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What does the word "malleus" exactly mean?


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#1 rubidium

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 08:07 PM

Maybe I am asking a stupid question, but "malleus" in the phrase "Ordo Malleus " is not a kind of hammer, right?  And what is it`s etyma? Anyone knows?  Thanks.



#2 Space Monkey

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 10:56 PM

Running Malleus through an online translator, it comes up with "to prefer" which I can't see is right.

Also, bear in mind I'm no linguist, nor do I or have I ever studied Latin.

I've always just taken it to mean "Evil", from the French "Mal".

 

Just my 2 cents. If anyone has a better explanation, I'd love to hear it! :)



#3 Reckonin

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:23 PM

I think I remember reading somewhere that it translates to "Order of the Hammer." I can't actually recall where I read that, so don't call me on that.



#4 James Sparrow

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:42 PM

Malleus is Latin for hammer. It's where the word mallet comes from.

Cheers

Sparrow



#5 Hellebore

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:03 AM

Is it where the word malleable comes from? So if something is malleable then it's literally mallet-able?

 

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#6 Charax

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:10 AM

Malleus means Hammer (as in the Malleus, Incus and Stapes, or the Malleus Maleficarum)

and yes, it's the entymological root of Malleable ("that which can be hammered")



#7 Luddite

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:12 AM

A malleus is one of the three ossicles in the inner ear.  (Interestingly, malleolus is also a general term for any bony prominence (such as those on the ankle bone called malleoli).

It does indeed translate most closely from Latin into English as 'hammer'.

I guess (although my cpies of Realms of Chaos and The Lost and the Damned have gone walkies) they were originally named as the 'Emperor's Hammer' against the heretics/xenos/daemons/etc., or some such reason.

 



#8 Hellebore

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:38 AM

Etymology is fun.

 

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#9 Brother Domis

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 04:44 AM

Yep, it means "hammer."  And yes, it's related to "malleable," something which can be hammered into a different shape.  You put the iron in the forge until it's hot enough to be malleable, and then you hammer it, see?

The reason it's used in this context is as a reference to the Malleus Maleficarum, the "Hexenhammer" or "Hammer Against Witches," a 15th century book on detecting and killing witches.  It included many helpful hints, like "women are evil and tempt men's souls" and "weighs the same as a duck."  So there's a direct Inquisitorial connection there.



#10 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 07:18 AM

If you search for it, you'll find the full text in English of the Malleus Maleficarum online. It's good for ideas. And tremendously entertaining.

Another good historical source for ideas might also be anything by Cotton Mather and the records of the Salem Witch Trials, the written records of which (witness testimonies, court documents etc.) are also all online.



#11 Bad Birch

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 07:57 AM

 Brother Domis- Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?

Didn't know the bit about wiches, v. interesting. The middle ages were just ace, weren't they?



#12 Kage2020

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:46 PM

Luddite said:

I guess (although my cpies of Realms of Chaos and The Lost and the Damned have gone walkies) they were originally named as the 'Emperor's Hammer' against the heretics/xenos/daemons/etc., or some such reason. 

What more to say than, "Yup."

Kage



#13 mdstout

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 03:15 PM

In Spanish and French "mal" means BAD. In Latin, malleus is hammer.  So...the Ordo Malleus is the holy hammer that smites bad things from the warp

Makes sense to me.

 



#14 Karmatech

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 04:15 PM

So when Eisenhorn cries out "I charge thee malleus, and hereby deliver thy sentence" what he's actually saying is "I charge you for that hammer, and here is your bill" ???

Seriously, it probably comes from the Maleficium and means something like 'I come against thee... (in the name of God...)'

So malleus probably means something like 'that which comes against'.

 

Or is it just some cold **** to say before you pop a cap in a heretek's ass?



#15 Graver

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 05:43 PM

Karmatech said:

 

So when Eisenhorn cries out "I charge thee malleus, and hereby deliver thy sentence" what he's actually saying is "I charge you for that hammer, and here is your bill" ???

Seriously, it probably comes from the Maleficium and means something like 'I come against thee... (in the name of God...)'

So malleus probably means something like 'that which comes against'.

 

Or is it just some cold **** to say before you pop a cap in a heretek's ass?

 

 

Actually, those above were correct.  Malleus means Hammer or Mallet and the Ordo malleous was more then likely named as a bow to the Hexenhammer.  So, yes, when Eissenhorn cried out "I charge thee malleus, and hereby deliver thy sentence" he indeed was inferring that the man was, in some form, a hammer... or possibly a tool used to fell sacrificial animals.  In short, Eisenhorn might not be all that good with High Gothic... or at last his author isn't ;-)

Abnette probably got Malleus mixed up with Malus which dose mean evil, wicked, injurious, destructive, mischievous, hurtful and is the root from which words such as malicious and malignant have come.

