Guest Post: The Meaning of ‘Scamander’

From long-time friend of this blog, Lancelot Schaubert, a big find! Newt’s last name is taken from classical Greek mythology and may point to the number of his coming confrontations with Grindelwald and how the magizoologist may eventually help Dumbledore defeat him. Enjoy!

Newt Scamander, Xanthos, and Achilles

My bride and I started a new book club with our neighbors in Brooklyn called Western Canonball (iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher) where we read through classic literature that’s either new to us or that we read so long ago we’ve forgotten most of it. This brought me across Hesiod’s Theogony for the first time and a new encounter with The Illiad where the name Scamander – as in Newt Scamander – emerged.

Scamander in Greek mythology went by the name Xanthos: a river God. The gods called him Xanthos and men called him Scamander and in the triadic system, that seems to indicate that Xanthos is the consciousness, the god, behind the river and that Scamander is the manifestation, both the man in the Trojan war and the river that flows from Mount Ida straight over the plain that lies before Troy and then it merges as a tributary of the Hellespont. We’ll come back to the river in a minute, but let’s focus on Scamander the man:

The latter part of Scamander’s name comes from the greek word andros like St. Andrew which means “of a man” or “manly” or the thing that comes from manfulness, “courage.” But the first part “scam” doesn’t come from some word for a con man, but rather from either skadzo which means “to limp or stumble” or from the Greek skaios meaning “left-handed” or “awkward.” A limping man or an awkward man is precisely what Newt Scamander is.

Hesiod’s Theogony made Scamander the son of Sea (Oceanus) and Fresh-water (Tethys) making him a sort of estuary. It’s interesting because the river Scamander, by Homer’s account in The Illiad, has two springs: one produces warm water and the other produces cold water, regardless of season. As an amateur theological and biblical exegete, I’m obliged to point out that a similar thing happened in Laodicea where both a hot and a cold spring merged to produce lukewarm water around that wealthy city: a city full of folk uncommitted to a true cause and only committed to the hoarding of more and more wealth. A city of dragons, you could say. It’s fascinating because Scamander – the river – may well be hot or cold but where it meets with the Hellespont, it may well be lukewarm and addicted to greed. For anyone familiar with The Illiad, you know hubris applied to booty is the major theme, particularly when women are perceived as objects to be traded, bought, and stolen by powerful men.

Scamander the man fought on the side of the Trojans after Achilles insulted him. He tried to kill Achilles thrice and Season (Hera), God’s Mind (Athena – Atheonoa by Plato), and Former (Hephaestus – god of blacksmiths, metallurgy, carpenters, craftsmen, etc), who compose the pagan trinity of classical antiquity, all stopped him. Of course Achilles’ weakness eventually came to light and Paris shot him in the heel.

It’s also noteworthy that in the Trojan line, Scamander (the god) is a great-grandfather of Priam, Aphrodite, Aeneas (think: Virgil), as well as Romulus and Remus. He’s a sort of cousin to Demeter, whose mystery cult Aeschylus (think: Harry Potter) joined when he returned to his hometown. Aeschylus, of course, was a member of the Eupatridae but through his tragedies seemed to advocate also for the divine lineage of the Geomori and Demiurgi (think: the Peverell brothers and the power struggle in the wizarding community).

It’s safe to say that as we follow Newt, he’ll try three times to kill Grindelwald and will fail until he meets a Paris character who helps him along the way. It’s safe to say, too, that this will have an effect on the bloodline and “spiritual fatherhood” of Harry as well as an interesting play with the Theseus mythos. I would encourage deeper dives into the Scamander genealogy, the way it crosses with Aeschylus, and the Eupatridae / Geomori / Demiurgi connection with the triplets that gave us the deathly hallows.

If you’re interested in hearing how mythology gave me bliss and saved me from suicide, click here for a free ebook.

– Lancelot Schaubert

NYC Author + Producer

 

Comments

  1. Kelly Loomis says:

    I’m curious to know whether you think each attempt on Grindelwald’s life will correspond with a movie. Then, Dumbledore who knows Grindelwald’s strengths and weaknesses, will finally step in and defeat him in the last film.

  2. From Lancelot Schaubert —
    Kelly!

    Great question. That would be my guess, yeah. So we have a reveal of the real enemy (spiritual enemy vs. corporeal enemy — think horcruxes and the real enemy of the triplets) three failed attempts and the final successful attempt.

