Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 May 23

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Humanities desk
< May 22 << Apr | May | Jun >> May 24 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Humanities Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.

May 23[edit]

Inconsistency in the European title of (hereditary) "Prince"[edit]

As the eldest son of the British monarch is titled Prince (of Wales) whereas the other sons are merely given ducal titles, I assume that the title of (hereditary) Prince is higher than the title of Duke in Britain. In Germany the title "Fürst" (the equivalent to hereditary prince) is ranked behind the title of Duke. The Principalities of Liechtenstein and Monaco both list ducal titles as subsidiary titles whereas their main title is a princely one, seemingly indicating ducal titles to be inferior to the title of hereditary prince in their respective countries too. It seems the German language is superior to the language of the English insofar as they have separate words for the two different types of princes: "Prinz" for the title given to the sons of monarchs etc and "Fürst" for the hereditary prince. So really my question is, are my thoughts on this subject correct, and if not please relieve me of my ignorance! :) -- (talk) 15:41, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

The Swedish language also have two different words: Prins and Furste; Prins (or prinsessa) is the son of a king, and Furste could be either a specific title, or a name for a royal person as a whole. A monarch is never called Prins, but Furste, and a principality is called furstendömme, so there is a difference between a prins, who is always the title of a son of a monarch, and furste, a title for a monarch. -- (talk) 15:54, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
But I think the first misperception of which to be relieved, is that one language is superior to another. This is like saying the planet Venus is superior to Neptune.--Wetman (talk) 17:06, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
It's only superior in a very narrow context, but I think a language that can distinguish two ideas is superior (more useful for communicating ideas, which is the purpose of language) to one that can't. One could argue that showing the relationship between related ideas is more important that distinguishing them, but I would disagree. --Tango (talk) 17:17, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Britain doesn't have any hereditary princes. Any son of a monarch is a prince (as is the husband of a queen regnant, although I'm not sure if that is automatic or has to be granted), although they are often given duchies as well (which they use as their normal styles). The title Prince of Wales isn't inherited, it has to be granted by the monarch to each person that holds it. The current Prince of Wales is also Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay (as most recent Princes of Wales have been, although technically it is up to the monarch), but Prince of Wales takes precedence and is the style generally used (although Duke of Rothesay is commonly used in Scotland, since it is his Scottish title). Grandsons of a monarch, through the male-line, are also princes, although they are "HRH Prince So-and-so of X" rather than "HRH The Prince X" as sons of a monarch are. See British prince for more details. --Tango (talk) 17:17, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
No, husband of a queen regnant is not automatically a prince. The husband of Her Present Majesty was created Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957 (five years after she became queen). The eldest son of the British monarch always holds a dukedom and a duchy - Duchy of Cornwall and Dukedom of Rothesay, as well as an earldom. The other sons of the monarch can be given dukedoms of their own, but that's not automatic. Every son of the British monarch, as well as every son of the monarch's son, is a Prince of the United Kingdom. A prince of the United Kingdom ranks higher than a duke in the United Kingdom. However, a prince of the United Kingdom who is also Duke of Something ranks higher than a prince of the United Kingdom who holds no dukedom. Surtsicna (talk) 21:38, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
@Tango: How about when a language cannot avoid making a distinction which another language doesn't make? H B Casimir, wrote in "When does jam become marmalade" (in the wonderful book 'A Random Walk in Science', edited by Robert L Weber and E Mendoza) about his bemusement, as a Dutchman, when he heard a 'very English lady' in a hotel in Turkey reject a huge variety of different conserves because "they are jam, and we don't have jam for breakfast". His point in retailing this story is that the English distinction between jam and marmalade is strange and confusing to him; and similarly English in lacks a word corresponding to German 'Wissenschaft' (and similar terms in other languages), and insists on a division between science and other fields of study. --ColinFine (talk) 00:02, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand your point. Marmalade is different from jam, so it is useful to have different words. What does "Wissenschaft" mean? Wiktionary translates it as "science", with an etymology which translates to knowledge-ship (would that be "philosophy" (the original meaning)?). --Tango (talk) 01:31, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I always had thought that the only real difference between jam and marmalade was that the latter is made with citrus fruits. Orange jam or grapefruit preserves would be just a useful a terminology as orange marmalade or grapefruit marmalade. However, Marmalade says that it can also be made from strawberries. So, what then is the difference between strawberry jam and strawberry preserve and then between either or both of them and strawberry marmalade? (Perhaps this should be on the Languag Ref Desk, but, as it started here, I shall leave it here. If someone feels strongly enough to move it, s/he has my permission to do so.) // BL \\ (talk) 03:14, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
My point is that English (actually, some varieties of English) make a distinction which is hard to define objectively (as Bielle indicates) but has social consequences, as Casimir's anecdote illustrates. Does that mean that (those varieties of) English are superior? The point about Wissenschaft is that it doesn't mean 'science' (Naturwissenschaft), nor does it mean 'philosophy'. Probably the closest English word is 'scholarship', but that has the wrong connotations as well. The point is that it is a meaning of which 'science' is a limited part. So English makes a distinction (which makes it superior by your argument) but lacks a term which translates the superordinate term from German, Dutch, Swedish. --ColinFine (talk) 11:38, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
If I'm understanding the word correctly, Wissenschaft is the same as the old meaning of philosophy. In contemporary English, I might say "academic study" or "academia", it would depend a little on context. --Tango (talk) 15:19, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
To my mind, marmalade has bits in, jam is pretty much homogeneous (it may have small bits in, but not the long strips of peel you would find in marmalade). --Tango (talk) 15:19, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
It's all a bit arbitrary, isn't it. What we call "marmalade" could have been called "orange jam", but the term "marmalade" has stuck. The fact that it includes strips of peel doesn't mean it's not a type of jam. On that basis, all marmalades are types of jam, but not all jams are marmalades. -- JackofOz (talk) 01:54, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
famous last words.--Radh (talk) 07:48, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

