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Many of us in quarantine - But what does the word mean?

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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
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(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I am myself in volunteer quarantine. So plenty of time to read, and I found an interesting article (in Norw.) that I may share with you all:

What does the word quarantine mean, and what is its origin?

The word comes from Italian : quaranta giorni which means 40 days. The background for the word goes back to the crusades and the Knights Hospitalleres, a sub-order of the Knights Templars. Mainly on the islands of Malta and Rhodos, they took care of pilgrims and crusaders travelling to and from the Holy Land. They had several rules for isolating possibly sick people. We have a worldwide pandemic right now, even in our modern world. Imagine how much more important it was to keep potentially sick people away from others for a while back then, just to make sure of no danger?

But why 40 days?

The Knight Templars had a religious background, cruel in battles as they might have been, and as such, they looked to the Bible for advice. If you read The Gospel of Luke ch. 4, v. 1-13, you will find the story about Jesus and his 40 days in the desert, where he was constantly challenged and tempted by the Devil. But after 40 days and nights the Devil gave up, and Jesus could return from the desert as a purified man.

In Greek it is called katharsis.

At least researchers claim that this is the origin of the term quarantine. So the thought the Knights had was that if it was working for Jesus, it should be good for all mortals too. Of course, illnesses like leprosy required lifelong isolation, but for most other illnesses, a Biblical quaranta giorni should do the job :)

Edit: It should also be mentioned that also Moses went off for self-purification for 40 days...

In today's world, medicine is far more knowledgeable, and we are now asked to self-isolate for 14 days, of which I am halfway now. After that, I'll know I won't contaminate others when I go outside. Of course, I risk getting Corona later. Hopefully all of us will be purified and protected.

Now you know.

Buen future Caminos!
 
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Ida-Lola

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on the Camino Frances
I am myself in volunteer quarantine. So plenty of time to read, and I found an interesting article (in Norw.) that I may share with you all:

What does the word quarantine means, and what is its origin?

The word comes from Italian: quaranta giorni which means 40 days. Tha background for the word goes back to the crusades and the Knights Hospitalleres, a sub-order of the Knights Templars. Mainly on the islands of Malta and Rhodos, they took care of pilgrims and crusaders to and from the Holy Land. They had several rules for isolating (possibly) sick people. We have a worldwide pandemic right now, even in our modern world. Imagine how much more important it was to isolate sick people back then?

But why 40 days?

The Knight Templars had a religious start, and as such, they looked to the Bible for advice. If you read Luke ch. 4, v. 1-13, You will find the story about Jesus and his 40 days in the desert, where he was constantly challenged and tempted by the Devil. But after 40 days and nights the Devil gave up, and Jesus could return from the desert as a purified man. In Greek it is called katharsis. At least researchers claim that this is the origin of the term quarantine. So the thougt of the Knights was that it was working for Jesus, so it should be good for all others too. Of course, illnesses like leprosy required lifelong isolation, but for most other illnesses, a Biblical quaranta giorni should do the job :)

In today's world, medicine is far more knowledgeable, and we are now asked to self-isolate for 14 days, of which I am halfway now. Hopefully all of us will be purified and protected.

Now you know.

Buen future Caminos!
What an interesting threat! Thanks for sharing! Sitting out time in volunteer quarantine myself so I am quite grateful for every interesting distraction that comes along the way!
 

alexwalker

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(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
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(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
What an interesting threat! Thanks for sharing! Sitting out time in volunteer quarantine myself so I am quite grateful for every interesting distraction that comes along the way!
My intention! We need something else now and then in these times...
 
