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Modern Sator Squares


Many word-lovers are familiar with the famous Latin square shown above. It probably dates from Roman times and has been the subject of much discussion over the years. The main problem with interpretation is the word AREPO, which is supposedly unknown to Latin scholars. As a result, it is usually treated as a coined personal name. According to master logologist Dmitri Borgmann in Language On Vacation (1965), the palindromic message, 'Sator Arepo tenet opera rotas', can be rendered as: 'Arepo, the sower, holds the wheels at work', or more elaborately: 'The reaper shall cease from his toil as the mower works his wheel'.