In Germany, one has to distinguish between ruling titles and honorary titles. In England, basically all titles except King/Queen have been honorary only for a long time, so the distinction makes little sense. In Germany, until 1918, there were various little monarchies with their little rulers -- hence the ruling titles. The sons of the rulers got honorary titles. Unlike in England, basically all titles were hereditary, including honorary ones. So, the Prince of Liechtenstein (one of the two or three German-speaking monarchies that are left) considers Prince a more important title than Duke, because Prince is his ruling title, whereas the Liechtensteinian dukes are only honorary titles.
German Fürst is special insofar as it does not really signify a rank -- in the Holy Roman Empire, a Fürst was anyone who ruled a state, irrespective of rank. But it came into use as a ruling title for those rulers whose actual ruling title was very low -- usually, count or below.
In England, the title Prince of Wales is special because it is the only title not held by the king/queen that originally designated a foreign sovereign... whereas all the dukes and earls have always been subordinate to the king/queen. Thus it serves as a reminder of the English annexation of Wales and can't really be compared in rank to other English titles -- it's a Welsh title, after all. --Chl (talk) 21:22, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Lalla Salma of Morocco[edit]

I know she is not queen. But I have heard, that they were discussions about giving her such a title. But if there is no such tradition, how could that title have been discussed, if it does not excist in this country? Or have there been a queen before? Does Morocco have this title?-- (talk) 15:54, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Why not read my explanation of the basic traditional situation in a number of historical Muslim middle-eastern societies here: Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Humanities/2009_March_9#What_is_the_female_form_of_the_Kayser-i-R.C3.BBm.3F -- AnonMoos (talk) 17:29, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I see your general point, (and your explanation of the matter is very good!) but these three questions, especially the two below, are rather more specific: the first question about Morrocoo, and the two following below are about these two people in particular: in the 1930s, muslim countries adopted more western ideas and allowed the queens a more active part, I believe. -- (talk) 18:03, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
The relevance to your questions is that it means that the adoption of a publicly-prominent queen-consort type role in Muslim middle-eastern societes has generally been relatively recent, and under European influence. In the late 1970's, Queen Noor of Jordan and the Shah's wife were the only ones prominent in Western newspaper accounts; not sure how much further back than that it goes (unless you count Rita Hayworth as the wife of Islamic royalty!)... AnonMoos (talk) 03:43, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, they were Tadj ol-Molouk and Soraya Tarzi, who showed themselwes in public withouth a veil in the 1920s and 1930s. Who was the first Egyptian queen with such a role? Perhaps Farida? I do not know. And was Reza Shah married to several women at the same time when he was king, regardless of their role? I do not know. -- (talk) 11:47, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Queen Zein al-Sharaf Talal of Jordan also seem to have played an important part as a public person, but if she actually showed herself withouth a veil in a gender-mixed company is not clear. --Aciram (talk) 16:43, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Queen Farida of Egypt[edit]

Was she confined to the palace, or did she have any official tasks in society? Her predecessor seem to have been isolated from public society to merely female company.-- (talk) 15:58, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Queens of Reza Shah[edit]

The article of him names several wifes, but I think tjis is a little unclear: only one of them, Tadj ol-Molouk, has an article here, and in his article, she is said to have been divorced before he became a monarch, and in her article, (as well as out on the net), she is said to have been his queen... Who was he married to when he was king? Did he perhaps have several wifes at the same time? Who had the position of queen? I believe this queen would be the first to have an official role in Iran, and to show herself without a veil? Can anyone clearify this? -- (talk) 16:04, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Language of Haakon VII of Norway[edit]

Last night I read about Haakon VII of Norway, who was born Prince Carl of Denmark and assumed the Norwegian throne when he was 33 years old, shortly after the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905. Did he speak the Norwegian language before his accession to the throne? I am really using Haakon as a specific example—I assume that similar events have happened many times throughout European history (a royal member from one country becoming the monarch of a different country that speaks a different language), and I wonder how the language issue is usually worked out. Since Haakon enjoyed great popularity in Norway, I assume he learned to speak Norwegian at some point, right? —Bkell (talk) 17:32, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

