An Arabic "Loeb"

Brigham Young University Press offers a new series of Arabic-English dual-language parallel-text editions. Just like the I Tatti Renaissance Library or Loeb Classical Library, but for Arabic philosophical works. I think I'll get the Decisive Treatise of Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and work through it at my convenience.

"I am writing to confirm that Mr. Joshua N. Wiley is authorized (and very welcome) to register for my class NELC 635.01 (call #112943)."

I'm so very excited. I've registered for both Akkadian grammar I and Arabic grammar I for next quarter. This is like a dream come true. If the Spring quarter schedule works out too, I'll graduate with a J.D. (which I don't really want) and a healthy (redeeming?) background in Semitic languages. Lord willing, 30 quarter credit-hours of Arabic and 10 of Akkadian. This should give me a strong background for Hebrew at some point in the future. And then there are always mesopotamian texts. :)


More books!

Went to the OSU library sale last week on its last day. Found a wonderful set of A.J. Carlyle's History of Medieval Political Theory (6 vols., 1928) for $10. This is a wonderful resource if slightly dated resource which I've used for several Dr. Moye papers, for a Shtromas paper, and now for my present term paper on ius et dominium in the late Middle Ages and in the New Deal.


A few lines

te, dea, te fugiunt venti, te nubila caeli (De Re. Nat., I.6)

an tenebras Orci visat vastasque lacunas (ibid., I.115)

non si terra mari miscebitur et mare caelo (ibid., III.842)


What do they teach them in these schools?

Increasingly, I realize that I've been screwed by a very superficial, procedural, and sophistical legal education system. We should be sitting around reading Montesquieu and Blackstone and Justinian. Roman law, which is still taught I believe, in many English programs, is completely ignored by our faculty.

Another reason to hate law school, I guess.
Tallis' Spem in alium is really something marvellous. I think that it and Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 are probably my favorites from that period. Something Augustinian about the scale.
I met a guy at Barley's Friday evening with the surname of Mastroianni. I asked if he was related to Marcello Mastroianni, the lately living symbol of existentialized Latin manhood. He claimed to be a second cousin. It may have been just me, but they looked a little similar even. Anyways, this guy got really excited and lamented the fact that no one these days knows who Marcello was.
Remember the scene in La Dolce Vita when Marcello asks his father why they never talk? Why is it like that too often when I see old friends? Why must true communication depend on so many silly accidents?


Great Books

At the urging of Dr. DeCarlo I went to SBX today to peruse a special book sale. I arrived and found that the collection of a (deceased?) classics prof was being liquidated. Wandered around picking up volumes, muttering jayida jiddan! I finally bought a pile of volumes for $80:

Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq, (Penguin)
D. G. Lyon, Beginner's Assyrian (reprinted)
Arthur A. MacDonell, A Vedic Grammar for Students, (Oxford)
Arthur A. MacDonell, A Vedic Reader for Students, (Oxford) (I also own his big Sanskrit Dictionary)
J.S. Rusten, Thucydides: Peloponnesian War, Book II (Cambridge commentary)
R.L. Hunter, Apollonius of Rhodes: Argonautica, Book III(Cambridge commentary)
Gordon Kirkwood, Selections from Pindar (American Philological Association) (intro, text, commentary)
David West, The Imagery and Poetry of Lucretius (Oklahoma)
John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding(Oxford ed.) Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Routledge std. German-English ed.)
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (Prentice-Hall, 3rd ed.)

Will use the Classics stuff. Want to use the Vedic stuff, someday. Should read Wittgenstein so I can understand Ryan Oprea.



Break is ending. Nothing really accomplished, except creating a huge mess in my flat and brushing up on arabiyya. I played a computer game for several hours. And took my fellow alumnus Matt Hisrich to see a raunchy Spanish film (which confused him), and allowed him to watch me drink Tetley's on tap (which amused him). And read a little Locke. And stayed up until after 4:00 a.m. twice doing arabiyya. Does that count?

