Tag Archives: Latin

What do Jove and YHWH have in common?

They are pronounced the same!

Jove or Iove, also known as Jupiter was the chief god of the Romans. However, the Romans did not have a letter ‘J’ – they had an ‘I’ instead. Also, in classical Latin, the ‘v’ is pronounced more like a ‘w’, so “Jove” would have sounded like: “yoweh”

which is remarkably similar to the Hebrew name for God (though traditionally unspoken), יהוה which is commonly transliterated “YHWH” – “yaweh”.

Since we are on the subject, Zeus is the the Greek version of Iove. Zeus comes from the ancient root word for “God” (similarly, we have “deus” in Latin, and  देव [“deva”] in Sanskrit).

This curiosity was noticed when I was musing on the similarity between the Latin “vir” for “man”, and the Old English “wer”, which carried the same meaning. The only modern vestige in English of “wer” that I can think of, is in the word “werewolf”. Anyway, my mind wondered and led me to the similarity of “Iove” and “יהוה“.

One more fun tidbit: Today is Thursday, which was named after Jove/Jupiter. In Latin, “Thursday” is “Iovis Dies”.

OK, fine, one more tidbit: This post was posted during the first hour of Jupiter on the day of Jupiter, according to ancient reckonings. To figure out what in the world I am talking about, here is a link to wikipedia’s page on planetary hours.

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Today is “Dismal” … no seriously, etymology inside

Guess what? Today is one of 24 specific days of the year that are designated as “bad days” and have been for ages.

It’s where the word “dismal” comes from – in Latin, dies mali.

The list of dies mali or dies Aegyptiaci are as follows:

  • January 1 and 25
  • February 4 and 26
  • March 1 and 28
  • April 10 and 20
  • May 3 and 25
  • June 10 and 16
  • July 13 and 22
  • August 1 and 30
  • September 3 and 21
  • October 3 and 22
  • November 5 and 28
  • December 7 and 22

For what it’s worth, the last dies mali, February 4th, our office flooded and the water damage ruined a ceiling, a floor, a desk, and lots of paperwork. So in short, sometimes bad days are bad days, and if they have been marked as such on calendars for many centuries, perhaps one might do better to pay them heed than to ignore them, because what’s going to happen is going to happen!

More here.

EDITED TO ADD: MtGox.com, the first major bitcoin exchange shuttered its doors today. Their website shows only this message:

February 26th 2014

Dear MtGox Customers,

As there is a lot of speculation regarding MtGox and its future, I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan, and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issues.

Furthermore I would like to kindly ask that people refrain from asking questions to our staff: they have been instructed not to give any response or information. Please visit this page for further announcements and updates.

Sincerely,
Mark Karpeles


Dear MtGox Customers,

In light of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox’s operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.

Best regards,
MtGox Team

Dies mali, indeed!