If you could go back time to 500 years ago, with your current skill and career training, what kind of job would you do? List your current job or your major in college. Feel free to disregard gender or social status factor.

Well, Lyonel Perabo mon vieux, this is going to be an unimaginative answer, but thanks for asking.

  • University education: Bachelor of Electrical Engineering
    • Well, no electricity, so that’s irrelevant. Good, I hated engineering.
  • University education: Bachelor of Computer Science
    • … No computers either. And too much damn competition from all the other time travelling geeks.
  • University education: Masters in Cognitive Science
    • Dude, you can’t get a job with that now
  • University education: Doctorate in Linguistics

Well, let’s think about it. 1516, Crete and Cyprus were both under Venetian rule. They were colonial outposts, but the Renaissance was starting to make an impression there: there were Petrarchan sonnets in Cypriot, and literary societies in Crete. (The best of Cretan literature was still a century down the road.)

If I was a city dweller and/or Catholic, I’d have access to Renaissance learning. I’d probably write even worse Latin poetry than I write here to Michael Masiello, and I might get a gig in Venice. Aldus Manutius has just died, but I hear they’re still hiring Classical Greek proofreaders.

If I were a villager and Orthodox, there would be two paths for someone through book learning. The clergy would be one, and I think my chanting would be passable, as demonstrated here.

The other would be as a notary. I could have abysmal spelling in Greek, codeswitching with Italian for every third word. And five centuries down the road, some poor shmuck working in a digital library of Ancient and Mediaeval Greek would be tweaking their morphological analyser, to deal with the mess I’d bequeathed them.

I’m going to miss you, Manolis Varouchas.

Updated 2016-08-06 · Upvoted by

Lyonel Perabo, B.A. in History. M.A in related field (Folkloristics)

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