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xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Chapter 25: 245-253 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Mason & Dixon

Chapter 25: 245-253

Page 247

"the final Illness... was from Gravel"
An old name for kidney stones, a painful and in those days, often fatal condition.

Mr. Birch
Thomas Birch (November 23, 1705 – January 9, 1766) was an English historian, and member of the Royal Society. From WIKI

Mr. Mead
A touch of anachronism (since M&D didnt sail for the Transit until 1760), this seems to be Richard Mead (1673--1754) who was an English physician. His work, A Short Discourse concerning Pestilential Contagion, and the Method to be used to prevent it (1720), was of historic importance in the understanding of transmissible diseases. He was also a member of the Royal Society. From WIKI

Mr. White
Most likely Gilbert White, who was a member of the Royal Society. Gilbert White (18 July 1720 – 26 June 1793) was a pioneering naturalist and ornithologist. From WIKI

Page 251

Chauncey
Possibly an anachronism, this seems to be a reference to Commodore Isaac Chauncey's letter to Major General Jacob: "We are intended to seek and fight the enemy's fleet, and I shall not be diverted from my efforts by any sinister attempt to render us subordinate to, or an appendage of, the Army." Brown, USA, on Lake Ontario, 1813 - from Dictionary of Military and Naval Quotations by Robert Debs Heinl, Jr. Isaac Chauncey on WIKI

Page 252

Mosul
Mosul is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some 400 km (250 miles) northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient city of Nineveh on the east bank... The fabric Muslin, long manufactured here, is named after this city. Another historically important product of the area is Mosul marble. From WIKI

Turkey Company
First instance of it being refered to as such in the novel; another name for the Levant Company. WIKI

Feluccas
A felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in protected waters of the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean including Malta, and particularly along the Nile in Egypt. Its rig consists of one or two lateen sails. From WIKI

Rolling Eagres
A tidal bore (or just bore, or aegir) is a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travel up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the current. As such, it is a true tidal wave (not to be confused with a tsunami). From WIKI

Janissaries
The Janissaries (from Ottoman Turkish meaning "new soldier") comprised infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards. The force was created by the Sultan Murad I from abducted Christian sons from conquered Christian countries in the 14th century and was abolished by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826 with the Auspicious Incident. From WIKI

Sherifs
Sherif or Sherifa is someone who is descended from Muhammad by way of his daughter Fatima. The word comes from Arabic sharif meaning "noble", from sharafa meaning "to be highborn". It is also commonly known as Ashraf, and also sharif. It is etymologically unconnected to Sheriff. From WIKI

Ottomans
The state organisation of the Ottoman Empire was a very simple system that had two main dimensions: the military administration and the civil administration. The Sultan was the highest position in the system. The civil system was based on local administrative units based on the region's characteristics. The Ottomans practiced a system in which the state (as in the Byzantine Empire) had control over the clergy. Certain pre-Islamic Turkish traditions that had survived the adoption of administrative and legal practices from Islamic Iran remained important in Ottoman administrative circles. According to Ottoman understanding, the state's primary responsibility was to defend and extend the land of the Muslims and to ensure security and harmony within its borders within the overarching context of orthodox Islamic practice and dynastic sovereignty... Within the social and political system they were living in, Ottoman administrators could not have comprehended or seen the desirability of the dynamics and principles of the capitalist and mercantile economies developing in Western Europe. From WIKI

Page 253

Lethe
In Greek mythology, Lethe is one of the several rivers of Hades: those who drank from it experienced complete forgetfulness. From WIKI

Annotation Index

One:
Latitudes and Departures

1: 5-11, 2: 12-13, 3: 14-29, 4: 30-41, 5: 42-46, 6: 47-57, 7: 58-76, 8: 77-86, 9: 87-93, 10: 94-104, 11: 105-115, 12: 116-124, 13: 125-145, 14: 146-157, 15: 158-166, 16: 167-174, 17: 175-182, 18: 183-189, 19: 190-198, 20: 199-206, 21: 207-214, 22: 215-227, 23: 228-237, 24: 238-245, 25: 245-253


Two:
America

26: 257-265, 27: 266-274, 28: 275-288, 29: 289-295, 30: 296-301, 31: 302-314, 32: 315-326, 33: 327-340, 34: 341-348, 35: 349-361, 36: 362-370, 37: 371-381, 38: 382-390, 39: 391-398, 40: 399-409, 41: 410-421, 42: 422-435, 43: 436-439, 44: 440-447, 45: 448-451, 46: 452-459, 47: 460-465, 48: 466-475, 49: 476-483, 50: 484-490, 51: 491-498, 52: 499-510, 53: 511-524, 54: 525-541, 55: 542-553, 56: 554-561, 57: 562-569, 58: 570-574, 59: 575-584, 60: 585-596, 61: 597-607, 62: 608-617, 63: 618-622, 64: 623-628, 65: 629-632, 66: 633-645, 67: 646-657, 68: 658-664, 69: 665-677, 70: 678-686, 71: 687-693, 72: 694-705, 73: 706-713

Three:
Last Transit

74: 717-732, 75: 733-743, 76: 744-748, 77: 749-757, 78: 758-773

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