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And after the 14 days of isolation, what then?
Maybe more! I tried to get my head around the difference between quarantine and isolation. The first one lets me get out for a walk, so that is my chosen state. At the moment. I keep my distance but still try to connect with the rare others on the path!
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
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SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
From what I remember the word and system was first used in Venice or theVenetian-controlled port city of Ragusa (now Dubrovnik, Croatia) to ensure plague was not brought to the city buy sailors or passengers of trade ships.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
My understanding is if one does not come down with symptoms within the 14 day quarantine period, one can be assumed to not have the disease and would not pass it along to someone else. It does not mean one is protected from the disease; one can still go out into the general public and contract the disease. That, I believe, is where isolation comes in. If one doesn’t have the disease, and remains isolated, there is less likelihood of contracting the disease and no likelihood of passing it along. I myself am in isolation but, depending on what is happening in the world after the 14 days, that may need to be extended. My simple understanding ...
 

alexwalker

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(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
The time 14 days is something for handling today's Corona problem. But up through the times, this has varied. The origin of 40 days, lies in the name quarantine, but for various cases, it has been used for 2-3 days period, and in Malta, the Knights Hospitallieres had a quarantine period of 180 (!) days...
 

alexwalker

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(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Hey, I think that today's hospitaleros/as should receive a Knights title too! Think of all they do for us! Names like @gmag , @LTfit , @SYates & @Rebekah Scott comes to my mind, at least.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
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In today's world, medicine is far more knowledgeable, and we are now asked to self-isolate for 14 days, of which I am halfway now. Hopefully all of us will be purified and protected.
I don't think that "purification" comes into the equation. As soon as you end your self isolation and go back out into the world you are no longer protected.
 

alexwalker

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(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I don't think that "purification" comes into the equation. As soon as you end your self isolation and go back out into the world you are no longer protected.
We must distinguish between isolation and quarantine. For quarantine, a 14 day period is enough to determine that you are not contaminated and can return to the outer world without contaminating others. You risk of course to catch it then. If you are contaminated, you must stay in isolation until you are no longer a danger to others. The benefit, according to health personell, is that you have now become immune to the beast. A fine distinction here...

However, the intention of this thread was to explain the meaning and history of the word quarantine.
 
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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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Hi Alex
Quarantine - interesting how the definition makes sense when you look at the word.

The other word in use right now ‘self isolation’ is not what you started the thread for but I do have a comment to make about its interpretation; on my recent arrival in Sydney, Australia from Madrid, Spain (Monday 16/3/20)
Knowing the recent decision made about self-isolation: when being processed as incoming resident ; the immigration official confirmed I was expected to do this for 2 weeks at home. I asked him: “but what about leaving the airport to travel home (approx 1.5 hrs) by train then taxi to my door?”

His reply : That is allowed. Maintain distance :rolleyes:o_O

Luckily it was an early arrival and my train departing 7.10am was heading south (away from
City) and therefore was almost empty. Easy to keep distance.

Peoples interpretations of definitions are not always what you’d expect.

Maybe this will be stepped up soon ?
Annie
 
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alexwalker

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(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Luckily it was an early arrival and my train departing 7.10am was heading south (away from City) and therefore was almost empty. Easy to keep distance.
Glad you made it. Just in time.
 
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Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
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The following is the information that I found on the Irish Health Service Executive website:

Restricted movements
Restricted movements means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. It is sometimes referred to as self-quarantine.

You do this to stop other people from getting coronavirus.

You need to restrict your movements if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus but you are:

Self-isolation
Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people. You need to do this if you have symptoms of coronavirus. This is to stop other people from getting it.


There is more information (eg it is ok to go out for a walk), but to try to stay with the meaning of quarantine at this time, and in the country of Ireland, I thought this might clarify the definitions at this point in time.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I am myself in volunteer quarantine. So plenty of time to read, and I found an interesting article (in Norw.) that I may share with you all:

What does the word quarantine means, and what is its origin?

The word comes from Italian: quaranta giorni which means 40 days. Tha background for the word goes back to the crusades and the Knights Hospitalleres, a sub-order of the Knights Templars. Mainly on the islands of Malta and Rhodos, they took care of pilgrims and crusaders to and from the Holy Land. They had several rules for isolating (possibly) sick people. We have a worldwide pandemic right now, even in our modern world. Imagine how much more important it was to isolate sick people back then?

But why 40 days?

The Knight Templars had a religious start, and as such, they looked to the Bible for advice. If you read Luke ch. 4, v. 1-13, You will find the story about Jesus and his 40 days in the desert, where he was constantly challenged and tempted by the Devil. But after 40 days and nights the Devil gave up, and Jesus could return from the desert as a purified man. In Greek it is called katharsis. At least researchers claim that this is the origin of the term quarantine. So the thougt of the Knights was that it was working for Jesus, so it should be good for all others too. Of course, illnesses like leprosy required lifelong isolation, but for most other illnesses, a Biblical quaranta giorni should do the job :)

Edit: It should also be mentioned that also Moses went off for self-purification for 40 days...