The term "Norwegian language" is a very loaded term in this context, since there was "Dano-Norwegian" (later standardized in modified form as Bokmål) and dialect Norwegian (standardized as Nynorsk) -- that's why Norway has two official languages to this day. In the last half century, the tendency has been to try to bring the varieties closer together (where possible), but from what I understand, in 1905 they were still very different. Einar Haugen wrote some interesting works in English about the Norwegian language struggle... AnonMoos (talk) 17:58, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
A native Norwegian has no trouble understanding Danish if spoken not too fast and with a mainstream dialect. I think he started out speaking Danish and put some effort into modifying this towards Norwegian over time. I think in later radio speeches (from the war, for example), he speaks Norwegian with a clearly notifyable Danish accent (though it would probably sound just like Norwegian to a Dane...) Though children often switch between closely related languages, most adult people I've met who moved from one Scandinavian country to the other after they grew up often maintain just "one" language, which they modify towards their "new" country over time (somewhat like a Brit moving to the US, I would assume, though Norwegian and Danish are more different than US/British English is) Jørgen (talk) 00:49, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Roman mosaics pattern[edit]

Surely I'm not the first to notice this:

Does this little pattern have a name? An origin? Or has no one noticed until just now? Face-wink.svg Wknight94 talk 20:38, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Roman mosaicists worked in groups called studios, they consisted of a master or foreman and several assistants. The master was generally the owner of a book of pre-defined sketches of various mosaics called models. A homeowner would then choose from this book and the master would start laying the important of difficult parts of the mosaic. His assistants would then finish the work. Looking at many different mosaics from the entire Roman empire, it can be seen that sometimes different studios worked on the pavement of a larger estate and exchanged or copied the sketches thus bringing famous motives to other parts of the country. You can find identical mosaics in Rome and in Northern Africa. Does this answer your question? --Gnom (talk) 22:09, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Something else: Mosaics of household animals (cats or dogs) are common in the entrance areas of Roman houses and mosaics like the ones here are likely to be found on the floor or at the wall of a kitchen entrance. --Gnom (talk) 22:23, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Fascinating! Just like designers coming to your house today - 2,000 years later - with a book of designs to choose from. Thanks for the quick response! Wknight94 talk 22:30, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I had a look in google images and the bird the cat is attacking is described as a quail. It is a bit strange, why isn't a single integrated picture shown? I get the feeling there may be some word play going on. 22:34, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
The motives for the mosaics was most often taken from Hellenistic paintings, and thus are probably of a somewhat older origin than the mosaics themselves. The wealthy Romans were extremely aware of trends of fashion, and some motives were more popular at certain times than others (for example Alexandrian motives of the Nile with various animals like hippopotamuses were very popular in the 1st century AD). It seems it is the case with this particular example. --Saddhiyama (talk) 08:51, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Picture containing 3-D objects[edit]

What would you call a 3 dimensional picture that you would hang on a wall. For example a display of real butterflies in a picture frame behind glass that is then put up on a wall. It might be 6 inches wide by 12 inches long by 1 inch thick. Behind the glass in that 1 inch depth is the real butterflies (dead of course) on pins. This idea verses just a normal 2 dimensional picture illustration of a photograph of butterflies. --Doug Coldwell talk 20:42, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

This site just calls them displays or frames. This one calls them displays. Tempshill (talk) 01:05, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I know them as "box frames" [1], although the phrase can mean more than just the frames for mounting three-dimensional objects. // BL \\ (talk) 01:36, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

I've heard shadowboxes for things like these Library Seraph (talk) 21:09, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Diorama? DOR (HK) (talk) 07:14, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Display case? Specimen case? 3D display? Physical specimens versus reproductions? I don't think you need further terminology, though in art you have collage, reliefs, friezes, and sometimes wall sculpture[2] (the works of Max Ernst which are commonly described as collage[3] or reliefs[4], e.g. Fruits of a Long Experience[5] are relevant).--Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 15:46, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


Looking for a nice 16th century Venetian landscape painting, other than The Tempest. Any ideas? (talk) 20:56, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Some interesting historical images on page Bucentaur... AnonMoos (talk) 01:55, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Aditionally, does anyone know where I can find pictures of the different design proposals for rebuilding St Peter's Basilica. So far I have only been able to find Antonio da Sangallo's. (talk) 08:37, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Bramante's dome and Raphael's plan are mentioned in the St. Peter's Basilica article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

(Assuming you want landscapes rather than the cityscapes mentioned above.) Landscape painting didn't really come into its own as a genre until after then, with the 17th century Dutch and Flemish schools, and more widely in the 18th century[6]. There are landscapes in 16th century painting but they tend to exist as backdrops to mythological or historical themes. The Venetian giants Titian, Giorgione, and Bellini only included them as backgrounds, though works like Titian's Pastoral Concert[7] and The Three Ages of Man[8] have nice rustic settings, Giorgione's Sleeping Venus (on his WP page) is similar, while Bellini did some more stylised scenes e.g. Agony in the Garden[9]. Probably your best bet is Google image search for each artist and click on whatever looks greenest. --Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 15:58, 27 May 2009 (UTC)