Monday 29 June 2020

via appia

Looking over the presenters’ line up for an upcoming seminar, the lecture Quo Vadis Traditional Methodologies? struck me for its arch and arcane character (I am hardly one to criticise such classical affectations as, like a caricature from Brideshead Revisited, will at least think Quis? Who [wants this]?)—which translates as where are you going is a good, I suppose, a way of questioning trends. I hadn’t realised that the phrase also carries a liturgical meaning, sourced to the apocryphal Acts of Peter, wherein our apostle has fled the scene after the crucifixion and encounters the resurrected Jesus outside the gates. Putting the question to Jesus, Peter receives the reply “Romam eo iterum crucifigi”—that is, I am going to Rome to be crucified again. This meeting gave Peter the courage to turn around and face his accusers and accept punishment, with the request he take be put to death upside-down out of deference. That certainly seems like a significant, leading nuance on something trending.