The Epopt

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'What the Heck's an “Epopt”?'

For a time I flippantly answered, “a test of a really good dictionary . . .”

epopt: A ‘beholder’; in Gr. Antiq. a person fully initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries. Also transf.

1696 TOLAND Christianity not Myst. 167 The right of seeing every thing, or being Epopts. 1798 W. TAYLOR in Monthly Mag. VI. 552 Those..who obtained the insight of these revelations, called themselves Epopts, Seers, or the Initiated. 1833 Brit. Mag. III. 48 That which has made us in some sort epopts of those mysteries which are between this world and the next. 1850 GROTE Greece II. lviii. (1862) V. 183 Addressing his companions as Mysts and Epopts.

Hence e'poptic a, of or pertaining to an epopt. epoptics n. pl., e'poptist = EPOPT.

1770 LANGHORNE Plutarch's Lives, Alexander (ed. Tegg) 467 Those more secret and profound branches of science, which they call acroamatic and epoptic. 1711 tr. Werenfel's Disc. Logom. 99 Aristotle's Books of deep Learning, his Acroamaticks, Esotericks, Epopticks, and mysterious Writings. a1652 J. SMITH Sel. Disc. i. 10 Hidden mysteries in divine truth..which cannot be discerned but only by divine Epoptists.

. . . But since there aren't any of those outside of libraries any more -- and no one knows what a “library” is any more -- I suppose I should be more forthcoming. It means “one who does not watch television.”

Alexander gained from [Aristotle] not only moral and political knowledge, but was also instructed in those more secret and profound branches of science, which they call epoptic and acroamatic; and which they did not communicate to every common scholar. For when Alexander was in Asia, and received information that Aristotle had published some books, in which those points were discussed, he wrote to him a letter, on behalf of Philosophy, in which he blamed the course he had taken.

Alexander to Aristotle, prosperity.

You did wrong in publishing the acroamatic parts of science. In what shall we differ from others, if the sublimer knowledge, which we gained from you, be made common to all the world? For my part, I had rather excel the bulk of mankind in the superior parts of learning, than in the extent of power and dominion.


--Plutarch, in vit. Alex.

An alternative explanation, suggested by someone guessing at the meaning, is that it is based on a character created by the Scots comedian Robbie Coltrane.

Mason Boyne, Presbyterian bigot and Orange Lodge member, says to his wife, “Did you know, Morag, that if you spell ‘Pope’ backwards you get ‘Epop,’ which is a four letter word beginning with ‘E’ like ‘Evil’? You see, it's all there in the Bible if you just shoogle the letters around a bit.”

Kudos for your work on the submarine articles. They are really shaping up! -- hajhouse

Second that! The Das Boot article is really good as well! :-) --Anders Törlind

The cabal stuff you added is not really correct. See [1].

Following up on "your" Saki article and "mine" on Kipling, is Saki's Not-So Stories intended as a parody of the latter's Just So Stories? The timing seems about right....--Paul Drye

I can't find any evidence one way or the other -- but it seems plausable....

Good article on the Magic Lantern, glad to see it here. I was wondering if one was up yet when i read about it yesterday. :-) --KQ


Epopt, I like your work, but what you call nonsense often isn't. This is nonsense: slakh30r8tfjlk;g3u9fogur. Irrelevant, biased comments aren't nonsense. They're irrelevant, biased comments (see what I did with Tupac Shakur, taking the biased comments and making them more Wikipedic). If you delete stuff, it helps if you characterize the deleted material more specifically than "nonsense". At least that's how I see it. --TheCunctator

And as I see it, "2Pac was the greatest of all time, and continues to be. Fuck the government and all them niggaz who shot him down. Damn, they can't stand a nigga toppin the charts. Thug in Peace my nigga 'Pac." is nonsense and should be deleted -- or, better yet, replaced by a meaningful stub, which you did very well. Thank you.

It's certainly not nonsense under the meaning that it's impossible to understand. The sentiment and content of each sentence seems quite clear. It's certainly an emotional, personal, and slang-ridden message, but hardly nonsense. In fact, I used the tirades to build the article. The only reason I'm beating this dead horse is if you write "Deleted biased, slang-ridden tirade" I have a much better idea of what happened than "Deleted nonsense". If "nonsense" is, for the sake of editing, reserved for "asflg40g0k;fjh40r", it makes collaborative editing easier.