    So if that’s the case, it may be worth quoting the relevant passages which start in line 200 of book twenty-one of the Illiad, more so that the community has them on hand than anything (scroll to the end of the quote if you want my current questions):

    So [Achilleus] spoke, and pulled the bronze spear free of the river bluff

    and left [Aiakides] there, when he had torn the heart of life from him,

    sprawled in the sands and drenched in the dark water. And about

    Asteropaios the eels and the other fish were busy

    tearing him and nibbling the fat that lay by his kidneys.

    But Achilleus went on after the Paionians crested with horse-hair

    who had scattered in fear along the banks of the eddying river

    when they had seen their greatest man in the strong encounter

    gone down by force under the sword and the hands of Peleïdes.

    ….

    Now swift Achilleus would have killed even more Paionians

    except that the deep-whirling river spoke to them in anger

    and in mortal likeness the voice rose from the depth of the eddies:

    “O Achilleus, your strength is greater, your acts more violent

    than all men’s; since always the very gods are guarding you.

    If the son of Kronos has given all Trojans to your destruction,

    drive them at least out of me to the plain, and there work your havoc.

    For the loveliness of my waters is crammed with corpses, I cannot

    find a channel to cast my waters into the bright sea

    since I am congested with the dead men you kill so brutally.

    Let me alone, then; lord of the people, I am confounded.”

    Then in answer to him spoke Achilleus of the swift feet:

    “All this, illustrious Skamandros, shall be as you order.

    But I will not leave off my killing of the proud Trojans

    until I have penned them inside their city, and attempted Hektor

    strength against strength, until he has killed me or I have killed him.”

    He spoke, and like something more than mortal swept down on the Trojans.

    And now the deep-whirling river called aloud to Apollo:

    “Shame, lord of the silver bow, Zeus’ son; you have not kept

    the counsels of Kronion, who very strongly ordered you to stand by the Trojans and defend them, until the sun setting at last goes down and darkens all the generous ploughland.”

    first and second attempt on Achilles life:

    [Scamander the river] spoke: and spear-famed Achilleus leapt into the middle water

    with a spring from the bluff, but the river in a boiling surge was upon him

    and rose making turbulent all his waters, and pushed off

    the many dead men whom Achilleus had killed piled in abundance

    in the stream; these, bellowing like a bull, he shoved out

    on the dry land, but saved the living in the sweet waters

    hiding them under the huge depths of the whirling current.

    And about Achilleus in his confusion a dangerous wave rose

    up and beat against his shield and pushed it. He could not

    brace himself with his feet, but caught with his hands at an elm tree

    tall and strong gown, but this uptorn by the roots and tumbling

    ripped away the whole cliff and with its dense tangle of roots stopped

    the run of the lovely current and fallen full length in the water

    dammed the very stream. Achilleus uprising out of the whirlpool

    made a dash to get to the plain in the speed of his quick feet

    in fear, but the great god would not let him be, but rose on him

    in a darkening edge of water, minded to stop the labor

    of brilliant Achilleus and fend destruction away from the Trojans.

    The son of Peleus sprang away the length of a spearcast

    running with the speed of the black eagle, the marauder

    who is at once the strongest of flying things and the swiftest.

    In the likeness of this he sped away, on his chest the bronze armor

    clashed terribly, and bending away to escape from the river

    he fled, but the river came streaming after him in huge noise.

    And as a man running a channel from a spring of dark water

    guides the run of the water among his plants and his gardens

    with a mattock in his hand and knocks down the blocks in the channel;

    in the rush of the water all the pebbles beneath are torn loose

    from place, and the water that has been dripping suddenly jets on

    in a steep place and goes too fast even for the man who guides it;

    so always the crest of the river was overtaking Achilleus

    for all his speed of food, since gods are stronger than mortals.

    And every time the swift-footed brilliant Achilleus would begin

    to turn and stand and fight the river, and try to discover

    if all the gods would hold the wide heaven were after him, every

    time again the enormous wave of the sky-fed river

    would strike his shoulders from above. He tried, in his desperation,

    to keep a high spring with his feet, but the river was wearing his knees out

    as it ran fiercely beneath him and cut the ground from under

    his feet. Peleïdes groaned aloud, gazing into the wide sky:

    “Father Zeus, no god could endure to save me from the river

    who am so pitiful. And what then shall become of me?

    It is not so much any other Uranian god who has done this

    but my own mother who beguiled me with falsehoods, who told me

    that underneath the battlements of the armored Trojans

    I should be destroyed by the flying shafts of Apollo.

