mikeh wrote:And about the beaver, Debra: Thanks for the information about castor oil. The question is, which is more relevant to investigating the Sun card: where castor oil actually comes from, or where people in the 15th-17th centuries thought that the ancients thought it--or something by the same name but more potent--came from?
That's what interested me about Isadore of Seville. And yes, I did notice a lot of free-associating on that site. I was trying to pick and choose, occasionally tolerating some free-association on the principle that people back then free-associated, too.
It is the influence of Isadore's Etymology during the period under discussion that is relevant, not whether such is erroneous by modern standards.
mikeh wrote: In fact, only one out of a large number of classical sources on that site mentions Hercules' use of a sickle against the Hydra, Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy. WorldCat says that the manuscript used by the Loeb Classical Library edition dates to 1453. If that was the source for the illustration, I'm impressed with the erudition of the person who designed the illustrations, evidently a humanist of some learning, or at least somone who knew such a person.
debra wrote:Hm. Allen says,
"The Leyden Manuscript shows two unclad boys with Phrygian caps, each surmounted by a star and Maltese cross; one with club and spear, the other with a stringed instrument. Bayer had something similar, Pollux, however, bearing a peaceful sickle."
Peaceful sickle. That's a thought.
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/G ... mini*.html
mikeh wrote:You mentioned Hercules as a solar hero, because his 12 labors were associated to the 12 months of the solar year. I will hunt for a 15th century source for that. Also, could Phrygian caps suggest suggest an association with Mithras, another solar hero?
SteveM wrote:...Treatments of the choice of Hercules and his twelve labours and his interpretation as divine and civic exemplar of virtue can be found for example in Boccaccio...
mikeh wrote:Thanks for pursuing the Quintus Smyrnaeus reference further, Steve. And also the "peaceful sickle" phrase in Allen. That Allen didn't know the reference to Hercules and the Hydra suggests to me that after the 15th century, the reason for the sickle might have become obscured, and people started associating it with Saturn's sickle.
I realize now that I have more research to do on how people in the 15th-17th centuries saw the Gemini.
Perhaps I shouldn't quote Isadore unless I have some evidence that people then did so as well. Or can it be assumed?
I need to find out what is in the text that accompanies the 1475 Ferrara illustration.
Also Hercules, specifically in relation to the Hydra...
(Etymologies p.344.):Latin speakers name the chestnut (castanea) from a Greek term, for the Greeks call it ..., because its paired fruits are hidden in a small sack like testicles, and when they are ejected from it, it is as if they were castrated (castrare). As soon as this tree is cut down, it commonly sprouts again like a forest.
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