just curious, is there an etymology for curiositas?

just curious, is there an etymology for curiositas? May 11, 2022

At the outset of the day, there is a word I continue to consider, as I have over time recently. The word is easy to track back to if one is to conduct etymologies. However, an absolute definition of the term is not so easily offered.

There are schools of philosophy and names who are well known at the Christian family table of dialogue, who have spoken to the thought over the centuries. The term is essentially one developing at least at the time leading up to Christ. However, the western development of the term is where the most definition has been fleshed out.

The term itself is curiositas

Perhaps the earliest parallels ideas are a couple Classical Greek terms. Although these terms are related per se, the term curiositas is indeed Latin. Therefore, it is difficult to place the term curiositas within the realm of Classical Greek Literature.

One of the people who could have spoken to the term early on is John Cassian. However, there is no evidence that Cassian writes in Latin at all, although he certainly does assist the West in many ways.

Augustine addresses the idea, yet he does not speak Greek. He is part of a new representation of Latin Fathers, one colleague being Jerome of course.

Nonetheless, since there are ties to Classical Greek, it is quite possible that some ideas he purports about curiositas could be lost in translation

However, his personal narrative (as a Bishop looking over his life) illustrates the idea. For he does have the ability to travel freely across all known bounds of the Roman Empire and beyond.

I’m sure he’s not aware of John Cusack’s English rendition of this timeless piece, but did he hear it in French?

I imagine a lot of prophetic/philosophical literature is still being shared in poetic refrain, if not among traveling bards. I don’t know all of the connotations of this French version and neither do I find myself swept up by curiositas into an endless pursuit of this type of jazz.

However, I can appreciate it

Just an aside.

He studies the top philosophies in the world and meets at least one of the major world philosophical leaders from perhaps Persia, or further East.

Augustine is considered the chief orator of the Roman Empire, the headquaters being in Milan at the time.

He almost bemoans his knowledge, not necessarily the joy of the pursuit, but what we might call an existential crisis.

Unfortunately, I cannot define the term much better.

I can tell you curiositas is not something trite, like curiosity killed the cat.

Curiositas is definitely not a virtue, like one you would find in a Classical Greek virtue list, or in one of Paul’s magnificent virtue lists (maybe even in Isaiah’s seven virtues).


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