marcfaggionato.com/images/copia-rubrica/1752.php Please refresh the page and retry. But I have heard that they exist in the minds of some people. Post Brexit, though, when it will be not just an Irish frontier but a European one, it might need hardening again. That third state, with its frontier-slipping people, springs to life in his pages. Twenty-five years after she left Bulgaria, where she grew up under communism, she returns to see what has become of the border villages and towns that were military strongholds, the rivers and forests that for two generations were off-limits.
Below are suggestions listed under some of the destinations most popular with British travellers. There are books that are evocative of place, or illuminating of culture or that have caused a bit of a stir locally or even internationally. Most have been published over the past year or so. If you are a first-timer in your holiday destination, keen to read yourself in, you might find it useful to dip into our earlier guide , which has plenty on history and contemporary politics. In Limestone Country Little Toller Books , Fiona Sampson takes four communities bound together by a shared geology and points up their differences in fine portraits of both place and people: a French hamlet, the Karst region of Slovenia, a rural parish in Oxfordshire and the city of Jerusalem.
Flying short-haul, but keen to be transported farther? Walking closer to home? Corpus Christi. The name of a feast in the Roman Catholic Church commemorating the Eucharist. It is also the name of a city in Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas , and a controversial play. The fact that a crime has been committed, a necessary factor in convicting someone of having committed that crime; if there was no crime, there can not have been a criminal.
The official compilation of canon law in the Roman Catholic Church cf. Codex Iuris Canonici. Corpus Iuris Civilis. The body of Roman or civil law. Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges. Cras amet qui nunquam amavit; quique amavit, cras amet.
It's the refrain from the 'Pervigilium Veneris', a poem which describes a three day holiday in the cult of Venus, located somewhere in Sicily, involving the whole town in religious festivities joined with a deep sense of nature and Venus as the "procreatrix", the life-giving force behind the natural world. A very common misquote of Tertullian 's et mortuus est Dei Filius prorsus credibile quia ineptum est "and the Son of God is dead: in short, it is credible because it is unfitting" , meaning that it is so absurd to say that God's son has died that it would have to be a matter of belief, rather than reason.
The misquoted phrase, however, is commonly used to mock the dogmatic beliefs of the religious see fideism. This phrase is commonly shortened to credo quia absurdum , and is also sometimes rendered credo quia impossibile est "I believe it because it is impossible" or, as Darwin used it in his autobiography, credo quia incredibile. Motto of Cheverus High School.
Motto of the University of Chicago. State motto of New Mexico , adopted in as the territory's motto, and kept in when New Mexico received statehood. Originally from Lucretius ' On the Nature of Things book VI, where it refers in context to the motion of a thunderbolt across the sky, which acquires power and momentum as it goes. A second translation is "Whilst I trust in the Cross I have life".
Also the motto of the Crime Syndicate of America , a fictional supervillain group. The opposite is cui malo "Bad for whom? Short for cui prodest scelus is fecit "for whom the crime advances, he has done it" in Seneca 's Medea. Thus, the murderer is often the one who gains by the murder cf. First coined by Accursius of Bologna in the 13th century. A Roman legal principle of property law that is no longer observed in most situations today. Less literally, "For whosoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to the sky and down to the depths. The privilege of a ruler to choose the religion of his subjects.
A regional prince's ability to choose his people's religion was established at the Peace of Augsburg in Cuiusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare. Also "blame" or " guilt ". In law, an act of neglect. In general, guilt, sin, or a fault. See also mea culpa. From the Bible. Occurs in Matthew and Luke Not to be taken too seriously or as the literal truth.
The standard formula for academic Latin honors in the United States.
Greater honors include magna cum laude and summa cum laude. Movement from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky. An exhortation to physicians , or experts in general, to deal with their own problems before addressing those of others. The question attributed to Anselm in his work of by this name, wherein he reflects on why the Christ of Christianity must be both fully Divine and fully Human.
Often translated "why did God become Man? Motto of Western Australia. A Roman custom in which disgraced Romans particularly former Emperors were pretended to have never existed. A loss that results from no one's wrongdoing. In Roman law , a man is not responsible for unintended, consequential injury to another resulting from a lawful act. This protection does not necessarily apply to unintended damage by negligence or folly.
