Need Translation of Linnaeus' Latin

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Limulus

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Nov 4, 2005, 9:21:54 AM11/4/05
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Hi there! ^_^

You know that famous quote from Linnaeus that goes "I demand of you,
and of the whole world, that you show me a generic character ... by
which to distinguish between Man and Ape. I myself most assuredly know
of none. I wish somebody would indicate one to me. But, if I had called
man an ape, or vice versa, I would have fallen under the ban of all
ecclesiastics. It may be that as a naturalist I should have done so."

Well I finally found the original Latin in The Linnaean Correspondence
(http://linnaeus.c18.net/)

Non placet, quod Hominem inter ant[h]ropomorpha collocaverim, sed homo
noscit se ipsum. Removeamus vocabula. Mihi perinde erit, quo nomine
utamur. Sed quaero a Te et Toto orbe differentiam genericam inter
hominem et Simiam, quae ex principiis Historiae naturalis. Ego
certissime nullam novi. Utinam aliquis mihi unicam diceret! Si vocassem
hominem simiam vel vice versa omnes in me conjecissem theologos.
Debuissem forte ex lege artis. (see
http://linnaeus.c18.net/Letters/display_txt.php?id_letter=L0783)

The summary on the page goes "Linnaeus placed man among the
Anthropomorpha ("the human-like), which caused irritation. He does
not care what name is used. But he wonders whether Gmelin and the rest
of the world can name a generic difference between man and ape based on
the principles of natural history." I wonder if the english quote
isn't a bit paraphrased... can someone provide a literal translation to
use on Wikipedia if it differs?

Much thanks in advance!

John Harshman

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Nov 4, 2005, 9:39:58 AM11/4/05
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Limulus wrote:

To the extent I can puzzle it out, the English quote seems fairly
literal. One might quibble with a few of the word choices, for example
translation guaero as "demand" instead of just "ask" might be a little
strong. The translation leaves out the clause beginning "quae ex
principiis..." that is stated in the summary as "based on the
principles...". It begins at "Mihin perinde...", ands at "...conjecissem
theologos", and the last sentence "It may be..." is not found in the
Latin you give here. I don't think the sentence beginning "Debuissem" is
at all the same.

John McKendry

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Nov 4, 2005, 8:56:25 PM11/4/05
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On Fri, 04 Nov 2005 06:21:54 -0800, Limulus wrote:

> Hi there! ^_^
>
> You know that famous quote from Linnaeus that goes "I demand of you,
> and of the whole world, that you show me a generic character ... by
> which to distinguish between Man and Ape. I myself most assuredly know
> of none. I wish somebody would indicate one to me. But, if I had called
> man an ape, or vice versa, I would have fallen under the ban of all
> ecclesiastics. It may be that as a naturalist I should have done so."
>
> Well I finally found the original Latin in The Linnaean Correspondence
> (http://linnaeus.c18.net/)
>
> Non placet, quod Hominem inter ant[h]ropomorpha collocaverim, sed homo
> noscit se ipsum.

It is not pleasing that I have assigned Homo to the anthropomorphs,
but man knows himself.

> Removeamus vocabula.
Let us remove the words. (alt. rid ourselves of the words, get the words
out of the way.)

> Mihi perinde erit, quo nomine utamur.

It will be all the same to me, by what name they are treated.

> Sed quaero a Te et Toto orbe differentiam genericam inter
> hominem et Simiam, quae ex principiis Historiae naturalis.

But I seek from you and from the whole world a generic differerence
between men and Simians, which is in accord with (lit. "which is from")
the principles of Natural History.

<A note on the translation of "quaero" here; I'm using the Oxford Latin
Dictionary, which is really meant for Classical Latin, not the workaday
Latin of an 18th-century naturalist. Words acquire new and specialized
meanings over the course of a millennium and a half. But for the Classical
period, anyway, the OLD makes it clear that "quaero" is more than simply
"ask". The first few entries are "To try to find, search for, hunt for,
seek; to look for (mentally), try to discover. To look for (with the
implication of being unable to find), seek in vain". "Ask for" would be
too mild, I think.>

> Ego certissime nullam novi.
I certainly know none.

> Utinam aliquis mihi unicam diceret!

If only someone might tell me one such thing!

