Tuesday, November 07, 2006


New Stele in Town

We have a new stele in our town, to commemorate its roots in the history of the Holy Roman Germanic Empire. I didn't realize that "stele" (pronounced "stē'lē") was the English for "stèle", although English is my mother tongue. Two of the inscriptions are in Latin, another in German, and one in French (says the same thing as in German I am quite sure); my Latin is rusty (I too rarely use it), but here is what I think they sayPhoto of stele from across the street

The town which is called Hagenowe was founded in our fair country by Fredericus. Frederic the First, Roman Emperor and Duke of Swabia and Alsatia.
† 1190
This was Frederick Barbarossa, who was Duke 1147-1152 and Holy Roman Emperor 1155-1190
Alsace, among all his patrimony the most cherished. Frederic the Second, Roman Emperor and Duke of Swabia and Alsatia
† 1250
HRE 1220-1250; Duke of Swabia -- as Frederick VII of Hohenstaufen-- 1212-1216
1143 Founding of the St. Georges Church by Frederic the ...One-Eyed?
Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, born 1090, became duke in 1105, died in 1147.
1212-1220, Preferred château (Imperial Residence) of Frederic the Second
same as above

"One-Eyed Fred". Is that what he is called in English? I don't think I have a book in English that would say. In French history books, he is called "le Borgne" and on the stele, "le Monoculaire" : is that really "nicer"? Perhaps because "borgne" is often used in a pejorative sense they thought it better to reformulate. Or did they just do a "modern" translation, without checking to see what he is generally called in French? Very odd.

Can I look it up on Wikipedia and trust what I find? They have articles on him in four languages.

=> In English, no mention of his one-eyed-ness (monocularity--which isn't even a word!). The stele was made in Italy; perhaps the Italians decided to translate "il monocolo" into French...

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