In today's world, medicine is far more knowledgeable, and we are now asked to self-isolate for 14 days, of which I am halfway now. Hopefully all of us will be purified and protected.

Now you know.

Buen future Caminos!
Predating the Templars, Jesus and even Moses, I believe Noah and his family are believed to have spent forty days away from the rest of humanity.

Looking up quarantine in the OED, I notice that the first use of the word predates its use (in English) for medical isolation and was for the legal right of a widow to remain in the house of her late husband for 40 days. It was only some decades later, in the mid-17th century, that we see it referring to medical isolation.
 

alexwalker

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(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Predating the Templars, Jesus and even Moses, I believe Noah and his family are believed to have spent forty days away from the rest of humanity.

Looking up quarantine in the OED, I notice that the first use of the word predates its use (in English) for medical isolation and was for the legal right of a widow to remain in the house of her late husband for 40 days. It was only some decades later, in the mid-17th century, that we see it referring to medical isolation.
Forget English. The origin is Italian/Latin.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Forget English. The origin is Italian/Latin.
If I forget English, I won't be able to communicate very well. My Spanish won't get me too far, my French somewhat less, my Hebrew much less, and otherwise, I can pretty much just say "thanks". Certainly, the origin is the word "forty", but I don't have etymological dictionaries of Italian or Latin to go back further. And since English is the language I am communicating in, I thought it was interesting that it entered English first as a word in a legal context unrelated to medical matters.

Also, our moderators asked us to keep the conversation focused on etymology and that was how I could contribute in that regard.
 

Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
@David Tallan, you may want to explore why the number is 40. Until today, I didn't even recall that "the rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights". I understand that it means just "a very long time". But my googling led me to the Babylonians and their astronomical knowledge about the Pleiades as a possible origin ... ☺.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Self isolation isn't just for those who have symptoms of the virus. It's for everyone, so that you don't get exposed to the virus and unwittingly pass it on to someone else. There are also people who have the virus but have no symptoms. Everyone needs to self isolate as much as possible (I know that not everyone can do this 100% of the time) to slow the spread of the virus.

This article and simulations demonstrate this.

Here in Australia, we are distinguishing between self-isolation (a wonderful oxymoron) and social distancing. My workplace as graduated distance rules - 1.5 m for up to 15 minutes, min of 2 m for up to two hours, etc.

On the general theme, my officer training in the Army many years ago was conducted at Portsea. Most of the buildings were part of what was originally called a Sanitary Station, but later re-named a Quarantine Station.

Even when I trained there, if we were on field training for a week or more, we had to pack up our rooms in case quarantine arrangements needed to be put in place. In my time there, there was only one family that were quarantined, and that was done in buildings not used for our training.

Scarlett fever and typhoid were the major causes of fever on board ships arriving from Britain, with many deaths at sea on the journey. There was a rather sad row of rooms before the disinfection building that was used to provide palliative care for those where the disease was too advanced for medical treatment. Disinfection appeared to be a pretty unpleasant quasi-industrial process that paid little heed to human dignity for the individuals. Huge, walk through, auto-claves were used to treat passengers' baggage.

The station was established during the Victorian gold rush, and replaced an earlier station located much closer to Melbourne. At that station, people eager to get to the goldfields were close enough to 'disappear' before the end of their quarantine period with relative ease and walk to Melbourne and then the goldfields. Portsea is about as far as one could get away from the goldfields, and on a peninsula that could be more easily patrolled by police should someone depart without having been cleared of disease.

I revisited many years after I graduated, and was flooded with a range of mixed memories and emotions about the good or bad things that happened while I was there. I doubt any of those quarantined there even bothered to do that!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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Its origin is in 12th Century French, and the Latin word is from the French rather than vice-versa.

It (quarantaine) originally meant "a set of 40" or "a period of 40 days" (so vingtaine 20, trentaine 30, cinquantaine 50, centaine 100, etc) ; and its legal sense in the mediaeval period referred to the period of time, 40 days, when a widow having her dowry could remain within her deceased husband's manor.

