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Re: Five Euphemias & Prayer

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  • Tonia Blake
    ... http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=tmr;view=text;rgn=main;idno=b aj9928.0102.002 Interesting review. Thank you for the heads-up. The format of
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 3, 2002
      > Subject: Five Euphemias & Prayer (was: Medieval Prayer--Thank you!)

      > Note that this isn't a great book -- it is seriously flawed and rife
      > with unfounded speculation (often not marked as such). See the review
      > at:
      >
      >
      http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=tmr;view=text;rgn=main;idno=b
      aj9928.0102.002

      Interesting review. Thank you for the heads-up. The format of the book makes
      for an entertaining read, but I'll be very careful not to take her word for
      anything!

      > >"I will raise the hearth-fire
      > >As Mary would.
      > >The encirclement of Bride and of Mary
      > >On the fire, and on the floor,
      > >And on the household all."
      >
      > Can you give the page number where she talks about this?

      Page 32.

      I'd like to
      > check where she is getting this from. (That is, is she taking info
      > from hundreds of years later and applying it to the 1200s, or has she
      > some 13th century basis for it... That would be my guess, given she
      > seems to have liberally sprinkled her book with quotes of prayers and
      > sayings collected in the 19th century.)

      Yes, I see that's the case on page 87 where she quotes her source as
      Alexander Carmichael's _Carmina Gadelica_. Sutherland spends a couple of
      paragraphs discussing this work and her decision to use it. To her limited
      credit, Sutherland says: I cannot claim that Euphemia knew the exact words
      of the charms and croons I have quoted but the sentiments they reveal, that
      strong blend of pagan and Christian imagery, is perhaps the nearest we can
      get to understanding her perception of life.

      <grin> But don't hold her to it.

      > I note elsewhere that she doesn't footnote, making it all the harder
      > to figure out what is sound and reasonable and what is the
      > aforementioned unfounded speculation.

      I agree. That's a good point.

      > In fact, just looking through the first few pages, it rapidly is
      > demonstrated that the author is a novelist, not a historian.

      Yes, before _Five Euphemias_ she'd written 5 novels in addition to her
      non-fiction work.

      > >Anyway, Sutherland's account charmed me with little prayers like this,
      but
      > >now I realize they wouldn't be appropriate.
      >
      > Well done! ;-)

      :)

      > Praying is a good instinct -- especially for a devout character. Mind
      > you, I don't know that a medieval person would have regarded it as "a
      > distraction" -- more like the natural and appropriate thing to do
      > when upset.

      The nature of the incident calls for distraction (as well as comfort), but I
      definitely hear you. It's been hard for me to remember to include
      appropriate religious references.

      > able to read.] The only time I would expect a man to know more
      > prayers and such in Latin than a woman of the same class would be if
      > he had specific training to be a cleric. But likewise I would expect
      > a woman to know more prayers and such in Latin than a man of the same
      > class if she had specific monastic training (to be a nun, etc.)

      I agree (And I'm speculating, too.). I should have mentioned that her
      husband had intended to become a cleric before their marriage instead of
      merely stating that he was particularly devout. But all of this is great
      information and discussion, pointing me to weak areas and confirming my
      ideas/research on others. Very helpful.

      > I should also emphasize that I don't know from medieval evidence
      > whether people of various classes knew the Pater Noster and Ave Marie
      > in Latin or in the vernacular

      ...

      If I dig into deeper, I'll be sure to mention what I find on the list.

      > >So now I'm convinced to go with the Latin, Eogan. Thank you for the
      > >references and for typing out the Latin and ME versions of Our Father. I
      > >won't need the 13th century Latin. I can't get too authentic without
      > >alienating the reader, and the modern Latin will hopefully touch a chord
      for
      > >Catholic readers while being familiar enough for others
      >
      > You know, if you're going to use Latin, it won't alienate the reader
      > any more to use the 13th century Latin than to use the modern Latin.
      > Not enough of your readers are going to know Latin from a hole in the
      > wall...

      LOL. I could probably make up the words. Now if I wrote it in "pig latin",
      I'd probably get called to task...

      > I don't know if the medieval Latin for these prayers was
      > significantly different (other than, as noted, things like the Hail
      > Mary not having all the words it has modernly). There may be
      > differences, and it would be good to find out what they were (if
      > there were any) and use the 13th century version since people are
      > going to rashly assume whatever you put is the accurate 13th century
      > version. But since Latin has not changed much those differences are
      > unlikely to be great enough that modern Catholics of a certain age
      > would not still recognize the prayers. (Although all languages
      > change, dead languages like Latin don't tend to change as much as
      > living languages like English and Gaelic ;-)
      >
      > Unfortunately, I don't know off hand where one can find out the 13th
      > century Latin versions easily...

      Eogan? Did you say you have that version?

      > I forgot to mention as I was planning to with regard to the book
      > _Five Euphemias_, that at least the first Euphemia (and probably
      > several of the others) actually had my SCA name. Sutherland gives the
      > Gaelic as <Eighrig> in her book, but she's wrong -- that's the modern
      > Gaelic (or so it is said). The medieval Gaelic was (depending on
      > period) <Aiffric>, <Affraic>, and in late period probably <Afraig>.
      > Anyway, although Sutherland's book is particularly bad, it
      > demonstrates one of the problems with using a history book for name
      > information -- even when the authors specifically address the
      > question of names and what people were actually called, they tend to
      > make mistakes along these lines, especially when they don't
      > themselves actually have any background in the history of a language
      > and/or onomastics (the study of names). What history books are good
      > for is letting us know that someone modernly called by a certain name
      > existed at a certain period in the past -- and as such can prove a
      > starting point for looking to see what that person was actually
      > called in their own period. But history books are rarely reliable
      > when it comes to this latter question -- and they usually don't even
      > address it...

      I'm learning so much writing this story. I'll admit that sometimes it's
      intimidating to write a historical novel, even one targeted to a popular
      fiction audience. This list has been great--very helpful--though I wish I
      could contribute more. I -can- promise (hand over heart) that I'll never,
      ever put my 13th century hero in a kilt.

      Thank you for the great discussion.

      Tonia
    • Matt Newsome
      ... No, sorry, the only Latin I have is modern ecclesial Latin. 13th century Latin would be different, althoug as Sharon said, not greatly. If I come across a
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 4, 2002
        At Sunday, 3 November 2002, you wrote:

        >> Unfortunately, I don't know off hand where one can find out the 13th
        >> century Latin versions easily...
        >
        >Eogan? Did you say you have that version?

        No, sorry, the only Latin I have is modern ecclesial Latin. 13th
        century Latin would be different, althoug as Sharon said, not greatly.
        If I come across a source I'll let you know.
        Aye,
        Eogan


        Albanach.org
        Scottish History -- Highland Dress
      • tjblake2001
        ... Thanks, anyway! If I find one, I ll post. Tonia
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 4, 2002
          > If I come across a source I'll let you know.
          > Aye,

          > Eogan


          Thanks, anyway! If I find one, I'll post.

          Tonia
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