12 July 2008

So, This Gaul place . . . How Is It Divided?

Here are some quick facts about Western Europe, from our old buddy C. Jules Kaiser in his book Comments On Butt-Kicking in Gaul:

GALLIAESTOMNISDIVISAINPARTESTRES
QVARVMVNAMINCOLVNTBELGÆALIAMAQVITANITERTIAM
QVIIPSORVMLINGVACELTARNOSTRA
GALLIAPPELLANTVRHIOMNESLINGVAINSTITVTIS
LEGIBVSINTERSEDIFFERVNT

I have to hand it to the ancient Romans: all caps, no punctuation, no separation of sentences, no letter ‘u’, not even spaces between the words! When I first studied Latin and I found out that this was the way the Romans actually wrote, and not the gentle, Anglicized versions in our text books (Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam . . .) complete with very helpful macrons (I left those out because they are time-consuming to create and not all fonts support them), I was stunned. How in the world was I going to read this endless stream of letters?

But you know what? It’s kind of fun. Like a crossword puzzle. How often to do you get to a crossword puzzle written by Julius Caesar? (Wait, I mean IVLIVSCÆSAR.)