Category Archives: Latin Literature

A Missed Opportunity for Aesthetic Synergy

The American Shakespeare Center is currently doing four plays in rotation at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton: I Henry IV, Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, and Titus Andronicus. All are delightful in their different ways. Unfortunately, Titus … Continue reading

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Horace Kippled

D. A. West, in Horace Odes I: Carpe Diem, Oxford 1995, 6-7: In Horace the tone is often elusive. Perhaps the nearest thing in English is the parody [of Odes 1.1] by Kipling in ‘A Diversity of Creatures’: There are … Continue reading

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Does This Count?

Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti, collects examples of asyndetic, privative adjectives. Here is a possible bilingual example from the Younger Pliny (Epistulae 2.3.8), writing of those who can’t be bothered to go see the orator Isaeus: Aphilókalon inlitteratum iners ac … Continue reading

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Pedantic Joke/Riddle

What are the two (2) ingredients in a Hirtius salad, and why do I call it that? If it helps (it probably won’t) I just had one with a can of kippered herring and some crackers.

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Ovid’s Birthday

Publius Ovidius Naso is 2050 today. The vernal equinox seems a suitably Ovidian date. Though the specific date is (so far as I know) unknown, this year is also the 2000th anniversary of his banishment to Tomis: I wonder if … Continue reading

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Pamphlet: Androclus and the Lion

I have been experimenting with making pamphlets for Latin and Greek texts that are too short to fill a whole book. The first one finished is a teaching text of Androclus and the Lion, which I used with my Latin … Continue reading

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Aphorism Of The Day

A sure sign of a good book is that the older we grow the more we like it. A youth of 18 who wanted and above all could say what he felt would say of Tacitus something like the following: … Continue reading

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An Unlikely Source

Facts about the ancient world, even when mentioned in ancient texts, are not always found in the texts we would think of consulting first, or second, or at all. In his commentary on Martial I, Peter Howell refers (205) to … Continue reading

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Seneca Commentaries

I’ve updated the list of twentieth-century commentaries and other works on Seneca’s Epistulae Morales (link on the left) with four or five recent works. It’s a busy field, though there are still three dozen letters in which the reader is … Continue reading

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Fielding Translates Silius

Silius Italicus doesn’t have much of a Nachleben, but here’s a translation of Punica 2.217-221 from The Complete Works of Henry Fielding, Esq., edited by James P. Browne (London, 1903), Volume XI, page 155:             A Simile from Silius Italicus Aut … Continue reading

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Worst Classical Typos

Here are my nominations: 1. In a Greek text: In Volume I of R. D. Dawe’s Teubner Sophocles (1975), the first word of Oedipus Tyrannus is misspelled. The fact that it’s a one-letter word is particularly impressive:  τέκνα Κάδμου … Continue reading

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Things That Warm My Cold, Cold Heart

Misreading two lines in a Chicagoboyz post, a review of a book on the fall of the Roman Empire. They give the table of contents, which includes these lines:       1. Romans 3       2. Barbarians 46 I couldn’t help reading that … Continue reading

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Scholastic Humor

In Martial: Select Epigrams (Cambridge ‘green and gold’, 2003), Lindsay and Patricia Watson include 4.87 (71 in their numeration): Infantem secum semper tua Bassa, Fabulle,     conlocat et lusus deliciasque uocat, et, quo mireris magis, infantaria non est.     ergo quid in … Continue reading

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Testing a New Format

I’ve been mulling over the problem of displaying texts with facing translations on the web. It is not as easy as it should be to make it work with various combinations of browser, screen size, and font size. For my … Continue reading

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Amusing Comment in AP Vergil

In the funeral games in Aeneid V, which we read in English — none of it is in the AP selections — all five of the participants in the foot-race are given prizes (340-61). Vergilians will recall that Euryalus, Helymus, … Continue reading

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Supreme Erudition

Terry Teachout quotes some words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., on his 90th birthday: And so I end with a line from a Latin poet who uttered the message more than fifteen hundred years ago: “Death plucks my ear and … Continue reading

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Text I: Pliny 3.14 on the Murder of Larcius Macedo

Dear Acilius, 1 A terrible thing, worthy of more than just a letter, has been suffered at the hands of his slaves by Larcius Macedo, a man of praetorian rank, a haughty and savage master who remembered too little — … Continue reading

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New Feature: Ancient Text of the Week

Coming up shortly, an English translation of the Younger Pliny on the murder of Larcius Macedo (Epistle 3.14). This is a private letter, but no doubt polished up, since Pliny published it himself in his own lifetime. I have tried … Continue reading

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Is This A First?

From my referral logs I find that a university professor in the Midwest has assigned my Juvenal e-texts as the primary text in 4th-year Latin class. I’m flattered. The only other required text is Peter Green’s Penguin translation. Only 14 … Continue reading

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In checking my blog statistics yesterday, I found that I had gotten well over 100 hits from a link in The Scotsman last Monday. The author complains that the newspaper’s porn filters think that my Latin text of Juvenal’s 10th … Continue reading

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