The Daily Word


1-21-05. From Rabelais. Silenus or Silenus Box. The Silenus box is a "case carved like an ugly Silenus" that can be "opened to reveal beautiful, precious objects" (Erasmus 43, footnote). This box appears in Erasmus' The Praise of Folly as a metaphor for the central claim in the novel, which is that that which appears to be Folly (ugly) externally, is wise (precious) within. Erasmus reveals this dichotomy on three levels: in the image of the box itself, in his genuine praise of Folly, and in the structure of the novel as a whole. Note--Silenus is himself the mythological tutor of Dionysus,(fittingly for Rabelais, a great lover of wine.
1-24-05. Just for the sound of the word.
. an ornamental headdress indicating nobility