Rhymes With Fuchsia

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Husband the Classicist

For a couple of years now Grant has had a CafePress shop, Cicero's Soapbox, wherein he sells merchandise emblazoned with sayings in classical languages. He began with Latin, branched out into Greek, ancient Sumerian (as opposed to modern Sumerian) and ancient Egyptian, and more recently has made forays into Vulcan and Klingon. (I am not sure, but I think there may be more scholars of Klingon than of Sumerian.)

He has quotes from ancient Roman writers, some of them remarkably relevant to modern life (plus ça change...), as well as translations of modern aphorisms, all in the best tradition of classical scholarship. As an added bonus, he's sold enough stuff to pay for the books he bought in order to learn all these languages.

But now, to my great fiendish glee delight distress, the wool fumes have gotten to him. Next thing you know he'll be knitting.


  • I thought Richard Rutt said there wasn't a Latin word for knitting as it didn't exist until medieval times? Closest word was twining or braided? I could certainly be wrong, or perhaps it's a modern Latin word?

    Those T-shirts are cute, though. But I may go for the mug instead. shforbes@earthlink.net

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:06 AM  

  • Excellent! I've been wondering what his store name was for a while. Very witty, that Grant. :)

    By Blogger Jena the yarn harpy, at 12:54 AM  

  • Re: the Latin word for knitting.

    Caesar and Cicero would have recognized "texere" as referring to weaving or plaiting, but it also had an extended meaning the Oxford Latin Dictionary describes as "to construct . . . with elaborate care." At some point it must have come to be used for knitting too, because "texere" is the word you find if you look up "knit" in either the Harper Collins or New College Latin/English dictionary.

    This isn't a classical usage, though. To keep Caesar and Cicero from scratching their heads over the unfamiliar use of "texere," I added "acubus," which means "using needles." "To construct . . . with elaborate care using needles" is not a bad description of knitting if you don't have an actual native word to fall back on.

    By Anonymous Grant, at 2:03 AM  

  • Terrific!

    By Blogger Carole Knits, at 7:47 AM  

  • That is genius. Thanks, Grant!

    By Blogger Annie, at 9:36 AM  

  • Hilarious! Another convert, of sorts. Keep motoring; eventually he'll pick up the needles.

    By Blogger FemiKnitMafia, at 9:45 AM  

  • Brilliant! This should take care of some Christmas gifts!

    By Blogger Roxie, at 10:03 AM  

  • Gotta have one!! Brilliant.

    By Blogger Margene, at 10:03 AM  

  • Too funny! I may have to come back and do some shopping!

    By Blogger christine, at 10:52 AM  

  • I bounced over from Lene's blog to let you know 'womb and board' made me burst out laughing! Love Grant's work and explanation! It's been a fun day! Thanks!

    By Anonymous Lynn, at 12:20 PM  

  • How cool!!! And I agree with you, Grant "'To construct . . . with elaborate care using needles' is not a bad description of knitting'" .....Starting my wishlist now....

    By Anonymous Chris H, at 1:08 PM  

  • Love the shirts. Gotta' get one. Maybe for my birthday in September?

    And you are NOT a stay at home sparrow. You are one of the bravest people I know, so fly your colors proudly, sister! You've earned it.

    “The imperative is to define what is right and do it.” – Barbara Jordan

    By Blogger Susan Pandorf, at 3:58 PM  

  • I DID wonder a bit about the shirt you had on at the frolic...what did it say? where did it come from? Now at least I have an idea where it came from! I know about 3 words of latin...aside from scientific names. Ancient sumerian? wow! I'll bookmark his site for a good peruse later, looks like a lot of fun!

    By Blogger knitnzu, at 7:10 PM  

  • excellent!

    By Blogger maryse, at 10:19 PM  

  • I know one scholar of Sumerian: Interstellar Alex.

    No, really.

    By Anonymous Beth S., at 9:27 AM  

  • You can only hope that he might start knitting, but if so, just hope he doesn't want to share your stash.

    By Blogger WandaWoman, at 2:19 PM  

  • Oh. My. God. Freaking brilliant!

    ...now only if it were available in a license plate frame (I'm not allowed to put stickers on my car - things fall off. Expensive things. Like transmissions. Long story). I'd be all over the frame-age ;o)

    By Anonymous JessaLu, at 11:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home