[lit-ideas] Re: Graikos (Arist., Meteor. I xiv): with bread, butter, and green cheese

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 18:39:51 -0600

>>With the arrival of the Normans, it all ended unhappily.<< 

It fascinates me that a Ligurian could take such an avid interest in pre-1066 
Britannia.  This hypercharacteristic post of JL's reminds me of a Doonesbury 
strip some months of Sundays ago.  An American soldier and an Iraqi soldier are 
traveling down a Baghdad street in a Humvee when the Iraqi shouts, "Stop!"  
   "Why?"  the American asks.  
   "That man there, that's Hassan al Jaffri.  I must kill him!"
    "What? Why?" the American asks.
    "Because some members of his family killed some of my family."
    "My god, when did that happen?"
     "In 1385."

But don't get me wrong.  I'm not complaining.  Just fascinated.

Mike Geary
and though I can trace my English ancestry back to 1590 with the birth of John 
Greene who emigrated on the James in 1635 and died in 1659 in Rhode Island, I 
can't hold a candle to the Argentine Ligurian when it comes to Anglophilia -- 
which has a decidedly perverted sound to me.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx 
  To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2007 11:07 AM
  Subject: [lit-ideas] Graikos (Arist., Meteor. I xiv): with bread, butter, and 
green cheese

      "Graikoi was the prehistoric name of the Hellenes"
                              Arist. Meteor. I, xiv (Loeb Classical Library)

                  Tha oran hi on Crecas.
                     King Alfred, Oros. v xii 4 (893)

  OED comments:

  "The Old English Crécas plural, corresponds to Old High German Chrêch, 
Chriech (MHG. Kriech), Gothic Krêks, ultimately from Krêkoz, an early Teutonic 
adoption of Latin  Græcus, pl. Græc, the name applied by the Romans to the 
people called by themselves . The substitution of k for g is commonly accounted 
for by the supposition that the Teutonic initial g, when the word was adopted, 
still retained its original pronunciation (), so that k would be the Teutonic 
sound nearest to the Latin g. In all the Teutonic languages the word was 
ultimately refashioned after Latin, with change of k into g; hence OE. Grécas 
pl. beside Crécas, Middle Dutch Grieke (Du. Griek), mod.Ger. Grieche, ON. 
Grikkir pl. In branch II the noun is an absolute use of GREEK a. 

  "Latin Græc is from the Greek , said by Aristotle (Meteorologica Book I. xiv) 
to have been the prehistoric name of the Hellenes in their original seats in 

  "The Roman word is apparently an adjectival derivative of Graius, which is 
used in Latin as a poetical synonym of Græcus. Recent scholars think the name 
may have been brought to Italy by colonists from Euba, where there is some 
evidence of its having existed: see Busolt Gr. Gesch. I.2 198.]." 
  First quote in English: King Alfred, above. 

  When I was referring to "Hellenic" being rude, I meant to say that if Greek 
was mentioned at all in the curriculum, say Eton, Rugby, or Oxford -- I don't 
think it officially would be labelled 'Hellenic'. What the people themselves 
called themselves is immaterial.

  The current script of "Mary Poppins" -- by Julian Fellows -- who should know 
better -- has Mr. Banks's client wanting to apply a evil scheme in "Latin 
America". Yet we won't hear a Buenos Aires person labelled himself as a "Latin 
American" _ever_. It's usually _Bolivians_ who are Latin-Americans.

  The Greeks were mighty confused as to their tribal organisation, and the 
delight of it all is that such was the case. No need for an over-generic or 
hypergeneric term!

  Ditto for Latins, and Romans. It's very insulting to call my Italian side of 
the family "Roman" or even "Italian". They are stubbornly proud (for some 
reason which has to do with the history of isolation for years and a love for 
the old sod that they never even allowed the 'roaming Romans' to cross the 
Riviera) referred to as "Ligurii" -- and the province is Liguria. Italians 
would be 'southerner things', and Romans just 'towns folk'. 

  L. K. Helm mentions the English and the Frissons. That was part of my 
research. I even visited Leeuwaarden (in Friesland) to have the records 
straight. It's only PROCOPIUS (I got the Loeb yesterday -- but the text is 
available online) who mentions the FRISSONES -- which may be the Frisians. He 
also mentions the angilloi, which may be the Angles (he makes them as living in 

  Tacitus who wrote earlier, mentions the Angulus of the Angli as still being 
continental and being that piece of triangular land on the Baltic sea. Tacitus 
goes on to explain that there was a confederacy of the Angles and the Frisians 
which he called Ingvaeonic, or Ingaevones. The root, "Ing-" is said to be 
represented in the word "England", but I prefer the "Angulus" story.

  When Henry Sweet -- the original Mister Higgins -- classified English he 
called it "Anglo-Frisian" in its continental home. And the fact is preserved by 
a rhyme by Hazlitt, 

                 Bread, butter, and green cheese,

  is           very good english and very good friese.

  -------- When the Angles arrived in Britannia, their companions, according to 
Bede, were the Saxons and the Jutes. The Jutes are easy to trace: Isle of Wight 
and Kent. South of the Thames, Saxons -- North of the Thames Angles.

  Angles had basically three kingdoms -- South of Humber -- East Anglia 
(suffolk and norfolk), and Mercians (The Marches). 

  North of the Humber (Northumbria) divided into DEIRA (Yorkshire) and Bernicia.

  Britons is always used with reference to the pre-germanic tribes.

  With the arrival of the Normans, it all ended unhappily. It should be noted 
that King Alfred, who used Angelkynne a lot, was himself a West Saxon (Wessex). 



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