Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 2 02:35:22 UTC 2010

So, if a gladiatory slave managed to survive to the age of sixty, he
would be released from gladiation, but returned to his earlier state
of hard labor as a slave, for the remainder of his life, presumably?
No wonder that American slaves were so happy-go-lucky, knowing that
they would be retired to a life of Uncle-Remus-like ease till the end
of their days!


On Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 8:59 PM, Robin Hamilton
<robin.hamilton2 at btinternet.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Robin Hamilton <robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Swordplay
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Off the top of my noggin, look to "swordplay" for the root of the
>> "gun play" formation. M-W dates swordplay to 1602. But the first
>> sense of "play" in MW is "swordplay".
>> OED cites "lindplegan" in Beowulf and "sweord [p]legan" in Waldere as
>> instances of sense 1b of "play" [n]: "The action of lightly and
>> briskly wielding or plying a weapon in fencing or combat. Freq. as
>> the second element in compounds" BUT then there's nothing until 1647.
>            SNIP
>> I can't recall if George Silver uses "sword play" or "play" in this
>> sense in his two manuals c. 1590, but I can take a look.
>> ---Amy West
> LEME (Lexicon of Early Modern English --
> http://leme.library.utoronto.ca/search ) provides a positive wealth of
> examples, mostly glossing the Latin "Gladiator" and "Lanista", from 1538 to
> 1623.
> The entry [below] in Thomas Cooper, _Thesaurus Linguae Romanae et
> Britannicae_ (1584), on "Ludus", seems to provide the fullest unfolding of
> the link between play, Roman games, and Gladiators, leading to the English
> "sword play" and "sword players".
> Robin Hamilton
> *****************************************
> [I used the search terms <sword* pl*> to find "sword play(er)(s)" as two
> separate words, and <sword*pl*> to find the single word form(s).]
>            Thomas Elyot, _The Dictionary of Sir Thomas Elyot_ (1538)
> Lanista, he that had the reule ouer sworde players, and caused them to be
> taught, and after solde them. Also that ordayned byrdes to fyghte.
> Munus, neris a gyft, acharge, a duetie or offyce. Munera, commune playes and
> gaye fightes for the peple to behold, to reioice them, prepared by officers
> of cities. As in Rome, sondry playes, sworde players, called Gladiatores,
> huntyng of wyld beastes. Also now in the citie of London, the watches &
> fyghtes on midsomer nightes.
> Mirmillones, were sworde players, where the one prouoked the other to
> battayle.
> Rudis, a rodde or yerde, whiche was gyuen to sworde players, whan they came
> to. lx. yeres olde, in token that they were sette at libertie. sometyme
> lybertie frome labour.
> Spartacus, was a famouse sworde player, whiche gathered an host of slaues, &
> made battayle agaynste the Romayns, and was vanquyshed by Crassus
> Bustuarij, sworde players, whiche went before the ded corpsis whan they were
> borne to be burned.
> ______________________________
>            Richard Huloet, _Abecedarium Anglico Latinum_ (1552)
> Ruler ouer swordplaiers. Lanista. æ
> Sword players. Bustiarij, Murmillones
> ______________________________
>            John Withals, _A Short Dictionary for Young Beginners_ (1556)
> A sworde plaier, Gladiator, ris. Vnde gladiatura ipsa ars gladiatorum.
> Lanista dicitur, qui ad gladiatoriam homines instituit, quo eos facilius
> venderet.
> ______________________________
>            John Baret, _An Alveary or Triple Dictionary, in English, Latin,
> and French_ (1574)
> Company:   societie, fellowship.
> <...>
> Magna frequentia concessuque effertur. A companie, or schoole of sworde
> players. Gladia¬ torum familia. Cic. With whom if they keepe companie much,
> or come after in their companie, it will giue men oc¬ casion to thinke or
> suspect that they are as euill as themselues.
> to Discharge or disburden.
> <...>
> To be discharged of attendance in warres. Rude donari. To discharge and
> acquite of all accusation. Reum eximere. Vlp. To be discharged of
> attendaunce in sworde playing or in the warres. Rudem accipere. Cic. They
> were exempt, discharged and free from &c. Vacui, expertes, soluti, ac liberi
> fuerunt ab omni sumptu, molestia, munere.
> a Sworde.
> Gladius, dij. Ensis, sis, m.g. Cic. Vne espee.& Gladiator, ris, m.g. Cic. A
> sword plaier: a master of fence. Escrimeur. Gladiatórius, a, um. vt, Ludus
> gladiatorius. Cic. Pertayning to the figh¬ ting of sworde players. And
> Gladiatura, ræ, f.g. Tacit. Escrimeie. And Gladíolus, li, m.g. Plin. A litle
> sworde : a woodknife : any hearbe hauing leaues like a sworde or gladen.
