Re: maiden's headgear
- In a message dated 11/11/1999 8:59:26 AM Central Standard Time,
> So, let me pose a much more pointed questionGiven that similar shapes crop up in the most unexpected places, I'd say
> then. If the concurrence theory is correct (as the Novgorodian
> artifacts seem to indicate), what do you see as the
> stylistic/cultural/material differences between the Byzantine and
> Kievian headresses (beyond the doughnut)?
ornamentation and its significance. Russian paganism was quite different from
Greek mythology, more agrarian, more earthy and with lots of fertility rites,
wardings, homeopathic magic, etc. Russian amulets are rather singular (even
though borrowings from nearby non-Russian peoples can be traced fairly
easily), and the same patterns can be found in other places -- from
architectural motifs, to frescoes, to fragments of embroidery, other jewelry
items, etc. Russian strictures about married women's modesty (hair covered
completely) include laws protecting women from "shame" (having her headdress
ripped off) by imposing rather heavy fines on perpetrators. All in all, the
significance of the headdress goes beyond what could have been borrowed from
Byzantium: because headdresses existed before heavy Byzantine influence could
be felt, and because of their importance, something that persisted into
modern times (my own grandmother would not have thought of leaving home
without putting a kerchief on her head, much less go to church).
Icons alone seem to indicate borrowing, but other evidence, such as minor
details in illuminated manuscripts, archeological finds, and laws and rules
about headdress show that the whole headdress thing in Russia was specific
and rooted in Slavic culture.
> (still groping blindly but waiting translation programs to fall to anDon't hold your breath. We translators won't be out of business any time
> acceptable price v. utility)
soon. It's the intepretation part of translation that this software can't
solve yet. Not to mention grammar and style, two elements that offend when
you read a text in your language translated by someone (or -thing) that gets
It might work for business letters: they're very formulaic. And law texts,
too. But texts with a more creative, loose style will cause problems.
Maybe when Artificial Intelligence does become reality, but until computers
can think for themselves, I think the human translating business is safe.
(my pet peeves are spelling obviously miscorrected by computers and awful