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Delenda Carthago

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Celebaelin
38625.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 11:12 pm Reply with quote

Wheeee! Making your own amusement by double posting in the middle of the night - you've gotta love it!

The debunking of the "Peccavi" story is rather sad really because it leaves us with the American Brigadier General Mcauliffe's rather less erudite and amusing (though still pretty funny under the circumstances) "Nuts!" from the Battle of the Bulge as the most succinct military communiqué ever sent.

Quote:
Bastogne was a strategic position which both the Germans and Americans wanted to occupy. This lead to a race between the American 101st Airborne divisions and the Germans. The Americans managed to get there first and occupy the city. The Germans were not far behind and quickly surrounded and laid siege to the city. This city was an important strategic location for the Allies because this city could be used as a base to launch a counteroffensive. On December 22 German officers under the flag of truce delivered a message from General der Panzertruppe von Luttwitz Commander of XLVII Panzerhops, demanding the surrender of Bastogne. After receiving the message Brigadier General Mcauliffe exclaimed "Aw, nuts" which was his official reply to the request for surrender. This message was delivered by Joseph Harper to the Germans. He told the Germans it meant they could all go to Hell.


http://helios.acomp.usf.edu/~dsargent/bestbulge2.htm

Quote:
H.W.O. Kinnard: Surrender

Transcript: My recollection of the German surrender ultimatum, and the "Nuts" reply by McAuliffe goes like this. On the 22nd of December, when the division was and had been totally surrounded by the Germans, the intelligence officer and I decided that we had to take this to General McAuliffe. We first took it to the chief of staff, and the three of us, and Colonel Harper then went in, woke up General McAuliffe who was taking a bit of a nap, and told him that we had a surrender ultimatum. And that Tony McAuliffe had first thought that the Germans were trying to surrender to us. But, we told him no, not so. That they want us to surrender to them, and they go on to say all the bad things that they're going to do if we don't do this. And he said, Tony McAuliffe then said, "I surrender, ah nuts!" And then he sort of pondered about whether he should answer or should it be in writing, and so forth. And everybody agreed that there should be a written answer. And Tony McAuliffe then said, "Well, I don't know what to tell them." And I spoke up and said, "Well, what you first said would be hard to beat." And Tony said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "You said nuts!" And all of us in the room sort of thought that was a good answer. So Tony sat down and wrote out with a pencil, "To the German Commander, Nuts! A.C. McAuliffe, Commanding." Had his secretary type it out. Gave the message to Colonel Harper, who took it back to his headquarters and gave it to the German Armistice party. The Germans were allowed to take off their blindfold and read the message, and they were puzzled by it. And they were trying to translate nuts. And they said, "Nuets, Nuets, Nuts... Vas Is Das?" They didn't get it at all. And Colonel Harper said, "If you don't understand it, it means go to hell!"


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bulge/sfeature/sf_footage_04.html

The Germans never did take Bastogne, but the Americans took heavy casualties in holding the position. The Germans were expelled from Bastogne by the 29th of December and the Battle of the Bulge was officially over by the 28th of January.

 
JumpingJack
38639.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:07 am Reply with quote

I researched the 'Peccavi" myth some years ago (and in fact corresponded with young Hislop about it).

Haven't got the details to hand but it was indeed a schoolgirl writing to Punch who suggested 'wouldn't it have been great if...' Napier had sent such a telegram...

 
96aelw
38651.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:54 am Reply with quote

I seem to remember hearing something about a similar telegram along the lines of "iam fortunam habeo" (I have Lucknow), but that must be even less true.

 
Flash
38667.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:13 am Reply with quote

But we like the idea of untruths which are "even less true" than others.

 
Celebaelin
47094.  Sun Jan 22, 2006 5:19 am Reply with quote

Rather gratifyingly I have now recieved a reply to my e-mail (see post 38396)

Quote:
Dear [Celebaelin]

I see that you are deep in study of this matter, but I'm not qualified to answer your questions about Latin grammar in Plutarch, or Latin translation of Plutarch. It might be more useful to investigate the original Greek. The Loeb Classical Library will have the English translation facing the Greek.

We wish you good luck in your pursuit of Plutarch's ideas.

Frances B. Titchener
Professor of History and Classics
Utah State University

which is as courteous and helpful an answer as anyone could expect to recieve under the circumstances. If I manage to find the Loeb Classical Library version I'll post on the results of that.

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/loeb/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loeb_Classical_Library#Plutarch

A quick check confirms that Plutarch is the principle source

Quote:
From this time, in season and out of season, he kept repeating the cry: "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam." (Moreover, I advise that Carthage should be destroyed. - Plutarch, Life of Cato)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cato_Major

 
mckeonj
47133.  Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:59 am Reply with quote

Regarding the conciseness of Latin, I am vain enough to think that my signuture tag, what I made up, is quite neat. Anyone care to construe?

 
QI Individual
47513.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:25 pm Reply with quote

Ad Fundum!


<Ad Fundumissimum?>

 
mckeonj
47519.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:58 pm Reply with quote

QI Individual wrote:
Ad Fundum!


<Ad Fundumissimum?>

Ita est!

 
mckeonj
47535.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:40 pm Reply with quote

Carthaginem esse Delendam (censco) were the words with which Cato the Elder concluded every speech in the Roman Senate. More usually quoted "Delenda est Carthago". They are now proverbial, and mean, "That which stands in the way of our greatness must be removed at all hazards." [Brewer: The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: 1894]

 
Celebaelin
47542.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:13 pm Reply with quote

Buuuuuut what's their source?

 
mckeonj
47714.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:41 pm Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Buuuuuut what's their source?

The prime source does not exist because somebody burnt down the library. All we have is a chain of citations of the source material, passing through several translations. For what you do have, thank the Arabs and John Abelard.

 
Celebaelin
47715.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:54 pm Reply with quote

Which library was burnt down? I assume you're not talking about Alexandria as surely other copies of documents pertaining to the Roman Senate would exist?

Anything you can tell me about the source documents that do exist, or did exist, can only add to my chances of checking on this as far as I am able by looking at work that has gone on before. Plutarchos I have to assume didn't quote Latin or Professor Titchener (replying for The International Plutarch Society) would doubtless have mentioned it but all the material I've found, when it cites a source, uses 'Plutarch'.

 
mckeonj
47719.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:17 pm Reply with quote

If earlier sources did turn up, say for example in the library at Herculaneum, what's the betting that 'they' wouldn't want you to see them, as 'they' did with the Qumran material?

 
Celebaelin
47723.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:29 pm Reply with quote

I'm sorry but I don't know of any conspiracy, grand or otherwise, to keep or even supply knowledge. Everything I know so far is the result of my own work; uphill and thankless struggle as it may be; I'm trying to be thorough but how well that will work out remains to be seen.

Tell me about the Qumran material by all means but I think I should say that this is nothing that I've heard about before.

 
mckeonj
47777.  Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:40 am Reply with quote

Qumran is the location of the 'Dead Sea Scrolls', here is a good place to view images:
http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/deadsea.scrolls.exhibit/intro.html
Herculaneum library - Notes from Brigham Young University:
http://magazine.byu.edu/article.tpl?num=44-Spr01

 

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