Coffled together by wire of purest gold

Discussion in 'English Only' started by october15, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. october15

    october15 Senior Member

    Lisbon
    Portugal-Portuguese
    Slaves coffled together by wire of purest gold threaded through their earglobes.

    I really don't get it.

    This dipicts a pannel (among others). I assume this was not exactly how the slaves were coffled together.

    Is it me, or is this impossible? By wire of purest gold?

    Help!

    october15
     
  2. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Hi october15

    There's at least one mistake in your transcription, and probably more than one:)

    "Earglobes" should read "earlobes".

    As for "coffled", I'm really not sure: maybe "coupled"?

    Could you please check the original text?
     
  3. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    Moderator note:

    Please give your questions meaningful titles that refer to the topic, not general ones like "difficult question".

    I have renamed this thread "Coffled together by wire of purest gold".
     
  4. sesamemma Member

    English-England
    It means that they were 'coffled together' using pure gold wire, which was threaded through their earlobes.
     
  5. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    A coffle is a train of beasts or slaves, so coffled would mean chained or tied together like animals or slaves. The slaves were linked to one another by pure gold wires threaded through their earlobes. As bizarre as this might sound, it is quite possible.
     
  6. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    "Wire of purest gold" is a poetic description. To the rest of us, it's just gold wire.
     
  7. sesamemma Member

    English-England
    It's the most efficient way to explain that the wire was made from the most pure gold, without compromising the structure or flow of the sentence.
     
  8. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    I stand by my characterization of the statement as "poetic." However efficient, I wouldn't write that sort of phrase unless I was deliberately trying to achieve a certain effect.
     
  9. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    California
    English - US
    Here is a link to the SOURCE.

    The elaborate language supports Bibliolept's reading, in this instance, at least. For example, the paragraph from which the title sentence was taken begins:
    Alleluias echoed from the host of trumpets and psalteries that flocked and perched around the roof beams.​
     
  10. october15

    october15 Senior Member

    Lisbon
    Portugal-Portuguese
    I'm sorry. It is earlobes. (oops). As for "coffled" that's the exact word. Slaves were coffled together in lines.

    october15
     
  11. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I don't see any difficulty with the expression "purest gold".
    The gold that constitutes the stuff that most of us wear is not pure gold.
    In my case, it is a mere 37.5% gold.
    Some of MrsP's stuff is 75% gold.
    I don't think we own anything that is 100% gold. It is too soft for practical use, but it would be OK in this particular context.
     
  12. october15

    october15 Senior Member

    Lisbon
    Portugal-Portuguese
    Understood. I will do so.

    october15
     
  13. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    The sentence is a description of an elaborate carved relief on the walls of a baroque church. In these circumstances, using gold wire instead of real iron shackles makes more sense.
     
  14. october15

    october15 Senior Member

    Lisbon
    Portugal-Portuguese
    Hum... that's more like it.
    I remember seeing a doc about those pannels and the idea crossed my mind. Yet it is kind of weird. Slaves were chained together by their feet...

    Thanks.

    october15
     

Share This Page

Loading...