lucubration, crenellate, valleity, chary, sybaritic

Occasionally, I post new-to-me words discovered via my reading rambles. I do this for my edification. If you happened to stumble across this post and you are a word nerd, you might enjoy these as well. Following each word is a short definition (sometimes with a thought interjected parenthetically), trailed by the context in which the word was found. 

  • lucubration: laborious cogitation, or, a solemn literary work that is the product of laborious cogitation | (I first stumbled upon this word in Pierre Hadot's extraordinary book on Marcus Aurelius, The Inner Citadel, but cannot now find the word in the text, even with the help of a Google Books search. Thankfully, I've stumbled across the word again in Henry Miller's essays).  "Since then, however, I have thought about it night and day. The result of my meditations and lucubrations I now offer to the world in the shape of this little treatise which, if it does not settle the problem once and for all, may at least unsettle it." - Henry Miller, "Money and How it Gets That Way" 
  • crenellate: supply with battlements | "Crenellated present ..." - René Char, Leaves of Hypnos ("Crenellated present ..." is the entire sentence and paragraph; there is no other context. Leaves of Hypnos was the poet René Char's reflections during the Nazi occupation of France. Part poetry, prose, and journal, the phrase "crenellated present" constitutes a substantial bearing in light of Char's desire to protect his emotional, psychical, and physical health).
  • valleity: a mere wish, unaccompanied by effort to obtain, volition in its weakest form | "Involuted velleities of self-erasure." - from the poem "Queer" by Frank Bidart, Metaphysical Dog Poems
  • chary: characterized by great caution and wariness | "She, like many of my parents's friends, had been full of enthusiasm about the book, and I found her no less so that day than when I'd seen her in New York some months before. But that didn't mean she wasn't chary." - Alexandra Styron, Reading My Father
  • sybaritic: displaying luxury and furnishing gratification to the senses | "But eventually, Paris and its bacchanalian pleasures began to wear on even my sybaritic father." - Alexandra Styron, Reading My Father | "Mario {Batali} had become the clown of the town - or at least its most sybaritic spokesman." - Heat, Bill Buford
A famous lucubration from antiquity is Marcus Aurelius's Meditations. Pictured: a photo I took of the Portrait Bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the Chicago Museum of Art, circa 170-180 A. D.

A famous lucubration from antiquity is Marcus Aurelius's Meditations. Pictured: a photo I took of the Portrait Bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the Chicago Museum of Art, circa 170-180 A. D.