These days, most of my energy - research and otherwise - is going into my next book. What that means here, on the blog, is yet another fluffy and whimsical post. There will be more posts with content, I promise. But not today.
Some while back, my husband and I were looking at a piece of music written for the installation of a Doge of Venice in the year 1423. The Doge in question was the redoubtable (if controversial) Francesco Foscari, shown above.
But this is not a post about Foscari, or about doges, or about Venice. It's a riff on the concept of installing someone. Think about it: a king or queen gets crowned (has a coronation); a president is sworn in; various other public figures probably have other means of officially starting their run in whatever the job in question happens to be.
But "install"? An odd word, I thought. Almost as if you were going to plug the guy in, boot him up, and make sure he was attached to a surge suppressor.
|Ready to splurge|
And with that, we were off and running.
Venetian doges perform an odd and arcane ceremony in which they "marry" the sea, tossing a ring into the water from a very fancy boat. What if one of them was likely to get carried away and jump in after it? You might then need - a submerge suppressor.
And while on an aquatic theme, if the doge's fancy boat (the Bucentaur) happened to stray into dangerous territory, you might need a gurge suppressor. (Gurge: a whirlpool, or, as a verb, to swallow up.)
Venice, of course, was noted for its lush fabrics, silks and brocades of exquisite design. If The Ten (Venice's rulers) feared that a frumpy doge might sour their image by wearing clothes made of simple worsted cloth, they could always employ a serge suppressor.
And if they felt strongly that no more hostelries should be licensed during this doge's reign, they might consider an auberge suppressor.
Should the newly-installed doge be subject to depending overly much on wizards, they could always hook him up to a thaumaturge suppressor.
If they feared that the doge might actually make an alliance with the traditional enemy (that would be Genoa), they might do well to invest in a merge suppressor. And if instead he seemed overly willing to allow traditional allies to go their separate ways, The Ten might protect their city with a diverge suppressor.
Should the doge be old and feeble and about to keel over any moment, if The Ten wanted to keep the reign going for a while longer, they might need to employ a dirge suppressor.
If they worried about how playwrights might depict the byzantine governmental structure of their fair city, they could always use a dramaturge suppressor.
Not to bring theology into this, but it might behoove The Ten to control the power of the clergy by judicious use of a theurge suppressor.
That last one might prove essential, because as powerful as The Ten were, they probably couldn't have managed a demiurge suppressor.
Anyway, you get the idea. Anyone have any more ideas? If you do, please add them to the comments. I can't guarantee finding illustrations, but if I do, I'll edit the post and add them.
Images in this post are in the public domain.