Kate Barnes (k8cre8) wrote in 1word1day,
Kate Barnes
k8cre8
1word1day

teratosis

Yesterday, of course, was Friday the 13th. This story was inspired by that little fact.

In an odd twist of fate, (which actually seems quite appropriate to many) the first superstitions around the number thirteen were associated with the saint we identify with Valentine's Day. There are actually two saints with the name of Valentine. One of the two was beaten on the 13th of February, by thirteen men with thirteen clubs. He died thirteen hours later -- on the fourteenth of February. After he was dead, his head was cut off and taken by thirteen men on thirteen horses to thirteen provinces of Rome. The Emperor at the time, Claudius the Cruel, coincidentally, was the thirteenth ruler to have the appellation "cruel" appended to his name.

Thirteen years after Valentine's death, a council of thirteen sadistic, ugly, Romans, all of whom suffered from teratosis incurred as a result of the pairing of cousins at the Feast of Lupercalia (a feast which was celebrated on the 15th of February to ensure fertility) decided to reassess the traditional Feast activities.

Traditional activities at the 13-day Feast of Lupercalia included an event in which the men drew the name of a women out of a hat to be their escort for a week. Sometimes these couples would eventually marry. As victims of this love lottery, the 13 council members realized what a horribly evil custom the entire thing was and decided to honor something more appropriate: the brutal killing of some Christian with a dumb name.

Later, their goal would center upon eliminating all the silly, pink and red fluffy hearts and chalky candy conversation hearts, which were to become the new symbols of the holiday. They hoped to eliminate these sugary sentiments by infusing the day with as much violence as possible, but their attempts in this respect, unfortunately, failed.

edited to add: LJ cut isn't working right. Sorry...

teratosis / TEAR - a - TOE - sis / noun Latin a biological freak or monstrosity.

This word is primarily used in medical fields. It describes any number of defects, from being born with a tail, or deformed limbs to problems caused by fetal alcohol syndrome. 


Tags: latin, medical, noun, t, theme: stories, wordsmith: k8cre8
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