Monthly Archives: March 2006

Grammatical Humor

Palladas once more (A.P. 9.489): Γραμματικοῦ θυγάτηρ ἔτεκεν φιλότητι μιγεῖσα     παιδίον ἀρσενικόν, θηλυκόν, οὐδέτερον. A grammarian’s daughter, having known a man, gave birth to a child which was masculine, feminine, and neuter. (translated by W. R. Paton)

Posted in - Epigrams, Ancient Jokes, Ephemerides | 1 Comment

By Request

Since Laudator Temporis Acti asks for more, here’s another epigram of Palladas. I teach high school, and my students occasionally read this weblog, so I won’t be able to print the one to which he alludes in his last line … Continue reading

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Aphorism of the Day

El órgano del placer es la inteligencia. The organ of pleasure is the intellect. (Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto Implícito, 2.84)

Posted in - Aphorisms, Ephemerides | 3 Comments

Late Antique Snobbery

Another epigram of Palladas (A.P. 10.98): Πᾶς τις ἀπαίδευτος φρονιμώτατός ἐστι σιωπῶν,     τὸν λόγον ἐγκρύπτων ὡς πάθος αἰσχρότατον. Every uneducated man is wisest if he remains silent, hiding his speech like a disgraceful disease. (translated by W. R. Paton)

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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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Half-Empty or Half-Full? Take Your Pick.

Those who found the last epigram a bit morbid may wish to skip the first of this matched pair: “Posidippus, or Plato the Comic Poet” (A.P. 9.359): Ποίην τις βιότοιο τάμῃ τρίβον; εἰν ἀγορῇ μὲν     νείκεα καὶ χαλεπαὶ πρήξιες· ἐν … Continue reading

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More Cheery Greek

Another epigram of Palladas (A.P. 10.85): Πάντες τῷ θανάτῳ τηρούμεθα καὶ τρεφόμεσθα,     ὡς ἀγέλη χοίρων σφαζομένων ἀλόγως. We all are tended and fed for death, like a herd of pigs slaughtered at random.

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Cheerful Thoughts from a Very Late Greek

An epigram of Palladas (A.P. 15.20): Σιγῶν παρέρχου τὸν ταλαίπωρον βίον, αὐτὸν σιωπῇ τὸν χρόνον μιμούμενος· λαθὼν δὲ καὶ βίωσον, εἰ δὲ μή, θανών. Pass by this miserable life in silence, imitating by your silence Time himself. Live likewise unnoticed; … 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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Callimachus on Heraclitus

Callimachus XXXIV G-P (A.P. 7.80): Εἰπέ τις, Ἡράκλειτε, τεὸν μόρον ἐς δέ με δάκρυ     ἤγαγεν ἐμνήσθην δ᾿ ὁσσάκις ἀμφότεροι ἠέλιον λέσχῃ κατεδύσαμεν. ἀλλὰ σὺ μέν που,     ξεῖν᾿ Ἁλικαρνησεῦ, τετράπαλαι σποδιή, αἱ δὲ τεαὶ ζώουσιν ἀηδόνες, ᾗσιν ὁ πάντων     ἁρπακτὴς Ἀίδης … Continue reading

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The Other Heraclitus

Heraclitus of Halicarnassus I G-P: Ἁ κόνις ἀρτίσκαπτος, ἐπὶ στάλας δὲ μετώπων     σείονται φύλλων ἡμιθαλεῖς στέφανοι. γράμμα διακρίναντες, ὁδοιπόρε, πέτρον ἴδωμεν,     λευρὰ περιστέλλειν ὀστέα φατὶ τίνος. ῾ξεῖν᾿, Ἀρετημιάς εἰμι· πάτρα Κνίδος· Εὔφρονος ἦλθον     εἰς λέχος· ὠδίνων οὐκ ἄμορος γενόμαν, δισσὰ … Continue reading

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Paeonian Oxen

Laudator Temporis Acti posts a tidbit from Rabelais about the disgusting habits of the Bonasos, or Paeonian ox, with an ancient parallel from the Elder Pliny. Here is what Pseudo-Aristotle has to say on the subject in chapter 1 of … 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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