> Coustelet. 1032 * A maister in feates of armes, which teacheth to play with
> the sword. Lanista, tæ, com. g. Maistre en fait d'armes, qui apprend à iouer
> de l'escrime.  .
> ______________________________
>            Thomas Cooper, _Thesaurus Linguae Romanae et Britannicae_ (1584)
> Bustum, busti. Cic.
> A place where dead bodies haue bene burned: a sepulcher.
> <...>
> Bustuatij. Cic. Sworde players that fought at the burning or burying of one.
> Bustuariæ mochæ. Martial. quæ in bustis & monumentis prostabant. Common
> strumpets.
> Committo, committis, commísi, penult prod commissum, committere.
> <...>
> Gladiatores committere. To set matches of sworde players togither. Pugnam
> committere. Sil. Idem. Spectaculum committere. Liu Id&etilde;. Quod ludos
> cõmittere.
> Ordo, compositio rerum aptis & accommodatis locis.
> <...>
> Compositiones gladiatorum. Ci. Matchings and settings togither of
> swordeplayers to sight.
> Familia, huius familiæ.
> An housholde, family, or kinred: al the seruauntes of the house. ¶ Familia,
> pro secta. Cic. Gladiatorum familia. Cic. A company or schoole of sworde
> plaiers .
> Gladiâtor, pen. prod. tôris, m. g. Ci.
> One playing with a sworde. Gladiatores. Cic. Sworde players in Rome sette
> togither in matches to fight before the people in common games therby to
> accustome them not to be afraid of killing in warre. Familiæ gladiatorum.
> Ci. Tompanies of sword players .
> Gladiatorius, Adiectiuum.
> Pertaining to the fighting of sword players. vt, Gladiatorius ludus. Cicero.
> The place or schoole where sworde players were taught. Certamen
> gladiatorium. Cic. Gladiatorius congressus. Pli. The meeting of sword
> plaiers. Gladiatorius locus. Cic. Gladiatorium munus. Plin. Pugna
> gladiatoria. Cic. Gladiatorium est, stomachari. Cicer. It is the propertie
> of a swordplayer to be angrie.
> ... seruum, & eum ex ludo gladiatorio. Cicero. By one feruaunt, yea and he
> taken out of a company of sword players. Et id maximè hy bernis temporibus.
> Cic. Yea aud that especially in winter season. ...
> Læmuschaton, ti, n. g. The reward gitten to him that vanquished at playing
> or sighting with swords.
> Lanista, lanistæ, m. g. Cic. A maister of sword players: he that taught
> fighting birdes: a maister of fence.
>        (The following, glossing "Ludus", I give in full.  RH)
> Thomas Cooper, _Thesaurus Linguae Romanae et Britannicae_ (1584)
> Ludus, ludi, m, g. Cic.
> Play in actes: mirth in wordes: sporte: game: pastime. Campestris ludus,
> vide CAMPVS. Consimilis ludus. Terent. Alike pranke. Tempestinum pueris
> concedere ludum. Hor. Dare alicui operam ludo. Plau. To play or pastime with
> one. Ducere noctem ludo. Virg. To play al night long. Gaudens ludis. Hora.
> Ludus genuit certamen & iram. Horat. Play bred content<*> on and anger.
> Incidere ludum. Horat. To leaue off game or play. ¶ Ludus in singula<*>.
> Ausconius. A schoole or place of exercise where any feate is learncd. Ludus
> gladiatorius. Suet. A schoole of fence. Ludus grammatices. Cic. A grammer
> schoole. Ludus literarum Plin. A schoole of learning. Ludus literarius,
> Idem. Quint. Ludus discendi, non lusionis. Cic. A playe to learne and not to
> play in. Ludus. & pueritiæ disciplina. Cicer. Trayning vp in studie, and
> such learning as is meete for children and youth. Ludum aperire. Cic. To
> beginne to keepe a schoole. Ludus est, illa perdiscere. Cic. It is a pastime
> to learne, &c. ¶ Ludus, pro ioco accipitur quandoque. Terent. Iesting <*>t
> wordes: sporte. -ludum, iocúmque Dices fuisse illum alterum, præut huius
> rabies quæ dabit. Terentius. Thou wilt saye the other was but a sest and
> sport, &c. -si imparatum in veris nuptijs Adortus esset, quos mihi ludos
> redderet. Terent. What prankes or pageants would he haue played me: Vt ludos
> facit. Terent. How he is disposed to mocke, ieste, or dallie. Ludos aliquem
> facere. Plau. To dally and scoffe at one: to make a mocking stocke. Noui iam
> ludum. Plaut. I perceiue now the pageant. Operam ludos facere. Plaut. To
> leese his labour. Dare ludum amori. Horat. To passe the time in lone. Druso
> ludus est suggerendus. Cic. We must play some preaty pranke or feate with
> Drusus. ¶ Ludo, ablatiuus. Virg. In sporte or pastime. ¶ Ludi, in plurali.
