Saturday, October 13, 2007

off the soap box

We were at the Freo Markets the other day and we saw this Rottnest soap.

Mariners' Soap on a Rope lathers in salt and fresh water. "Great for boats, holiday home and Rotto", says the manufacturer. "Made with coconut oil...good for waterways."

Looks good to us. There's no fragrance. The rope is hemp. Why wouldn't you pack one of these when you're next going to the beautiful island?

Rotto Bloggo had it's HOME supplement (The Sunday Times) hat on when we were at the store. The owner told us a version of this tale, in the Wikipedia entry on soap: "...soap takes its name from a supposed "Mount Sapo" where ancient Romans sacrificed animals. Rain would send a mix of animal tallow and wood ash down the mountain and into the clay soil on the banks of the Tiber. Eventually, women noticed that it was easier to clean clothes with this "soap".

"The location of Mount Sapo is unknown, as is the source of the "ancient Roman legend" to which this tale is typically credited. In fact, the Latin word sapo simply means "soap"; it was borrowed from a Celtic or Germanic language, and is cognate with Latin sebum, "tallow", which appears in Pliny the Elder's account. Roman animal sacrifices usually burned only the bones and inedible entrails of the sacrificed animals; edible meat and fat from the sacrifices were taken by the humans rather than the gods. Animal sacrifices in the ancient world would not have included enough fat to make much soap. The legend about Mount Sapo is probably apocryphal.

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