Friday, March 4, 2011

Birthday Wish List 2011

It's March, which means that I am about a month and a half away from being one year younger than Mozart was when he died.  I thought I might do a brief post of my birthday wish list if there are people who might care to get me a birthday present this year.

Of course, the major present I'm anticipating is the drawing or painting Laurie is working on of me as Bacchus to hang in my office.  Right, honey?

My current major project is learning Latin and so I think the only two books I would like to request are tailored toward that end.  The first is the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible which I think would provide me with an excellent, life-long means by which to be continually immersed in the language.  It is also the key translation used in the west for almost a millennium of church history.  For those unfamiliar with the history of the Vulgate, it was a 4th century translation largely by St. Jerome for the purpose of a "common use" translation of the Bible (hence "Vulgate."  Means "common use."  Doesn't mean it's full of swears) in the age when Latin was largely the linguistic coin of the realm.  It was canonized at the Council of Trent.  It continued to be the common translation as the language itself died and access to scripture remained sequestered to the literate class (which is to say the clergy) through the Middle Ages until Luther translated the Bible into common German (arguably, in some circles, continuing until Vatican II in the 1960s.)

For my purposes, as I said to Laurie the other day, "In my project of learning Latin, I feel like securing for myself a copy of the Vulgate would be the key for keeping my Latin for the rest of my life."  And as fun as I'm sure it will be to read Caesar, Virgil, Pliny, and Catullus, the Vulgate is something I could actually see myself delving into daily and something I'm actually excited about.

The other Latin text is a bit cuter (and cheaper.)  Someone decided that the world needed a Latin translation of Winnie The Pooh.

That's all I have.  It's a short list with one expensive book in it.

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