Article: Spotlight: Words: I agree!

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Image Spotlight: Words
By Sharon Brown on September 20, 2015

Necessary things

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Sep 20, 2015 6:30 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
This is absolutely me! Give me a something to read and anything nature and I'm in absolute heaven! Thumbs up Thumbs up
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Sep 20, 2015 7:33 AM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Something good for outdoors and something good for indoors.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at
Sep 20, 2015 10:22 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Amazing when we realize the man who said these words lived and died before the approximate year 48 BC.
Sep 20, 2015 3:59 PM CST
Name: Renée
Northern KY
I wonder what a library from that time period would be like. Timeless quote!
Sep 20, 2015 6:30 PM CST
Name: Jon
Japan, Ibaraki
My prime motivation was and still is learning to read Japanese as books in English are few and far between here. I do on occasion order a book or two online but I missed being able to browse around a library.

I love gardening, as I do just being in a garden reading.

I guess if such a quote were made today it would be an Iphone and the TV Shrug!
Fortune favors the brave.
Tickling is no laughing matter.
Sep 20, 2015 7:43 PM CST
Name: Sharon
I agree totally but I wonder how many could read back in the days of Cicero. I also wonder what the original word was before it was translated into 'library'.

According to Wiki: Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. Wow! An amazing scholar, a great man; a leader of his time.

Cicero also said this: A room without books is like a body without a soul.

Another translation probably misleading: 'book'. There were no books as we know them back in Cicero's day. So along the way from Cicero's day till now, somebody translated a word into 'book'. And on that topic there's this:

When determining the identity of the first printed book, it's important to define "printing." The simple transfer of words or symbols to paper, clay, fabric, and other materials is thousands of years old, and could be termed a form of printing. For example, Egyptians and Sumerians used clay tablets and papyrus for writing. Many people define printing, however, as a much more recent mass production process using plates, blocks, movable type, or other media, which can be used to transfer ink to a surface over and over again, mechanizing the process and resulting in large numbers of copies. It is also important to note that many early printed books were not entirely printed, with most being illuminated and rubricated — decorated and having red text added — by hand after the printing process was finished.

Methinks Sharon doth think too much. Smiling
Sep 20, 2015 9:41 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Methinks Sharon is full of good information!
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at
Sep 20, 2015 10:54 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Well, things like this just interest me and make me wonder when and how and when things happen. The Roman Cicero studied words of the Greeks, Aristotle and Plato, learned from their works which had to be recorded in some way. And there were Mesopotamian, Egyptian then Greek cultures before the Roman, so there had been progress. And each of those cultures though conquered, contributed to the next one. Each learned from the one before it.

And we know that during Biblical times there were scribes but we also know that only the upper class could read and mostly only those who were rulers or types of religious leaders. That even held true into the Middle Ages, Medieval times. And very few women ever read. The ruler Cleopatra might have been the exception. But there was writing, symbols like the hieroglyphic drawings of the Egyptians. And even in Europe there are the cave drawings which are likely prior to the Egyptians but they tell a story like writing does, sort of pre-hieroglyphics, and the same thing as. Everybody could read drawings, even the smallest children. Our Native Americans did the same thing, picture writing.

So how did these ancient philosophers leave tangible words that we find translated into words of things that didn't really exist then? Like 'books'. We find papyrus scrolls, mostly those of the Egyptians, but no 'books'. So I wonder if Cicero and Plato wrote their thoughts on something like papyrus or animal skin to preserve it? Carved into wood? No, wood wouldn't last, but stone would. So does that translate into books? And then kept them in a sacred place or a place of rulers and those who made the laws? Which would be translated into 'library'? And are those words simply used so that we can understand what they were saying?

Sometimes I think I dwell on things like this just to make sure my mind is still functioning. Silly, huh? I often wish I had studied Latin a little more or even remembered French better because French is a direct derivative from Latin and I could read some of the oldest translations before they were written in English.

Yeah, silly, but whatever. The quote is still true for all of us. Libraries and gardens. Words and plants -- all beautiful and so necessary to our souls.

Sep 21, 2015 1:25 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
Speaking of ancient languages reminded me of my study of Old High German. That's the oldest existing written form of German and quite different from modern Standard German. The writings during this period are certainly not as old as Cicero's, but it was fun to take a look at the first documents in existence. The earliest writing was on parchment and went like this:

Forsahistu diabolum? (Do you forsake the devil?)

Ih forsahu (I forsake.)

It was an oath that members of Germanic tribes had to take upon pain of death when the Romans began christianizing northern Europe in the 700s AD. St. Boniface visited northern Europe during this period and was known as the "Apostle of the Germans". He was killed in Frisia in 754 by a group of Germanic pagans who refused to take the oath.
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.

Sep 21, 2015 1:53 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Yes, like that, Larry. Studies just like that. Interesting.
Sep 22, 2015 2:55 PM CST
I love a discussion that takes a walk through a garden of flowers up a notch to a walk through a garden of books related to nature, gardening, art, etc. - thank you Sharon and all:) Imho, those two were made for each other.

I once had an idea that I still think would be fun to do: For any given PlantFiles webpage of a generic plant, along with color, size, zone, etc., wouldn't it be wonderful to also have a category for poetry, literature, art, etc. related to that plant?

I don't know where a database like this might ultimate reside but suspect there's probably many ways to do this. It's just that, to make it most accessible, especially to folks to whom this might be a novel idea, to me, it would be most fun to link this somehow to an established plant database.

Might y'all have some ideas? Dave - hint hint???

My religion is simple. My religion is kindness. Dalai Lama
Sep 22, 2015 5:02 PM CST
Name: Sharon
It's a great idea, Karen!! A really great idea. I might look into the inner workings of my Cubit and see if there is a way. I think there is actually and if I can do it I certainly will give it a try.

Thank you so much! Group hug

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