    I wish now Hektor had killed me, the greatest man grown in this place.

    A brave man would have been the slayer, as the slain was a brave man.

    But now this is a dismal death I am doomed to be caught in,

    trapped in a big river as if I were a boy and a swineherd

    swept away by a torrent when he tries to cross a rainstorm.”

    So [Achilles] spoke, and Poseidon and Athene swiftly came near him

    and stood beside him with their shapes in the likeness of mortals

    and caught him hand by hand and spoke to him in assurance.

    First of them to speak was the shaker of the earth, Poseidon.

    “Do not be afraid, son of Peleus, nor be so anxious,

    such are we two of the gods who stand beside you to help you,

    but the consent of Zeus, myself and Pallas Athene.

    Thereby it is not your destiny to be killed by the river,

    but he shall be presently stopped, and you yourself shall behold it.

    “But we also have close counsel to give you, if you will believe us.

    Do not let stay your hands from the collision of battle

    until you have penned the people of Troy, those who escape you,

    inside the famed wall of Ilion. Then when you have taken Hektor’s life

    go back again to the ships. We grant you the winning of glory.”

    Attempt number three:

    So speaking the two went back again among the immortals,

    but Achilleus went on, and the urgency of the gods strongly stirred him,

    into the plain. But the river filled with an outrush of water

    and masses of splendid armor from the young men who had perished

    floated there, and their bodies, but against the hard drive of the river

    straight on he kept a high spring with his feet, and the river wide running

    could not stop him now, since he was given great strength by Athene.

    But Skamandros did not either abate his fury, but all the more

    raged as Peleion, and high uplifting the wave of his waters

    gathered it to a crest, and a called aloud upon Simoeis:

    “Beloved brother, let even the two of us join to hold back

    the strength of a man, since presently he will storm the great city

    of lord Priam. The Trojans cannot stand up to him in battle.

    But help me beat him off with all speed, and make full your currents

    with water from your springs, and rouse up all of your torrents

    and make a big wave rear up and wake the heavy confusion

    and sound of timbers and stones, so we can stop this savage man

    who is now in his strength and rages in fury like the immortals.

    For I say that his strength will not be enough for him nor his beauty

    nor his arms in their splendor, which somewhere deep down under the waters

    shall lie folded under the mud; and I will whelm his own body

    deep, and pile it over with abundance of sands and rubble

    numberless, nor shall the Achaians know where to look for

    his bones to gatehr them, such ruin will I pile over him.

    And there shall his monument be made, and he will have no need of any funeral mound to be buried in by the Achaians.”

    He spoke, and rose against Achilleus, turbulent,boiling

    to a crest, muttering in foam and blood and dead bodies

    until the purple wave of the river fed from the bright sky

    lifted high and caught in its waters the son of Peleus.

    But Hera, greatly fearing for Achilleus, cried in a loud voice

    lest he be swept away in the huge deep-eddying river,

    and at once thereafter appealed to her own dear son, Hephaistos:

    “Rise up, god of the dragging feet, my child; for we believe

    that whirling Xanthos [Scamander] would be fit antagonist for you in battle.

    Go now quickly to the help of Achilleus, make shine a great flame

    while I raise up and bring in out of the sea a troublesome

    storm of the west wind and the whitening south wind, a storm

    that will burn the heads of the Trojans and burn their armor

    carrying the evil flame, while you by the banks of Xanthos [Scamander]

    set fire to the trees and throw fire on the river himself, and do not

    by any means let him turn you with winning words or revilements.

    Do not let your fury be stopped until such time as

    I lift my voice and cry to you. Then stay your weariliess burning.”

    Hera spoke, and Hepaistos set on them an inhuman fire.

    First he kindled a fire in the plain and burned the numerous

    corpses that lay there in abundance, slain by Achilleus,

    and all the plain was parched and the shining water was straitened.

    As when the north wind of autumn suddenly makes dry

    a garden freshly watered and makes glad the man who is tending it,

    so the entire flat land was dried up with Hephaistos burning

    the dead bodies. Then he turned his flame in its shining

    into the river. The elms burned, the willows and tamarisks,

    the clover burned and the rushes and the galingale, all those

    plants that grew in abundance by the lovely stream of the river.

    The eels were suffering and the fish in the whirl of the water

    who leaped out along the lovely waters in every direction

    in affliction under the hot blast of resourceful Hephaistos.

