in Bertrams

Chapter 07 – The Mount of Olives

no Roman labour

George visits the remains of the temple in Jerusalem and notes the massive stones that served as its base.  Trollope states that the stones were “cut…by no Turkish enterprise, by no mediaeval empire, by no Roman labour.”  The tricolon construction works successively backwards in time and emphasizes the antiquity of the temple as well as the great effort that must have been involved in building it.  [KS & RR 2012]


the Latin, the Greek, and their strange gods

The narrator is describing Muslims, who possess the keys to Christian churches in Jerusalem, watching over Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox believers practicing their religion.  In doing so, he uses Classical expressions (Latin, Greek, gods) to characterize the Muslim perspective.  While not an outright Classical allusion, the simplifying of Roman Catholic to Latin, Greek Orthodox to Greek, and the Trinity to “strange gods” can be viewed as a means to present the Christians as pagan.  Muslims, with their focus on the one-ness of Allah, would view the Christian worship of the Trinity with suspicion.  The equation of the believers to Classical worshipers of many gods allows the narrator to describe the perspective of Muslims watching Christians worship.  [CD 2012]