Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We Who Are About To Write Salute You!

Breaking away from all this self-promotion:

I have about a half-hour commute these days, thanks to back roads and the ongoing economic bumpiness. I sometimes drive in silence. I sometimes talk to myself (admit it, you do as well). And sometimes I listen to lectures on tape from The Learning Company. I've mentioned this before, as it fills in some of my classical education skimmed over in becoming a civil engineer, and gives me a springboard for fantasy.

In any event ...

I am listening to a lecture on the Roman Empire, subgroup Bread and Circuses, subgroup gladiators. And gladiatorial games are not always, or even usually, the productions of the imperial throne, but rather are put forth by prominent citizens, who show their wealth and open-handed nature by renting gladiators (the original temps) to fight to the death in the arena. But what caught me was the Roman name of these prominent citizens presenting these fights -


Most dictionaries I've found only trace the word to the Late Latin period with real publishers, but I found a couple examples where it tracks the word to "Presenter", as in one you presents the work of others to the masses, under his imprint and seal, as being quality bloodshed and entertainment.

Sounds like a good a definition as any.

More later,