> Si vocassem hominem simiam vel vice versa omnes in me conjecissem
> theologos.

If I called Homo a Simian or vice versa I would bring together all the
theologians against me.

> Debuissem forte ex lege artis.

Perhaps I ought to, in accordance with the law of the discipline
(of Natural History).

> (see
> http://linnaeus.c18.net/Letters/display_txt.php?id_letter=L0783)
>
> The summary on the page goes "Linnaeus placed man among the
> Anthropomorpha ("the human-like), which caused irritation. He does not
> care what name is used. But he wonders whether Gmelin and the rest of
> the world can name a generic difference between man and ape based on the
> principles of natural history." I wonder if the english quote isn't a
> bit paraphrased... can someone provide a literal translation to use on
> Wikipedia if it differs?
>
> Much thanks in advance!

That's pretty close, I think. The only place where I departed from the
OLD was in translating "ars/artis" as "discipline" rather than the more
obvious "art". I don't think it does violence to the meaning.

John

John Wilkins

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Nov 4, 2005, 9:59:35 PM11/4/05
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John McKendry wrote:
> On Fri, 04 Nov 2005 06:21:54 -0800, Limulus wrote:
>
>
>>Hi there! ^_^
>>
>>You know that famous quote from Linnaeus that goes "I demand of you,
>>and of the whole world, that you show me a generic character ... by
>>which to distinguish between Man and Ape. I myself most assuredly know
>>of none. I wish somebody would indicate one to me. But, if I had called
>>man an ape, or vice versa, I would have fallen under the ban of all
>>ecclesiastics. It may be that as a naturalist I should have done so."
>>
>>Well I finally found the original Latin in The Linnaean Correspondence
>>(http://linnaeus.c18.net/)
>>
>>Non placet, quod Hominem inter ant[h]ropomorpha collocaverim, sed homo
>>noscit se ipsum.
>
> It is not pleasing that I have assigned Homo to the anthropomorphs,
> but man knows himself.
>
>
>>Removeamus vocabula.
>
> Let us remove the words. (alt. rid ourselves of the words, get the words
> out of the way.)
>
Very reminiscent of the Royal Society's motto "nulliun in verba" (nothing in
words). I once heard a colleague of John Mayrnard Smith's say how he (JMS)
would come to the cafeteria and interrupt discussions with "Is this about the
world, or words? If it's about the world, I will join in".

Linnaeus was in fact attacked by the local Lutheran Archbishop for impiety,
which is funny given Linnaeus' strong religious faith (in fact, his piety was
extreme).


>
>
> That's pretty close, I think. The only place where I departed from the
> OLD was in translating "ars/artis" as "discipline" rather than the more
> obvious "art". I don't think it does violence to the meaning.
>
> John
>


--
John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biohumanities Project
University of Queensland - Blog: evolvethought.blogspot.com
"Darwin's theory has no more to do with philosophy than any other
hypothesis in natural science." Tractatus 4.1122

John Wilkins

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Nov 4, 2005, 10:32:39 PM11/4/05
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John Wilkins wrote:
..

> Very reminiscent of the Royal Society's motto "nulliun in verba" (nothing in

nullius
> words).
...

Deadrat

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Nov 5, 2005, 12:26:47 AM11/5/05
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"John McKendry" <jlas...@comcast.dot.net> wrote in message
news:pan.2005.11.05....@comcast.dot.net...

> On Fri, 04 Nov 2005 06:21:54 -0800, Limulus wrote:
>
> > Hi there! ^_^
> >
> > You know that famous quote from Linnaeus that goes "I demand of you,
> > and of the whole world, that you show me a generic character ... by
> > which to distinguish between Man and Ape. I myself most assuredly know
> > of none. I wish somebody would indicate one to me. But, if I had called
> > man an ape, or vice versa, I would have fallen under the ban of all
> > ecclesiastics. It may be that as a naturalist I should have done so."
> >
> > Well I finally found the original Latin in The Linnaean Correspondence
> > (http://linnaeus.c18.net/)
> >
> > Non placet, quod Hominem inter ant[h]ropomorpha collocaverim,

> It is not pleasing that I have assigned Homo to the anthropomorphs,

> > sed homo noscit se ipsum.

