Origin of “Quarter” in Old World cities. 
Posted: 24 December 2009 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Does anyone know where I can find the origin of ‘quarter’ as in ethnic divisions of Old World cities, e.g., the Jewish Quarter, the Arab Quarter, etc?  Is it correct to assume this is related to ‘quarter’ in its meaning related to ‘housing’?  (to quarter the troops, for instance).  Or were cities divided into fourths?  And if it is related to “housing” how does that tie into four or fourths?  (one might speculate that houses or barracks have four walls but is there anything more solid to go on?

Thanks in advance!

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Posted: 25 December 2009 06:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It is related to both housing and the quartering of troops, but these are parallel developments with quarter in the sense of a section of a city.

Quarter, meaning a region or locality, dates to sometime before 1300. This sense often appears in plural, as in “from the most unexpected quarters.” This sense never specifically had a sense of four, although it may stem from the use of quarter to refer to the four principal points of the compass.

The sense of a district of a city appears in Tyndale’s 1526 Bible. From his translation of Luke 14:21:

Goo out quickly into the stretes and quarters of the citie.

The 1611 KJV translates this as lanes. I don’t know what the original Greek was, but the Vulgate has vicos, and vicus is a village, hamlet, street, or row of houses.

The sense of quarters meaning a dwelling place is from the late 16th century, as is the verb sense of to house troops.

(Source: OED3, December 2009)

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Posted: 25 December 2009 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The Greek is ρυμη (rhumē) ‘force, rush (of a body in motion); street’.

[Edit: Removed error.]

[ Edited: 26 December 2009 04:29 PM by jheem ]
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Posted: 26 December 2009 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Why do you say that? That’s not even its only occurrence in the NT.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=G4505

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Posted: 26 December 2009 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Why do you say that? That’s not even its only occurrence in the NT.

Yes, I was wrong about that. Silly mistake.

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Posted: 02 January 2010 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Dave Wilton - 25 December 2009 06:18 AM

This sense often appears in plural, as in “from the most unexpected quarters.” This sense never specifically had a sense of four, although it may stem from the use of quarter to refer to the four principal points of the compass.

I’d guess that the connection was pretty definite, with the original phrase being “from all quarters”, i.e. from all points of the compass.

[ Edited: 04 January 2010 09:32 AM by bayard ]
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Posted: 04 January 2010 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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People still give no quarter.

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