August 10, 2002
I'm Back

I'm back from Boston and will soon be posting in my usual desultory way. Just so this post won't be completely utilitarian, here's a little note on the etymology of 'desultory':

A desultor was an ancient Roman circus rider, an acrobat who leapt from one galloping horse to another. During the civil war between Mark Antony and Octavian, a certain Munatius Plancus switched sides so deftly and so often that he became known as desultor bellorum civilium, "the desultor of the civil wars". The historian Velleius Paterculus describes Plancus as morbo proditor, in omnia et omnibus venalis, "a traitor by perverse inclination, for sale to anyone for any purpose". After the wars ended, Plancus was the senator who officially proposed that Octavian take the name Augustus. Thus endeth today's lesson.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at August 10, 2002 11:16 PM

"morbo proditor, in omnia et omnibus venalis..." At last I have a Latin phrase to describe certain segments of the West-hating Left. Thanks!

Posted by: Joe Katzman on August 11, 2002 02:16 AM