20 DECEMBER 1940, Page 13

Stit,—With regard to the word artimon, A. Jal (Glossatre Naunque,

1848) states that it was the name of the largest sail in the ancient galley. It retained this meaning in the Middle Ages (low Latin artimonium) down to the fifteenth century (Jal quotes a Genoese statute of 1441) and in the sixteenth century was still the name of the largest sail in French galleys, while misaine was the sail on the middle mast. Artimon later became the name of the mizen sail and misaine that of the foresail. Jal says " Why did the foremast and its sail in Normandy and Brittany take the name of the middle mast, while in the Mediterranean, England, Germany, Holland and Denmark Mezzana or mizen became the designation of the aftermast. I have never discovered the reason nor the period when it took place." It is possible however that as the mizen mast in the early sixteenth century carried a large lateen sail (similar to that of a galley) the name of the large galley sail passed, in France, to the mizen, enshrining a memory of the seapower of ancient Junior Army and Navy Club, S.W.r.