Thread: On The Square
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:10 PM   #123
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Arrow Sator Square

The Sator Square or Rotas Square is a word square containing a Latin palindrome featuring the words SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS written in a square so that they may be read top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, left-to-right, and right-to-left..The earliest datable square was found in the ruins of Pompeii which was buried in the ash of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Examples may be carved on stone tablets, or engraved into clay before firing as pottery. The exact translation, and its meaning, have been the subject of speculation with no clear consensus for either...

The word arepo is a hapax legomenon, appearing nowhere else in Latin literature. Most of those who have studied the Sator Square agree that it is a proper name, either an adaptation of a non-Latin word or most likely a name invented specifically for this sentence. Jerome Carcopino thought that it came from a Celtic, specifically Gaulish, word for plough. David Daube argued that it represented a Hebrew or Aramaic rendition of the Greek Αλφα ω, or "Alpha-Omega" (cf. Revelation 1:8) by early Christians. J. Gwyn Griffiths contended that it came, via Alexandria, from the attested Egyptian name Ḥr-Ḥp, which he took to mean "the face of Apis". (For more on these arguments see Griffiths, 1971 passim.) In Cappadocia, in the time of Constantine VII, Porphyrogenitus (913-959), the shepherds of the Nativity story are called SATOR, AREPON, and TENETON, while a Byzantine bible of an earlier period conjures out of the square the baptismal names of the three Magi, ATOR, SATOR, and PERATORAS...If "arepo" is taken to be in the second declension, the "-o" ending could put the word in the ablative case, giving it a meaning of "by means of [arepus]." Thus, "The sower holds the works and wheels by means of water." Using this definition of "arepo" and the boustrophedon reading order produces the text "The sower works for mastery by turning the wheel"..

An example of the Sator Square found in Manchester dating to the 2nd century is considered by some authorities to be one of the earliest pieces of evidence of Christianity in Britain. Like the Corinium square, the Manchester square reads ROTAS OPERA TENET AREPO SATOR. A further example is found in a group of stones located in the grounds of Rivington Church and reads SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS, the stone is one of a group thought to have come from a local private chapel in Anderton, Lancashire..The Benedictine Abbey of St Peter ad Oratorium, near Capestrano, in Abruzzo, Italy, has a marble square inscription of the Sator Square. An example discovered at the Valvisciolo Abbey, also in central Italy, has the letters forming 5 concentric rings, each one divided into 5 sectors..The 'Prayer of the Virgin in Bartos' claimed that Christ was crucified with 5 nails, which were named Sator, Arepo, Tenet, Opera and Rotas...
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