-mastix

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-mastix is a suffix derived from Ancient Greek, and used quite frequently in English literature of the 17th century, to denote a strong opponent or hater of whatever the suffix was attached to. It became common after Thomas Dekker's play Satiromastix of 1602,[1] the word μάστιξ (mastix) translates as whip or scourge.[2]

A well-known example is the 1632 book Histriomastix by William Prynne, against theatre, which caused legal proceedings against him because of perceived allusion to Queen Henrietta Maria. The title itself was not novel, and occurred in a late Elizabethan play Histrio-Mastix, subtitle The Player Whipped, by John Marston. Scholars have noted that the -mastix suffix is associated with Marston.[3]

In a paper war of 1604–7 between Andrew Willet and Richard Parkes, part of the Descensus controversy, the formation of terms with -mastix as suffix was discussed, Willet having initially addressed Parkes in a pamphlet Limbo-mastix. Parkes affected to be unimpressed with the play on limbo, and Willet coined Loidoromastix for him, a "scourge for a railer". By 1623 and the Latin play Fucus Histriomastix the formation of hybrid words, Dog Latin and literary nonsense with the suffix seems to have been established.[4] The term had apparently become generic for satire by the 1660s, when schoolboys wrote "a mastix" against the schoolmaster Thomas Grantham.[5]

Other forms[edit]

The Greek genitive form mastigos gives rise to a botanical prefix mastigo-;[6] the suffix -mastix or -mastyx also occurs in botanical use for the whip form, for example in Uromastix.[7] The plural form of the suffix is -mastiges, for example "Francomastiges" from "Francomastix", a term used by Guillaume Budé.[8]

Classical Latin and Greek[edit]

To form the title Histrio-mastix, Marston innovated by drawing on the nickname Homeromastix (Scourge of Homer) given to the Greek critic of Homer, Zoilus of Amphipolis. Bednarz notes that the reputation of Zoilus was as a hyper-critical commentator, and that Marston appears to have accepted the note of excess in his self-identification as Theriomastix,[9] the story of Zoilus is referenced by Ovid in his Remedium Amoris.[10]

Two Latin writers took -mastix names to indicate that they were harsh critics in the tradition of Zoilus, Carvalius Pictor ("Aeneidomastix", from The Aeneid of Virgil), and Largus Licinius as "Ciceromastix" from the author Cicero.[11] Grammaticomastix is a Latin poem by Ausonius, a writer of the Late Antique, who adopted the style from Carvalius.[12][13]

Examples from Early Modern Latin literature[edit]

English satire revival of the 1590s[edit]

Three noted English poets were writing satirical verse by the later 1590s: John Donne, Joseph Hall, and John Marston. Donne used a -mastix construction, "female-mastix", to refer to Baptista Mantuanus (Mantuan), reputedly a misogynist based on his fourth eclogue, in his Elegy XIV.[20][21] Hall's Virgidemiarum Six Bookes of 1597–8 contains a boast that he was the first English satirist; virgidemia translates from Latin as a "harvest of rods".[22][23] The revival of satire lasted until the Bishops' Ban of 1599, in which the ecclesiastical authorities clamped down, with book burning applied to works of Everard Guilpin, Marston, William Rankins and others.[22]

The Scourge of Folly, 1610 title page of a work by John Davies of Hereford

Marston and Histrio-mastix[edit]

The years following the Bishops' Ban saw the War of the Theatres, as satire took to the stage, the cluster of plays The Scourge of Villanie (John Marston, pseudonym taken "Theriomastix", i.e. scourge of the beast), Histrio-Mastix, Satiromastix, and Every Man out of His Humour by Ben Jonson (which references Histrio-Mastix), has also been associated with the bookseller Thomas Thorpe. [24]

The literary convention that the satirist could wield a whip against "vice" was active at the period in other titles, such as The Whippinge of the Satyre (1601) by John Weever, against the excesses of satire, an anonymous work taken to be aimed at Marston and Jonson, among others. Nicholas Breton's No Whippinge, nor Trippinge: but a kinde friendly Snippinge was a reply of the same year, from another of the presumed targets of Weever.[25][26]