Motto of Westminster School , a leading British independent school. Trespass de bonis asportatis was the traditional name for larceny , or wrongful taking of chattels. Inscription on one pound coins. Originally on 17th century coins, it refers to the inscribed edge as a protection against the clipping of precious metal. The phrase originally comes from Virgil 's Aeneid. Said of something that is the actual state of affairs , in contrast to something's legal or official standing, which is described as de jure. De facto refers to the "way things really are" rather than what is "officially" presented as the fact.
A clerk makes the declaration De fideli on when appointed, promising to do his or her tasks faithfully as a servant of the court. Less literally "In matters of taste there is no dispute" or simply "There's no arguing taste". A similar expression in English is "There's no accounting for taste". Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, without attribution, renders the phrase as de gustibus non disputandum ; the verb "to be" is often assumed in Latin, and is rarely required. Analogous to "in principle", whereas de facto is to "in practice".
In other contexts, can mean "according to law", "by right" or "legally". Also commonly written de iure , the classical form. Also "The chief magistrate does not concern himself with trifles. Sometimes rex "the king" or lex "the law" is used in place of praetor , and de minimis is a legal term referring to things unworthy of the law's attention. From de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est , "nothing must be said about the dead except the good", attributed by Diogenes Laertius to Chilon. In legal contexts, this quotation is used with the opposite meaning, as defaming a deceased person is not a crime.
In other contexts, it refers to taboos against criticizing the recently deceased. Thus, "their story is our story". Originally referred to the end of Rome's dominance. Now often used when comparing any current situation to a past story or historical event. In law, a trial de novo is a retrial. In biology, de novo means newly-synthesized , and a de novo mutation is a mutation that neither parent possessed or transmitted. In economics, de novo refers to newly-founded companies, and de novo banks are state banks that have been in operation for five years or less.
Karl Marx 's favorite motto. He used this to explain his standpoint: "Critique everything in a capitalist economy". A 15th-century Italian scholar wrote the De omni re scibili portion, and a wag added et quibusdam aliis. De oppresso liber. Commonly mistranslated as "To Liberate the Oppressed".
Not the Impossible Faith Richard C. A weak diagnostic followup to TGS. If Hadamard comes to no hard and fast conclusions, but merely raises many interesting points and criticizes a number of theories, we can hardly hold that against him, as we can do little better and so it becomes our failing, not his. Used to designate a property which repeats in all cases in mathematical proof. By a person who is angry. I read the Internet Archive scan. Motto of Manitoba.
In logic, de dicto statements about the truth of a proposition are distinguished from de re statements about the properties of a thing itself. Dei Gratia Regina. Motto of Princeton University. In Catholic theology, a pleasure taken in sinful thought or imagination, such as brooding on sexual images.
It is distinct from actual sexual desire, and involves voluntary and complacent erotic fantasizing, without any attempt to suppress such thoughts. Motto of Colgate University. Motto of Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne. The semi-Hispanicized form Deogracias is a Philippine first name. Printed on bottles of Benedictine liqueur. Motto of the Confederate States of America. An alternate translation is "With an avenging God".
This was often used in conjunction with a signature at the end of letters. It was used in order to signify that "God willing" this letter will get to you safely, "God willing" the contents of this letter come true. A contrived or artificial solution, usually to a literary plot. Refers to the practice in Greek drama of lowering by machine an actor playing a god or goddess, typically either Athena or as in Euripides the Dioscuri onto the stage to resolve an insuperable conflict in the plot. Dicto simpliciter. A dicto simpliciter occurs when an acceptable exception is ignored or eliminated.
For instance, the appropriateness of using opiates is dependent on the presence of extreme pain. To justify the recreational use of opiates by referring to a cancer patient or to justify arresting said cancer patient by comparing him to the recreational user would be a dicto simpliciter. From the Roman Emperor Titus. Passed down in Suetonius 's biography of him in Lives of the Twelve Caesars 8. Dies Irae. Refers to the Judgment Day in Christian eschatology.
