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Re: Dig. # 148 - Pronouncing "Apicius"

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  • Philip & Susan Troy
    ... I d been accustomed for years to pronounce it uh-PEE-shee-us, more or less as if it were an English name. It appears, though, that the Classical Latin
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 1, 2000
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      IVSTINVS wrote:

      > This reminds me, as a general question to the list, how do you pronounce
      > Apicius, personally? I first heard about him in Latin class, so I tend to
      > pronounce it almost as Latin- ah-PICK-key-yuss, but of course the normal
      > rules for pronouncing Classical names in English would have us say
      > uh-PIH-shuss. For just about all other Greco-Latin names I follow the latter
      > rule, but I can't bring myself to do so with Apicius out of force of habbit.
      > I was just curious what other people do.

      I'd been accustomed for years to pronounce it uh-PEE-shee-us, more or
      less as if it were an English name. It appears, though, that the
      Classical Latin pronunciation would be more like uh-PIKE-ee-us. Add to
      the conundrum the fact that we're not _absolutely_ sure who Apicius was,
      and, if he existed at all, or wrote the work bearing his name, when.
      It's possible a Classical Latin pronunciation may not be appropriate
      either. His work isn't written in Classical Latin, more in a sort of
      Vulgate doggerel (at least what we have of it today). How do you
      pronounce _that_? In the end I think it's more important to get the
      written text right.

      > Inceidentally when I pronounce it
      > the first way to people who have never heard of him before, I almost
      > invariably get asked if he was "the first Epicurean" (based on the similarity
      > of the names), even by people who are so versed in linguistics and history
      > that they should know better!

      Uh, I'd say Epicurus was the first Epicurean, but the sense of the
      Epicurean philosophy has become a bit, um, decentralized. It's as if the
      facts don't matter very much, any more than they do in people's beliefs
      that imperial Roman nobility ate hummingbird tongues and peacock brains
      off golden platters all the time, before visiting the vomitorium, of
      course, or that medieval European cuisine is characterized by an
      incredible range of overspicing to compensate for the ubiquitous spoiled
      meat. People believe that stuff before they do any actual research, and
      for many people research into reality doesn't tamper with their
      preconceived notions.

      Grrr. Arrgghhh...

      Phil/G. Tacitus Adamantius
      --
      Phil & Susan Troy

      troy@...
    • Gideon Nisbet
      If you want to go for classical pronunciation, then Iustinus ah-PICK-key-yuss is spot on. -PIKE- is plain wrong. What I don t understand is what these normal
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 1, 2000
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        If you want to go for classical pronunciation, then Iustinus'
        ah-PICK-key-yuss is spot on. -PIKE- is plain wrong.

        What I don't understand is what these "normal rules for pronouncing
        Classical names in English" are, who came up with them, and which dialects
        of English they are supposed to apply to. Can anyone fill me in on this?

        -Gideon

        > From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy@...>
        >
        > IVSTINVS wrote:
        >
        > > This reminds me, as a general question to the list, how do you pronounce
        > > Apicius, personally? I first heard about him in Latin class, so I tend to
        > > pronounce it almost as Latin- ah-PICK-key-yuss, but of course the normal
        > > rules for pronouncing Classical names in English would have us say
        > > uh-PIH-shuss. For just about all other Greco-Latin names I follow the latter
        > > rule, but I can't bring myself to do so with Apicius out of force of habbit.
        > > I was just curious what other people do.
        >
        > I'd been accustomed for years to pronounce it uh-PEE-shee-us, more or
        > less as if it were an English name. It appears, though, that the
        > Classical Latin pronunciation would be more like uh-PIKE-ee-us. Add to
        > the conundrum the fact that we're not _absolutely_ sure who Apicius was,
        > and, if he existed at all, or wrote the work bearing his name, when.
        > It's possible a Classical Latin pronunciation may not be appropriate
        > either. His work isn't written in Classical Latin, more in a sort of
        > Vulgate doggerel (at least what we have of it today). How do you
        > pronounce _that_? In the end I think it's more important to get the
        > written text right.
      • Jdm314@aol.com
        In a message dated 2/1/00 6:34:54 AM, Phil Troy wrote:
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 1, 2000
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          In a message dated 2/1/00 6:34:54 AM, Phil Troy wrote:

          << I'd been accustomed for years to pronounce it uh-PEE-shee-us, more or
          less as if it were an English name. It appears, though, that the
          Classical Latin pronunciation would be more like uh-PIKE-ee-us. Add to >>

          OK, -PIKE- for Classical Latin is, as the Brits say, right out. But your
          comment here lead me to check, and in fact the "normal" English pronunciation
          would have been uh-PIE-shuss, because that i is long. I doubt anyone actually
          says it THAT way though.


