Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ancient palindrome

Matteo Arpe is one of the darlings of Italian finance. He had a lot of trouble earlier this year holding on to his position as CEO of Capitalia when his Chairman, the roguish Cesare Geronzi, wanted to get rid of him. Matteo survived a vote of no confidence, Capitalia was taken over by UniCredito, Geronzi was given a job there and Matteo was left with a large golden goodbye to consider his options. He's now started his own private equity and asset management company: Sator Group. The name "Sator" (Latin for sower) comes in a famous ancient palindrome, known as the Sator Square:

SATOR
AREPO
TENET
OPERA
ROTAS

meaning literally "the sower Arepo holds the wheels with care" and can be interpreted as "you manage your own affairs but there is a destiny which is managing you."The letters can be rearranged to spell paternoster (our Father) twice, going up and across from the central N with two lots of alpha and omega. Anyway, good luck to Matteo Arpe!

8 Comments:

Blogger kinglear said...

NOMEN
MUTUS
COCIS
DEDIT
Used to be a very good card trick.

11:49 am  
Blogger marymaryquitecontrary said...

Any "SOLO GIGOLOS" working in your office?

12:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is rather amazing how it works vertically as well as horizontally...

Not sure what your reference to alpha and omega is, though ?

12:08 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hi Mary - love it! And the answer's no, fortunately (I think)
Anon - the Sartor Square was a Christian symbol, hence the paternoster cross. So, all the letters of paternoster appear twice, except the N which is in the middle of the cross. Then there are 2 As and 2 Os remaining. Alpha was the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega the last. God is the Alpha and the Omega ie all-encompassing.

12:17 pm  
Blogger Eurodog said...

Et si nous prenions une petite coupe de Champagne à l'apero?

5:50 pm  
Anonymous Mr Eurodog said...

I have been interested in the Sartor Square for many years, ever since I saw it on the wall of the office of the Rector of the College of Europe. Since he was always quoting the rules of St Benedict, I failed to see the connection with upcoming Eurocrats. Your explanation of a "destiny that manages you" has shed some light. Thank you.

10:32 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Bien sur ED - never refuse une coupe de champagne!

Welcome Mr ED and thank you for your insightful comment. I'm glad we can depend upon you to stand up for our cause in Brussels.

11:13 am  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Gosh, that's clever , isn't it? Good luck to him indeed!

8:32 pm  

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