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«Bis dat, qui cito dat»

«Gegengabe» in Paremiology, Folklore, Language, and Literature – Honoring Wolfgang Mieder on His Seventieth Birthday

Christian Grandl and Kevin J. McKenna

Bis dat, qui cito dat – never has a proverb more aptly applied to an individual than does this Medieval Latin saying to Wolfgang Mieder. «He gives twice who gives quickly» captures the essence of his entire career, his professional as well as personal life. As a Gegengabe, this international festschrift honors Wolfgang Mieder on the occasion of his seventieth birthday for his contributions to world scholarship and his kindness, generosity, and philanthropy. Seventy-one friends and colleagues from around the world have contributed sixty-six essays in six languages to this volume, representative of the scope and breadth of his impressive scholarship in paremiology, folklore, language, and literature. This gift in return provides new insights from acknowledged experts from various fields of research.
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Collection, University College Dublin (NFC, UCD). The latter source is much more diverse than the first: It covers centuries, rather than a few years, and draws on a variety of elements, including journals and printed works, as well as information collected in the field by the Irish Folklore Commission.3

As it turns out, the expression is international, however, I will be concentrating on it as it occurs in Ireland. Today there are fewer woods in Ireland compared with former times and this particular description is, in the main, used to express their loss. From having had some woodland "by the nineteenth century a new landscape had emerged – bare, grassy and almost treeless" so that "at the beginning of the twentieth century only one per cent of the total land area was under trees." These quotations come from a book of 2002 which describe a re-afforestation project in Ireland – The People's Millennium Forests (Hickie, 2002:2). The same publication tells us that "the bleakest times for Ireland's woods were the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the early 1800s, Ireland's population was expanding, and there was a continuous demand for more farmland to provide food" (2002:13). Currently, there is great nostalgia for the forests that people imagined there had been and Hickie optimistically says that "government and people have the ability to take practical steps to reintroduce forest."

It was intended that the Ordnance Surveyors would write memoirs about the whole of Ireland, however, the scheme...

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