The name of a famous 13th-century Medieval Latin hymn by Tommaso da Celano , used in the Mass for the dead. In Classical Latin , "I arrange". State motto of Maine. Based on a comparison of the state of Maine to the star Polaris. In other words, the gods have different plans than mortals, and so events do not always play out as people wish them to. Refers to the Manes , Roman spirits of the dead. Loosely "To the memory of". A conventional inscription preceding the name of the deceased on pagan grave markings, often shortened to dis manibus D.
Preceded in some earlier monuments by hic situs est H. Motto of Royal College, Colombo. Attributed to St Edmund of Abingdon. That is, "scattered remains". Paraphrased from Horace , Satires , I, 4, 62, where it was written " disiecti membra poetae " "limbs of a scattered poet". Also written as disiecta membra. State motto of Arizona , adopted in Probably derived from the Vulgate 's translation of Genesis Commonly rendered " divide and conquer ".
A popular eloquent expression, usually used in the end of a speech. The implied meaning is: "I have said all that I had to say and thus the argument is settled". Often said or written for sacrifices, when one "gives" and expects something back from the gods. Also translated "One learns by teaching. Domine dirige nos. Dominus illuminatio mea. Motto of the University of Oxford. Phrase used during and at the end of Catholic sermons, and a general greeting form among and towards members of Catholic organizations, such as priests and nuns.
See also pax vobiscum. Often set to music, either by itself or as part of the Agnus Dei prayer of the Mass see above. Also an ending in the video game Haunting Ground. A legal concept where a person in imminent mortal danger need not meet the requisite consideration to create or modify a will. Motto of the fictional Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter series; translated more loosely in the books as "never tickle a sleeping dragon".
More literally, "the masks of the drama"; more figuratively, "cast of characters". The characters represented in a dramatic work. Duae tabulae rasae in quibus nihil scriptum est. Stan Laurel , inscription for the fanclub logo Sons of the Desert. War may seem pleasant to those who have never been involved in it, though the more experienced know better. A phrase from Erasmus in the 16th century. Horace wrote in his Ars Poetica that poetry must be dulce et utile "pleasant and profitable" , both enjoyable and instructive.
Horace, Odes III, 25, Motto of the Scottish clan Clan MacAulay. Movement from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Motto of the Scottish clan Clan Fergusson. State motto of South Carolina. From Cicero. Used when someone has been asked for urgent help, but responds with no immediate action. Similar to Hannibal ante portas , but referring to a less personal danger. Usually translated 'Out of many, is One. Inscribed on the Capitol and many coins used in the United States of America. The motto of the Sport Lisboa e Benfica Portuguese soccer club. Ecce Homo. From the Latin Vulgate Gospel according to St.
John XIX. Oscar Wilde opened his defense with this phrase when on trial for sodomy , characteristically using a well-known Biblical reference as a double entendre. Abbreviation for exempli gratia , below. Often confused with id est i. Part of the absolution -formula spoken by a priest as part of the sacrament of Penance cf.
Also 'worn-out'. Retired from office. Often used to denote a position held at the point of retirement, as an honor, such as professor emeritus or provost emeritus. This does not necessarily mean that the honoree is no longer active. Or 'being one's own cause'. Traditionally, a being that owes its existence to no other being, hence God or a Supreme Being cf. Primum Mobile. State motto of Massachusetts , adopted in It means 'by that very act' in Latin. Similar to ipso facto. Example: 'The fact that I am does not eo ipso mean that I think.
Virgil , Aeneid , II. Used to show a logical conclusion cf. From Seneca the Younger. The full quote is errare humanum est perseverare diabolicum : 'to err is human; to persist is of the Devil'. Or 'mistake'. Lists of errors in a previous edition of a work are often marked with the plural, errata 'errors'. George Berkeley 's motto for his idealist philosophical position that nothing exists independently of its perception by a mind except minds themselves. Truly being something, rather than merely seeming to be something.
From chapter 26 of Cicero 's De amicitia 'On Friendship'. Earlier than Cicero, the phrase had been used by Sallust in his Bellum Catilinae Earlier still, Aeschylus used a similar phrase in Seven Against Thebes , line , ou gar dokein aristos, all' enai thelei 'his resolve is not to seem the best, but in fact to be the best'. Also the state motto of Idaho , adopted in A less common variant on et cetera used at the end of a list of locations to denote unlisted places.
