#Thelxinoe ~ Your Morning Salutatio for August 19, 2019

Hodie est a.d. XIV Kal. Septembres 2772 AUC ~  19 Metageitnion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad.

… a very slow morning!

In the News

Public Facing Classics

Fresh Bloggery

Fresh Podcasts

In this episode, we discuss the years 426 and 425 BC of the Peloponnesian War, including the current nature of Athenian politics as dominated by Kleon the anti-aristocratic demagogue, his feud with Aristophanes as seen in the comedic plays “The Acharnians” and “The Knights”, the Battles of Pylos and Sphacteria that turned the Greek world upside down, and the brutal conclusion to the Corcyraean civil war.

Book Reviews

Professional Matters

Alia

‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it should thunder today, it portends murders by women and the servile classes.

… adapted from the text and translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)

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#Thelxinoe ~ Weekend Edition for August 18, 2019

Hodie est a.d. XV Kal. Septembres 2772 AUC ~  18 Metageitnion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad.

In the News

In Case You Missed It ~ Long Reads

Greek/Latin News

Fresh Bloggery

Bingeworthy Past Podcastery

Another podcast that is still being produced and approaching the 100 episode mark that you really should catch up with:

Landscape Modery

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews

Alia

‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it should thunder today, it threatens civil war.

… adapted from the text and translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)

Barry Baldwin ~ Some Bookcases

Reprinted with permission of the author himself, who years ago had to deal with yours truly as a student. Errors in transcription accrue to the latter.

(Companionette to Harry Bruce’s Page Fright: Foibles and Fetishes of Famous Writers, McLelland & Stewart, Toronto, 2009.)

“To keep on sending little frogs… is like keeping on teaching Latin and Greek. What’s that for? Most of the somewhat good writers know little of either” – Fort, Books, p668.

Homer was said to be blind. His name means ‘hostage’. Three links with the sightless, once gaoled epicist John Milton.

The anonymous Contest between Homer and Hesiod (paras315–26) has the latter win a poetic cutting contest. But Hesiod was soon murdered by the brothers of a girl he allegedly seduced. Homer, having composed his own epitaph, fell fatally into a clay pit.

Archilochus (seventh century) was a mercenary soldier, Forsythian “Dog of War”. His name means “Leader of the Pack” (thus, patron saint of the girl group Shangri-Las). His fragmented poems run from nonchalant confession of cowardice (“Threw my shield away, can always buy another”) to squaddie consolation (“Ares is a democrat”), to (fr103) the still-puzzling “The fox knows many things; the hedgehog knows one big thing,” which always fascinated that old windbag Isaiah Berlin (cf. his published letters & Michael Ignatieff’s biography).

Classical writers were rarely Men of Letters’, insulated from reality. Aeschylus fought at Marathon and Salamis, only to perish when an eagle dropped a tortoise onto his bald head. Sophocles was elected to both military and civilian offices, possibly commanding a fleet against the Samian one led by the philosopher Melissus (Noel Coward’s In Which We Serve can’t compete there). When accused by his son of senility, he won the case by reciting lines from his new Oedipus at Colonus – son was adjudged the real lunatic. Three competing versions of his death: 1) asphyxiated from reciting a long passage from his Antigone without drawing breath; 2) choked on grapes at a wine festival; 3) died of joy over his last drama competition.

Euripides is said to have lived in a cave, in a ménage à trois with wife and amanuensis Cephisophon, possibly an unacknowledged co-author (shades of Dorothy Wordsworth). Self-exiled to Macedon, he was eaten alive by wild dogs.

Plato was sold into slavery in Sicily – a pity he was ransomed. Aristotle landed a plum job: tutor to Alexander the Great, at whose poisoning some suspected he connived. Many and various were the foibles and fates of Greek eggheads (no wonder they intrigued Bertrand Russell, no stranger to anecdote and scandal), best read in their Lives by Diogenes Laertius.

Poet-librarian Callimachus was the Greek Philip Larkin. Which hat was he wearing when proclaiming “A big book is a big evil”?- I never met a student who disagreed.

“Water-drinkers can’t write good poetry” (Horace, Epistles, bk 1 no19 vv1-11, instancing Homer and Ennius). Not all agreed: “Water is Best” ran one Greek proverb. Horace was thinking of Athenian comedian Cratinus, said (Aristophanes, Peace, V7700-3) to have died of grief at seeing a wine-jar smashed. He would have agreed with Brendan Behan’s “I’m a drinker with a writing problem.” Not so Julius Cæsar, an energetic author (he dictated his book on grammar while galloping on horseback in Gaul – one both pities and admires his secretary), so temperate as to be dubbed (Suetonius, Caesar, ch53) “the only sober man to ruin Rome”.

Comic playwright Terence (so Suetonius’s biography) was an ex-slave who slept his way into literary eminence (no shortage of modern parallels there), earned unparalleled monetary success with six plays, then simply vanished – a superior ancient Simon Dee.

The ultimate literary workaholic was Pliny the Elder. According to his nephew’s account (Epistles, bk3 no5), he read and wrote through the night, was read to during meals, litter-rides, and bathing, though didn’t prefigure Voltaire in using a mistress’s naked back as book-rest. (Bruce, pp165–71, adducing, e.g., Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Orson Welles for these and similar habits.)

How to choose between Virgil’s two rival maxims, Omnia vincit amor or Labor omnia vincit?

“Perhaps if Existence should stop sending little frogs, and stop teaching Latin and Greek, a whole would be in a state of amnesia” – Fort, p669.

Classical Corner 137: Fortean Times 273 (May, 2011), p. 19.

 

#Thelxinoe ~ Your Morning Salutatio for August 16, 2019

Hodie est a.d. XVII Kal. Septembres 2772 AUC ~  16 Metageitnion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad.

In the News

Public Facing Classics

Fresh Bloggery

Fresh Podcasts

You look down at the newborn baby in your arms: the child you just brought into the world, despite the dangers. You know already that you would do anything to protect him. But how far will you go to ensure his future greatness? Would you do anything it takes, even if that means violence? Would you lie, would you steal…would you kill?…

Pete joins David to discuss the recently published Hadrian’s Wall: A Journey Through Time, which features many of his photographs. He talks about how he came to archaeology via volunteering at sites such as Vindolanda, how  posting his photos of Roman archaeology to Twitter has generated a significant following across the globe, and advice he’d give to anyone wanting to get out and photograph heritage sites. He also reflects on how the media don’t always present a story about heritage in the way they perhaps should, as Pete found when some of his own photographs showing damage to the Wall went viral…

Book Reviews

Dramatic Receptions

Professional Matters

Alia

‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it should thunder today, it portends a long-lasting peace.

… adapted from the text and translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)

#Thelxinoe ~ Your Morning Salutatio for August 15, 2019

Hodie est a.d. XVIII Kal. Septembres 2772 AUC ~  15 Metageitnion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad.

In the News

In Case You Missed It

Public Facing Classics

Fresh Bloggery

Fresh Podcasts

When Julius Caesar returned to Rome after his last military campaign, he had big plans. Plans like remaking Rome in the image of Alexandria—as a beacon of light and learning. Transforming the Roman calendar and enacting sweeping government reforms. Invading Parthia for some reason. And making himself Dictator for Life—and the next best thing to a king and god. But Caesar should have been more on his guard. Because, among the aristocracy, the plebeian class and his own friends and soldiers, a secret movement to assassinate him was building steam…

Book Reviews

Dramatic Receptions

Alia

‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it should thunder today, things will just get worse.

… adapted from the text and translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)