> but man knows himself.

perhaps "but man himself knows this very thing" ?

<snip>

> John
>

Limulus

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Nov 5, 2005, 4:42:15 AM11/5/05
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Deadrat's alternate translation for the end of the first sentence got
me thinking that I could try to look up some of these words too ;) I
came up with an somewhat different interpretation... Please tell me
what you think.

John McKendry wrote:

> > Non placet, quod Hominem inter ant[h]ropomorpha collocaverim, sed homo
> > noscit se ipsum.
> It is not pleasing that I have assigned Homo to the anthropomorphs,
> but man knows himself.

"Without men recognizing it for themselves, there will not be agreement
to the idea of placing mankind among the Primates."

> > Removeamus vocabula.
> Let us remove the words. (alt. rid ourselves of the words, get the words
> out of the way.)

So... "Let's avoid semantics"? :)

Grace Haliburton

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Nov 5, 2005, 6:40:32 AM11/5/05
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Literal translation as best I can do:

It is not pleasing [to me], that I (will/have/must??) place Man among
the Anthropomorpha, but Man (is familiar with himself? knows his own
kind? not familiar with idiom). Let us move away from the name. To me
it will be the same, whichever name we use. But I ask you and all the
world for a general difference between Man and Apes, from the natural
principles of any history. I most certainly (know? this isn't a
classical Latin word) of none. Would that anyone would tell one to me!
If I had called Man an ape or vice versa it would have been that I was
thrown in with all the theologians. It may be that I should have, (on
account of the strong law of something???).

The first translated quote really isn't bad; it retains much of the
feel of the original. The second is rather paraphrased. Neither is
wrong, though. Sorry I'm a little weak on later Latin idiom, so I can't
do much of anything with the pieces I left in parentheses.

-Grace
"Never trust anything that thinks for itself if you can't see where it
keeps its brain." - J.K. Rowling

Grace Haliburton

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Nov 5, 2005, 6:50:06 AM11/5/05
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Limulus wrote:
> Deadrat's alternate translation for the end of the first sentence got
> me thinking that I could try to look up some of these words too ;) I
> came up with an somewhat different interpretation... Please tell me
> what you think.
>
> John McKendry wrote:
>
> > > Non placet, quod Hominem inter ant[h]ropomorpha collocaverim, sed homo
> > > noscit se ipsum.
> > It is not pleasing that I have assigned Homo to the anthropomorphs,
> > but man knows himself.
>
> "Without men recognizing it for themselves, there will not be agreement
> to the idea of placing mankind among the Primates."
>
No, that's definitely not it. The first part is clearly stating that
it's not pleasing to the author to place man among the Anthropomorpha.
The second part carries more of an idea of man being familiar with his
own kind..."but it takes one to know one" would be a fairly close
idiomatic translation.

> > > Removeamus vocabula.
> > Let us remove the words. (alt. rid ourselves of the words, get the words
> > out of the way.)
>
> So... "Let's avoid semantics"? :)

Pretty much :)

Sorry for duplication above, I saw a request for a translation and had
to do one without reading everyone else's replies :-P Seems we agree
on most, except the sentence about the theologians (had a hard time
grasping that one) and the last sentence (my mental dictionary failed).

John McKendry

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Nov 5, 2005, 10:02:03 AM11/5/05
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Mmm, I think you're giving "ipsum" too much work to do. "Ipsum", formally,
can be a neuter nominative singular, or a masculine or neuter accusative
singular. Nominative = subject, accusative = object. "Homo" is masculine.
So "homo ... ipsum" doesn't work as a subject; "man himself <verb>" would
be "homo ipse <verb>".

As to "se ipsum" as object, "ipsum" on its own is an intensive and could
possibly serve as "this very thing", but "se" is purely a reflexive - it
has to be "himself/herself/itself".

The thing is, there's a very familiar phrase "homo nosce te ipsum",
traditionally rendered "Man, know thyself", said to be the words written
over the entrance to the Delphic Oracle (alternatively the Pythian Oracle,
or sometimes attributed to Socrates. The Greek is "gnothi seauton". Sort
of the Greek/Roman equivalent of one of those sayings we all know that
might have been said by Mark Twain or Groucho Marx or possibly George
Bernard Shaw). I think "homo noscit se ipsum" would have been instantly
recognized as a clever verbal echo of "homo nosce te ipsum" to Linnaeus'
correspondent.

