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Latin word for "gargoyle"

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Latin word for "gargoyle"

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:13 am

Salvete!

I've just finished re-reading "Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis" and was wondering about the correct word for "gargoyle". The translator gives the accusative gargollum. Does anyone of you know its nominative and gender and/or perhaps another (and better?) word?

Valete,

Carolus Raeticus
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Re: Latin word for "gargoyle"

Postby adrianus » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:39 am

gargollum nomen neutrius generis, ut imaginor, (cur non gurgulium a gurgulione?) at habes classicè antefixa (substantivum pluralis numeri)
Last edited by adrianus on Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Latin word for "gargoyle"

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:53 am

Salve Adriane!

You might be right when you say that it is probably gargollum, -i n., especially as the translator uses trollum, -i n. as the translation for troll.

As to where he takes gargollum from, my only idea is a passage from this site:

Jack Westerhoff wrote:The term "gargoyle" was derived from French gargouille meaning 'throat' and Latin gurgulio meaning 'gullet'. (Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 307/"gargoyle") An explanation for the use with the protruding architectural means could be, although more charming than credible, the following legend: A dragon called La Gargouille lived in a cave close to the River Seine in France. It swallowed ships, caused destruction with its fiery breath, and spouted so much water that it caused flooding. The residents of nearby Rouen attempted to placate La Gargouille with an annual offering of a live victim; although the dragon preferred maidens, it was usually given a criminal to consume. Around the year 600, the priest Romanus (or Romain) arrived in Rouen and promised to deal with the dragon if the townspeople agreed to be baptized and to build a church. Equipped with everything needed for an exorcism, Romanus subdued the dragon by making the sign of the cross. La Gargouille was burned at the stake, but the head and neck, well tempered by the heat of the dragon's fiery breath, would not burn. These remnants were mounted on the town wall and became the model for gargoyles for centuries to come.

Vale,

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Re: Latin word for "gargoyle"

Postby adrianus » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:36 am

Well, it's a cute story but I would imagine it more likely that, for architectural features that protrude and conduct rain away from the walls, the notion of a gurgling gullet (gurgulio) is a very natural one.

Bellam fabulam. Ego autem sic credo. Perapta antefixis quae protrudunt deducuntque muris pluvem notio gurgulionis erumpentis.

As for the choice of image, the romans liked to stick effigies of "happy gods" to their temples, it seems.
De simulacrorum dilectu, Romani effigies ridentes ad templa affingere solebant.
Apud Livium (34.4.4) "antefixa fictilia deorum romanorum ridentes"


Connections, maybe, with yoni and síle/sheela na gigs. Vide etiam yoni et sheela na gigs
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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