?

Log in

No account? Create an account
One Thing Leading To Another - Eroticdreambattle — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

One Thing Leading To Another [Apr. 22nd, 2006|09:42 am]
Tony Grist
Remember Michael Praed?

First he was Robin Hood in the dippy-hippy Robin of Sherwood; then he was Prince Michael of Moldavia in a couple of well-beloved episodes of Dynasty.

He was devastatingly beautiful and his Robin was a whole lot better than Jason Connery's.

He was going to be big.

Then something must have happened. Or, perhaps, more accurately, something didn't happen.

Anyway, these days he appears in odd episodes of the British soaps and has a steady gig doing voice-over for the BBC's history/archaeology show Timewatch.

Last night on Timewatch he was telling us about a bunch of decapitated skeletons that have been unearthed in a Roman cemetery in York. An unprecedented find. It seems likely they're the victims of a purge of the palace old guard conducted by the Emperor Caracalla after the death of his father Septimius Severus.

Thrilling. Thanks to Dio Cassius we know some of their names. Archaeology rarely gets this personal.

Setimius Severus was a dude. A North African who campaigned against the Scots and made York the capital of the Empire. He died there and his funeral was like nothing Britain had ever seen.

So how do you pronounce Severus? The Rowling crowd say "sever", but Praed and his experts were all saying "severe".

Septimius Severe-us? It sounds all wrong to me.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: sorenr
2006-04-22 03:01 am (UTC)
I've always gone with Sever-us... And I should, of course, be an expert on this name, as it is the root of Søren! (Severus - Severin - Søren...)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-22 03:22 am (UTC)
Well, well, well; I hadn't made the connection.

But- obviously- I accept your expertise.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sorenr
2006-04-22 08:05 am (UTC)
Well; the connection is hardly obvious unless you look it up and just how the transition took place over the course of a thousand years or so... :-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2006-04-22 03:22 am (UTC)
Thanks to Dio Cassius we know some of their names.

Or not, I'm afraid...

I say 'Severus', with no long 'e's, although most classical Latinists would also say that the 'v' should really be pronounced more like a 'wh', and I do that sometimes too.

The name did carry the same meaning as our word 'severe', though, so I can't see any harm in bringing that out for modern English-speakers by lengthening the second e. The fact is, neither he nor any of his comtemporaries is here to tell us what they said.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-22 03:36 am (UTC)
Don't let accuracy get in the way of a good story, eh?

Pah, I'm disappointed in the Beeb.

Though glad to learn that Severus may not have been the genocidal brute they made him out to be.




(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: qatsi
2006-04-22 03:57 am (UTC)
Septimius Severe-us? It sounds all wrong to me.

I'm with you on that one, though as strange_complex says, there is no absolute evidence on how to pronounce it. The Latin I was taught at school was all pretty much pronounce-it-as-it's-written - and to be Severe-us, it would be written Sevīrus.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-22 04:28 am (UTC)
I wonder if there was, in fact, a single received pronunciation. Surely Romans from, say, North Africa and Britain would have spoken the language very differently.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2006-04-22 05:15 am (UTC)
Oh yes, indeed! On Septimius himself: "His voice was clear, but retained an African accent even to his old age."

Obviously, that's an anecdotal example. But the point is also clear from the differences in the spelling mistakes people made when writing ordinary, everyday documents (accounts, letters, receipts, etc.) in different parts of the empire.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: qatsi
2006-04-22 01:32 pm (UTC)
Obviously, that's an anecdotal example.

But from an entirely appropriately named site!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2006-04-22 02:44 pm (UTC)
Hehe - yes! I actually use that site quite a lot, as it has a lot of really excellent online Roman sources, in both Latin (or Greek) and translation. But I still get a little thrill every time I glance at the URL!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-24 01:44 am (UTC)
Fascinating.

All those dreams and omens....
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2006-04-22 05:33 am (UTC)
It' SEverus (short e first, schwa, second, stress on the first syllable). As in Severus Snape.

Just ask Richard Harris (oops, can't ask him), Maggie Smith, Kenneth Branagh, et al.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-22 07:10 am (UTC)
Richard Harris is exactly the person to ask. I mean, he's in a position to go consult with Septimius Severus himself.

OK, Richard, you hearing me? Knock once for yes, twice for no....
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2006-04-22 08:46 am (UTC)
Ah, I remember Michael Praed very well...iconoclaim and I recently borrowed the complete 'robin of sherwood' dvd set from a friend and have been watching them through. last night we watched the very charming alan a dale episode...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2006-04-22 08:46 am (UTC)
claim = clam -- yeah, I get my girlfriend's username wrong sometimes...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-23 02:46 am (UTC)
I'm a big fan of the guy who plays the Sherrif- Nikolas Grace. I've never understood why he hasn't become a star.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2006-04-23 11:09 am (UTC)
Agreed. I love him as Anthony Blanche in the tv Brideshead. Looking over his IMDB filmography, it seems he's had steady work through the years on TV and movies, but from what I can tell his real thing is probably the stage. Which makes sense, because he's, you know, good at acting.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-24 01:47 am (UTC)
His Antony Blanche was unforgettable.

He turns up on TV every now and then, but always in supporting roles.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-23 02:50 am (UTC)
Praed dropped out of Robin of Sherwood in order to go to Hollywood, but I'm afraid that that role in Dynasty destroyed his career.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: paroxysma
2006-04-23 09:29 am (UTC)
No, I don't remember Michael Praed, but I sure as hell remember Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Alan Rickman was Sheriff of Nottingham. He's also Severus Snape in Harry Potter. Congratulations. You have reawoken my undying obsession for the sultry goodness of Alan Rickman. Looks like you hit two nails on the head in this entry.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2006-04-23 11:11 am (UTC)
I do think the sheriff character in PoT owes a lot to Nickolas Grace's sheriff in the robin of sherwood series. Although of course Rickman absolutely rocked in PoT...a movie that can make me tolerate kevin costner and christian slater must be good.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: paroxysma
2006-04-23 03:21 pm (UTC)
You can't forget him in Love Actually with the stunning Heike Makatsch, though. Reow!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-24 01:48 am (UTC)
Have you seen Truly, Madly Deeply? You'd like it, I think. Rickman plays the sexiest ghost ever.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)