Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Io Saturnalia ....Eeee-0h Eleven

Saturnalia has come around once more. What to write about this ancient Roman festival that hasn't been written before by many and many more, including me (here).
Casting around for an idea I noticed this on a blog called No Gods No Masters:
To celebrate Romans would untie the ropes on the statue of Saturn that usually bound him the rest of the year. The traditional greeting for the holiday was 'Io, Saturnalia!" (pronounced ee-oh), which means "Ho, Glory to Saturn!"

My butterfly mind skipped immediately to Sammy Davis singing Ee-oh Eleven in the 1960 "Rat Pack" movie Ocean's Eleven. Hmmm. It seems unlikely that Sammy D. was singing "Ho Glory to Eleven", even though certain members of the Rat Pack had Italian roots and could possibly have inherited the expression "Io"; they definitely inherited some of the debauchery of Saturnalia, carried it out, and not just in December - so rumour has it!

I searched for information on "eee-oh eleven" and found these gambling-related answers :
The eleven in craps is referred to as a 'Yo, an abreviated version of a dealer yelling out "Eeeeeeee-yo-leven", harking back to the old days in the gambling halls in the West and on Mississippi riverboats.

When an eleven comes up on the dice the "stickman" says it this way so it does not confuse the players and other dealers with the similar sounding seven.

A player might call, "$1 on the yo," and throw a dollar chip to the stickman. This "yo" is the shortened version of "eee-ooo-eleven" which players often yell at the thrown dice if they have money riding on the eleven.

An eleven can only be rolled (dice) by a combination of one even and one odd (specifically, one six and one five). So, E-O Eleven, means even, odd, eleven. E-O has turned into Yo because it's quicker to say.
So no connection between Io and eee-oh then. Pity!

Er....Saturnalia....there's a nice blog post on it at the Meme Merchant "Oh and One More Thing" And another at the link already mentioned above for No Gods No Masters "Io Saturnalia".

That song I mentioned - nothing to do with the festival at all, but it's catchy:


mike said...

Happy Saturnalia, Twilight!

I find Christianity so strange...their highjacking of the Pagan celebrations as their own, and the vast Christian myths that accompany those stolen days. Sorry, if this offends your readers, but it's based on known facts regarding the Christian movement and the denigration of Paganism.

I celebrate nature, whether it be called Paganism or Pantheism or something else. I don't elevate humans above all creatures...we are all part of the web of life.

By Xul Solar's numbering, your "Yo" would be "B" or "E":

"The duodecimal system (also known as base-12 or dozenal) is a positional notation numeral system using twelve as its base. In this system, the number ten may be written as "A", "T" or "X", and the number eleven as "B" or "E"..."

mike (again) said...

P.S. - for those pondering Jesus' true day of birth:

"Was Jesus a Gemini?"

Twilight said...

mike ~ Happy Saturnalia to you too, mike!

I agree - the season is a mish-mash, a collage, a gumbo of bits of this and bits of that all stitched together into a pleasant enough pattern, which has managed to afford at least 24 hours of universal-ish goodwill to break out for centuries.

Thanks for the duodecimalistic "yo". I should be quite familiar with the duodecimal system, our British currency of pounds, shillings and pence used it for centuries.....but honestly it's hard now to get my head aroun it again. :-)

mike (again)~ Ah yes! Another of these "when was He really born" pieces. Thanks for the link. Interesting, but it all gets a bit silly in the end doesn't it?

Here's what I wrote in 2008


And just last night (or very early this morning (we had a small emergency so not much sleep was had) I read an article in one of my books obtained in an antique store somewhere:
"The Best of the Illustrated National Astrological Journal 1933 and 1934"

A piece from 1933 by Ann Barkhust titles "The Star Nativity" has even more theories.

I was thinking of copy-typing parts of the piece in a post, but hesitate to add to the confusion. What do you think?

mike (again) said...

I'm always interested in hypotheses regarding the star of Bethlehem...I've read quite a few. My personal thought is that the story of Jesus is a myth, so I wouldn't expect accuracy in historical facts to coincide with the telling of Jesus' life. I think it works the other way...believers want to correlate historical data with their Jesus, which has always proven difficult.

There's much on the internet about the Jesus mythology. Here's a Wiki:

I feel fortunate to have had parents that did not associate any particular religion as a meaningful explanation for life on Earth. It has always been open-ended for me. I can't believe that any one religion is better than another, or one god is different than the other. Each to their own...I just wish that religion wasn't the greatest reason for animosity, death, and destruction here on Earth!

If I had a religion, it would have to be nature, the Earth, the cosmos...it's all too fantastic. The universe is enfolded into me...and I'm enfolded into it.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I like to believe (or consider) that Jesus did exist - as a widely known (or heard about) teacher, something like a few in our own time - MLK for instance. The stories which have grown around him, like moss on a stone rolling down the centuries, are what have been grabbed by power-hungry religious bodies. That version satisfies me anyway. The message isn't lost -only the manipulative detail surrounding it.

I'll do a bit of copy-typing to add some more supposition on the Bethlehem star story, then. As you say, if the base story is myth or lies, then detail such as the star will not be accurate - or perhaps the brilliantly bright star did actually exist around the time of the story, and was used as useful embroidery to the story.

Oscar Bellevue said...

Hio Twilight! I was searching something from my blog on Google and found your reference to my Saturnalia post. Thanks for the shout out and keep up the good work! Let me know if I can help you out on your blog. We bloggers need to stick together :)

Oscar Bellevue said...

Hi Twilight! Stumbled on your blog while searching something on Google and saw you mentioned me! Thanks for the shout-out. Let me know if I can help you and your blog in any way. Thanks and happy holidays!


Twilight said...

Oscar Bellevue ~ Hi there! Many thanks for your visit and comment(s)
:-) Yes indeed, we bloggers must stick together - there are few of left since Facebook gobbled up the majority.

Love and Peace and Happy Everythings!

Twilight said...

Oscar Bellevue ~ I've added your blog to my "Assorted Links" in the sidebar. :-)
I tried to comment on your latest post at Meme Merchant but your comment system only allows me to use Google+ and my real name which I'd prefer not to do.
Most Blogger blogs' comment systems use our Blogger screen names, linked back, just a simple transition. Hmm - I guess it's another new thing. :-/