Used similarly to et cetera 'and the rest' , to stand for a list of names. Alii is actually masculine , so it can be used for men, or groups of men and women; the feminine, et aliae , is appropriate when the 'others' are all female. Et alia is correct for the neuter. From the Book of Psalms , II. Vulgate , 2. Pluralized as et sequentia 'and the following things' , abbreviations: et seqq. Also 'Even you, Brutus? From the Gospel according to St. Matthew , XII. Luke , VI.
Sometimes rendered without enim 'for'. Ex Astris Scientia. The motto of the fictional Starfleet Academy on Star Trek. Adapted from ex luna scientia , which in turn was modeled after ex scientia tridens. A phrase applied to the declarations or promulgations of the Pope when, preserved from even the possibility of error by the action of the Holy Ghost see Papal Infallibility , he solemnly declares or promulgates to the Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation.
Used, by extension, of anyone who is perceived as speaking as though with supreme authority or with arrogance. The full legal phrase is ex dolo malo non oritur actio 'an action does not arise from fraud'. When an action has its origin in fraud or deceit, it cannot be supported; thus, a court of law will not assist a man who bases his course of action on an immoral or illegal act. Idiomatically rendered 'on the face of it'. A legal term typically used to note that a document's explicit terms are defective without further investigation.
More literally 'from grace'. Refers to someone voluntarily performing an act purely out of kindness, as opposed to for personal gain or from being forced to do it. In law, an ex gratia payment is one made without recognizing any liability or legal obligation. The motto of the Apollo 13 moon mission, derived from ex scientia tridens. From Lucretius , and said earlier by Empedocles. Its original meaning is 'work is required to succeed', but its modern meaning is a more general 'everything has its origins in something' cf. It is commonly applied to the conservation laws in philosophy and modern science.
Ex nihilo often used in conjunction with the term creation , as in creatio ex nihilo , meaning 'creation, out of nothing'. It is often used in philosophy or theology in connection with the proposition that God created the universe from nothing. The title of a short story by H. By virtue of office or position; 'by right of office'. Often used when someone holds one position by virtue of holding another. A common misconception is that ex officio members of a committee or congress may not vote, but this is not guaranteed by that title. A theological phrase contrasted with ex opere operato , referring to the notion that the validity or promised benefit of a sacrament depends on the person administering it.
A theological phrase meaning that the act of receiving a sacrament actually confers the promised benefit, such as a baptism actually and literally cleansing one's sins. The Catholic Church affirms that the source of grace is God, not just the actions or disposition of the recipient. Superficially refers to the sun rising in the east, but alludes to culture coming from the Eastern world. A legal term meaning 'by one party' or 'for one party'. Thus, on behalf of one side or party only. The United States Naval Academy motto. Refers to knowledge bringing men power over the sea comparable to that of the trident -bearing Greek god Poseidon.
In general, the claim that the absence of something demonstrates the proof of a proposition. An argumentum ex silentio ' argument from silence ' is an argument based on the assumption that someone's silence on a matter suggests 'proves' when a logical fallacy that person's ignorance of the matter or their inability to counterargue validly. Used in reference to the study or assay of living tissue in an artificial environment outside the living organism.
Thus, in accordance with a promise. An ex voto is also an offering made in fulfillment of a vow. Also a catch phrase used by Marvel Comics head Stan Lee. A juridical motto which means that exception , as for example during a ' state of exception ', does not put in danger the legitimity of the rule in its globality. In other words, the exception is strictly limited to a particular sphere see also: exceptio strictissimi juris est. More loosely, 'he who excuses himself, accuses himself'—an unprovoked excuse is a sign of guilt.
In French, qui s'excuse, s'accuse. Usually shortened in English to 'for example' see citation signal. On a plaque at the former military staff building of the Swedish Armed Forces. Literally 'experiment of the cross '. A decisive test of a scientific theory. A principle of legal statutory interpretation : the explicit presence of a thing implies intention to exclude others; e. Sometimes expressed as expressum facit cessare tacitum broadly, 'the expression of one thing excludes the implication of something else'. Refers to a possible result of Catholic ecclesiastical legal proceedings when the culprit is removed from being part of a group like a monastery.
Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. This expression comes from the writings of Saint Cyprian of Carthage, a bishop of the third century. It is often used to summarise the doctrine that the Catholic Church is absolutely necessary for salvation. When spoken, all those who are not Cardinals , or those otherwise mandated to be present at the Conclave, must leave the Sistine Chapel.
Refers to extraterritorial jurisdiction. Often cited in law of the sea cases on the high seas. Origin of the word facsimile , and, through it, of fax. A Roman legal principle indicating that a witness who willfully falsifies one matter is not credible on any matter. The underlying motive for attorneys to impeach opposing witnesses in court: the principle discredits the rest of their testimony if it is without corroboration.
An archaic legal term for one who commits suicide , referring to early English common law punishments, such as land seizure, inflicted on those who killed themselves. People believe what they wish to be true, even if it isn't. An oxymoronic motto of Emperor Augustus. It encourages proceeding quickly, but with calm and caution. Equivalent to 'More haste, less speed'. From Ferdinand I. Attributed to Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus.
Less literally, "let light arise" or " let there be light " cf. From the Latin translation of Genesis , " dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux " "and God said, 'Let light be made', and light was made". Fidei Defensor Fid Def or fd. Still used by the British monarchs, it appears on all British coins, usually abbreviated. A faithful friend. From the name of Aeneas 's faithful companion in Virgil 's Aeneid. Virgil 's Aeneid - Book 7. Indicates the period when a historical figure whose birth and death dates are unknown was most active.
Motto on the coat of arms of Oxford, England. Motto of Alberta. A principle of legal statutory interpretation : If a matter falls under a specific provision and a general provision, it shall be governed by the specific provision. The unique, distinctive aspects or atmosphere of a place, such as those celebrated in art, stories, folk tales, and festivals. Originally, the genius loci was literally the protective spirit of a place, a creature usually depicted as a snake. Gloria in Excelsis Deo. Often translated "Glory to God on High". The title and beginning of an ancient Roman Catholic doxology , the Greater Doxology.
See also ad maiorem Dei gloriam. Gloria Patri. Motto of Manitoba. Motto of Grey College , Durham. A legal term from the 14th century or earlier. Refers to a number of legal writs to bring a person before a court or judge, most commonly habeas corpus ad subjiciendum "you may have the body to bring up". Commonly used as the general term for a prisoner's legal right to have the charge against them specifically identified. Used after a Roman Catholic Church papal election to announce publicly a successful ballot to elect a new pope.
Commonly rendered in English as "One day, we'll look back on this and smile". From Virgil 's Aeneid 1. Thus, "I say no things that are unknown". From Virgil 's Aeneid , 2. Also rendered hic iacet.
Written on gravestones or tombs, preceding the name of the deceased. Equivalent to hic sepultus "here is buried" , and sometimes combined into hic jacet sepultus HJS , "here lies buried". According to Titus Livius the phrase was pronounced by Marcus Furius Camillus , addressing the senators who intended to abandon the city, invaded by Gauls , in BCE circa.
It is used today to express the intent to keep one's position even if the circumstances appear adverse. From Terence , Andria , line Originally literal, referring to the tears shed by Pamphilus at the funeral of Chrysis, it came to be used proverbally in the works of later authors, such as Horace Epistula XIX, From Cicero , Tusculanas , 2, Also "history is the mistress of life". First attested in Plautus ' Asinaria "lupus est homo homini". The sentence was drawn on by Hobbes in Leviathan as a concise expression of his human nature view.
From Terence , Heautontimoroumenos. Originally "strange" or "foreign" alienum was used in the sense of "irrelevant", as this line was a response to the speaker being told to mind his own business, but it is now commonly used to advocate respecting different cultures and being humane in general. Puto "I consider" is not translated because it is meaningless outside of the line's context within the play.
