divergence / by Anthony Gibbins

Here is the final part of tonsor, from the Cambridge Latin Course.

‘furcifer! furcifer!’ clamat Pantagathus. senex est perteritus. tonsor barbam non tondet. tonsor senem secat. multus sanguis fluit.

Caecilius surgit et e taberna exit.

As you can see, the Legonium story diverges a little from the Cambridge. I admire the latter for how much it does with so few words. And I did consider including the immortal multus sanguis fluit, with a few red studs trailing as the old man walked from the tonsorina. But for various reasons, I decided to cut the blood and to expand a little on what was happening.

Alan is commotus, a Latin word meaning ‘moved’, that just like the English can indicate physical or emotion relocation. In this state, he does not cut the beard. immo is an adverb that means ‘on the contrary’, ‘no indeed’, ‘yes indeed’, or ‘by all means’. Or, to put it another way, ‘it contradicts or essentially qualifies what precedes’. incaute is another adverb that describes how the tonsor works in his worked-up state. Incautiously, heedlessly, improvidently, inconsiderately. The ipsum, ‘himself’, stresses the difference between cutting the old man’s beard and cutting HIM. Lastly, instead of having Caecilius/Claudia rise and exit, it is the old man, iratissimus, who leaves.

And just in case you thought that Latin was a foreign language, here is the opening of the Wikipedia entry for divergence;

In vector calculus, divergence is a vector operator that produces a signed scalar field giving the quantity of a vector field's source at each point. More technically, the divergence represents the volume density of the outward flux of a vector field from an infinitesimal volume around a given point.

The old man DOES look angry.

The old man is terrified. Why? Alan, worked-up, does not trim the beard. On the contrary, he incautiously cuts the old man himself. The old man, very angry, rises and exits from the barber store.