Take a look at footnote seven to the letter's text at
http://linnaeus.c18.net/Letters/letter_text.php?id_letter=L0783&keyword=
for evidence that the letter's editors also see an echo of "nosce te ipsum"
here, and for a reference, unfortunately in Swedish, to a discussion of
"know thyself" as a criterion for separating genera.

John

John McKendry

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Nov 5, 2005, 11:38:16 AM11/5/05
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On Sat, 05 Nov 2005 01:42:15 -0800, Limulus wrote:

> Deadrat's alternate translation for the end of the first sentence got
> me thinking that I could try to look up some of these words too ;) I
> came up with an somewhat different interpretation... Please tell me
> what you think.
>
> John McKendry wrote:
>
>> > Non placet, quod Hominem inter ant[h]ropomorpha collocaverim, sed homo
>> > noscit se ipsum.
>> It is not pleasing that I have assigned Homo to the anthropomorphs,
>> but man knows himself.
>
> "Without men recognizing it for themselves, there will not be agreement
> to the idea of placing mankind among the Primates."
>

I think you make it unnecessarily complicated. The grammar is
straightforward and produces a plain meaning.

"Non placet" can stand all by itself as a sentence, "it is not pleasing".
The grammar is complete. But without knowing what "it" refers to, the
meaning would be elusive.

So it needs a subject. That's how "quod Hominem inter anthropomorpha
collocaverim" functions. The whole phrase is something called a
"substantive quod-clause". "quod" in this construction was originally
a relative pronoun, according to my source (Hale and Buck, A Latin
Grammar, sect. 551), and can be taken as "the fact that".

"collocaverim" is first-person singular perfect subjunctive of the verb
"colloco", whose meaning according to the Oxford Latin Dictionary is
"to put or set in a particular place, to put in a particular position, to
ascribe to a place or position, locate". "Hominem" is accusative sing. of
"Homo", direct object of the verb, and "inter anthropomorpha" is "among
the anthropomorphs", so the whole phrase is really pretty unambiguous:
"that I have placed Homo among the anthropomorphs".

"sed" means "but". See my response to Mr. Rat for the whole argument that
"homo noscit se ipsum" has to be "man knows himself", but briefly, "se"
can only be "him/her/itself" and can only be the object of "noscit", so
it's "man knows himself", not "man himself knows" or "man knows for or by
himself" or anything else.

>> > Removeamus vocabula.
>> Let us remove the words. (alt. rid ourselves of the words, get the
>> words
>> out of the way.)
>
> So... "Let's avoid semantics"? :)

Depends on what you mean by "semantics".

John

Limulus

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Nov 5, 2005, 1:03:37 PM11/5/05
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Grace Haliburton wrote:

> > I came up with an somewhat different interpretation... Please tell me
> > what you think.
>

> No, that's definitely not it.

<grin> This is why its good I asked for help :)

Deadrat

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Nov 5, 2005, 1:20:06 PM11/5/05
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Thanks. Appreciated that. I'll take your word for the last paragraph as
my Swedish isn't much better than my Latin.

Deadrat

> John
>
>

Limulus

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Nov 5, 2005, 1:24:23 PM11/5/05
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John McKendry wrote:

> >> > Removeamus vocabula.
> >> Let us remove the words. (alt. rid ourselves of the words, get the
> >> words
> >> out of the way.)
> >
> > So... "Let's avoid semantics"? :)
>
> Depends on what you mean by "semantics".

In the sense of "We're basically agreed; let's not quibble over
semantics." as seen on
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=semantics

But maybe more like "let's not quibble over words"?

John McKendry

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Nov 5, 2005, 11:04:31 PM11/5/05
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Sorry, "depends on what you mean by semantics" was my little
attempt at levity. I'm a little leery of using a word like
"semantics" in a translation of an 18th-century work, though,
because it's not an 18th-century word. I think "let's not
quibble over words" expresses what Linnaeus meant just fine.

