Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Latin funporn

For some reason, folks keep finding this site by search on the term ‘funporn’, even though the only thing nekkid around here is the penguins, who are in a state of pre-Lapsarian innocence and hence may parade thus unattired.   Still, we hate to disappoint, so here are a couple of jottings.  This will be the second post whose Label field contains all and only “Latin, sex”; for the earlier one, first verify that you are over twenty-one, then click here.

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If, like me, you are a student of Classical Arabic, but have never formally put in class-time on Latin, your introduction to the Language of Cicero will be more like the language of Martial, or Petronius :  you quickly learn the naughtyisms.  The reason being that Arabists of the old school, having (science oblige)  to explain some salty Arabian expression,
(1) were too chaste to write something scabrous in a living European tongue
(2) were not so P.C. as to omit the Arabic and thus the whole topic entirely
(3) assumed that you yourself understood Latin, but that your wife and children did not.
Hence, faced with a fat grammar book or scholarly edition of the old poetry, if you wanted to zip to the naughty bits, you had only to skim for italicized passages and then check for Latin.
            The same is true for other older scholarship as well.  If it’s old enough, the whole thing is in Latin; nowadays no-one assumes you know Latin or any other language,  but during that sweet period in the middle, the pattern obtained.  Thus, if you wish to learn why the Roman Empire really declined, and what fun they had doing it, you have to consult the footnotes of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, where Suetonius functions as a human camera (NC-17).

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Once we have mastered all the declensions, conjugations, and consecutio temporum of the Ciceronian tongue -- and only then -- we are ready to proceed to subtleties of the vocabulary of the sort that French calls  particulière.

~ Achtung !  Sie verlassen den prälapsarischen Sektor ! ~
~ Married persons only beyond this point. ~

Thus we turn (brandy in hand, after having affectionately tucked-in our spouse for the night, and turned down the fire in the grate) to that learnèd work, issued forth by the John Hopkins University Press (tadellos, meine Herren und Damen, tadlellos), by that noted classicist (de mœurs irréprochables) -- that scholar, that gentleman -- Dr. J. N. Adams, The Latin Sexual Vocabulary (1982).  

[to be continued, si Dieu le veut …]

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