Friday, 18 September 2020

ucalegon, take me away

Ibidem our previous source and another crucial reminder that what’s rare and delectable in language needs fostering and adoption to champion those words and keep them in circulation we come across the term that’s sadly dated and nearly moribund in ucalegon—an epitome derived from the name of one of the Elders of Troy and advisors of King Priam whose epithet somewhat ironically means Without Worries—Οὐκᾰλέγων (see also). Mentioned in The Iliad with the incident again mentioned in The Aeneid, his home on the city wall was destroyed (along with countless others of course so there is also a bit of sardonic attention in making his loss an exhibit and exemplar) in the sack of the city, he has come to have an allusive use and mean a neighbour whose house is on fire or has burnt down, proximus ardet Ucalegon, implying also that yours might be next. The reprise of the anecdote in Virgil’s epic poem is thought to be a reflection on lessons-learned and heeding evacuation order—and avoid pitfalls or not building in a fire-trap, iam friula transfert Ucalegon.