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English translation: having a lighter complexion

06:55 May 10, 2017
English language (monolingual) [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / history, 1600: Girolamo Cardano
English term or phrase: white-skinned
I can't understand the meaning of white-skinned in this context, why Cardano is using this term for his countrymen...

“You liked the English, didn’t you?”
I have read his description of the sixteenth-century inhabitants of London, published posthumously in his Somniorum Synesiorum. They seem to him “urbane and friendly to the stranger”, like white-skinned Italians. His observation is that, as well as being hairy, they are broad-chested, quickly angered (“and in that state to be dreaded”), almost as gluttonous as the Germans and utterly unafraid of death. “With kisses and salutations parents and children part,” he writes later. “The dying say that they depart into immortal life, that they shall there await those left behind; and each exhorts the other to retain him in his memory. Cheerfully, without blenching, without tottering, they bear with constant the final doom.”
Local time: 18:38
Selected answer:having a lighter complexion
He is saying that the English (of that time) are like Italians in nature but not in appearance. They have lighter complexions.
Selected response from:

Terry Richards
Local time: 18:38
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

4 +12having a lighter complexion
Terry Richards

Discussion entries: 10



7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +12
having a lighter complexion

He is saying that the English (of that time) are like Italians in nature but not in appearance. They have lighter complexions.

Terry Richards
Local time: 18:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 120

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Amel Abdullah
9 mins

agree  Tony M: Yes, many dwellers around the Mediterranean basin are described as being 'olive-skinned', for example.
19 mins

agree  Alaa Saad
20 mins

agree  Yasutomo Kanazawa
44 mins

agree  Jack Doughty
1 hr

agree  Yvonne Gallagher
1 hr

agree  Charles Davis
2 hrs

agree  P.L.F.Persio: apparently, someone got their knickers in a twist..., you're 100% right, Terry.
2 hrs

agree  writeaway
4 hrs

agree  Rob Grayson
4 hrs

agree  JaneTranslates
8 hrs

agree  acetran
1 day 34 mins
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