The practice of quarantines dates back to Antiquity, and it is attested in the Old Testament for example ; nevertheless, "quarantine" in the medical sense dates back only to the 17th Century.
 

alexwalker

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(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
The practice of quarantines dates back to Antiquity, and it is attested in the Old Testament for example ; nevertheless, "quarantine" in the medical sense dates back only to the 17th Century.
This is somewhat tiring,and disrespectful towards ancient, original languages. For goodness sake: Please forget about the English "language", which basically is a mix of Norse, German, Dutch, Latin & Greek languages: We are talking about ancient languages, NOT English, and the origins are quite clear! Read up:


Please, moderators; stop irrelevant comments; This thread is simply an explanatory and historic correct one. I never thought it would be about the English "language". (Jeeez).
 
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CWBuff

Active Member
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in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
Its origin is in 12th Century French, and the Latin word is from the French rather than vice-versa.

It (quarantaine) originally meant "a set of 40" or "a period of 40 days" (so vingtaine 20, trentaine 30, cinquantaine 50, centaine 100, etc) ; and its legal sense in the mediaeval period referred to the period of time, 40 days, when a widow having her dowry could remain within her deceased husband's manor.

The practice of quarantines dates back to Antiquity, and it is attested in the Old Testament for example ; nevertheless, "quarantine" in the medical sense dates back only to the 17th Century.
With all respect due:
How can a LATIN word be derived from XII c French?🤨
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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With all respect due:
How can a LATIN word be derived from XII c French?🤨
Many words in Mediaeval and Church Latin are derived from words of other languages, especially French and Italian. In this particular case it came in through Legal Latin.

This is somewhat tiring,and disrespectful towards ancient, original languages. For goodness sake: Please forget about the English "language", which basically is a mix of Norse, German, Dutch, Latin & Greek languages: We are talking about ancient languages, NOT English, and the origins are quite clear!
?????

My post did not even mention English ... and I have no idea why you suppose that I have no respect for ancient languages. I most certainly do !!

Please, moderators; stop irrelevant comments; This thread is simply an explanatory and historic correct one. I never thought it would be about the English "language". (Jeeez).
The words quaranta (Italian) and quarante (French) are both derived from Classical era Latin quadraginta. But these are not the word "quarantine".
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
I have deleted several off topic posts, Again please stay on topic, this thread is about the meaning and origin of the word "quarantine" there are several other threads to discuss our present emergency.
 

alexwalker

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(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
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(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC

Sandra R

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk Camino Frances May (2020)
I am myself in volunteer quarantine. So plenty of time to read, and I found an interesting article (in Norw.) that I may share with you all:

What does the word quarantine mean, and what is its origin?

The word comes from Italian : quaranta giorni which means 40 days. The background for the word goes back to the crusades and the Knights Hospitalleres, a sub-order of the Knights Templars. Mainly on the islands of Malta and Rhodos, they took care of pilgrims and crusaders travelling to and from the Holy Land. They had several rules for isolating possibly sick people. We have a worldwide pandemic right now, even in our modern world. Imagine how much more important it was to keep potentially sick people away from others for a while back then, just to make sure of no danger?

But why 40 days?

The Knight Templars had a religious background, cruel in battles as they might have been, and as such, they looked to the Bible for advice. If you read The Gospel of Luke ch. 4, v. 1-13, you will find the story about Jesus and his 40 days in the desert, where he was constantly challenged and tempted by the Devil. But after 40 days and nights the Devil gave up, and Jesus could return from the desert as a purified man.

In Greek it is called katharsis.

At least researchers claim that this is the origin of the term quarantine. So the thought the Knights had was that if it was working for Jesus, it should be good for all mortals too. Of course, illnesses like leprosy required lifelong isolation, but for most other illnesses, a Biblical quaranta giorni should do the job :)

Edit: It should also be mentioned that also Moses went off for self-purification for 40 days...

In today's world, medicine is far more knowledgeable, and we are now asked to self-isolate for 14 days, of which I am halfway now. After that, I'll know I won't contaminate others when I go outside. Of course, I risk getting Corona later. Hopefully all of us will be purified and protected.