Usage[edit]

The Oxford English Dictionary notes that most cases of -mastix compounds are nonce words, its earliest example, for English, is musomastix, of the late 16th century; in Latin polemics of that period these formations were common. Besides expressing the idea of a hostile opponent, book titles were formed "in which an idea, person, or class of persons is satirized or denounced".[27]

Examples from English literature[edit]

Other uses are:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Robin Robbins (6 June 2014). The Complete Poems of John Donne. Taylor & Francis. p. 3 note 14. ISBN 978-1-317-86203-1. 
  2. ^ "Greek Word Study Tool: μάστιξ". Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Charles Cathcart (6 May 2016). Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement, and Jonson. Routledge. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-317-10018-8. 
  4. ^ Roslyn Lander Knutson (26 July 2001). Playing Companies and Commerce in Shakespeare's Time. Cambridge University Press. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-139-42837-8. 
  5. ^  Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney, eds. (1890). "Grantham, Thomas (d.1664)". Dictionary of National Biography. 22. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  6. ^ Umberto Quattrocchi (17 November 1999). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Nmaes: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. CRC Press. p. 1628. ISBN 978-0-8493-2677-6. 
  7. ^ "Oxford English Dictionary, uroˈmastix, n.". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Claude Gauvard; Jean-Louis Robert (2005). Être parisien: actes du colloque organisé par l'Ecole doctorale d'histoire de l'Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne et la Fédération des Sociétés historiques et archéologiques de Paris-Île-de-France, 26-28 septembre 2002 (in French). Publications de la Sorbonne. p. 307 note 1. ISBN 978-2-85944-514-0. 
  9. ^ James P. Bednarz, Writing and Revenge: John Marston's "Histriomastix", Comparative Drama Vol. 36, No. 1/2 (Spring/Summer 2002), pp. 21–51, at p. 36. Published by: Comparative Drama. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41154108
  10. ^ a b Alan Ford; John McCafferty (8 December 2005). The Origins of Sectarianism in Early Modern Ireland. Cambridge University Press. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-521-83755-2. 
  11. ^ Christina Shuttleworth Kraus; Christopher Stray (3 February 2016). Classical Commentaries: Explorations in a Scholarly Genre. Oxford University Press. p. 385 note 20. ISBN 978-0-19-968898-2. 
  12. ^ Ernst Robert Curtius (21 July 2013). European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. Princeton University Press. p. 285. ISBN 1-4008-4615-3. 
  13. ^ Hans Helander (2004). Neo-latin Literature in Sweden in the Period 1620-1720: Stylistics, Vocabulary & Characteristic Ideas. Uppsala Univ. Library. pp. 128–9. ISBN 978-91-554-6114-0. 
  14. ^ René Hoven (1994). Lexique de La Prose Latine de La Renaissance:. BRILL. p. 39. ISBN 90-04-09656-6. 
  15. ^ Franz Posset (13 November 2015). Johann Reuchlin (1455-1522): A Theological Biography. De Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-041880-4. 
  16. ^ René Hoven (1994). Lexique de La Prose Latine de La Renaissance:. Brill. p. 127. ISBN 90-04-09656-6. 
  17. ^ René Hoven (1994). Lexique de La Prose Latine de La Renaissance:. Brill. p. 159. ISBN 90-04-09656-6. 
  18. ^ René Hoven (1994). Lexique de La Prose Latine de La Renaissance:. Brill. p. 164. ISBN 90-04-09656-6. 
  19. ^ René Hoven (1994). Lexique de La Prose Latine de La Renaissance:. Brill. p. 341. ISBN 90-04-09656-6. 
  20. ^ John Donne (17 November 2013). Delphi Complete Poetical Works of John Donne (Illustrated). Delphi Classics. p. 111. ISBN 978-1-908909-76-3. 
  21. ^ John Donne; Albert James Smith (1974). The Complete English Poems. Allen Lane. p. 435 note to line 14. ISBN 978-0-7139-0571-7. 
  22. ^ a b Kirk Freudenburg (12 May 2005). The Cambridge Companion to Roman Satire. Cambridge University Press. p. 253. ISBN 978-0-521-80359-5. 
  23. ^ "Latin Word Study Tool: virgidemia". Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  24. ^ Roslyn Lander Knutson (26 July 2001). Playing Companies and Commerce in Shakespeare's Time. Cambridge University Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-139-42837-8. 
  25. ^ Gary A. Schmidt (8 April 2016). Renaissance Hybrids: Culture and Genre in Early Modern England. Routledge. p. 248 note 11. ISBN 978-1-317-06651-4. 
  26. ^ Arthur F. Kinney; Thomas W. Copeland (17 November 2000). Tudor England: An Encyclopedia. Arthur F. Kinney, David W. Swain, Eugene D. Hill, and William A. Long. Routledge. p. 624. ISBN 978-1-136-74530-0. 
