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Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar» Forums » General

Subject: Corn quibble rss

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Marius van der Merwe
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I received Fallen Sky a few days ago (my 2nd COIN game, after Fire in the Lake) and just finished my first solo play against three bots. FS is definitely much easier to get into than FitL and I had a fun time with it. Excellent game!

However, I do have a minor quibble with the historical accuracy of feeding the troops corn in Roman times. Corn was only introduced to Europe after the discovery of the New World and "grain" would have been the better word choice for the game. Perhaps something to change for a future printing?

Edit: After a bit more reading I learned that apparently the word corn was sometimes used to mean grain in the past. At least I learned something new!
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Andrew Wallwork
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My understanding here in England is that the term corn is used to describe various cereal plants or grains, especially the principal crop cultivated in a particular region, such as wheat in England or oats in Scotland. Don't know if this is the same in Europe, or specifically France & Belgium where the game is set.

So it's not corn like Americans know it, whcih is termed sweetcorn over here and is a truly disgusting vegetable (up there with brussel sprouts)
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Jim Marshall
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tasmanuk wrote:
My understanding here in England is that the term corn is used to describe various cereal plants or grains, especially the principal crop cultivated in a particular region, such as wheat in England or oats in Scotland. Don't know if this is the same in Europe, or specifically France & Belgium where the game is set.

So it's not corn like Americans know it, whcih is termed sweetcorn over here and is a truly disgusting vegetable (up there with brussel sprouts)


taking it off-topic for a second - sweetcorn and sprouts disgusting?? Burn the heathen!! (or crucify him, given we're talking Roman times...)
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Andrew Wallwork
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It's a toss up as to which is worse (though I like corn chips!!) I was hoping that now I'm an adult I wouldn't have to eat sprouts anymore however I still get forced to eat one at Christmas, as an example to the kids.
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I'm pretty sure the term "corn" predated the Indian corn that we think of here in the states! Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I'm fairly sure on that one! whistle
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Marius van der Merwe
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HannibalofBarca wrote:
I'm pretty sure the term "corn" predated the Indian corn that we think of here in the states! Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I'm fairly sure on that one! whistle


Yup, you are correct. In fact, after reading up on the topic a bit, it seems as if when maize was first encountered in the New World people just used an already established word for it.
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Tucker Taylor
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Sciurus wrote:
Edit: After a bit more reading I learned that apparently the word corn was sometimes used to mean grain in the past. At least I learned something new!

To further muddy the waters, the Latin word used seems to have been 'frumentum,' which means roughly "stuff that gets planted and harvested" and traditionally gets translated as 'corn.' A better American-english reading might be something like "grains".
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Volko Ruhnke
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Hi Marius!

The reason that Andrew and I went with the term "corn" in the game instead of "grain" is that we sought throughout to remain loyal to a particular English-language translation that we most enjoyed. That translation is by Carolyn Hammond, Oxford Press:

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-gallic-war-97801...

She uses "corn".

Frumentum is correct. I suspect a lot of it was barley, probably many other Old-World grains too.

Volko
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Marius van der Merwe
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I grew up Afrikaans in South Africa where the word for wheat is "koring", which now that I think about it must be from the same root as corn!

In Afrikaans maize is called "mielies", which apparently is from the latin "mille", meaning thousands (apparently referring to the "thousands" of seeds on the cob).

This is turning into quite the rabbit hole for me.
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Rex Stites
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Not that it's anything different than what's already been said, but here's some more information for those that are interested on the usage and its origins.

Online Etymology Dictionary wrote:
corn (n.1) "grain," Old English corn, from Proto-Germanic *kurnam "small seed" (source also of Old Frisian and Old Saxon korn "grain," Middle Dutch coren, German Korn, Old Norse korn, Gothic kaurn), from PIE root *gre-no- "grain" (source also of Old Church Slavonic zruno "grain," Latin granum "seed," Lithuanian žirnis "pea"). The sense of the Old English word was "grain with the seed still in" (as in barleycorn) rather than a particular plant.

Locally understood to denote the leading crop of a district. Restricted to the indigenous "maize" in America (c. 1600, originally Indian corn, but the adjective was dropped), usually wheat in England, oats in Scotland and Ireland, while Korn means "rye" in parts of Germany. Maize was introduced to China by 1550, it thrived where rice did not grow well and was a significant factor in the 18th century population boom there. Cornflakes first recorded 1907. Corned beef so called for the "corns" or grains of salt with which it is preserved; from verb corn "to salt" (1560s).
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Interestingly the French word
blé
translates as both "wheat" and "corn"...
if you want to mean the corn-on-the-cob as North Americans know it i.e. maize, you'd have to say
blé d'Inde ("Indian corn") or maise.
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Gabriel Conroy
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Volko wrote:
Hi Marius!

The reason that Andrew and I went with the term "corn" in the game instead of "grain" is that we sought throughout to remain loyal to a particular English-language translation that we most enjoyed. That translation is by Carolyn Hammond, Oxford Press:

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-gallic-war-97801...

Volko


That is also my favourite translation. She really does the best job at retaining the sense and meaning of the original text, including in places where Caesar's language is stilted and odd - which is important.
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Gabriel Conroy
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tasmanuk wrote:


So it's not corn like Americans know it, whcih is termed sweetcorn over here and is a truly disgusting vegetable (up there with brussel sprouts)


With you on sweetcorn but I love sprouts. Problem is people often only eat them too late in the season, when they can be bitter. They are at their best in November.

Of course there is also the issue that some people find brassicas in general distasteful, which is I think a partly genetic trait.
 
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Rodger Samuel
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Not all sweetcorn is equal. Some of it is tasteless, good only for feeding cattle. Other varieties, e.g., Silver Queen, Salt-and-Pepper, etc., are deliciously sweet, true ambrosia. I can only assume that those of you who termed it "disgusting" have not experienced the latter.

As for sprouts, an English author has convinced me that I ought to give them more respect. Robert Rankin, writer of what he terms as "Far Fetched Fiction," often features the sprout in his works, sometimes heroically. Now that I think of it, Rankin's work deserves a close look by some clever game designer.
 
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Its tough to beat "Good" Sweet Corn! Butter, Pepper and Salt MMMM MMM Good!
 
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