Now you know.

Buen future Caminos!
Thanks so much - fascinating. Stay well 😊
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
@David Tallan, you may want to explore why the number is 40. Until today, I didn't even recall that "the rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights". I understand that it means just "a very long time". But my googling led me to the Babylonians and their astronomical knowledge about the Pleiades as a possible origin ... ☺.
"Forty days" certainly is a recurring theme in the Bible:

The rain which brought about the Deluge lasted forty days (Gen. vii. 4, 12, 17); the same period passed between the appearance of the mountain-tops and the opening of the windows in the ark (Gen. viii. 6). For the embalming of Jacob forty days were required (Gen. 1. 3). Moses was without food on Mount Horeb for forty days (Ex. xxiv. 18). Moses also spent three consecutive periods of forty days on Mount Sinai (Deut. ix. 11, 25, x. 10). Elijah wandered without food for the same period (I Kings xix. 8; compare also the fasting of Jesus previous to his temptation, Matt. iv. 2). Ezekiel was ordered to lie on his right side forty days, to represent the forty years of the sin of Judah (Ezek. iv. 6). Forty days were spent by the spies in Canaan (Num. xiii. 25); Goliath challenged the army of Israel for forty days (I Sam. xvii. 16; compare Soṭah 41b). The same number of days was granted Nineveh for repentance (Jonah iii. 4). They also form the period required for purification after the birth of a male (Lev. xii. 2, 4), while after that of a female it is twice that number of days (ib. 5).

Forty years is also similarly recurring. Some say that it is used as a round, concrete number in place of the more abstract "many". I've read other sources saying that in the Bible it often represents transition or renewal.

My Google-fu is not sufficient to come up with a Pleiades connection, although I was able to discover that the number was often associated with the Babylonian god Enki. It makes me wonder if the Babylonian language, like ancient Hebrew, also used letters as numbers giving a numeric value to words (which, in addition to being collections of letters, are also collections of numbers). It also makes me tempted to dive into the ancient field of gematria and figure out which Biblical Hebrew words have a value of 40. But I am not that far gone yet.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
"Forty days" certainly is a recurring theme in the Bible:

The rain which brought about the Deluge lasted forty days (Gen. vii. 4, 12, 17); the same period passed between the appearance of the mountain-tops and the opening of the windows in the ark (Gen. viii. 6). For the embalming of Jacob forty days were required (Gen. 1. 3). Moses was without food on Mount Horeb for forty days (Ex. xxiv. 18). Moses also spent three consecutive periods of forty days on Mount Sinai (Deut. ix. 11, 25, x. 10). Elijah wandered without food for the same period (I Kings xix. 8; compare also the fasting of Jesus previous to his temptation, Matt. iv. 2). Ezekiel was ordered to lie on his right side forty days, to represent the forty years of the sin of Judah (Ezek. iv. 6). Forty days were spent by the spies in Canaan (Num. xiii. 25); Goliath challenged the army of Israel for forty days (I Sam. xvii. 16; compare Soṭah 41b). The same number of days was granted Nineveh for repentance (Jonah iii. 4). They also form the period required for purification after the birth of a male (Lev. xii. 2, 4), while after that of a female it is twice that number of days (ib. 5).

Forty years is also similarly recurring. Some say that it is used as a round, concrete number in place of the more abstract "many". I've read other sources saying that in the Bible it often represents transition or renewal.

My Google-fu is not sufficient to come up with a Pleiades connection, although I was able to discover that the number was often associated with the Babylonian god Enki. It makes me wonder if the Babylonian language, like ancient Hebrew, also used letters as numbers giving a numeric value to words (which, in addition to being collections of letters, are also collections of numbers). It also makes me tempted to dive into the ancient field of gematria and figure out which Biblical Hebrew words have a value of 40. But I am not that far gone yet.
Crazy! Thanks for digging this out.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
"Forty days" certainly is a recurring theme in the Bible:

The rain which brought about the Deluge lasted forty days (Gen. vii. 4, 12, 17); the same period passed between the appearance of the mountain-tops and the opening of the windows in the ark (Gen. viii. 6). For the embalming of Jacob forty days were required (Gen. 1. 3). Moses was without food on Mount Horeb for forty days (Ex. xxiv. 18). Moses also spent three consecutive periods of forty days on Mount Sinai (Deut. ix. 11, 25, x. 10). Elijah wandered without food for the same period (I Kings xix. 8; compare also the fasting of Jesus previous to his temptation, Matt. iv. 2). Ezekiel was ordered to lie on his right side forty days, to represent the forty years of the sin of Judah (Ezek. iv. 6). Forty days were spent by the spies in Canaan (Num. xiii. 25); Goliath challenged the army of Israel for forty days (I Sam. xvii. 16; compare Soṭah 41b). The same number of days was granted Nineveh for repentance (Jonah iii. 4). They also form the period required for purification after the birth of a male (Lev. xii. 2, 4), while after that of a female it is twice that number of days (ib. 5).

Forty years is also similarly recurring. Some say that it is used as a round, concrete number in place of the more abstract "many". I've read other sources saying that in the Bible it often represents transition or renewal.

My Google-fu is not sufficient to come up with a Pleiades connection, although I was able to discover that the number was often associated with the Babylonian god Enki. It makes me wonder if the Babylonian language, like ancient Hebrew, also used letters as numbers giving a numeric value to words (which, in addition to being collections of letters, are also collections of numbers). It also makes me tempted to dive into the ancient field of gematria and figure out which Biblical Hebrew words have a value of 40. But I am not that far gone yet.
Excellent.

Has anyone figured out why 40?

Present time keeping has 30 day months so why not thirty days and nights?

I have always wondered why 40 is the marker.
 

trecile

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"Forty days" certainly is a recurring theme in the Bible:

The rain which brought about the Deluge lasted forty days (Gen. vii. 4, 12, 17); the same period passed between the appearance of the mountain-tops and the opening of the windows in the ark (Gen. viii. 6). For the embalming of Jacob forty days were required (Gen. 1. 3). Moses was without food on Mount Horeb for forty days (Ex. xxiv. 18). Moses also spent three consecutive periods of forty days on Mount Sinai (Deut. ix. 11, 25, x. 10). Elijah wandered without food for the same period (I Kings xix. 8; compare also the fasting of Jesus previous to his temptation, Matt. iv. 2). Ezekiel was ordered to lie on his right side forty days, to represent the forty years of the sin of Judah (Ezek. iv. 6). Forty days were spent by the spies in Canaan (Num. xiii. 25); Goliath challenged the army of Israel for forty days (I Sam. xvii. 16; compare Soṭah 41b). The same number of days was granted Nineveh for repentance (Jonah iii. 4). They also form the period required for purification after the birth of a male (Lev. xii. 2, 4), while after that of a female it is twice that number of days (ib. 5).

Forty years is also similarly recurring. Some say that it is used as a round, concrete number in place of the more abstract "many". I've read other sources saying that in the Bible it often represents transition or renewal.

My Google-fu is not sufficient to come up with a Pleiades connection, although I was able to discover that the number was often associated with the Babylonian god Enki. It makes me wonder if the Babylonian language, like ancient Hebrew, also used letters as numbers giving a numeric value to words (which, in addition to being collections of letters, are also collections of numbers). It also makes me tempted to dive into the ancient field of gematria and figure out which Biblical Hebrew words have a value of 40. But I am not that far gone yet.
And a pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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Has anyone figured out why 40?

Present time keeping has 30 day months so why not thirty days and nights?

I have always wondered why 40 is the marker.
It's most likely quite arbitrary. The practice of quarantines was first put in place in a modern sense by the French in the 17th Century, when they imposed a period of forty days isolation of ships, crew, and cargo where it was known there was illness aboard or that the ship had travelled and/or was carrying goods from a port where an epidemic existed (black plague in particular). The word quarantaine meant and means "period of forty days", though in Middle French it was also used to designate Lent.

From that point, the word started also to mean "a period of medical isolation", irrespective of length in days.