I have to confess, I have a personal blind spot about the
present colloquial usage of "semantics" as a synonym for
"quibbling". In linguistics, "semantics" is supposed to be
the study of meaning, as opposed to syntax, the study of form.
So when someone tells me an argument is "just over semantics",
I have to wonder what other kind of argument there is. But
maybe it's just me. I also think you can prove a negative...
I'll stop now.

John

David Ewan Kahana

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Nov 6, 2005, 2:40:18 AM11/6/05
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Thanks for the excellent translation.

I thought you might give a similar explanation from the little
about Latin grammar that I still remember.

Deadrat might also like to take a look at Robert Louis Stevenson's
poem entitled `Ad se ipsum,' just for the fun of it.

David

Deadrat

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Nov 6, 2005, 12:11:56 PM11/6/05
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"David Ewan Kahana" <d...@bnl.gov> wrote in message
news:1131262818....@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

Among other authors. Thanks.

Deadrat
>
> David
>

Von R. Smith

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Nov 6, 2005, 9:01:35 AM11/6/05
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>
> <A note on the translation of "quaero" here; I'm using the Oxford Latin
> Dictionary, which is really meant for Classical Latin, not the workaday
> Latin of an 18th-century naturalist. Words acquire new and specialized
> meanings over the course of a millennium and a half. But for the Classical
> period, anyway, the OLD makes it clear that "quaero" is more than simply
> "ask". The first few entries are "To try to find, search for, hunt for,
> seek; to look for (mentally), try to discover. To look for (with the
> implication of being unable to find), seek in vain". "Ask for" would be
> too mild, I think.>


I'm pretty sure "quaero" retains the meaning of "seek" well into the
medieval period, as in: "qaerens me sedisti lassus..." from the
requiem liturgy, where it definitely means "seek".

Grace Haliburton

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Nov 6, 2005, 2:38:39 PM11/6/05
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Quaero has all sorts of shadings of meaning. That's what makes Latin
fun :) It *can* just mean "ask" in the ordinary sense. But the
sentence's feel seems to require a very strong translation of "quaero;"
the "a Te et Toto orbe" carries the "desperate plea" feeling. "I seek
from you and all the world, a generic difference between man and ape!"
This goes along with his first sentence, "It is not pleasing [to me],
that I must place Man among the hominids."

Limulus

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Nov 6, 2005, 4:46:26 PM11/6/05
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Thank you to everyone who has helped out with this project so far! :)

I have a first draft of the translation based on all the comments; no
doubt its still buggy, so feel free to point out the mistakes I've
introduced ;)

Limulus wrote:

> Non placet, quod Hominem inter ant[h]ropomorpha collocaverim, sed homo
> noscit se ipsum. Removeamus vocabula. Mihi perinde erit, quo nomine
> utamur. Sed quaero a Te et Toto orbe differentiam genericam inter
> hominem et Simiam, quae ex principiis Historiae naturalis. Ego
> certissime nullam novi. Utinam aliquis mihi unicam diceret! Si vocassem
> hominem simiam vel vice versa omnes in me conjecissem theologos.
> Debuissem forte ex lege artis.

It is not pleasing to me that I must place humans among the primates,
but man knows his kind. Let's not quibble over words. It will be the
same to me whatever name is applied. But I desperately seek from you
and from the whole world a generic differerence between men and simians
from the principles of Natural History. I certainly know of none. If
only someone might tell me one! If I called man a simian or vice versa
I would bring together all the theologians against me. Perhaps I ought
to, in accordance with the law of the discipline [of Natural History].

John McKendry

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Nov 6, 2005, 5:38:15 PM11/6/05
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On Sat, 05 Nov 2005 03:40:32 -0800, Grace Haliburton wrote:

<snip some>
>> Ego
>> certissime nullam novi.
<snip>


> Literal translation as best I can do:
>

> I most certainly (know? this isn't a
> classical Latin word) of none.

I think I said exactly the same thing the first time I ran into
"novi". The word "novi" is the perfect of the verb "nosco",
to know, know about, be acquainted with. It's an example of a small
group of anomalous verbs in Latin that are perfect in form, but
present in meaning, so "novi" really means "I know, know of".
Others of the family are "consuevi", I am in the habit of, "memini",
I remember, "odi", I hate.

