Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Recently Read: Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1

I've just finished this. A total breeze to read, the character of Sir John Falstaff is genius. Anyhow, some of the odd bits I noticed.

The word mammet popped up. I wasn't sure what this meant but guessed from the context that it meant doll. I looked it up and it did indeed mean doll - or idol, which is kind of the same word I guess. The online dictionary definitions gave some more interesting information on the word;
Amid the conflict between the Protestants and Catholics, mammet was used by the Protestants in a derogatory manner to denote "an image of Christ or of a saint, etc.
A puppet, a favourite, an idol. A corruption of Mahomet. Mahometanism being the most prominent form of false religion with which Christendom was acquainted before the Reformation, it became a generic word to designate any false faith; even idolatry is called mammetry.
1. obsolete a false god; idol. 2. dialect ( English ) a figure dressed up, such as a guy or scarecrow. [C13: from Old French mahomet  idol, literally: the prophet Mohammed,  from the belief that his image was worshipped]
What if Mohammed was a corruption of mammet? Just saying.

Something else which popped up was the name Turk Gregory. It's context suggested someone very warlike. A Google search didn't turn up much other than a few suggestions that it was a reference to Pope Gregory VII. Although why he would be designated 'Turk' is anyone's guess. It made me think of Fomenko's contention that Turkey was synonymous with Russia at one point in history. Maybe the answer lies in that direction.

Falstaff also utters this line;
"You rogue, they were bound, every man of them, or I am a Jew else, an Ebrew Jew."
The Hebrew with the 'H' missing seemed worth making note of. It made me think of Eboracum - the ancient name for the city of York. I've just had a little Google search and this popped up (Wikipedia);
The name "Eboracum" is thought to have derived from the Common Brythonic Eborakon which probably means "place of the yew trees". The word for "yew" was probably something like *eburos in Celtic (cf. Old Irish ibar "yew-tree"
I think I'm heading back to the woodland British Israelism of my last post with this stuff. Treezus Christ.


  1. beautiful! you're penetrating the screen mythories between us and the reality of those times. i love it.

    1. thanks, hopefully there'll be more of this stuff in the next shakespeare I read.