I can try and dig a little deeper into the French Medical History as to why the number 40 was chosen rather than 30, 33, 45, 50, whatever, but my hunch is that it was basically arbitrary, although it could very possibly have been influenced by the notion of Lenten fasting.
 

alexwalker

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(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
It's most likely quite arbitrary. The practice of quarantines was first put in place in a modern sense by the French in the 17th Century, when they imposed a period of forty days isolation of ships, crew, and cargo where it was known there was illness aboard or that the ship had travelled and/or was carrying goods from a port where an epidemic existed (black plague in particular). The word quarantaine meant and means "period of forty days", though in Middle French it was also used to designate Lent.

From that point, the word started also to mean "a period of medical isolation", irrespective of length in days.

I can try and dig a little deeper into the French Medical History as to why the number 40 was chosen rather than 30, 33, 45, 50, whatever, but my hunch is that it was basically arbitrary, although it could very possibly have been influenced by the notion of Lenten fasting.
The origin and meaning is explained in my original post. Forget English. Forget French. It was started during the crusades some 1.000 years ago. My original post is quoting researchers, not Google findings.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
It's most likely quite arbitrary. The practice of quarantines was first put in place in a modern sense by the French in the 17th Century, when they imposed a period of forty days isolation of ships, crew, and cargo where it was known there was illness aboard or that the ship had travelled and/or was carrying goods from a port where an epidemic existed (black plague in particular). The word quarantaine meant and means "period of forty days", though in Middle French it was also used to designate Lent.

From that point, the word started also to mean "a period of medical isolation", irrespective of length in days.

I can try and dig a little deeper into the French Medical History as to why the number 40 was chosen rather than 30, 33, 45, 50, whatever, but my hunch is that it was basically arbitrary, although it could very possibly have been influenced by the notion of Lenten fasting.
Bible, Old Testament, is 5,000 years old. Forty was the time stamp then.

Why?
 

JabbaPapa

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hmmmm, the first time that the practice existed in medical history was in 14th Century Croatia, when the port city of Ragusa (belonging to Venice) implemented a 30-day quarantine (a trentino in Italian) for ships suspected of carrying the plague. The practice was then adopted by several other Mediterranean ports.

And it seems my other sources were wrong (I'm consulting a doctoral thesis : http://thesesante.ups-tlse.fr/1902/1/2017TOU31142.pdf ) -- the word "quarantine" was first used by Venice in 1383 when they prolonged the original trentino by 10 days into a 40 day quarantina.

"Nous ne savons pas pourquoi un passage de trente à quarante jours car aucun médecin n’atteste d’une durée d’incubation quelconque. Nous pouvons formuler plusieurs hypothèses :
- Le rallongement de la durée afin de ne passer à côté d’aucun cas, une forme de système de précaution majorée.
- Une référence biblique avec les quarante jours de jeûne ou de traversée du désert par Jésus.
- Un héritage de la médecine grecque antique, avec les enseignements hippocratiques qui précisent que, si une maladie perdure après 40 jours, elle n’est pas aigue mais chronique. Dans ce cas, ce ne peut être la peste
"

Basically the "why" of 40 days rather than the original 30 is not known from documents, but the hypotheses are 1) an extra ten days as a precautionary measure 2) the Lenten/Biblical reference 3) the fact that the Classical Greek (Hippocratic) authors had suggested that illnesses lasting 40 days or more were chronic rather than acute ; and so by deduction could not be the plague.

This third hypothesis seems the most likely one to me personally, though the first one is not unlikely either.

There is a wealth of historical information on this question in the thesis.
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

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The origin and meaning is explained in my original post. Forget English. Forget French. It was started during the crusades some 1.000 years ago. My original post is quoting researchers, not Google findings.
This is very unhelpful ; and I am not using "Google findings". But FWIW there are errors in your OP.
 

alexwalker

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CWBuff

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Excellent.

Has anyone figured out why 40?

Present time keeping has 30 day months so why not thirty days and nights?

I have always wondered why 40 is the marker.
not completely sure how to take this but in conjunction with all the Biblical References:

At the time among the Jews, the number forty wasn’t generally used to signify a specific number, per se, but rather more used as a general term for a large figure. When it was used in terms of time, it simply meant a “long time”. Thus, the phrase “40 days and 40 nights” was just another way to say a “really long time”.

