Bk 1.xxix.1-2a Etymology


Keith Allen’s commentary on this section of the Etymologiae is by far the best in English-  combining the linguist’s critical skills with the breadth and empathy of the best sort of historian.  He is able, then, to avoid the  common habit of making simple comparisons between the thinking of a scholar of the eighth century and one of the twenty-first.

Allen writes – for example:

and ..

The relationships identified are often mistaken but the meaning of etymologia [for Isidore] is, nonetheless, “lexicology” or “lexical relations” and occasionally “lexical semantics”, rather than what we today call etymology.”

The Ornaments

  1. Composite, upper-left: personification of the River Euphrates – detail from a late Roman mosaic, now part of the ceiling in Aachen cathedral.
  2. Composite, lower right: baptism of Christ. mosaic in the baptistry of an originally Arian Christian church in Ravenna.
  3. band – mosaic imitating gold embroidered work. From Aachen cathedral
  4. band (shell- ) edited from a detail in the Aberdeen Bestiary. (University of Aberdeen MS 24).
  5. (right) detail edited from a mosaic band in Aachen cathedral.

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