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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Why Johnny Can't Read Virgil Nor Star Trek

I was reading about chocolate:

When Chocolate was Medicine: Colmenero, Wadsworth and Dufour

and I came across this:

...The very first translation of the Tratado  ( Colmenero’s Curioso Tratado de la naturaleza y calidad del chocolate )  was published in English by army captain James Wadsworth, whose travels to Spain had introduced him to the wonders of the cacao beverage: A Curious Treatise of The Nature and Quality of Chocolate. Written in Spanish by Antonio Colmenero, Doctor in Physicke and Chirurgery. And put into English by Don Diego de Vades-forte (1640).
Wadsworth published it under the feisty pseudonym Don Diego de Vadesforte, which may well be a metaphor for the drink: vādēs forte is Latin for “you will go” and “strong one.” Whatever the source of the name, the Latin offers the modern reader a good sense of the reputation with which chocolate entered British culture.
And I stumbled, quite sure that "forte" was not the vocative "O, strong one!" as if addressing a person, but was used as an adverb "strongly, bravely".

So vades-forte should mean "you shall bravely go".

It is most likely derived from Virgil when Dido, Queen of Carthage, addresses Aeneas, her new lover, thus:

"You shall boldly go... where no man has gone before"

which is the source of some puzzlement, given the reading and interpretation of the line. We wonder endlessly about Dido's remark of   more ferae   "the customs of the wild and untamed animals" in [Aeneid 4.550-52]


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