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6

The historian T. L. Kington Oliphant claimed that “Eulalia” was (part of) the war-cry of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession and afterwards. (Saint Eulalia is the patron saint of Barcelona, in whose cathedral she is buried.) I have no evidence that this was (by whatever chain of whispers) ultimately the source for Brian Jacques: I merely offer ...


15

According to Brian Jacques, as related in a live-action segment for the TV series: That was one of the Norse war cries, the Vikings, the sea-wolves, the Norsemen, and the Celts used to use it when they went into battle. This is also stated in the Redwall FAQ: Eulalia is a Celtic/Norse battle cry which means Victory!! This explanation has been noted to ...


2

Based on context, it seems that Bourne uses the phrase "think geometrically" to be able to consider all of aspects of a situation rather than the immediate ones. For Chapter 33, he's commenting on how the impostor had already decided that he was due for another mission based on his current success, and therefore he was not expecting a betrayal. ...


1

The use of "machine" is an archaic sense -- it has a history of being used to mean "plot device," which I have run across only in old literary criticism. This is closely related to their status as "deus ex machina" -- they come out of the blue and fix the problem the heroes are in without effort on their part.


0

It is difficult to see under waters. In a lake, a lot of stones can build up without there being any visible sign of their existence on the surface. Hence "the waters of their lives" is a metaphor for the way their day to day lives go on over the stories -- "stones" -- without their being aware of it.


7

This was indeed an Italian proverb with meant that everyone gets what they deserve or that you will always receive an action similar to what you have done. This is what you can read about this expression in the notes to Day 2 Story 9 in the BUR version of the Decameron (Italian original), edited by Amedeo Quondam, Maurizio Fiorilla and Giancarlo Alfano: ...


0

TL;DR: in this context, "in flight" means "running away". Nowadays, in the modern world, the most commonly seen meaning of "in flight", often hyphenated as an adjective "in-flight", is referring to activities carried out during aeroplane travel (or even as a more abstract adjective in reference to that, see this ...


9

Although there is a real Saint Crescentius, and a real church of San Cresci in Valcava near Florence, Boccaccio is making a sexual pun. A crescent is so called because it is growing (crescere in both Latin and Italian), and the reference here is to the swollen penis held in the hand or vagina. Other translators into English have rendered these names as &...


5

Slightly to my surprise, there is a San Cresci in Valcava which features frescoes depicting the History of the martyrdom of San Cresci. The VillaCampestre website tells us in 'Local History' that: Cresci arrived in Italy from Germany in the 3rd century A.D. and was shortly thereafter befriended by Minias. For practicing the emerging and as yet ...


5

The quote comes from Franz Alt’s recollection of a talk given by von Neumann at the very first meeting of the Association for Computing Machinery in 1947: Several versions of background wiring and their corresponding source languages were under discussion, each having a vocabulary between 50 and 100 instruction types. Their implementation and testing began ...


5

The required sense of “jag” here is this one, roughly synonymous with “trip”: jag noun 2. a state of alcohol or drug intoxication Tom Dalzell & Terry Victor, eds. (2006). The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English volume II, p. 1084. Routledge. So “lamp-post jag” refers to Teresa’s dream with the lamp posts in it, McCarty ...


1

Math is considered by many people to be hopelessly complex. Hence, people "do not believe" math is simple, as von Neumann states in your quote. He implies that people do not appreciate the simplicity of mathematics. The only reason people make the mistake of considering math to be 'complicated' is because they consistently underestimate the ...


1

The crux of this quotation basically hinges on two premises: that mathematics is simple, and that life is complicated. Next thing to know here is that Neumann sorta tries to establish a Cause-Effect relationship between the complexity of life and the simplicity of mathematics. He basically says that people fail to see and appreciate the complexity of life, ...


3

As indicated by Stuart F. in a comment, it seems likely that Darwin was making an allusion to the difficulty of the book and how that might translate to it having more substance and value. A young child, or an invalid, may be given watered-down food and drink to make it easier to digest, which will require a larger volume for the given nutritive value. ...


1

An "onerous task" does not refer to honest work, nor to earning money. It refers to something (anything!) you find difficult. That could be your paying job. It could be breaking up with a romantic partner. It could be cleaning up a mess you made in your own home. Most regular people have to do onerous tasks all the time. There is no alternative. If ...


1

I think "lie" means "untruth" here, but not about the wind, about the past. The poem starts: The past is like a cloud by the wind affrighted vanishing into air My interpretation: the past fades from our memory and we can't remember until we make up a story (a lie) about it, and incorporate it into a coherent narrative, that relates to ...


2

I would hazard to guess that "beak first" is meant to be interpreted similarly to "headfirst." This makes the meaning line up with the references to the "particular young-man way I'm jutting into the world," implying a certain recklessness and carelessness that is associated with young men in literature and matches the idea ...


6

The throne of Mammon is implicitly contrasted with the throne of God, which is mentioned in the next stanza. The throne of God is described in Revelation 4: 3-6 (King James Bible Online; emphasis mine): 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. 4 And ...


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