  27. ^ "Oxford English Dictionary, -mastix, comb. form". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  28. ^ Levin, Carole. "Middleton, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/18685.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  29. ^ Rundle, Penelope. "Fotherby, Martin". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/9974.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  30. ^ Barnard, Toby. "O'Sullivan Beare, Philip". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/20913.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  31. ^ Capp, Bernard. "Swan, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/38039.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  32. ^ Zachary Lesser (18 November 2004). Renaissance Drama and the Politics of Publication: Readings in the English Book Trade. Cambridge University Press. pp. 98 note 56. ISBN 978-0-521-84252-5. 
  33. ^ Haines, Robert J. "Theyer, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27178.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  34. ^ Alexander Petrie; Robert Maton (1644). Chiliasto-mastix; or, The prophecies in the Old and New Testament concerning the kingdome of ... Iesus Christ, vindicated from the misinterpretationes of the millenaries and specially of mr. Maton in ... Israels redemption. 
  35. ^ Capp, Bernard. "Wharton, Sir George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29165.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  36. ^  Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney, eds. (1890). "Geree, John". Dictionary of National Biography. 21. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  37. ^ Liu, Tai. "Goodwin, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/10994.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  38. ^ John Coffey (1 June 2008). John Goodwin and the Puritan Revolution: Religion and Intellectual Change in Seventeenth-century England. Tamesis Books. pp. 146–. ISBN 978-1-84383-428-1. 
  39. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1893). "Lemprière, Michael". Dictionary of National Biography. 33. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  40. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1893). "L'Estrange, Hamon (1605-1660)". Dictionary of National Biography. 33. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  41. ^ Henry Southern; Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas (1823). Retrospective Review: And Historical and Antiquarian Magazine. C. and H. Baldwyn. p. 328. 
  42. ^ Hutton, Sarah. "More, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19181.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  43. ^ Daniel Clifford Fouke (1 January 1997). The Enthusianstical Concerns of Dr. Henry More: Religious Meaning and the Psychology of Delusion. BRILL. p. 97. ISBN 90-04-10600-6. 
  44. ^ King, Andrew. "Sheppard, Samuel". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25347.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  45. ^  Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney, eds. (1890). "Hall, Thomas (1610-1665)". Dictionary of National Biography. 24. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  46. ^ Gilbert, C. D. "Hall, Thomas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11990.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  47. ^ "Oxford English Dictionary, virtuoso-mastix, n.". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  48. ^ Thomas Ellwood; Joseph Wyeth (1838). The History of the Life of Thomas Ellwood: Or an Account of His Birth, Education, &c... Isaac T. Hopper. p. 170. 
  49. ^  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1889). "Ellwood, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography. 17. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  50. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1892). "King, John (1652-1732)". Dictionary of National Biography. 31. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  51. ^ Baine, Paul. "Lauder, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16121.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  52. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1897). "Schomberg, Raphael". Dictionary of National Biography. 50. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  53. ^ George Gordon Byron Baron Byron; Leslie Alexis Marchand (1978). Born for Opposition. Harvard University Press. pp. 112 note 5. ISBN 978-0-674-08948-8. 
  54. ^ John Wilson (1846). Specimens of the British Critics. Carey and Hart. p. 271.