Definition of Malleus

Definition of Malus

More Latin then you can shake a stick at.

Edit:

Actualy, come to think of it, I think more then just Abnette got a bit confused on the meaning of malleus.  I remember when I first introduced my players to threat ratings and they looked at me oddly.

"So, what your telling us is a Daemonhost is actually, in the eyes of the Inquisition, a Deadly Hammer?"

"Um... apparently... yes."

"And... all Deamons are classified as... hammers?"

"Er... they come from the warp and it... mals things?"

"'Mals' isn't even a word!"

 



#16 Wu Ming

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 07:41 PM

Or it could just be that High Gothic is not Classical nor Medieval Latin, and Maleus means 'bad / evil' in High Gothic. The use of 'faux latin' has been consistant through both 40K and WFRP publications while still not actauly using proper latin cases, or declenstions so I really think its just suposed to be evocative of the whole 'gothic' feel and not an actual attemp at portraying Latin. Besides I always used to think the Refrences to High and low Gothic were more a nod to Germanic tongues than Roman and also to the whole Warhammer HRE type of leanings.



#17 Lupinorc

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 11:58 PM

Malleus is Grimdark™ for "Daemon and other such nasty Gribbliness"

In the same way that Hereticus is Grimdark for "Witches, Mutants and other such heretical Gribbliness" and Xenos ....Oh I'm sure you get the point

Sometimes authors (not just GW ones) use words cos they sound cool and don't bother with finding out what it actually means.

Remember, Never let the truth (or accurate definitiion) get in the way of a good story!



#18 spaceratcatcher

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 12:15 AM

In the Daemonhunters Codex, it is stated that the "Malleus" in "Ordo Malleus" means hammer. Daemonhunters characters even get a points discount on thunder hammers in comparison to power fists to encourage the use of the order's symbolic weapon. I agree with others that the inspiration probably comes from the "Malleus Maleficarum," which was, after all, written by two inquisitors. 

For an in-universe explanation as to why the naming convention of the Ordo Malleus does not follow that of the other two, perhaps it is due to the fact that (depending on where you look) even knowledge of the existence of daemons is proscribed. Your imperial citizen may know that aliens exist, definitely knows that heretics exist, but the existence of demons may not be something publicly admitted. So this way an inquisitor can announce his credentials in a suitably dramatic manner without spilling the beans.



#19 Karmatech

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:07 PM

Lupinorc said:

Sometimes authors (not just GW ones) use words cos they sound cool and don't bother with finding out what it actually means.

Like I said, it's just some cold **** to say before you pop a cap!

Next time I run I'm going to have an Inquisitor start screaming "muthafarkin-slaanesh-on-a-muthafarkin-plane!"



#20 Lord Kruge

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 01:50 AM

Karmatech said:

So when Eisenhorn cries out "I charge thee malleus, and hereby deliver thy sentence" what he's actually saying is "I charge you for that hammer, and here is your bill" ???

Seriously, it probably comes from the Maleficium and means something like 'I come against thee... (in the name of God...)'

You had it right the first time, there is no "seriously", unfortunately.

Originally, the Ordo Malleus was a secretive order of the Inquisition, the Watchers of the Watchers essentially, back in the days when every potato farmer on every Agri-world in the Imperium hadn't heard of Abaddon and his umpteenth useless Black Crusade, ie. the "Pre-Spiky Bitz Era".  As Domis mentioned, the word Malleus was used in an evocation of the Malleus Malificarum, giving the 40k Inquisition a very historical Inquisition feel.  The Malleus meant for 40k what it meant for the medievals, "that which smites".

Enter Gav Thorpe and Dan Abnett, who apparently knew nothing of any of this.

In giving the Inquistion his "White Wolf Treatment" (by which I mean breaking the Inquisition into easily defined warring factions) Gav created the structure we have now.

Ordo Xenos - Xenos means "Alien" therefore they fight aliens.

Ordo Hereticus - Hereticus means "Heretic" therefore they fight heretics.

Ordo Malleus - Malleus means "Daemon" therefore they fight daemons. Oh, wait, Malleus doesn't mean Daemon, oh well, we'll just dub Daemons "Malleus" anyway and pretend we were saying it meant "that which is smitten" rather then admit we didn't have a clue about the real history of the term or our own game.  After all, it's not like 12 year olds actually know Latin.






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