[Bards] Ansteorran History and trival

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Tue Jun 12 08:46:37 PDT 2007

First of all, thank you.  I started with the books, and yes, Serena and I have a lot of them.  But most of the specific examples came from three simple Google searches -- "Vivat Rex" (12,900 hits), "Vivat Regina" (12,700 hits) and "vivat vivat vivat" (488 hits).  There's no "trick" except to actually look something up before posting.  I knew very little of the specific examples when I started writing last night (and had to rewrite based on the research about three times).  Anybody posting here could have done it, at the cost of two hours' research time -- at least, that's what it cost me.

Of course, having the books helps a lot, too.  Once I found the Old Testament reference online, I went back to my Vulgate to double check, as well as my Douay-Rheims translation.

Secondly, both pronunciations are correct and period, as are many others.  Latin is not a single language, stuck unchanging in time.  As long as a language is used, it can change.  "Wiwat" is church Latin (and Italianate Latin), and harkens back to the fact that "V" and "U" were originally the same letter. "Vivat" is Medieval Latin, Oxford Latin, and other versions I don't know about.  There are differences in the vowel pronunciation as well, but I'm not that knowledgeable about them.

There are differences besides pronunciation.  Our scrolls, which are medieval Latin, begin "Sciatis quod nos ... creamus" ("Know that we create").  Classical Latin would use the accusative infinitive construction instead.  "Sciatis nos creare" ("Know us to create").  I found out about this when I was proofreading a scroll for Serena, and tried to "correct" the grammar to the classical version, which was never used on medieval documents.

As a voice herald, if I were to try to correct any specific court usage in Ansteorra, it would be to get rid of the occasionally-heard two-language form "Vivat King!  Vivat Queen!"  Nobody in period, or even in England today, would ever say that.  It's just an illiterate mistake, which says, in effect, "This isn't real. We're re-enacting something we do not understand".  (And, no, I don't always follow the heralds's lead.  When a herald says "Vivat King," I echo, "Vivat Rex!")

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Darlene Vandever 
  To: Ansteorran Bardic list 
  Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 9:32 AM
  Subject: Re: [Bards] Ansteorran History and trival

  Dear Master Robin,

  How do you do this!??! My goodness, my mind's vision has you sitting in the middle of a vast library with the books leaping off the shelf at you. If you have a particular trick in searching the internet, please share it. Wow. 

  On the subject of "Vivat" or "Vivet" or however you spell it, I remember a time when HE, Master Bran de Tintreak, then Baron of The Stargate, tried to get us to pronouce the word with a "W" sound not a "V" sound. It only worked for a bit of time and I know that he was correct to do this but we follow the heralds lead whenever we give an accolade in court. 

  How do you voice heralds feel about doing or needing to do the correct pronounciation of our favorite accolade?
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