The number forty also had great symbolic meaning to the Jews and today among Christians and Muslims as well. The number forty to the Jews is a number that, when used in terms of time, represents a period of probation, trial, and chastisement (not to be confused with judgment which is represented by the number 9).

As the product of 5 and 8, it also signifies grace (5) ending in revival or a new beginning (8). Thus, when 40 is referencing a period of probation, it also often coincides with the meaning derived from the factors 5 and 8. When it relates to enlarged dominion or extended rule, then it is related to the factors of 4 and 10, with 4 representing the creation of something and 10 representing perfection and completeness.


and if you REALLYwant to get into some 'related musings' try THIS :oops:
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I just did. From the Medical History.
Yes, one (at least) source say that quarantine was used in the 14th century in Venice, calling it quaranta giorni.


It is disputed: recent work, to which I have had some access, but is not yet published (and may never be; it is a private research for selfish reasons), tells about the Knights Hospitalleres and their medical treatments in albergues(!). They used Italian as their language, and there are now (according to my source) strong indications that they started the use of quaranta giorni, for the reasons you'll find in my OP.

Some more info on them may be found here:



Not a French, not an English invention ;-)

I rest my case for now.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
not completely sure how to take this but in conjunction with all the Biblical References:

At the time among the Jews, the number forty wasn’t generally used to signify a specific number, per se, but rather more used as a general term for a large figure. When it was used in terms of time, it simply meant a “long time”. Thus, the phrase “40 days and 40 nights” was just another way to say a “really long time”.

The number forty also had great symbolic meaning to the Jews and today among Christians and Muslims as well. The number forty to the Jews is a number that, when used in terms of time, represents a period of probation, trial, and chastisement (not to be confused with judgment which is represented by the number 9).

As the product of 5 and 8, it also signifies grace (5) ending in revival or a new beginning (8). Thus, when 40 is referencing a period of probation, it also often coincides with the meaning derived from the factors 5 and 8. When it relates to enlarged dominion or extended rule, then it is related to the factors of 4 and 10, with 4 representing the creation of something and 10 representing perfection and completeness.


and if you REALLYwant to get into some 'related musings' try THIS :oops:
Thank you! Sounds reasonable:

 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Yes, one (at least) source say that quarantine was used in the 14th century in Venice, calling it quaranta giorni.


It is disputed: recent work, to which I have had some access, but is not yet published (and may never be; it is a private research for selfish reasons), tells about the Knights Hospitalleres and their medical treatments in albergues(!). They used Italian as their language, and there are now (according to my source) strong indications that they started the use of quaranta giorni, for the reasons you'll find in my OP.

Some more info on them may be found here:


The Hospitallers and Templars were entirely separate Military Orders, and that blog post is hardly a good source (let alone wikipedia).

And is a 2017 doctoral thesis not "recent work" ? (please don't require me to dig deeper ... ) (and can you please stop mentioning "English", I've not referred to it once !!)

The section that I cited refers in footnotes to :

19. Mafart B, Perret JL. [History of the concept of quarantine]. Med Trop (Mars). 1998;58(2 Suppl):14‑20.

20. Sehdev PS. The origin of quarantine. Clin Infect Dis. 1 nov 2002;35(9):1071‑2.

21. Tognotti E. Lessons from the history of quarantine, from plague to influenza A. Emerging Infect Dis. févr 2013;19(2):254‑9.

Not exactly out-of-date sources either.

As for "quaranta giorni" it just means "forty days", and it does not illuminate as to the origin of the quarantina word in the modern sense of "quarantine" (various languages).

This definition ( https://www.etimo.it/?term=quarantena ) suggests that the Italian is a loan word from the French quarantaine, much as I suggested where the origin of the word is in fact to be looked for.

Though it also erroneously refers to a "bas latin" "quarantanea/quarantana", when it is a word found only in the Mediaeval Latin. Which, as I have already pointed out, got into the vocabulary of it from the French via the Legal Latin.

There is no doubt at all that the practice of quarantines is far, far older than the word as such ; but when examining the origins of words, it is best to consider the questions with the word itself and in esse always front and centre, with of course good regard as to the history of its uses and historical meanings.
 
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