Tuesday 29 April 2008

Farrāgo -inis f.

Farrago is the title of a journal written by Cambridge Classics students. It ran from 1966 to 1988 and features articles by many of today's most prominent scholars .

When a cache of issues was passed to the graduate community in the middle of July 2007, a great deal of excitement and joy ensued, as well as a plan to revive Farrago as a blog, which would survey the vintage material and present contemporary contributions of a similar vein.

The Latin word refers to animal fodder which consisted of a mixture of inferior grains (so OLD). It was also used figuratively to refer to a medley or hotpotch. It is perhaps best translated by the German 'mischmasch'.

Its best known occurrence is in Juvenal's description of his own project (perhaps, his 'special pigeon') in lines 85-86 of his first satire:

quidquid agunt homines, uotum, timor, ira, uoluptas,
gaudia, discursus, nostri farrago libelli est.

Nowadays libellus would have acquired the sense 'blog'.

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