CHAT deities (was: Minhyan & the goddess of conlangs)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, September 1, 2004, 18:19|
On Wednesday, September 1, 2004, at 04:14 , Jeffrey Henning wrote:
> On Tue, 31 Aug 2004 18:56:43 +0100, Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
>> Hang on! Hang on! This thread started with the assumption that the
>> would be Greek. I questioned why and gave a reason why maybe a Greek
>> was not the most appropriate one. I then added the *positive* suggestion
>> (and I quote):
>> "If you need a goddess of conlanging, then IMO you need to look to a
>> different pantheon."
> I started the thread thinking of the Muses. Artists and writers sometimes
> talk about being in touch with their Muse, when creativity seems like a
> from the gods. Tolkien sometimes wrote about "discovering Quenya" rather
> than inventing it.
He did indeed - tho I doubt he ascribed the gift to any Muse.
> Now, for me, Minhyan was a creative gift. My
> light-hearted suggestion was that it might have been a gift from a Muse.
> It would be amusing (ahem) to have an agreed to Conlang Muse.
> I do rather like the Classics,
So do I - but the Greek deities do nothing for me. They're capricious and
behave just like a bunch of spoilt super-brats. Infidelity & incest seem
the order of the day - and please don't upset them!
No wonder Aristophanes mocks them in his comedies.
What I like about the Greek classics are the human figures. What makes the
Odyssey for me is Odysseus, and likewise Akhilleus (Achilles) is the
figure that gives grandeur to the Iliad. They are human figures with the
failings and frailties we all have but in them the human spirit wins
through despite all the stupid arbitrariness of the immoral deities. I'm
sure it was the human element in the Greek classics that appealed to the
humanists of the Renaissance, not the deities.
> and love the image of Minerva/Athena
> springing from the head of Jupiter/Zeus.
..fully armored and shrieking a war-cry. Nope, I can't say I like the
image - but everyone to their own taste.
> Minhyan sprang from my head about
> as forcefully. So Minerva is the muse of Minhyan, if not the muse of
Ah, I notice you go for the Roman name. Now the Romans had a very
different attitude to their deities. There was genuine respect for Minerva,
Juno & Jupiter in the Republic. What upset it IMO was the equation of
Roman deities with the very different Greek ones and the slavish
application of the Greek myths to their own deities in the later Republic.
It was surely the unsatisfactory outcome that led to disillusion with the
traditional deities and the growing popularity of cults such as those of
Isis and of Mithras in the early Empire and, of course, of Christianity -
and the development of the Imperial cult as an attempt to give a common
underpinning to the many different religions of the Empire.
> Sometimes the creative act is a gift, and sometimes it is a chore. For
> those times when some divine inspiration is needed, certainly Catholics
> among us should pray to St. Hildegard of Bingen (not "Bingham"). She is
> author of the oldest known conlang (Lingua Ignota, a mystical language).
> So I think the patron saint of conlanging is clearly St. Hildegard.
I don't think there's any dispute about that.
> The unofficial motto of conlangdom is ............
I don't think I'll get involved in arguing about the motto - I've already
got into trouble for getting involved in the Muse/goddess/god business
(And despite temptations, I've stayed clear so far from the flag business
in case I spoil someone's fun)
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760