February 15, 2013


"circumpotatio . . . must be calqued on περίδειπνον, which must originally have meant a meal consumed with the corpse placed in the middle [citing Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopaedie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft] as an Irish wake used to be (and perhaps still is)"  (Edward Courtney, Archaic Latin Prose (1999) p 25).

A calque is a word-for-word translation from another language for the same term, rather than importing the word in the original.  So circum = περί = "around" and potatio = "drinking-bout" and δείπνον = "meal."

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