Posts by Dr. Boli


Which Is a Tale Sette Downe for One of the Trewest and Mervayllest Aventures That Ever Bifel Syr Gawayne.

There was probably one reader in the world, besides Dr. Boli himself, who was entertained by this story when it was first published years ago, and that reader is now gone. In honor of the late Professor Frank Zbozny, a great medievalist and frequent reader of this Magazine, Dr. Boli will print it again.

And after ryding above thre Englysshe legues syr Gawayne cam uppon a fayre castell. And over the castell gate was wryten in letters of gold,


And in front of the castell on a roche there sate a mayden, weping ful sore for pyté. And syr Gawayne unmounted hym and asked the mayden, “Wherefor makyst thou soche dole?”

And the mayden answered him, “Trewely I am wepyng for the custome of this castell, for whan that I sawe thee, a knight valyaunt and ful of vertu, approche unto thys curssed castell, hyt nyghe brast myn herte for pyté.”

“Tell me,” quod syr Gawayne, “what ys the custome of this castell?”

“Trewely,” quod the mayden, “ill chance hath brought thee here. For thys ys the Castell of Mayden Clerkes, and hyt ys the custome of this castell that no knyght may passe but that the Mayden Clerkes assaulten hym with dogerel. And many knyghtes have com hereby, but none be yet on lyve.”

“That ys an yvell custome,” seyde syr Gawayne.

“Wherefor I dyd make soche dole whan that I sawe thee. For hyt is seyde that none bot the moste valyaunt of King Arthurs knyghtes schal conquer thys castell. And truely the knyght that enchevyth this aventure schall have moche erthely worschipp. And lo, the Mayden Clerkes approche even now, wherefor I byd the mak haste to arme the.”

And syr Gawayne loked and biheld sevvyn maydens armed like unto knyghts. And eche helde a scroll on whych wer wryt straunge letters, and at once they biganne to rede from the scrolls. And syr Gawayne helde hys shelde tofore hym, but the maydens dyd shoot jagged half-rimes that brast hys shelde asonder.

And whan syr Gawayne was sore bysette, and wot not how he myght defend hymselffe, bihold there appered unto hym Merlion, who gav hym a boke and bade hym rede therfrom. “And loke you rede loude and eke streng,” quod Merlion, “for your lyf dipendyth uppon hyt.”

So syr Gawayne opyned the boke, and lo, in it wer wryten the workes of the Englysshe poets of most renome and worschippe. And syr Gawayne bigan to rede dan Chaucer his poemys in a voys ful resonaunt. And straightaway the maydens dyd dropp hir scrolls, and thei did cover hir eares with hir hondes. And at the fift stanza of Troylus and Criseyde, the maydens all fel doun dede, and the castell vanysshed al sodeynly, for the inchauntements of the place were al to-brokyn.

And on the roche wher the mayden had sate Merlion lette wryt in gold letters,


And the peple of the lands about the castell mad grete chere of syr Gawayne, and he dyd abyde with hem fyve dayes with grete honneur.


There is a certain school of philology, which we may call the Crank School, that believes the whole foundation of scientific philology is unsound. Like most forms of crank science, crank philology attributes the current scientific consensus to a giant worldwide conspiracy of all academics.

Dr. Boli has just found a remarkable example of crank philology, which he has added to the Wrong History shelf in his Eclectic Library:

Macedonian – The European Mother Tongue, with dictionary of ancient words still present in today Macedonian language. The all-inclusive PIE substratum of Pelasgo-Proto-Macedonic, i.e. Nashinski (Lat. Nostratic) and its 15,000 years old continuum with explained etymological phonologies from various sources and online dictionaries link-citations. By Basil Chulev, 2018.

For connoisseurs of cranks, here is a whole crank discipline. Apparently much of the intellectual life of North Macedonia is devoted to proving that all the accomplishments of the ancient world were attributable to Macedonians—ethnically the same as today’s Slavic Macedonians—and that nothing of any significance was ever accomplished by Greeks. For just one example, did you know that the middle section of the Rosetta Stone is written in pure Macedonian? Did you know that it had never been successfully translated until just recently, by a pair of Macedonian engineers named Boševski and Tentov? The rest of the world is egregiously misinformed on the subject, but Boševski and Tentov are media darlings in North Macedonia.

All this is merely an excuse to introduce three translations of beautiful ancient Thracian texts that prove to be pure Macedonian:

At the center of the city, I quickly gave cabbage to the beast mouth.

Nephew, are you satiated? Sit here and sip that juice.

If god has fire, you stay here girl and guard wisely at home.

Now, having read those accurate translations, you certainly have a strong desire to know more about the history of Macedonian as the mother of all European languages. Fortunately, Dr. Boli’s Eclectic Library has its own occasional blog, Literary Discoveries, in which you may read all about Your Macedonian Motherland. Otherwise you might have to read Mr. Chulev’s book, which Dr. Boli would not recommend.


Although the Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, the signing ceremony was delayed by two days for the convenience of the caterers.

Henry Wisner of New York refused to sign the Declaration because the Congress had voted to remove philately from the list of unalienable rights.

Francis Lee signed the Declaration because his brother Richard was there to hold him down. His usual response to a difficult decision was to run like the dickens, thus earning himself the nickname “Lightfoot.”

Historians examining Benjamin Franklin’s private correspondence have discovered that John Hancock was a pompous jackass.

In the engraving of the signing of the Declaration on the reverse of the United States two-dollar bill, John Witherspoon is erroneously shown with the face of Abraham Clark, and vice versa.

It was not revealed until well after the end of the Revolutionary War that delegate “John Morton” of Pennsylvania was a Manx cat.

Carter Braxton of Virginia took the occasion of the signing as an opportunity for an impassioned classical oration on the assembly’s duty to defend liberty for all men, ending with a memorable flourish in which he ordered his slave Pompey to bring him the inkstand.




WOMAN SEEKING MAN with own sousaphone for long walks in the moonlight, candlelit dinners for two, romantic evenings by the fireside, and silly chats about nothing at all. Must have own sousaphone. I’m a young professional woman with a promising career, many interests, and an artistic nature. If you’re a man who’s looking for that special someone, why not give me a call? The importance of the sousaphone cannot be overemphasized. Reply No. AW-3298Q.



Ansel Adams’ style is arguably the most recognized in photography, and Adams himself our most popular photographer. Though he died a quarter-century ago, his photographs still adorn dentists’ waiting rooms and corporate cubicle forests across the length and breadth of North America.

Adams set up his camera in thousands of different places through more than half a century of active work. But regardless of the subject, there is always a certain instantly identifiable je ne sais quoi (which is French for “beats me”) in every Adams photograph.

Here is a small portfolio of some of Adams’ best-known works:

Barren Hillside with Snow, Rocky Mountain National Park

Winter View from the Back Porch of a Cabin in the Adirondacks 

Interior, Dining Room, Home of Mr. and Mrs. Randolph Wheatland

Portrait of the Artist’s Cat Minerva, Reclining

UFO Landing Site, Taos, New Mexico, Just After Dawn

Some Kind of Big Mountain or Something