    The strength of the river was burning away; he gave voice and called out

    by name: “Hephaistos, not one of teh gods could stand up against you.

    I for one could not fight the flame of a fire like this one.

    Leave your attack. Brilliant Achilleus can capture the city

    of the Trojans, now, for me. What have I to do with this quarrel?”

    He spoke, blazing with fire, and his lovely waters were seething.

    And as a cauldron that is propped over a great fire boils up

    dancing on its whole circle with dry sticks burning benath it

    as it melts down the fat of swine made tender, so Xanthos’ [Scamander’s]

    lovely streams were burned with the fire, and the water was boiling

    and would not flow along but was stopped under stress of teh hot blast

    strongly blown by resourceful Hephaistos. And now the river

    cried out to Hera in the winged words of strong supplication:

    “Hera, why did your son assult me to trouble my waters

    beyond others’? Is it not so much I who have done anything against you

    as all the rest of teh gods who stand by to help the Trojans.

    Now indeed I will leave off, if such is your order,

    but let him leave off too, I will swear you a promise

    not ever to drive the day of evil away from the Trojans,

    not even when all the city of Troy is burned in the ravening

    fire, on that day when the warlike sons of Achaians burn it.”

    _______

    She leaves off and he goes. So interesting questions:

    1. Will the fire and water theme come to the fore? We’ve certainly seen that before in a duel…

    2. Will there be an attempt to boil, burn, or use the bodies of Grindelwald against him in a similar way that we used Voldemort’s against him?

    3. Will Newt be forced to make an unbreakable vow?

    4. Who are the “gods” in this section that are fighting on their various sides?

    5. Who is the Hephaistos that burns Newt?

    But yes, ultimately, I think that’s a good wager. Alternately, Dumbledore could be a sort of Hector figure in this scenario.

  3. Kelly Loomis says:

    Also, recently I saw on imbd casting that Melusine has been cast. She was a water related witch/spirit. She is famous in French folklore even to the point of some royal families claiming they descended from her. She is part mermaid/serpent on her lower half. She married but had an agreement with her husband that if he ever looked upset n her bathing, he would die. One day he watches she and I think her daughter bathing in a river or pool and dies.

    In the fighting scene with Newt and Theseus it is my belief that they are fighting against Crrdence’s Obscurus and throw down that wall of fire against it/him.

    More ties to fire and water!

  4. Kelly Loomis says:

    Oops – if her husband ever looked at her while she was bathing…

  5. Kelly Loomis says:

    One more thought. We see Newt underwater riding a kelpie. Many have assumed that is how he gets to France but it could be totally unrelated to that. Maybe it rescues him.

  6. Re: Melusine:

    I’m unfamiliar with that myth. Please tell me more. But it sounds like a weird blend of David and Psyche
    a la Till We Have Faces?

    re: obscurus — makes sense to me and indeed more ties!

    re: kelpie — after watching the trailer again, it’s positively soaking wet. So yeah, that seems
    likely.

  7. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Ah – “or that we read so long ago we’ve forgotten most of it.” Indeed! Thank you for the vivid quotations!

    With apologies, if the answers are well known, and I am just being the duffer I am…

    How comes it that his second name is that of a goddess? Not ‘Artemus’, but ‘Artemis’! An appropriate goddess for his future, if we think of Artemis as protector of wild creatures…

    His third name presumably comes ultimately from the Latin adjective, ‘fidus’, but as a name appears to be a Spanish or Italian form, usually given to a dog! How comes it that this is one of his (again, however appropriate)?

  8. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    In The Discarded Image chapter on “The Longaevi”, Lewis has a jolly sentence, “In the fourteenth century the family of Lusignan boasted a water-spirit among their ancestresses.” His footnote is to S. Runciman, History of the Crusades (1954), vol. II, p. 424.

