Etymology: contemplate, govern

Romulus and Remus looking at birds
Romulus and Remus looking at birds

The word “contemplate” comes from the Latin contemplari, derived from con- (“with”) and templum (“temple”). A templum was originally an open space used to observe birds in the practice of augury:

Unlike in Greece where oracles played the role of messenger of the Gods, in Rome it was through birds that Jupiter’s will was interpreted.

The word “govern” comes from the Greek κυβέρνηση, meaning “to steer, pilot a ship”. Interestingly, “cybernetics” has the same root. It was originally coined in 1948 by Norbert Wiener to mean “the study of control and communication in the animal and the machine” but was later altered to refer to the study of systems that regulate and produce themselves. Note the lack of any mention of “technology”.

Fascinating aside from Wikipedia: In Norbert Wiener’s PhD dissertation (1912),

he was the first to state publicly that ordered pairs can be defined in terms of elementary set theory. Hence relations can be defined by set theory, thus the theory of relations does not require any axioms or primitive notions distinct from those of set theory.