> Cic. Common games, fightes, or pageantes to delight the people. Celebres
> ludi. Ouid. Viles ludi. Hora. ¶ Apparare ludos. Cicero. To make prouision
> for games or sightes. Celebrare dies festos ludorum. Cic. Committere ludos.
> Cic. To beginne the games or sightes. Conde corare ludos, Vide CONDECORO.
> Edere ludos. Tacit. To setfoorth games or sightes. Facere ludos Plin. Facere
> ludos Apollini. Cicero. To make games or solemne fightes to the honour of
> Apollo. Instituere ludos. Quint. Ludi Circenses, Running with chariots in
> the great compasfed place in Rome called Circus. Ludi compitalitij. Playes
> made in highwaies to the honour of Bacchus. Ludi Florales. Abhominable
> playes in Rome to the honour of their strumpetlike Goddesse Flora, in whiche
> common women played naked, with wanton wordes and gestures. Ludi
> gladiatorij. Games of swordplayers fighting wythout harnesse, and in the
> sight of the people indenouring eche to kill other: a spectacle of crueltie
> to harden the peoples hearts against killing in warre. Ludi gymnici.
> Erercises of running, leaping, throwing the dart, and wrastling. Ludi
> lupercales Games, wherein yong gentlemen naked and haning whips in their
> handes, rame aboute laughing and beating al that they mette. Ludi
> Megalenses. Playes made to the honour of the mother of the Gods.
>  Ibid.
> ... Munus. Suet. A common play or gay sight for the people to behold: as in
> Rome were the matches of sworde players, or killing of wild beasts in open
> sight or game.
> ... munuscula. Catul. Munerárius munerárij, m. g. Suet. He that letteth out
> the sight of sworde players or other like games vnto the people.
> ... an emote, also a little blacke warte. Myrmicoleo. A little vermine
> deuouring emotes. Myrmillones. Swordplayers prouoking eche other to fight.
> Rudis, huius rudis, f. g. Cat. A rodde or yarde that was giuen sword
> players, at 60. yeares of age, in taken that they were set at libertie.
> Gladiatores, qui è seruitio Blæfierant. Tacit. The sworde players that were
> Blæsus his bondmen.
> Bacchius, A sworde player. Also a Corinthian, who maryed the danghter of
> Clythius, the king of Megarence.
> Bithus, The name of a swordplayer.
> Pacideianus, The name of a certayne sword player.
> Spartacus, Was a famous sworde player, whiche gathered an host of slaues,
> and made warre against the Romaynes, and was vanquished by Crassus.
> Titus,
> The sonne of Vespasian emperour of Rome, was from his youth earnestly bent
> to the studie of honestie, learning, and noble prowes . <...>  And because
> hee
> behelde sworde players, he called for one of their swordes, which vnder
> pretence of feeling how sharpe it was, hee gaue firste to the one and then
> to the other. In so much that euen they that purposed his death, shewed
> themselues astonied at his manly constancie.
> Tritanus, A notable wreastler or sword player.
> ______________________________
>            Thomas Thomas, _Dictionarium Linguae Latinae et Anglicanae_
> (1587)
> Andabatæ, arum, They that vsed a kinde of game with swordes, winking.
> Bustuarius, rij, m.g. A sword player, that fought at the burning or burying
> of one, in honour of him. & Bustuariæ Moechæ, Mart. quæ in bustis &
> monumentis prostabant
> Gladimator, oris, m.g. A sword player, a master of fence: a cutthroate, a
> cruell and bloodie man.
> Gladiatorie, adverb. Lamprid. Like a swordplayer, cutthroatlike.
> Gladiatorius, a, um. Pertaining to the fighting of swordplaiers.
> Munerarius, a, um, Suet.
>     He that setteth out the sight of sword players, or other like games
> vnto the people.
> Myrmillones,*     Sword players.
> Rudis, is, f.g.
>     A rod or yard that was giuen to sword players at threescore years of
> age, in token that they were set at libertie or dischargd and released from
> that ...
> ______________________________
>             John Florio  _A World of Words_  1598
> Rude,    as Rozzo. Also a rod or yarde that was giuen to sworde players when
> they were olde in signe that they were set at libertie, and so taken for a
> discharge and libertie from labour.
> ______________________________
>             Henry Cockeram  _English Dictionary_  1623
> Sword players.     Gladiators.
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