A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


St Isidore's Bed
Tuesday, January 05, 2010

propter quod Angeli vocantur of caelis adnuntiandum hominibus ad mittuntur. Angelus enim Graeca, Latine dicitur Conscientia.

Angels are called because they are sent from heaven to announce to men. It is said in Greek and Latin nuncio angel (sent to announce).

St Isidore from his Etymology V The Angels

A la cena y a la cama sólo una vez se llama. You are called only once to bed and to dine.
Chilean proverb

Saint Isidore of Seville (570-636) was a bishop and a Doctor of the Church. He wrote about just everything from medicine to a book about the classifications of heaven’s angels. He attempted to catalogue what was then known to man in 20 books called De Los Orígenes (Of Origins) and he wrote the first encyclopedic dictionary. He divided his Of Origins into 20 books each on one category:

1. Grammar 2. Rhetoric and Dialectic 3. Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy 4. Medicine 5. Laws and time 6. the books and laws of the church 7. God, angels and men 8. the church and sects 9. languages, races, kingdoms and the armies 10. words in alphabetical order 11. man and monsters 12. animals 13. the universe and its parts, or cosmology 14. the earth and its divisions or geography 15. cities, fields and roads 16. minerals and metals 17. farmers and gardening 18. war and games 19. ships, buildings and clothing 20. Food and its tools.

For our purposes St. Isidore figures here for two very good reasons. He was the first to coin the word in Spanish cama (bed) from the Latin camba for a narrow bed used for sleeping or, as the Romans so much enjoyed, for eating.

Because it was St. Isidoro (Spanish for Isidore) who really the first human to attempt to compile all human knowledge, Spanish scholars have declared him to be the patron saint of the internet. I would offer no objection seeing that this man knew about everything and beds, too. Thanks to him I can justify placing here these delighful pictures of Katheryn and the bed from room 618 at the Marble Arch Hotel.


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