past six months, with a fresh mandate from the Defense Department, the bones were exhumed from a cemetery in Hawaii and most were brought to a new lab here, where scientists have begun the task."

The last days of London - in pictures | Cities | The Guardian

Eighteen images by photographer Colin O'Brien of "last days" in London -- the last day of London's double-decker trams, the last days of Covent Garden as a produce market, a pie stall on the porch of a graffiti-besmeared St. Paul's Covent Garden, the last day of business for a Woolworths, the last photos of a cafe owner, the last run of a Routemaster bus, the horse and cart of one of the last rag-and-bone men in Hackney -- documenting the slow passing of pre-war London. If you enjoy '50s British radio comedy, you'll find some pictures here to help you see what you're hearing.

Broadcast History: Behind the Clear-Channel Matter

Early chaos in frequency assignment, the first 40 clear-channel stations, proposals for "super-power AM radio," and the watering down of clear-channel exclusivity.

Evolution of the American AM Band: A Brief History by Ed Ripley: Includes a discussion of WLW's brief period running as a 500,000 super-power AM station and the use of directional transmitters.

Wikipedia: Clear-channel station: History of the concept and a list of current clear-channel stations.

1941 North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement: Resulted in a massive shift in frequencies to make way for clear-channel stations in neighboring countries; moved KVOO from 1140 to 1170.

Wells Cathedral - Rules for Choristers - 1460

How the boys are to take their meals: "Then they shall say their grace distinctly and audibly, after which they shall decently and silently approach the table and peacefully sit down. When they are seated they shall behave decently and not lean on the table. They must not deliberately or wantonly soil or spoil the cloth or other utensils in front of them, and they must take their food courteously and decently. They must cut their bread or break it decently, not gnaw it with their teeth or tear it with their nails. Also they must drink with their mouths empty, not full, and eat their food decently, in moderation and not quickly. On no account are they to raise their knives to their mouths with the food, nor clean their teeth with their knives. And if at dinner or supper-time there is anything lacking that they ought to have, they must ask for it softly not loudly, not in English but in Latin; and they must consider themselves satisfied with what is provided without any murmuring or disapproval."