“Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.”

  • Marcellus in
    Shakespeare’s Hamlet (I.i.43)

“Seemed like a good idea at the time,” cf. Sagittarius, and I was looking for a source for the quote, “The ink of the scholar is more precious (or more holy) than the blood of the martyr.”


Cursory online search, though, showed no such valid source. It’s like one of Shakespeare’s “bad quartos,” not an altogether reliable source, and no serious supporting documentation.

I like the sentiment, but this sent me down a harrowing rabbit hole of internet search. Then, back to my old copy of the sacred text of Islam, a translation of the Koran. I wouldn’t be much interested except that global politics suggest I pay attention to that faith, and what the tenets might be.

Looked up one suggested passage, read another page or two, flipped to the back of the book, and remember, this is all in translation with a “holographic” print of the text in its original form, but no, I can’t read that.

In summation? I am no scholar of that text. Respect it, but I suspect that the English translation is tilted in one direction or another.

When I quote Marcus Aurelius, one text I have contains a side-by-side with Greek, and while I no longer can “read” Greek, I can sound some it out, and look for obvious words. I can dig through that stuff.

While my Latin is all but gone, along with French, Spanish, and other language skills? I can figure it out, or, at the very worst, plug it into a search engine, and arrive at an approximation.

Which made it more curious, and just a little infuriating, that quote about blood and scholars? It’s got a large number of referential points, but no direct lineage, so it’s a halfway accurate.

Too bad because the ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.

“The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.”
— Mohammed

Excerpt From Pink Cake: The Quote Collection

Pink Cake

pinkcake cover

Pink Cake: The Quote Collection

Pink Cake