Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Poppa" and Cato

Following up on a couple of questions from today:

"Poppa" indeed means "stern" when used of boats (it also means breast). The prow of a boat is the prora or prua. In Italian, "from stem to stern" is rendered "di prua a poppa."

Dante's guardian of Purgatory is Marcus Porcius Cato (Wikipedia entry here), also known as Cato the Younger. Plutarch devotes a chapter to him in his Lives (as well as another one to his ancestor, Cato the Elder). He appears in Sallust's Conspiracy of Catiline, and in Lucan's Pharsalia (61-65 AD).

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