I can start reading parts of the Qur'an now. It's really not at all hard. Sortalike Homer was at first. On the other hand, it's really more fun to talk to Dr. Dicarlo about his theories of what the Prophet was really up to. Dr. Dicarlo is pretty amazing. No, he's not the prof, but actually my fellow student in 104. He already has a B.A. and an M.A. in classics, a B.S. in chemistry, doctorates in chiropracty and osteopathy, and wants to go to medical school in Damascus. Of course, what he really wants to do is write a thesis arguing that heretical Christian monks influenced the Prophet's devotional technique and ultimately his whole theology.

I need to come to terms with Vitoria and Ockham, not to mention Grotius. This paper will either make or break me. Probably a little of both. Hitherto, I've been more or less like anti-transubstantiational, anti-purgatory Protestant with boundless admiration for the sweeping theocratic claims of the Papacy. (As in, Boniface VIII was hero and tragic figure, not bad guy.) Now I'm realizing that there are good arguments on both sides.

This is why Nice Reformed Boys shouldn't go to law school. They'll learn to be involuntary agnostics as to matters conceptual and factual (which is a huge turn-off to Nice Reformed Girls :( ) or else narrowly clever sophists more interested in provocation than reflection (which is possibly worse).

And I have so much email to write to old friends and new enemies. :(


Books, book, books

I keep collecting. Made some exciting recent purchases. Basic Cambridge political thought series volumes of Bodin, Ockham, and Vitoria. (For a paper.)

Loebs of Pindar. (So I can read his little corpus in translation and remind myself that I must master lyric if I'm ever to achieve a truly graceful prose style.)

Have also started to collect Aeneid commentaries. (Vergil's is such a central work, the central work, I am tempted to say, for literary purposes.) Now have V, VIII, IX, and XI. (XII is coming out soon!) Have read I-VI with the aid of the Pharr edition (in bars and dance clubs, at that, LOL).

Am reorganizing my books into three categories: (1) use and display; (2) not useful, but keep; (3) not useful, sell or discard. The last category should total at least 10%.


Breaking the waves...

1. No law classes this week. That doesn't mean I'm not *really* busy.
2. Arabic is going better. Still stammer in conversation, but am rebuilding vocab.
3. Ockham sits like patience on a monument waiting for my eager attention.
4. A markupable copy of Vitoria is in the mail.
5. There's a microbrewery in Columbus that has an exceptional "Russian Imperial Stout. As one of the Iron Chef judges says, "It tastes so good, I want to cry!" I say: "With beer like this, who needs women?" LOL.


Less than fourteen points.

1. My Arabic is rusty. La aarafu.
2. My sleep patterns are totally inverted now.
3. I need to outline a term paper which still requires too much initial research.
4. Patents is of cool intellectual interest. In other words, *almost* boring.
5. Family law continues to be a stimulating class. We did Roe and Griswold today.
6. Hobbes and Locke don't apply outside the insular context of the Blessed Isle. The U.S. is a sui generis political-religious order. 7. Saranac's Black Forest is the best adult beverage sold off the slopes of Mt. Olympus.
8. Godfather isn't the best film ever made. (That would be Rules of the Game, Vertigo, or L'Avventura.) But it is awfully good on a scratched library DVD.
9. LucĂ­a y el Sexo is worth seeing, but wait for R-rated DVD version. A little too soft-core (even for me), but has some amazingly beautiful existential moments.
10. There are good used book bargains in Columbus. Recent finds include: Summa Theologica, II, in Latin ($6, was rare); Gransden's Cambridge commentary on Aeneid VIII ($4, was $23); T. M. Knox's edition of Hegel's Philosophy of Right ($5, was $20-30).
11. I've come to the realization that it is necessary to come to terms with the Moderns, and with all of the Moderns. Lady, were I to go where my heart wills, even now would I be walking in Firenze with Dante, speaking of Avveroes, Aquinas, and Vergil. But there can be no victory for our side without facing their new labyrinth and the great Machine.
12. I'm in canto XVI of Tasso now. Still surprised by his pervasive use of Vergil and his singular anticipation of Milton. Want to read Camoes next.