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ANAHITA  September 1998

ANAHITA September 1998

Subject:

Re: Quincunx

From:

[log in to unmask]

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 24 Sep 1998 10:37:49 -0400

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text/plain

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Palliser has a recent novel with this title.
        It refers to a Roman arrangement for flowers and bushes, also to the
die/knucklebone "five", also to a military formation.
        You can find a relevant quotation in Quintilian Inst.Orat.
8.3.9, where he opines that no arrangement is more attractive than
the quincunx:
                        *       *
                            *
                        *       *

        Ernout and Meillet refer to a coin, 5/12 as, and so derive the stems,
quinque and uncia.
        I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but
it is what I have.
don lateiner



At 03:09 PM 9/23/98 -0700, you wrote:
>Why is this word?  Webster has 1. an arrangement of five things with one at
>each corner and one in the middle of a square. 2. Astrol. The position of
>bodies distant from each other five signs, or 150 degrees. 3. Bot. A
>quincuncial arrangement, as of the parts of a flower in estivation. 4.
>Hort. An arrangement, esp. of trees, with one at each corner and one at the
>center of a square. 5. Rom. Antiq. A weight of five unciae, or five
>twelfths of a libra; hence, a coin of this weight.
>
>OED 1 has about the same, with a supposed derivation that a coin of this
>weight may have been marked by dots in the corners-&-center arrangement.
>
>But this all seems to me post hoc: why was a word reserved for any of these
>not very important notions?  I have the impression that there might be
>something in the arrangement of some sacred grove in the corners-&-center
>way, which made it worth commemorating in a whole word or its own.  Is this
>merely my own foolish impression?  Is there any other information,
>etymological, astrologica, or whatever, to which this list might refer me?
>
>My curiosity was roused by the use of the same word by Francis Galton
>(inventor of correlation, regression, and eugenics), who used it to
>describe a little device which illustrates the Central Limit Theorem of
>statistics, and has an arrangementof pegs which extends the horticultural
>meaning of the word.  Galton presumably got it from orchardists.  But where
>and why did the word originally become important?
>
>Don Walter
>
>----------------------------------------------------
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>
  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
                Donald Lateiner
                Humanities-Classics
                Ohio Wesleyan University
                Delaware OH 43015 U.S.A.

nil non mortale tenemus,
pectoris exceptis ingeniique bonis.
                                        Ovid _TRISTIA_

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

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