Attributed to Thomas Aquinas. Said of an honorary title , such as "Doctor of Science honoris causa ". Medical shorthand for "at bedtime". Motto of the Chicago Park District , a playful allusion to the city's motto, urbs in horto , q. Cicero defined pirates in Roman law as being enemies of humanity in general. From Newton , Principia. Less literally, "I do not assert that any hypotheses are true". Usually used in bibliographic citations to refer to the last source previously referenced.
Never equivalent to exempli gratia e. Not to be confused with an intelligence quotient. Based on a Christian belief that "this one is King of the Jews" was written in Latin, Greek and Aramaic at the top of the cross Jesus was crucified on. An alchemical aphorism invented as an alternate meaning for the acronym INRI. A phrase describing scorched earth tactics. Also rendered as igne atque ferro , ferro ignique , and other variations. The logical fallacy of irrelevant conclusion: making an argument that, while possibly valid, doesn't prove or support the proposition it claims to.
An ignoratio elenchi that is an intentional attempt to mislead or confuse the opposing party is known as a red herring. Elenchi is from the Greek elenchos. An explanation that is less clear than the thing to be explained. Synonymous with obscurum per obscurius. Illegitimi non carborundum. A group of people who owe utmost fealty to their leader s , subordinating the interests of the larger group to the authority of the internal group's leader s.
A "fifth column" organization operating against the organization within which they seemingly reside. In Virgil 's Aeneid , Jupiter ordered Aeneas to found a city Rome from which would come an everlasting, neverending empire, the endless sine fine empire. An authorization to publish, granted by some censoring authority originally a Catholic Bishop.
Using the metaphor of a scorpion , this can be said of an account that proceeds gently, but turns vicious towards the end — or more generally waits till the end to reveal an intention or statement that is undesirable in the speaker's eyes. Motto of Brown University. Expresses the judicial principle that in case of doubt the decision must be in favor of the accused in that anyone is innocent until there is proof to the contrary.
At the end.
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The footnote says "p. Equivalent to the English idiom "caught red-handed": caught in the act of committing a crime. Sometimes carried the connotation of being caught in a "compromising position". A palindrome said to describe the behavior of moths. Also the title of a film by Guy Debord. Words Constantine claimed to have seen in a vision before the Battle of Milvian Bridge.
Preliminary, in law referring to a motion that is made to the judge before or during trial, often about the admissibility of evidence believed prejudicial. That is, "at the place". A legal term meaning "assuming parental i. Motto of Valparaiso University. She always felt this prickle of awe whenever she first looked upon this relic of the ages, even after an interval of only a few short hours. It was nearly four thousand years old, written by a genius out of time with history, a man who had been dust for all these millennia, but whom she had come to know and respect as she did her own husband.
His words were eternal, and they spoke to her clearly from beyond the grave, from the fields of paradise, from the presence of the great trinity, Osiris and Isis and Horus, in whom he had believed so devoutly. As devoutly as she believed in another more recent Trinity. She carried the scroll to the long table at which Duraid, her husband, was already at work. He looked up as she laid it on the tabletop before him, and for a moment she saw the same mystical mood in his eyes that had affected her.
He always wanted the scroll there on the table, even when there was no real call for it. He had the photographs and the microfilm to work with. It was as though he needed the unseen presence of the ancient author close to him as he studied the texts. Then he threw off the mood and was the dispassionate scientist once more. She leaned over his shoulder and studied the hieroglyph on the photograph of the scroll that he pointed out to her.
He loved the ancient game. The two of them laboured on into the cool of the night. This was when they did their best work.
Sometimes they spoke Arabic and sometimes English; for them the two languages were as one. Less often they used French, which was their third common language. They had both received their education at universities in England and the United States, so far from this very Egypt of theirs. She felt a peculiar affinity in so many ways with this ancient Egyptian. After all, she was his direct descendant.
She was a Coptic Christian, not of the Arab line that had so recently conquered Egypt, less than fourteen centuries ago. The Arabs were newcomers in this very Egypt of hers, while her own blood line ran back to the time of the pharaohs and the great pyramids. They drank the sweet, strong brew from thin cups that were half-filled with the heavy grounds.
