Friday, November 5, 2010

Outremer: What's In A Name?


  I am in the middle of reading the The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury.  Last night I was reading a passage set in March 1314.  Jacques de Molay, imprisoned Grand Master of the Knights Templar is contemplating his long imprisonment at this hands of the King of France, thinking of how his mind is still free to wander even if his body is not:
So, where would he go today?  To the rolling farmlands of central France?  To the foothills of the Alps?  To the seashore, or beyond, back to his beloved Outremer? 
And I said to myself, "Outremer?  Isn't that a really popular, hard-to-find Balenciaga color??


In fact, Outremer, which means "across the sea" in French, is also used to refer to the states created long ago in the current locations of Israel, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon by the First Crusaders, beginning in 1098. 

 It is also used today in France as the name of their government department which handles their French-administered territories ouside of the European continent such as Martinique and French Guiana.  Maybe the name was chosen because the blue is so vivid and intense that it calls to mind the depth of the sea and the vibrancy of the places you reach after crossing the sea.

   I like how a Balenciaga bag has now taught me something about the fascinating topics connected to this one word, Outremer. 

5 comments:

  1. Why pay for post-secondary education when you can purchase Balenciaga and kill 2 birds with one stone? hehe

    Have a great weekend!
    Carrie

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  2. It's such a beautiful color and such a beautiful name with such beautiful meaning behind it!! I enjoyed your little excursus to its history, so thank you for it. I never really paid much attention to it before!

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  3. clever post, missy! lovely bag too x

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  4. Way too funny! Have a great weekend!
    deborah

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  5. i love how you related that word to balenciaga! too funny!

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