Category Archives: Latin Literature

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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Pictolanche

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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More On Statius’ Somnus

The most recent (though not very recent) post on Gabriel Laguna’s Tradición Clásica is on Statius, Silvae 5.4, the ‘Ode to Sleep’. One of first things I put on the web here was ‘Sonnets to Morpheus’, with texts of Statius’ … Continue reading

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Horace In Rossini

In honor of the 2012th anniversary of the death of Horace, here is the opening of Act I, Scene XIV of Rossini’s delightful Il Turco in Italia, which I saw and heard for the first time today (on DVD). The … Continue reading

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Pedantic Leg Footnote

If I’m not mistaken, the “gloriously accoutred warrior”* Chloreus who inadvertently lures Camilla to her death in Book XI is the first character in the Aeneid who is wearing any pants: of his many colorful garments, the last mentioned is … Continue reading

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Gómez Dávila on Caesar

La prosa de César es la voz misma del patriciado: dura, sencilla, lúcida. La aristocracia no es un montón de oropeles, sino una voz tajante. Caesar’s prose is the very voice of the patriciate: hard, simple, transparent. The aristocracy is … Continue reading

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Ancient Shock Therapy?

Laudator Temporis Acti joins Rogue Classicism in wondering “whether there is any truth to the claim that the ancient Romans treated brain disorders or headaches with electric eels”. LTA also asks whether the electric ray or electric catfish (pictured below) … Continue reading

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Reading Notes: Trollope

From Chapter I of Anthony Trollope’s Dr. Wortle’s School, I learn that British schools provided their pupils (aged 11-17) with beer every day, and with wine and even champagne when they were ill. In Chapter III, a boy who falls … Continue reading

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Semi-New Feature

I have added a category in the left column for ‘Lists of Commentaries’. So far, the only one is for Seneca’s Epistulae Morales, though Ovid’s Heroides will follow. This is not a complete bibliography, but a cross-reference of letters against … Continue reading

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What Did Seneca Know About Babies?

Not much, to judge by E. M. 22.15, where Natura addresses those dying old: ‘Sine cupiditatibus uos genui, sine timoribus, sine superstitione, sine perfidia ceterisque pestibus; quales intrastis exite.’ “I engendered you without desires, without fears, without superstition, without treachery … Continue reading

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This Day In History Hagiography

Today is not only the 2,074th birthday of Publius Vergilius Maro and the feast of St. Teresa of Ávila, it is also the feast of Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky (1831-1906), Episcopalian bishop of Shanghai, a dedicated missionary who translated the … Continue reading

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Great Minds Think Alike

Helmuth, Graf von Moltke (the Elder): No battle plan survives contact with the enemy. Seneca (the Younger): Vetus proverbium est gladiatorem in harena capere consilium; aliquid adversarii vultus, aliquid manus mota, aliquid ipsa inclinatio corporis intuentem monet. Quid fieri soleat, … Continue reading

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One-Word Joke

 Silius  Update: (9/5, 4:15pm) Since no one has ‘gotten’ it yet, here’s another version of the joke with the same answer:  Baebius  And here are two more, non-Classical this time, with a different, but parallel, answer:  Philip   Charles 

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Fulke Art II

Here’s another neoclassical poem from Caelica, number XCIII complete: The Augurs were of all the world admir’d, Flatter’d by consuls, honor’d by the State, Because the event of all that was desir’d, They seem’d to know, and keep the books … Continue reading

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Spooneristic Misreading

After my trip to the U.N.C. library, I’ve been leafing through Toto Notus in Orbe, Perspektiven der Martial-Interpretation (ed. Farouk Grewing, Palingenesis LXV, Stuttgart, 1998). One sentence in T. J. Leary’s paper on the Xenia and Apophoreta caused a double-take. … Continue reading

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Martial’s Dexiocholus

The word dexiocholus, ‘lame in the right leg’, though securely attested in Martial 12.59.9, is not to be found in either the Oxford Latin Dictionary or Liddell-Scott-Jones: no doubt each editorial team thought it could safely be left to the … Continue reading

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Macaulay On Martial

I have now gone through the first seven books of Martial, and have learned about 360 of the best lines. His merit seems to me to lie, not in wit, but in the rapid succession of vivid images. I wish … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Ibis!

Since David Meadows is on vacation, I suppose it falls to me to point out that today is the Dies Alliensis, and therefore the birthday of Ovid’s fictional enemy Ibis. Here are the more amusing bits from Part IV of … Continue reading

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