June 21, 2002
Just Another Pseudo-Caesar

While we're rapping people on the knuckles for grammatical infelicities, I have to say that Bloggus Caesari is not Latin for 'Caesar's Blog'.

Of course, 'blog', since it's a made-up word, could take just about any Latin ending you like, with one G or two: bloggus, bloggum, bloga, blogies (three syllables, pronounced "bloggy ace"), perhaps even a nice 4th-declension neuter blogu (plural blogua). There are dozens of other possibilities. I prefer blogma or blogitatio, but an explanation for my preference will have to wait for another day.

However that may be, Caesari (dative) should definitely be Caesaris (genitive), since Caesar is a third-declension noun. Bloggus Caesari means 'blog for Caesar', and that can't be right, since Caesar purports to be the author of each entry, and in fact the header says "a weblog by Julius Caesar".

I can only conclude that the mysterious power behind Bloggus Caesari is unlikely to be a Latin teacher.

Then again, he wouldn't be the first Pseudo-Caesar, or even the second or third. Book VIII, the last book, of the Gallic Wars was written by Caesar's sidekick Hirtius, since Caesar was too busy conquering Rome. The books on the Alexandrian, African, and Spanish Wars that have come down with Caesar's name on them were certainly not written by him, but by two or three different authors, one of whom may have been Hirtius. The book on the Spanish War (Bellum Hispaniense) is written in very bad Latin -- not just stylistically inept but often incorrect. Lord Macaulay suggested that it was written by "some rude old centurion who fought better than he wrote" and no one has come up with a better hypothesis.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at June 21, 2002 12:00 AM

Just out of curiosity, what
form would Google take as a verb
in imperative form?
The other day I found myself
unconsciously substituting "qg"
for "qv" when writing something...
but then I stopped when I realized
that I didn't know what would really
replace "vide" in that old
abbreviation. Gugli?

Posted by: ockham on June 21, 2002 01:11 PM

Caesari is obviously a dative of advantage, a concept Caesar certainly understood!

Posted by: Mark Williams on June 21, 2002 01:43 PM

Just blogged these grammarian goodies there, oh Weevilly one.

Posted by: Eric Olsen on June 21, 2002 11:02 PM