Friday, February 5, 2010

New villain on the scene

I have just reached the second chapter of Alma in my study of the Book of Mormon and am curious about the villain we meet there, Amlici. As with many of those who sought to overturn the order of things in the Nephite world, Amlici himself is an enigma. Was he wholly a Nephite or of some other ethnic derivation with an axe to grind, perhaps considering himself an aggrieved minority in the Nephite culture, as might an Ainu in Japan or a Native American in the United States today? Consider his very name -- impossible to derive from the m-l-k root so familiar in the Book of Mormon, if the transliterated "c" is in truth to be pronounced as an "s."

If he was simply a power-hungry Nephite, or if this is a title put upon him by his Nephite enemies (there is a long history in Native American culture of doing so -- just ask an "Eskimo") then I may be very off base but his name might mean "Man of Aml," if "ic" is a garbled version of the Hebrew "aish" and the final "i" is a possessive marker.

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