Legere: Gather and Bind

We are a collection of thoughts. The self is a recollection: a continual recollection.

The Latin word legere is based on the PIE *leg- “to pick together, gather, collect”. Lego (λέγω) in Greek means “to count, tell, say, speak”. It is the root for the Gk. words lexis (λέξις) and logos, where we get modern words lexicon and logic and the like. Lexis  means “speech, diction”, whereas Logos means “word, thought, idea, account, reason”. Originally used by Homer as “to pick out, select, collect, enumerate;” cf. Gk. legein translates as “to say, tell, speak, declare”. The word Lecture is based on L. legere which means “to pick out words”.

The word Religion is derived from the Latin words re- “again” + legere “read, collect, gather up, select” from which the word “lecture” is based. What I found interesting is that within the word religion I notice the root ligare or lego which means “tie, bind, unite” and the word “ligature” comes to mind which means “bind, connect”. In this way religion can be interpreted as a way of ensuring the repeated gathering and binding of text to the mind through reading or, alternatively, the reuniting or reconnecting of people.

This is also where the word Intelligence is derived, from the Latin words inter- “between” + legere “choose, pick out, read”. Translated literally, the word intelligence refers to the ability to “select among”. Upon further reading I discovered that the word Diligence in Latin originally meant “to pick out, select,” from dis- “apart” + legere “choose, gather”.

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It is also where the word “liege” comes from, referring to a lord to whom his subjects or “liege men” were bound.  Additionally it is where the word Allegiance is derived (although this translation is disputed).

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