          Allow me digress to answer Gideon:

          << What I don't understand is what these "normal rules for pronouncing
          Classical names in English" are, who came up with them, and which dialects
          of English they are supposed to apply to. Can anyone fill me in on this? >>

          There are regular rules for transforming Greco-Latin names into English
          forms. Basically the long and short vowels are transformed from the ones you
          learned in Latin class to the ones you learned in Kindergarten reading class,
          and c and g are changed to s and j as in English before i, e, ae, etc. T and
          c before i+another vowel (i.e. a y sound) are changed to a sh. Greek words,
          are of course, spelled as they would be in Latin before this process is
          applied to them:

          Cicero is read SISS-ser-row rather than KEE-kay-ro
          Socrates is read SOCK-rat-tease rather than saugh-KRAT-tays.

          This applies also to forreign names transcribed by the ancients:

          Cyrus is read SIGH-russ rather than KUE-russ (or Old Persian KOO-roosh)
          Enoch is read EE-nock, rather than AY-nokk (or Ancient Hebrew hhha-NOKH)

          When less familiar names are learned in classics classes many teachers
          pronounce them as Greek or Latin words. Normally this irritates me, but I'm
          so used to it in some cases that I let it go. Many people are the exact
          opposite: they insist on pronouncing the names as they would be in the
          original language, and are irritated with anglicization. This seems to me
          illogical... who bothers to pronounce hors-d'oeuvres, for instance, as it
          properly is in French (a pronunciation I can't figure out how to spell in
          such a way as to make English speakers read it properly ;) )? All Americans
          I've ever heard say or-DURVES, and I'm sure other English speakers do too
          (though Brits are getting closer when they "drop" the r and color the u
          instead!)

          Back to Phil:

          << the conundrum the fact that we're not _absolutely_ sure who Apicius was,
          and, if he existed at all, or wrote the work bearing his name, when.
          It's possible a Classical Latin pronunciation may not be appropriate
          either. His work isn't written in Classical Latin, more in a sort of
          Vulgate doggerel (at least what we have of it today). How do you
          pronounce _that_? In the end I think it's more important to get the
          written text right. >>

          Well, in Vulgar Latin his name would probably be pronounced something like
          ah-PEETS-yuss, not that that really matters. Nor does it matter if we're sure
          who he was, as we STILL need to say his name from time to time!




          << > Inceidentally when I pronounce it
          > the first way to people who have never heard of him before, I almost
          > invariably get asked if he was "the first Epicurean" (based on the
          similarity
          > of the names), even by people who are so versed in linguistics and history
          > that they should know better!

          Uh, I'd say Epicurus was the first Epicurean, but the sense of the
          Epicurean philosophy has become a bit, um, decentralized. >>

          Yes, but as I said, the people I've heard say this should KNOW better, with
          all the other stuff they know.
          As for the common view of the Epicurean philosophy, I think our view has
          been colored by the fact that all our favorite roman authors favored
          Stoicism. Epicureans always believed that you should never eat too much or
          too little. Stoics belived you should always eat too little ;). From their
          point of view the Epicureans were PIGS.


          << It's as if the
          facts don't matter very much, any more than they do in people's beliefs
          that imperial Roman nobility ate hummingbird tongues and peacock brains
          off golden platters all the time, before visiting the vomitorium, of >>

          Ah, my FAVORITE Roman meal. Why isn't there a recipe for this in Sally's
          book? It's an OUTRAGE!

          << course, or that medieval European cuisine is characterized by an
          incredible range of overspicing to compensate for the ubiquitous spoiled
          meat. People believe that stuff before they do any actual research, and
          for many people research into reality doesn't tamper with their
          preconceived notions. >>

          I don't think of medieval food as overspiced. My unreasearched mind tends to
          think of it as having a very "roasted" texture. Big roasted legsoflamb. I
          thought the spicing to compensate for spoiled meat came later... but I guess
          that's probably wrong too ;)


          << Grrr. Arrgghhh... >>

          Buffie fan, are we?

          IVSTINVS
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