Disputatio:Chorea Gigantum

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Movenda?[fontem recensere]

I found the name "Chorea gigantum" (at least, I think I did) but I didn't place the page there because Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae is a work of fiction. He often gives names to ancient places, but the names are usually invented and don't agree with other sources. In many cases we don't bother to cite them: my reason for citing this was that I didn't find any other mention of the place in Latin. Now, if this name ("Giants' ring-dance") agrees with a name for Stonehenge found elsewhere in any language, that would make it more persuasive, I think. If it doesn't, I'm against a move. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:52, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)

[Edit conflict.] Galfridus Monemutensis de chorea gigantum in Hibernia (!) hic scribit; ergo, verba chorea gigantum (Anglice 'giants' ringdance'), ut videtur, 'a henge of big stones' significant, quod non est nomen huius rei in Planitie Sarisberiensi proprium, sed 'any of several big-stone henges'. ¶ I don't have a problem with fiction as a source of attestations. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 13:58, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. I no longer remember the text, evidently :) If he's using it as a general term, that's an even better reason not to adopt it (without other support) as the proper name for Stonehenge. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 14:02, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)
In other words, the exordium, instead of "Stonehenge sive Chorea gigantum est monumentum antiquum" might better be something like: "Stonehenge est chorea gigantum in comitatu Wiltoniensi sita, monumentum praehistoricum magnis lapidibus exstructum, quod. . . ." IacobusAmor (disputatio) 14:08, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)
I don't know about chorea gigantum, but: The Romans invade Britain, come across an enormous stone monument (already at least 2000 years old, but granted, they don't know that), and NOBODY WRITES ABOUT IT IN LATIN ?!? Wow! Really no chance to find a name elsewhere? Sigur (disputatio) 14:46, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)
I think there are simply not enought sources for Britain in the Roman period. There might be an inscription (doubt it) or, more probably, some early medieval charter that uses the stones as a land mark, a boundary, or the location of a battle. I doubt Gildas or Bede mention them, but it may appear in the Domsday book. Otherwise, 17th c. antiquarians would help. --Xaverius 15:02, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)
And I like the idea of a Chorea gigantum for a cromlench--Xaverius 15:04, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)
"Stonehengium" hic [1] (1676), sed in indice libri ipsius "Stonehengia". "Stanenges" [2] duodecimo saeculo. Sed nescio utrum auctor ille novus Ulixes, ut Galfridus, an verus historicus. Jeanthorlon (disputatio) 14:58, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)
To answer Sigur, we read all the Roman literary texts about Britain at school, and no one wrote about Stonehenge at that period. (As Xaverius says, an inscription is possible, but Roman inscriptions are usually about Roman cities and armies, not native stuff.) The Romans didn't like Britain very much and certainly didn't do any sightseeing there.
"Stonhengium" [sic enim lego] is a good find, maybe the best available, but it's a pity that the book itself is inconsistent!
Ekwall (i.e. Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (4a ed. Oxonii: Clarendon Press, 1960)) usually gives Latin names for places if he finds any, but he focuses on the medieval period, which is probably why he doesn't mention "Stonehengium". He gives that medieval form Stanenges, citing Henricus Huntindoniensis. But that's a doubtful one also. HH wrote Latin and was a serious historian -- quite the opposite of his contemporary Geoffrey of Monmouth -- but if there wasn't a Latin name for a place or person he didn't invent one. So "Stanenges" is Middle English rather than Latin. He would have made a great Wikipedian, in spite of his liking for scandalous gossip based on unreliable sources :)
Of the possibilities now offered, I would suggest "Stonhengium". Gratias mille amico Jeanthorlon ago: eum librum, quem citat, delectabilem censeo! Ibi legimus regem Carolum I Stonhengium nulla ratione, nisi oblectatione, visitavisse. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:37, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)
Salve Andrea. Consentio. "Stonhengium" vocabulum omnium clarissimum.Jeanthorlon (disputatio) 16:25, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)

Returning to Geoffrey, we should note that the stone circle was indeed in Ireland, but then Merlin magically moved it to England. The DMLBS does actually connect these references to Stonehenge in Wiltshire:

  • si perpetuo opere sepulturam virorum decorare volueris, mitte pro ~ea Gigantum que est in Killarao monte Hybernie. est etenim ibi structura lapidum quam nemo hujus etatis construeret, nisi ingenium arte subnecteret. grandes sunt lapides ‥; qui, si eo modo quo ibidem positi sunt, circa plateam locabuntur, stabunt in eternum G. Mon. VIII 10
  • nobilis est lapidum structura Chorea Gigantum Neckam DS V 727
  • Aurelius Ambrosius ‥ fecit ‥ lapides per Merlinum locari in modum ~ee, sicut a gigantibus fuerant dispositi Gerv. Tilb. III 17 p. 935
  • quidam de confinio Choree Gigantum Poem S. Thom. 82
  • s516 coronacio victoriosi regis Arthuris infra ~eum Gigantum Rish. 425

Lesgles (disputatio) 17:24, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)

Ah, this changes things. The online DMLBS is a great resource. So Geoffrey's toponym is certainly not invented -- even if he is the earliest recorded source to use it -- it was in general use in British Latin. And according to the version retailed by Rishanger, it wasn't Aurelius Ambrosius but king Arthur himself who was crowned at Stonehenge! Splendid! So the name "Chorea Gigantum" is suddenly favourite. Perhaps alongside "Stonhengium" from 17th century Latin. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 18:12, 24 Iunii 2019 (UTC)
So it is atually related to the Welsh name (Côr y Cewri)! Would we have then the following lemma: "Chorea Gigantum (nomen traditione Cambrica) vel Stonehengium (per nomen Anglicum, Stonehenge) est circulus lapideus..." ?--Xaverius 07:24, 25 Iunii 2019 (UTC)
Very interesting. I didn't know about the Welsh name or its meaning -- if I'd known, I would have favoured Geoffrey of Monmouth's Latin name at the outset. He did make things up, but he also took a lot from Welsh tradition. [I suppose the Welsh word côr is borrowed from Latin?]
So I would include the Welsh name among the lemmas, something like this: "Chorea Gigantum (iuxta nomen Cambricum Côr y Cewri) seu recentius Stonhengium (iuxta Anglicum Stonehenge) est ..." Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:34, 25 Iunii 2019 (UTC)

Cromlench[fontem recensere]

If Chorea Gigantum is specific about Stonehenge, what would work better for a cromlench? Circulus rupestris/lapideus?--Xaverius 07:26, 25 Iunii 2019 (UTC)