While they sipped, they talked as old friends. For Royan that was their relationship, old friends. She had known Duraid ever since she had returned from England with her doctorate in archaeology and won her job with the Department of Antiquities, of which he was the director. She had been his assistant when he had opened the tomb in the Valley of the Nobles, the tomb of Queen Lostris, the tomb that dated from about BC. She had shared his disappointment when they had discovered that the tomb had been robbed in ancient times and all its treasures plundered.
All that remained were the marvellous murals that covered the walls and the ceilings of the tomb. It was Royan herself who had been working at the wall behind the plinth on which the sarcophagus had once stood, photographing the murals, when a section of the plaster had fallen away to reveal in their niche the ten alabaster jars. Each of the jars had contained a papyrus scroll.
Every one of them had been written and placed there by Taita, the slave of the queen.
Although there was some damage and deterioration, in the main they had survived nearly four thousand years remarkably intact. What a fascinating story they contained, of a nation attacked by a superior enemy, armed with horse and chariot that were still alien to the Egyptians of that time. Crushed by the Hyksos hordes, the people of the Nile were forced to flee. Led by their queen, Lostris of the tomb, they followed the great river southwards almost to its source amongst the brutal mountains of the Ethiopian highlands.
Here amongst those forbidding mountains, Lostris had entombed the mummified body of her husband, the Pharaoh Mamose, who had been slain in battle against the Hyksos. Long afterwards Queen Lostris had led her people back northwards to this very Egypt. Armed now with their own horses and chariots, forged into hard warriors in the African wilderness, they had come storming back down the cataracts of the great river to challenge once more the Hyksos invader, and in the end to triumph over him and wrest the double crown of upper and lower Egypt from his grasp.
It was a story that appealed to every fibre of her being, and that had fascinated her as they had unravelled each hieroglyph that the old slave had penned on the papyrus. It had taken them all these years, working at night here in the villa on the oasis after their daily routine work at the museum in Cairo was done, but at last the ten scrolls had been deciphered — all except the seventh scroll. This was the one that was the enigma, the one which the author had cloaked in layers of esoteric shorthand and allusions so obscure that they were unfathomable at this remove of time.
Some of the symbols he used had never figured before in all the thousands of texts that they had studied in their combined working lives. It was obvious to them both that Taita had not intended that the scrolls should be read by any eyes other than those of his beloved queen.
These were his last gift for her to take with her beyond the grave. It had taken all their combined skills, all their imagination and ingenuity, but at last they were approaching the conclusion of the task. There were still many gaps in the translation and many areas where they were uncertain whether or not they had captured the true meaning, but they had laid out the bones of the manuscript in such order that they were able to discern the outline of the creature it represented.
Now Duraid sipped his coffee and shook his head as he had done so often before. What to do with this knowledge we have gleaned. If it should fall into the wrong hands. His was the caution of age, while hers was the impetuosity of youth. It always annoyed her when he said that, when he treated her as the Arabs treated their women in a totally masculine world. She had known the other world where women demanded and received the right to be treated as equals. She was a creature caught between those worlds, the Western world and the Arab world. She wanted her child to have British citizenship.
Through her love for him she came to look upon herself as more Egyptian than English. It was her father who had arranged her marriage to Duraid Al Simma. It was the last thing that he had done for her before his death. She had known he was dying at the time, and she had not found it in her heart to defy him. All her modern training made her want to resist the old-fashioned Coptic tradition of the arranged marriage, but her breeding and her family and her Church were against her.
She had acquiesced. Her marriage to Duraid had not proved as insufferable as she had dreaded it might be. It might even have been entirely comfortable and satisfying if she had never been introduced to romantic love. However, there had been her liaison with David while she was up at university. He had swept her up in the hurly-burly, in the heady delirium, and, in the end, the heartache, when he had left her to marry a blonde English rose approved of by his parents. She respected and liked Duraid, but sometimes in the night she still burned for the feel of a body as firm and young as her own on top of hers.
Duraid was still speaking and she had not been listening to him. She gave him her full attention once more. I think that Nahoot has convinced him that I am a little mad. Nahoot Guddabi was his ambitious and well-connected deputy. So, I have been over the list of possible sponsors again, and have narrowed it down to four. There is the Getty Museum, of course, but I never like to work with a big impersonal institution.