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Re: [ANE-2] Antiquity of the moon-cheese motif

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  • Heleanor Feltham
    Green cheese is OK. Personally I prefer the peaches of the moon grown by Cheng O who fled there to get away from her husband. The Chinese moon is also home to
    Message 1 of 25 , Jun 28, 2008
      Green cheese is OK. Personally I prefer the peaches of the moon grown by Cheng O who fled there to get away from her husband. The Chinese moon is also home to a three-legged toad, but I don't know what it's doing there.

      Heleanor Feltham

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...>
      Date: Saturday, June 28, 2008 6:45 am
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Antiquity of the moon-cheese motif
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com

      > No, the moon is "unripe" (greene) cheese if you think Jame I was a
      > nice guy.
      >
      > Jack
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "victor avigdor hurowitz" <victor@...>
      > To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 8:59 AM
      > Subject: RE: [ANE-2] Antiquity of the moon-cheese motif
      >
      >
      > > so the moon is aged cheese. Good thing it doesn't smell.
      > > Your question reminded me that several years ago I was interested in
      > > another moon-related question, namely, what is the origin of the Man
      > in
      > > the Moon. any ideas on that (if, of course, there are ANE roots,
      > lest we
      > > digress too far from the limits of this discussion group)
      > > Victor Hurowitz
      > > BGU
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > On Fri, 27 Jun 2008, Gent van R.H. wrote:
      > >
      > >> Hi,
      > >>
      > >> As far as I can tell, the association of the moon with a "green
      > cheese"
      > >> is
      > >> only found in English texts.
      > >>
      > >> The earliest reference I have found in a printed text is a 1528
      > work by
      > >> Thomas More condemming the works of Martin Luther and William
      > Tyndale but
      > >> More uses it as a familiar saying so it must be older.
      > >>
      > >> I have found many more references in English literary texts from the
      > >> mid-16th century onwards and from these texts it is clear that
      > "green"
      > >> does
      > >> not refer to the actual colour of the cheese but to its age.
      > >>
      > >> Best,
      > >>
      > >> Robert
      > >>
      > >> > victor avigdor hurowitz wrote:
      > >>
      > >> > thanks for your question and your response to my observation.
      > >> > The problem remains, of course, where does the green come from?
      > >> > Best,
      > >> > Victor Hurowitz
      > >> > BGU
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> > On Fri, 27 Jun 2008, Gent van R.H. wrote:
      > >> >
      > >> > > Dear Victor,
      > >> > >
      > >> > > Thank you very much for your swift response and the
      > >> > references to "fox
      > >> > > proverbs" in ANE sources - I will start checking immediately.
      > >> > >
      > >> > > Yes, I did of course check GOOGLE with "green cheese" and similar
      > >> > > combinations but most hits refer to much later sources.
      > >> > >
      > >> > > Aesop is an obvious place to look and modern editions of
      > >> > Aesop usually
      > >> > > include a version of Rashi's story but it is unclear (at
      > >> > least to me)
      > >> > > whether this story is already present in the earliest
      > >> > (Greek) versions of
      > >> > > Aesop or were added much later to the collection of Aesop stories.
      > >> > >
      > >> > > Best wishes,
      > >> > >
      > >> > > Robert van Gent
      > >> > >
      > >> > >
      > >> > >
      > >> > >
      > >> > > > -----Original Message-----
      > >> > > > From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > >> > [ Behalf Of
      > >> > > > victor avigdor hurowitz
      > >> > > > Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 3:22 PM
      > >> > > > To: 'ANE-2@yahoogroups.com'
      > >> > > > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Antiquity of the moon-cheese motif
      > >> > > >
      > >> > > >
      > >> > > > This is a fascinating question about which I know nothing,
      > >> > > > but inany case
      > >> > > > I'll offer a word or two. Rashi, in the passage you refer,
      > >> > > > relates a story
      > >> > > > about how the fox outfoxed the wolf by making him think the
      > >> > > > reflection of
      > >> > > > the moon at the bottom of a well was a piece of cheese
      > >> > > > (nothing about it
      > >> > > > being green). Rashi is explaining one of the three still
      > >> > known "fox
      > >> > > > proverbs" of the three hundred so proverbs supposedly
      > >> > known by R. Meir
      > >> > > > (Sanhedrin 38b, last line). I don't know how Rashi knew this
      > >> > > > proverb but I
      > >> > > > doubt he's making it up and certainly knew it from some
      > >> > > > previous source,
      > >> > > > so you can't say (and I dont' think you do) that the idea
      > >> > comes from
      > >> > > > Rashi. Now "fox proverbs" are quite ancient and we have them
      > in
      > >> > > > Mesopotamian writings. Esarhaddon cites one in the Thompson
      > >> > > > Prism (Borger
      > >> > > > Asar. 58 Nin A V 25 - "from the midst of the sea my enemies
      > >> > > > say: `where
      > >> > > > will the fox flee from the presence of the sun?'". Lambert
      > >> > > > BWL 186-209 has
      > >> > > > a rather
      > >> > > > lengthy "Fable of the Fox" in which at at least one place the
      > sun
      > >> > > > adjudicates between the Fox and the Wolf. I haven't seen it,
      > >> > > > but I assume
      > >> > > > that Kiennast I$kar $elebi: Die Serie von Fuchs, Stuttgart, 2003.
      > >> > > > CAD s.v. $elebu 1 cites a neo-assyrian letter (ABL 555 r. 5
      > >> > > > [I don't know
      > >> > > > what it's SAA equivalent is off hand]) "he who grasped a
      > >> > lion's tail
      > >> > > > drowned in the river, but he who grasped a fox tail was
      > >> > saved" which
      > >> > > > reminds me loosely of Avot 4:15 "R. Matyah son of Harash
      > >> > says: ...be a
      > >> > > > lion's tail, and don't be a fox's head".
      > >> > > > So maybe you can find the origin of the proverb cited by
      > >> > > > Rashi in one of
      > >> > > > these considerably older sources. And if you don't find
      > >> > your moon in
      > >> > > > mesopotamia try Aesop.
      > >> > > > Victor Hurowitz
      > >> > > > BGU
      > >> > > >
      > >> > > >
      > >> > > > On Fri, 27 Jun 2008, Gent van R.H. wrote:
      > >> > > >
      > >> > > > > Hi,
      > >> > > > >
      > >> > > > > In one of the previous postings a brief mention was made of
      > >> > > > the "moon as a
      > >> > > > > green cheese".
      > >> > > > >
      > >> > > > > Silly as it may sound, I would like to know how far back
      > >> > > > the similarity of
      > >> > > > > the lunar orb with a round cheese can be traced in
      > >> > written texts.
      > >> > > > >
      > >> > > > > So far, I have not been able to find anything earlier than
      > >> > > > the 11th century
      > >> > > > > AD (Rashi's commentary to Sanhedrin 39a) but I am sure that
      > >> > > > there must be
      > >> > > > > earlier references in classical or in ANE sources.
      > >> > > > >
      > >> > > > > Is anything known about the form and colour of cheeses from
      > >> > > > ancient sources?
      > >> > > > >
      > >> > > > > Thanks in advance,
      > >> > > > >
      > >> > > > > Robert H. van Gent
      > >> > > > > Inst. History of Sciences and Philosophy
      > >> > > > > Utrecht University
      > >> > > > >
      > >> > > >
      > >> > > >
      > >> > > > ------------------------------------
      > >> > > >
      > >> > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >> > > >
      > >> > > >
      > >> > > >
      > >> > >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> > ------------------------------------
      > >> >
      > >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------------------------------
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >

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