R O T A S O P E R A T E N E T A R E P O S A T O R
Some references mentioned repeatedly:
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> John T. Quinn posted: > A.R. Burn discusses it in his anthology of Latin > inscriptions from Britain. "Arepo" appears to be a > proper name, "Arepo the Sower holds the wheels at > work." Burn notes that the square was found in > Herculaneum; if not originally Christian, it soon > was adopted by such believers, perhaps because > the letters can be rearranged thus: > > > P > A > A T O > E > PATER NOSTER > N > 0 > S > A T O > E > R > > > The excess A's and O's stand for alpha and > omega, as in "I am the Alpha and the Omega." Similarly, in the third thread, Barbara Mann: > There is an explanation of this square or acrostic on the very first page > of a book by Robert Milburn entitled Early Christian Art and > Architecture, Univ. of California Press, 1988. Milburn explains that it > is basically a secret code because it can be rearranged into the form of > a cross, with the opening words of the Lord's prayer, A Paternoster O, > going both vertically and horizontally, intersecting at the letter N. ... > A > > P > A > T > E > R > A PATERNOSTER O > O > S > T > E > R > > O > > Milburn gives a list of references in his footnotes, including one to an > article by D. Fishwick, "On the origin of the Rotas-Sator square" in > Harvard Theological Review, 57 (1964) no pagination. Andrew Fear recalled: > As can be seen there's a lot of debate (I suspect to little purpose) about > this square. I think it also features in the pseudo-magic book The Sacred > magic of Abrahmelin (sp?) which was important in the Golden Dawn cult. Bob Ingria: > The full title is: _The Book of The Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin The > Mage_, translated by S. L. Macgregor-Mathers, who is supposed to have > found it in the arsenal library in Paris. S. L. Macgregor-Mathers > was the head, or, as the G.:D:. members would have put it, ``the outer > head'' of the order. (The inner head was a disembodied spirit.) > > The G.:D:. were also big on the ``Enochian'' language transcribed by > Dr. Dee from his experiments in skrying with Edward Kelly. Some of > the Enochian ``texts'' were also arranged in squares, of much larger > size than the Rotas-Sator magic square. David J. MacDonald: > That damn word square shows up all over the Roman Empire, or at least all > over the West and decent portion of the East as I remember. There have > been a dozen different interpretations over the years, as I remember. I > remember one work argued it was Mithraic. It has been a long time since I > read anything about it, but it seems to me as best I remember than no one > interpretation had gained univeral credence. Bruce Macbain: > Nobody really knows what the darned thing means. The connection with > Christianity is not accepted by all. 'Arepo' is unknown as a word or > a proper name. "Arepo holds the wheels with effort (by work, etc.) is > more or less nonsense, although some have strained to see a reference > to the prophet Ezekiel's wheel. And yet, the inscriptions are found > as far apart as Italy and Britain...must mean something! David Sider: > Miroslav Marcovich wrote on this cryptic message in ZPE, and now > reprinted in one of his collected articles volumes published by ICS.ZPE = Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik.
George Pesely: > >From the ICS 1993 Marcovich Festschrift, page 12, item 205: > > Sator Arepo = Georgos Harpon, Harpocrates > ZPE 50 (1983) 155-171 > > Reprinted in > Studies in Graeco-Roman Religions and Gnosticism Fred Jenkins: > Miro's article is reprinted in his Studies in Greco-Roman Religions and > Gnosticism (Brill, 1988). The original appearance was in ZPE 50 (1983) 155- > 171. For those who want to pursue the subject, there is also a substantial > article, "Satorquadrat," in RE Supplementband XV, cols. 477-565. Laval Hunsucker: > I think that you will find what you need in the book by Ulrich Ernst > entitled _Carmen figuratum : Geschichte des Figurengedichts von > den antiken Ursprüngen bis zum Ausgang des Mittelalters_. - Koeln [etc.] > : Boehlau, 1991. - (_Pictura et poesis_ ; Bd.1). His tenth chapter (p. > 429-459, with numerous illustrations) is entitled "Das Sator-Quadrat in > Antike und Mittelalter" (1.: "Zum Stand der Forschungsdiskussion"; 2.: > "Neue Deutungsperspektiven"). Eugene N. Lane: > A brief discussion of the Rotas-Sator square is to be found in John > Ferguson, The Religions of the Roman Empire, Ithaca, Cornell University > Press, first published 1970, p. 168 and Pl. 70. Hope this is useful. Edgar Krentz: > The best discussion of this mystery square known to me is the following: > > Hildebrecht Hommel, "Die Satorformel und ihr Ursprung," pp. 84-130 in > _Sebasmata. Studien zur antiken Religionsgeschichte und zum frühen > Christentum_ I. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 31. > Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1983. > > The work was originally published in _Theologia Viatorum. Jahrbuch der > Kirchl. Hochschule Berlin_ 4 (1952) 133-180, and first reprinted in H. > Hommel. _Schöpfer und Erhalter. Studien zum Problem Christentum und > Antike_. Berlin: Lettner Verlag, 1956, pp. 32-79 with additions on pp. > 141-146. > > Hommel offers a number of different suggestions for decoding the square and > includes comprehensive references to earlier bibliography in his notes. Gerhard Koeppel: > There is quite a bit on this "magic square". I can give you one reference: > Friedrich Focke, "Sator Arepo. Abenteuer eines magischen Quadrates" > Würzburger Jahrbuch 3 (1948) 367-401.