Author Archives: Peter Kruschwitz

About Peter Kruschwitz

Berliner. Classicist. Scatterbrain.

Community spirit under siege

The coronavirus-induced lockdown has many effects on us, individually and collectively, wherever we are. And we all respond in different ways. There are many aspects of this situation that worry me. The idea that I might catch the virus myself … Continue reading

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Social Distancing, Phoenix-style

Of all bizarre creatures in that imaginary space that is Greco-Roman myth, Phoenix, the fabled, long-lived, cyclically re-born bird that knows how to go out (and come back in) with a bang, has to be one of the most remarkable … Continue reading

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I am bored, you are bored, all aboard…

The second most contagious thing in the world right now, after the new coronavirus, is the insight that ‘social distancing’, previously known as ‘staying at home’ and ‘stay the fxxx away from me, you creep’, may actually help to decelerate … Continue reading

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Herd immunity

As the UK’s ‘herd immunity’ approach to the coronavirus crisis has proven to be somewhat of a debacle, I would like to share how the farmer Sagaris protected his herd during an epidemic. His story is recorded in a Greek … Continue reading

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The human side of the pandemic

As the world is trying to come to terms with the new coronavirus, Team MAPPOLA is doing its utmost to keep safe, working from home as best we can. As… The human side of the pandemic

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Io, Saturnalia? Merry Happy Whatever!

Few ancient exclamations inspire the internet as much as io Saturnalia, allegedly shouted by the Romans in the streets during their celebration of the Saturnalia (and as it is December 18th today as I write this, we are already bang … Continue reading

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Gory, gruesome, and grotesque: two ancient vampire tales

It is Hallowe’en today, and as I have not blogged much recently, a post appearing on here on this very occasion must feel like someone has returned from the dead just in time for this ominous date . . . … Continue reading

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Strength, achievement, and token gestures

Phaedrus, a writer of fables in the style of Aesop in the first century A. D., tells the following tale (Phaedrus 4.17, transl. B. E. Perry): De capris barbatis Barbam capellae cum impetrassent ab Iove, hirci maerentes indignari coeperunt quod … Continue reading

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Shit poetry (no, seriously)

A sixth-century poem, preserved in the Anthologia Palatina and ascribed to Agathias Scholasticus, celebrates the renovation of Smyrna‘s suburban latrines by Agathias himself in his capacity as father of the city (AP 9.662, transl. W. R. Paton): Χῶρος ἐγὼ τὸ … Continue reading

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Happy New Year!

1,870 years ago, Marcus Cornelius Fronto wrote the following letter (Fronto 5.45) to Marcus Aurelius, then heir apparent to the throne of the Roman Empire: Domino meo. Annum novum faustum tibi et ad omnia, quae recte cupis, prosperum cum tibi … Continue reading

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