  9. My pleasure, David. As far as I go, I sincerely doubt I can claim knowing any answers, but especially the well-known ones. In any case, I’ll give this a crack:

    How comes it that his second name is that of a goddess? Not ‘Artemus’, but ‘Artemis’! An appropriate goddess for his future, if we think of Artemis as protector of wild creatures…

    My best guess deals with divine genealogy again, so forgive me for offering up his begats (as John Ames of Gilead might say). We start with Orestes (Harry Potter) and go up the family line. Orestes, first from the wiki:

    In Aeschylus’s Eumenides (sequel to Libation Bearers which // HP 1-7), Orestes goes mad after the deed and is pursued by the Erinyes, whose duty it is to punish any violation of the ties of family piety. He takes refuge in the temple at Delphi; but, even though Apollo had ordered him to do the deed, he is powerless to protect Orestes from the consequences. At last Athena receives him on the acropolis of Athens and arranges a formal trial of the case before twelve judges, including herself. The Erinyes demand their victim; he pleads the orders of Apollo. Athena votes last announcing that she is for acquittal; then the votes are counted and the result is a tie, resulting in an acquittal according to the rules previously stipulated by Athena. The Erinyes are propitiated by a new ritual, in which they are worshipped as “Semnai Theai”, “Venerable Ones”, and Orestes dedicates an altar to Athena Areia.

    As Aeschylus tells it, the punishment ended there, but according to Euripides, in order to escape the persecutions of the Erinyes, Orestes was ordered by Apollo to go to Tauris, carry off the statue of Artemis which had fallen from heaven, and to bring it to Athens. He went to Tauris with Pylades, and the pair were at once imprisoned by the people, among whom the custom was to sacrifice all Greek strangers to Artemis. The priestess of Artemis, whose duty it was to perform the sacrifice, was Orestes’ sister Iphigenia. She offered to release him if he would carry home a letter from her to Greece; he refused to go, but bids Pylades to take the letter while he stays to be slain. After a conflict of mutual affection, Pylades at last yielded, but the letter brought about the recognition of brother and sister, and all three escaped together, carrying with them the image of Artemis.

    So Artemis plays heavily into the Orestes bit.

    Now Orestes is the son of Agamemnon the son of Atreus the son of Atreus the son of Pelops the son of Tantalus who is called Atys the son of Aeneas the son of Anchises (and Aphrodite/Venus) the son of Capys the son of Assaracus the son of Tros the son of Ericthonius the son of Batea the son of Teucer the son of Scamander the son of Oceanus and Tethys.

    So there’s a weird loyalty to Artemis in the family line.

    More importantly, however, Artemis and Apollo are the two offspring of Zeus by way of Leto, both of whom work as the patron saids of Ilion (Troy) in the Iliad.

    His third name presumably comes ultimately from the Latin adjective, ‘fidus’, but as a name appears to be a Spanish or Italian form, usually given to a dog! How comes it that this is one of his (again, however appropriate)?

    Yes, “faithful to Artemis,” who is also goddess of the hunt. As in hunting dogs. Newton as in “New Town” perhaps Troy? And also Sir Isaac Newton, the “natural philosopher.” Potentially relevant wiki info:

    Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He was a devout but unorthodox Christian, who privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and who, unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, refused to take holy orders in the Church of England. Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished until long after his death. Politically and personally tied to the Whig party, Newton served two brief terms as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge, in 1689–90 and 1701–02. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and he spent the last three decades of his life in London, serving as Warden (1696–1700) and Master (1700–1727) of the Royal Mint, as well as president of the Royal Society (1703–1727).

    Lewis’ anecdotes slay me. Entire theses are wrapped up in his one-liners. He and Chesterton.

  10. Brian Basore says:

    Hm. Three failed attempts then a Paris figure comes along to help him. As Dumbledore explains to Harry in PS, the Man With Two Faces chapter, after Harry doubts that Voldemort is really gone after failing to get the philosopher’s stone?

  11. “Yes, sir. Well, Voldemort’s going to try other ways of coming back, isn’t he? I mean, he hasn’t gone has he?”

    “No, Harry, he has not. He is still out there somewhere, perhaps looking for another body to share . . . not truly being alive, he cannot be killed. He left Quirrel to die; he shows just as little mercy to his followers as to his enemies. Nevertheless, Harry, while you may only have delayed his return to power, it will merely take someone else who is prepared to fight what seems a losing battle next time — and if he is delayed again, and again, why he may never return to power.”

  12. Worth noting alchemically as well that Artemis is the white queen of the night, Lady Luna, and that Apollo is the red king of the day, King Sol.

    Therefore the saving of Troy is also a wedding of contraries, masculine and feminine, mercury and brimstone.

    Newt as water.
    Albus as fire.

    Newt as mercurial allegiance to orthodoxy.
    Albus as rigidity.

    Now some who point to Albus as the mercurial arbiter of wisdom in HP would push back of course, but remember: this is BEFORE his sister and his love affair.

    For Albus to win, he will need to learn to freeze the flame and turn the stone to water. Like Batman in The Dark Knight, Albus will need to change his mind so that he can turn his head.

