Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday Words

vituperative - to revile harshly; scathing.

obsequy - a funeral. This word is interestingly related to obsequious which means obedient or dutiful. Does "obedient until death" come to your mind? (Phillipians 2:8)

oxter - Scottish for armpit. I came across this in Country Days (Taylor), "I was up to my oxters in....". I'll about guarantee that if you use oxters instead of armpits next time, heads will turn.

contemn - to treat with contempt; from the Latin "temnere," to despise. Though the spelling and pronunciation are similar, I don't think I've come across contemn before.

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I am about a month behind in reading from The Intellectual Devotional.
So today I opened it to where I'd left off, and the day's selection was on Raphael.Raphael painted his School of Athens in 1508, a fresco and commissioned bythe pope, as the philosophy installment of four frescoes on the major disciplines (theology, poetry, philosophy, and law).

It is one of my favorite illustrations. I love how Raphael incorporated so many of the ancient Greeks in the fresco. I would love to find a book or extended article detailing the characters featured.

This is a detail at the very heart of the painting.
Plato is represented on the left with his finger pointing up "to indicate his interest in abstract, ethereal concepts" and Aristotle is on the right with his hand palm facing down to indicate "his preference for concrete subjects and worldly affairs." (from pg. 122, The Intellectual Devotional)


Dana said...

I bought the Intellectual Devotional on your recommendation, but have only used it occasionally. I anticipate that I will be able to refer to it for years to come. It is so chock full of information.

Dana in GA

Kathleen Hamilton said...

Janie, you have not come across the word contemn because you do not read the KJV :-).

I love oxter! What a great word.

ellen b said...

Leave it to me to obsess on the least intellectual part of your post, oxter. I'm definately going to find a way to throw it into a conversation one of these days...

Carol in Oregon said...

Oxter ranks right up there! I. Love. It.

Fabulous word.


Michelle Matheny said...

I've always liked "The School of Athens" as well. According to Sister Wendy (The Story of Painting, p. 222): "In the center stand Plato and Aristotle, the two great philosophers of antiquity. To their left Socrates in seen in argument with several young men. The old man seated on the steps is Diogenes. Other philosophical figures are identifiable, including Pythagoras, shown bottom left, explaining his proportion system on a slate, and, on the extreme right, Ptolemy, depicted contemplating a celestial globe."

This is interesting! There's probably more on this painting one could dig up somewhere.

Seasonal Soundings said...

I agree, Dana, about ID being a good resource. It took me a while to get over the tiny print though. That was a big put-off with me at first. I hope in future editions they do something about that!

Kathleen, yep, about KJV. I've never gotten used to reading that version!

And I think oxter is my new fun word too! If my old mind can be quick enough to work it into some everyday talk.