Germanic languages have a few verbs that do the same thing, called
the "preterite present" verbs. One that survives, precariously,
in modern English is "I wot", I know, formally a preterite of "wit"
but with a present sense. "I can", "I shall", and "I must" are
others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preterite-present_verb
http://www.tutorpal.com/Our_English/middle_english/mem.html for examples
in Middle English.

I know of one example of this in Greek; the verb "oida", I know, is
formally a perfect of "eidw", I see ("eidw" is never used in the
present active). w = omega here.

John

Grace Haliburton

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Nov 6, 2005, 5:58:26 PM11/6/05
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John McKendry wrote:
> On Sat, 05 Nov 2005 03:40:32 -0800, Grace Haliburton wrote:
>
> <snip some>
> >> Ego
> >> certissime nullam novi.
> <snip>
> > Literal translation as best I can do:
> >
> > I most certainly (know? this isn't a
> > classical Latin word) of none.
>
> I think I said exactly the same thing the first time I ran into
> "novi". The word "novi" is the perfect of the verb "nosco",
> to know, know about, be acquainted with. It's an example of a small
> group of anomalous verbs in Latin that are perfect in form, but
> present in meaning, so "novi" really means "I know, know of".
> Others of the family are "consuevi", I am in the habit of, "memini",
> I remember, "odi", I hate.
>

Ahhh! I was wondering why it sounded familiar in that form, but when I
tried to come up with a stem for it it sounded completely wrong. My
Latin teacher would have thrown the chalk at me for that one. I think
what was confusing me was the fact that it's both preterite and
stem-changing; memini and odi don't throw me for that loop.

<snip>

John Wilkins

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Nov 6, 2005, 6:13:13 PM11/6/05
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While I'm not a Latin reader, I note that "man knows his kind" would naturally
involves "species" or "genus" in the Latin of the time, and in the Systema
Naturae, Linnaeus "defined" Homo with "know thyself" in Latin that resembled
"noscit se ipsum". I would suggest therefore on contextual grounds that it
should read "but Man knows himself"

Stanley Friesen

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Nov 6, 2005, 9:18:00 PM11/6/05
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"Grace Haliburton" <kaos...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
>Limulus wrote:
>> Well I finally found the original Latin in The Linnaean Correspondence
>> (http://linnaeus.c18.net/)
>>
>> Non placet, quod Hominem inter ant[h]ropomorpha collocaverim, sed homo
>> noscit se ipsum. Removeamus vocabula. Mihi perinde erit, quo nomine
>> utamur. Sed quaero a Te et Toto orbe differentiam genericam inter
>> hominem et Simiam, quae ex principiis Historiae naturalis. Ego
>> certissime nullam novi. Utinam aliquis mihi unicam diceret! Si vocassem
>> hominem simiam vel vice versa omnes in me conjecissem theologos.
>> Debuissem forte ex lege artis. (see
>> http://linnaeus.c18.net/Letters/display_txt.php?id_letter=L0783)
>
>Literal translation as best I can do:
>
>It is not pleasing [to me], that I (will/have/must??) place Man among
>the Anthropomorpha, but Man (is familiar with himself? knows his own
>kind? not familiar with idiom). Let us move away from the name. To me
>it will be the same, whichever name we use. But I ask you and all the
>world for a general difference between Man and Apes, from the natural

I would stick with "generic" here, as "genus" and its derivatives were
technical terms of natural history at the time of Linnaeus. He is
asking for differences at the "genus" level as opposed to the "species"
level (where "genus" and "species" do not quite mean what they do
today).

--
The peace of God be with you.

Stanley Friesen

Grace Haliburton

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Nov 6, 2005, 9:46:24 PM11/6/05
to

Mmm, that makes more sense! Sorry, the latest Latin I'm accustomed to
translating is Vergil's _Aeneid_, which is 1: poetry and 2: classical.
My prose reading was limited to excerpts from Caesar and textbook
passages of the "Publius bonus puer est" sort. So as I mentioned above,
I just had to jump at the chance for some mental exercise :)

John Wilkins

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Nov 6, 2005, 10:01:35 PM11/6/05
to

I'm not sure that the biological technical notion for genus and species here
is necessarily in play. Sure, Linnaeus introduces these as technical terms for
biology, and in this respect he is relying on Ray, Fuchs and Gesner, but the
terms still had a *prior* technical meaning in Aristotelian scholastic logic:
general terms or predicates for genus, and differentiated terms or special
terms for species. So one might read him here as saying exactly the
translation Grace gave because the issue is whether there is a (logical)
difference that would force a biological classification (of apes into a
distinct biological genus).