  13. Kelly Loomis says:

    I’ve seen this myth depicted in historical novels. Here is the Wikipedia description:

    Melusine (French: [melyzin] may-loo-ZEEN) or Melusina is a figure of European folklore and mythology (mostly Celtic), a female spirit of fresh water in a sacred spring or river. She is usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish from the waist down (much like a mermaid). She is also sometimes illustrated with wings, two tails, or both. Her legends are especially connected with the northern and western areas of France, Luxembourg, and the Low Countries. The House of Luxembourg (which ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 1308 CE to 1437 CE as well as Bohemia and Hungary) and the French House of Lusignan (kings of Cyprus from 1205-1472 CE, and for shorter periods over Armenia and Jerusalem) are said in folk tales and medieval literature to be descended from Melusine.

    One tale says Melusine herself was the daughter of the fairy Pressyne and king Elinas of Albany (now known as Scotland). Melusine’s mother leaves her husband, taking her daughters to the isle of Avalon after he breaks an oath never to look in at her and her daughter in their bath. The same pattern appears in stories where Melusine marries a nobleman only after he makes an oath to give her privacy in her bath; each time, she leaves the nobleman after he breaks that oath. Shapeshifting and flight on wings away from oath-breaking husbands also figure in stories about Melusine. According to Sabine Baring-Gould in Curious Tales of the Middle Ages, the pattern of the tale is similar to the Knight of the Swan legend which inspired the character “Lohengrin” in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival. [1]

  14. Similar to Parzival.

    As in Albus PERCIVAL Wulfric Brian Dumbledore?

    Color me intrigued…

  15. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Thanks for all the genealogical and story context!

    ‘Newton as in “New Town” perhaps Troy? And also Sir Isaac Newton, the “natural philosopher.”’

    I was trying to start puzzling over that… “New Town” including something about Rome as ‘New Troy’ and Brutus of Troy as founder of London? And what of Newt in New York (formerly New Amsterdam)? Translating it… Neapolis? (If so, which? Wikipedia “Neapoli” has a long list, and I suspect it’s not exhaustive.) I suppose (rashly?) having Newton as a first name goes back to the fame of Sir Isaac – at least, among Muggles – but, I suddenly wonder, do we know he was a Muggle? (Do we know otherwise? Might he be famous and at home in both worlds like Nicholas Flamel?) I suppose Sir Isaac’s surname is ultimately toponymic – as in its way is ‘Scamander’. A town and a river, two differently dynamic things. And the delightful wordplay of abbreviating to ‘Newt’ – a creature at least semi-aquatic – and the kind of disorientation play of quite probably thinking ‘Salamander’ when seeing ‘Scamander’ after ‘Newt’ and mentally correcting, ‘No, not “salamander”, “Scamander”!’- ?

    But does a ‘newt’ being a sort of salamander bring in lots of complexity of salamander lore, too? And what of translating ‘newt’ – Latin ‘stellio’ is sometimes taken to refer to it, as by T.H. White in his Bestiary translation where it quotes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses V.446-61 where Ceres turns a mocking boy into a ‘stellio’ (which others take to be a gecko)?

  16. My pleasure.

    Certainly the New York piece fits but did she know he was from NYC before she started planning for these?

    We don’t know Isaac was a muggle but we do know he was an alchemist. I don’t have access to Pottermore but that might be an easy way to check.

    TIL TH White has a bestiary translation.

    Newt doesn’t seem to me the mocking type, however… but I could be wrong.

  17. Something else to consider, gang:

    In book six of the Iliad, we find out that one of the names of Hector’s infant son is named Skamandrios, so I have no idea if that is related. Richmond Lattimore seems to categorize them differently in his index but the Greek student in me seems to think that it may we’ll be etymologically moot: that the son my be named after the river and the god and so forth. Hector’s main request was that his bride would raise his son to be a great man of valor and a fighter of honor and renown such as he, one in his spiritual line and not just bloodline.

    Anyways, the relation to Hector may we’ll be worth considering as well.

  18. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Having just read Richard Woodman’s fine historical novel of the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805 (London: Murray, 1985), in which Pierre-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Silvestre de Villeneuve features prominently, I note that the Wikipedia article, “Villeneuve” ends with quite a list of ‘New town’ equivalent names in various languages – in case wordplay across languages may be involved.

  19. Any ideas of how that might manifest, David?

Speak Your Mind

*