The long night passed…
Notes under the cut:
Sneaking in a much belated update. 😛 (This scene is illustrated, by the way.)
Relaxingly short section after the previous one, only a few things to really discuss this time:
1. “Sheathe their blades”: actually this is “剣をひき” (ken wo hiki[nuku]) in the original text, which usually reads as “draw blades”, which doesn’t make much sense in context. The Chinese translates it as sheathe, and I agree. Unless “hiki” has alternate interpretations that I’m not aware of, I assume this was a brainfart/typo.
2. Hildiger = ヒルディゴ (hi-ru-di-go). Originally had him as Hildigo, which is the most natural interpretation of the transcription. (And almost looks like the very tempting hidalgo… but only in English. The Japanese for Hidalgo is イダルゴ.) Then for a while I put him as “Herdeg,” purely out of spite, because Herdeg is at least a name…
Finally realized I was getting stupidly distracted by the similarity to hidalgo and hit on Hildiger instead, the name of a commander who served under the Byzantine general Belisarius (the history around whom is definitely one of Tanaka’s sources of inspiration). SIGH. The ending syllable is off, but otherwise this fits way too much to ignore. My guess is that Hildigo is a spelling variant (frex Belisarius = Belisario, Beringarius = Beringo, etc.), but I can’t confirm it with the few [digitized] sources I have available.
(Either that or there’s no Japanese-friendly transcription of “ger” :P)
What I do know is that the English translations of the relevant text (Procopius’s Wars of Justinian) either have it as Hildiger or Ildiger; the man seems to have been a Goth, and so the name etymology as I understand it breaks into “hild” + “ger”. Unless/until I or someone else manages to source “Hildigo” as a valid spelling variant, I’ll stick with this spelling, since it makes the reference more obvious anyway.
On that note, this site is a neat source on medieval European names (dating later than the names in question I think, but they give an idea of just how much spelling variation existed): http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/
3. “balderdash”: Originally put it as “nonsense”, but that didn’t seem quite strong enough (and “BS” maybe too strong). There were several amusing choices I could have gone with, but I didn’t want to pick something too obscure/anachronistic, so this seemed like the best fit. 😄