The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1216 Friday, 2 July 1999.
Date: Thursday, 1 Jul 1999 10:42:21 -0500
Subject: 10.1204 Re: Martius or Marcius
Comment: RE: SHK 10.1204 Re: Martius or Marcius
The spelling is "Markios" in Plutarch's Greek and therefore "Marcius" in
anyone's Latin. As has been noted, North has "Martius" as the Folio
hath. The long note on the name in the late Philip Brockbank's still
indispensable New Arden edition (1976) concludes, "North's spelling
Martius, followed by Shakespeare, has been retained throughout the
present text. Its Latin meaning, 'pertaining to Mars', is appropriate in
the play, even if the spelling in North (and in Holland's Livy) owed
more to fashion than to deliberation" (93).
In Shakespeare's Names Koekeritz gives "Marshus" as the pronunciation
(actually he uses phonetic symbols, with the second vowel a schwa).
Direct evidence for that pronunciation of the name is thin on the
ground, but there is good evidence for martial as "marshal" (2nd "a" =
schwa here), as Koekeritz gives it in Shakespeare's Pronunciation (317;
1953); it is usual to carp at Koekeritz, but excessively, in my opinion.
E. J. Dobson notes that "the 'homophone' lists of Wharton and Fox and
Hookes [early authorities] . . . pair martial with marshal" (*English
Pronunciation 1500-1700*, 2nd ed. (1968), 2.958). In Shakespeare's Works
and Elizabethan Pronunciation (1981), Fausto Cercignani cites the same
evidence for the pronunciation of martial (25).