As it happened, Linnaeus gave Homo as the genus name for the generic group
that included several rather odd "species" (several of which were invented
from traveller's tales, and some of which might have been obscured forms of
descriptions of orangs and chimps) - this means that he (logically) saw the
generic term including apes and humans, and so placed the species within that
kind.

In short, if you think of genus meaning "kind" and species meaning "sort"
(within a kind) then you can see that the technical biological meaning
Linnaeus gave them is derivative of a more (forgive the pun) general meaning
that all understood at the time. Moreover, Linnaeus also gave these terms to
classes of minerals, so it's not even really biological. Sometimes, "kind" is
just a vernacular word...

The Last Conformist

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Nov 7, 2005, 5:50:46 AM11/7/05
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John Wilkins wrote:

> As it happened, Linnaeus gave Homo as the genus name for the generic group
> that included several rather odd "species" (several of which were invented
> from traveller's tales, and some of which might have been obscured forms of
> descriptions of orangs and chimps) - this means that he (logically) saw the
> generic term including apes and humans, and so placed the species within that
> kind.

I know of Homo troglodytes, which ended up giving its specific name to
the common chimp. What others did he name?

Stanley Friesen

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Nov 7, 2005, 10:01:10 AM11/7/05
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John Wilkins <jo...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:

>Grace Haliburton wrote:
>> Stanley Friesen wrote:
>>
>> Mmm, that makes more sense! Sorry, the latest Latin I'm accustomed to
>> translating is Vergil's _Aeneid_, which is 1: poetry and 2: classical.
>> My prose reading was limited to excerpts from Caesar and textbook
>> passages of the "Publius bonus puer est" sort. So as I mentioned above,
>> I just had to jump at the chance for some mental exercise :)
>
>I'm not sure that the biological technical notion for genus and species here
>is necessarily in play.

Not biological, general philosophical.

> Sure, Linnaeus introduces these as technical terms for
>biology, and in this respect he is relying on Ray, Fuchs and Gesner, but the
>terms still had a *prior* technical meaning in Aristotelian scholastic logic:
>general terms or predicates for genus, and differentiated terms or special
>terms for species.

Actually, that is what I was referring to.

John Wilkins

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Nov 7, 2005, 6:53:22 PM11/7/05
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I can't locate my facsimile copy of the Systema Naturae so I'll have to go
from notes:

Homo nocturnus - orang?
Homo caudatus - baboon?
Homo sylvestris - juvenile chimp?

Limulus

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Nov 7, 2005, 7:02:00 PM11/7/05
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John Wilkins wrote:

> >>Non placet, quod Hominem inter ant[h]ropomorpha collocaverim, sed homo
> >>noscit se ipsum.
> >

> > It is not pleasing to me that I must place humans among the primates,
> > but man knows his kind.
> >

> While I'm not a Latin reader, I note that "man knows his kind" would naturally
> involves "species" or "genus" in the Latin of the time, and in the Systema
> Naturae, Linnaeus "defined" Homo with "know thyself" in Latin that resembled
> "noscit se ipsum". I would suggest therefore on contextual grounds that it
> should read "but Man knows himself"

If we wanted to paraphrase it a little bit to better convey the meaning
for a layperson, could we perhaps exchange "is aware of" for "knows"?
Or is that not what Linnaeus is implying?

Grace Haliburton

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Nov 7, 2005, 7:16:23 PM11/7/05
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No, the implication of "noscit" is more along the lines of "is
intimately familiar with," in the way you "know" your family, your
occupational specialty, your spouse. Think closer to the Biblical
implications of "know." Being aware of is a much weaker shade of
knowing which would take away some of the important implications of
that clause. He would have used the verb "scio" (meaning "know" in the
academic/awareness sense) if that were what he was trying to convey.

