Monthly Archives: June 2015

Sousse: Whence the Offence, Whence the Hurt…?

Sousse, ancient Hadrumetum, gave light to a famous mosaic, now kept in the Musée national du Bardo, Tunis: The mosaic displays Rome’s most famous poet Vergil (centre), surrounded by two Muses, Clio (left) and Melpomene (right). In his lap, held … Continue reading

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More Than Meets the Eye: Fragrance, Sensuousness, and Inscribed Latin Poetry

When we talk about ‘reading’ and ‘Latin poetry’ in academic contexts, we often tend to reduce complex intellectual and sensuous processes to a fairly linear model by which a text, either by acoustic or by optic means, somehow enters the … Continue reading

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Every Dog Has His Day

I am a hypocrite. I enjoy eating meat, even though I know about the way it is ‘produced’ (a sterile, technical term, to disguise the suffering and killing of animals, which have been bred under horrendous conditions, drugged, and tortured … Continue reading

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Departure, Abandonment, and Grief: Latin Poems about Death in Childbirth

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the poem for a Roman lap-dog named Margarita (‘Pearl’), whose splendid inscription I managed to visit in the British museum. The text of the inscription – moving, personal, and affectionate – has … Continue reading

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Poverty and the Poetics of Underclass Morality

Is there a direct (inversely proportional) relation between (desired) material wealth and morality? The author of the first pseudo-Sallustian letter to Caesar appears to think so ([Sall.] epist. 1.7.3-9; transl. J. C. Rolfe): But by far the greatest blessing which … Continue reading

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Latin Poetry and the Limits of Roman Medicine

There is a notorious passage in Plutarch‘s Life of Cato the Elder (23.3-4), in which the Greek philosopher denounces the infamous censor‘s view on Greek medicine: It was not only Greek philosophers that he hated, but he was also suspicious … Continue reading

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