[Milton-L] A word

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 20 15:58:34 EST 2007

Angelica, try Googling "Iberian Caucasus" and see what comes up. I found this, among other items:
  The History of the Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, Vol 4, by Edward Gibbon, Chapter XLII, Part III, State of the Barbaric World:
  "The extreme length of the Euxine Sea from Constantinople to the mouth of the Phasis, may be computed as a voyage of nine days, and a measure of seven hundred miles. From the Iberian Caucasus, the most lofty and craggy mountains of Asia, that river descends with such oblique vehemence, that in a short space it is traversed by one hundred and twenty bridges. Nor does the stream become placid and navigable, till it reaches the town of Sarapana, five days' journey from the Cyrus, which flows from the same hills, but in a contrary direction to the Caspian Lake."
  Among other items that come up:
  Bedoshvili G., "History of some specific Georgian surnames," The Iberian-Caucasus linguistic, v. XXV, Tbilisi 1986, pp. 146-149. 
  Jeffery Hodges

Angelica Duran <duran0 at exchange.purdue.edu> wrote:
  Dear scholars,

Perhaps you can help me either search the OED better (in case they have a ¡°source-finding¡± engine) or understand this interesting linguistic peculiarity.

The OED defines ¡°Iberian¡± as ¡°Of or pertaining to ancient Iberia in Europe¡± and ¡°Of or pertaining to ancient Iberia in Asia, nearly corresponding to modern Georgia.¡± The only example the OED cites for the latter is from Paradise Regained 3.318, ¡°The Hyrcanian cliffs of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales.¡± I checked various editions of PR and, while they explain the limits of the location given the western-moving line of vision in the passage, they do not cite the source for this specific use of ¡°Iberian.¡±  I am interested in knowing what the source might be and if any other British writer wrote anything in English (vs. Latin, etc.) and used ¡°Iberian¡± in this latter sense.

All help appreciated.


Angelica Duran
Associate Professor
English and Comparative Literature
Purdue University
500 Oval Drive
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
(765) 496-3957
<duran0 at purdue.edu>

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University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

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