--

Ernest Major

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Nov 7, 2005, 8:07:33 PM11/7/05
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In message <dkopdq$1f6g$1...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au>, John Wilkins
<jo...@wilkins.id.au> writes

>The Last Conformist wrote:
>> John Wilkins wrote:
>>
>>
>>>As it happened, Linnaeus gave Homo as the genus name for the generic group
>>>that included several rather odd "species" (several of which were invented
>>>from traveller's tales, and some of which might have been obscured forms of
>>>descriptions of orangs and chimps) - this means that he (logically) saw the
>>>generic term including apes and humans, and so placed the species within that
>>>kind.
>>
>>
>> I know of Homo troglodytes, which ended up giving its specific name to
>> the common chimp. What others did he name?
>>
>I can't locate my facsimile copy of the Systema Naturae so I'll have to go
>from notes:

Gallica (gallica.bnf.fr) seems to have slipped your memory. Homo is on
pp. 28ff of the first volume on the animal kingdom.


>
>Homo nocturnus - orang?
>Homo caudatus - baboon?
>Homo sylvestris - juvenile chimp?
>

Googling finds statements that Homo sylvestris is the orang, and Homo
nocturnus is a composite category including H. troglodytes and H.
sylvestris.
--
alias Ernest Major


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John Wilkins

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Nov 7, 2005, 9:13:13 PM11/7/05
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Ernest Major wrote:
> In message <dkopdq$1f6g$1...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au>, John Wilkins
> <jo...@wilkins.id.au> writes
>
>>The Last Conformist wrote:
>>
>>>John Wilkins wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>As it happened, Linnaeus gave Homo as the genus name for the generic group
>>>>that included several rather odd "species" (several of which were invented
>>>
>>>>from traveller's tales, and some of which might have been obscured forms of
>>>
>>>>descriptions of orangs and chimps) - this means that he (logically) saw the
>>>>generic term including apes and humans, and so placed the species within that
>>>>kind.
>>>
>>>
>>>I know of Homo troglodytes, which ended up giving its specific name to
>>>the common chimp. What others did he name?
>>>
>>
>>I can't locate my facsimile copy of the Systema Naturae so I'll have to go
>
>>from notes:
>
> Gallica (gallica.bnf.fr) seems to have slipped your memory. Homo is on
> pp. 28ff of the first volume on the animal kingdom.

In fact it had slipped my mind that I had this on my hard disk.

P33 is the "other" Homo species:

Troglodytes
2. H. nocturnus. * Amocu. acad. 6 p. 72. t. 76. f. 1.
Homo sylvestris Orang Outan. Bont. jav. 84. t. 84.
Kaurlacko. Koep. itin. c. 86. Dalin. orat. 5.
Habitat in Aethiopiae conterminus (Plin.) in Javae, Ambionae, Ternateae
speluncis, in monte Ophir Malaccae.

The footnote appears to indicate that the genus Troglodytes is a distinct form
of "Homine" and that the species Troglodyte is even more distinct from
sapiens. He mentions H. caudatus in that footnote, but I can't read it enough
to say what he is saying here.


>
>>Homo nocturnus - orang?
>>Homo caudatus - baboon?
>>Homo sylvestris - juvenile chimp?
>>
>
> Googling finds statements that Homo sylvestris is the orang, and Homo
> nocturnus is a composite category including H. troglodytes and H.
> sylvestris.

Interestingly, satyrus and sylvanus are listed as apes under Simia. Satyrus is
the chimp, according to him (Satyrus iudicus) but he has it living in the
East, and Sylvanus is clearly a monkey of some kind (Cercopithecus) in Ceylon
and Africa.

He's all over the place, here.

John Wilkins

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Nov 7, 2005, 9:17:35 PM11/7/05
to
He's quoting the motto of Socrates, which came from the Delphic Oracle: Nosce
te ipsum is the Latin. Here's the citation Linnaeus gives, for anyone who can
read Latin:

NOSSE SE IPSUM gradus est primus sapienciae, dictumque _Selonis_, quondam
scriptum litteris aureis supra _Dianae_ Templum. _Mus. ADOLPH FRID. Praefat._

Matt Silberstein

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Nov 8, 2005, 12:02:31 AM11/8/05
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I am reminded of Le Guin's wonderful pun "In truth mankind lies".


--
Matt Silberstein

Do something today about the Darfur Genocide

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The Last Conformist

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Nov 8, 2005, 3:36:44 PM11/8/05
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My thanks.

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