Author Archives: Peter Kruschwitz

About Peter Kruschwitz

Berliner. Classicist. Scatterbrain.

#beggarsbelief

I have not been very good at updating my blog recently – between marking, my admin roles, and my desire to finish my next monograph (more about that anon!), there simply has not been a lot of spare time. Will … Continue reading

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Love, death, and blissful ignorance: Pliny and the origins of photography

Pliny the Elder, ancient Rome’s great encyclopedist, did not, of course, describe the origins of modern photography – a technique and art that was greatly advanced in Reading, Berkshire, by William Henry Fox Talbot (as described in this wonderful book). … Continue reading

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Bokelmann’s shade

I am in North Frisia right now, spending a few days by the North Sea shore with my son. I fell in love with this primordial landscape when I was a child myself (rather longer ago than I care to … Continue reading

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No graffiti please!

Yesterday news broke about houses that were defaced with graffiti (or, strictly speaking, dipinti – after all, the text was painted onto, not scratched into, the surface) in Cambridge – in Latin: Locus in domos … loci populum is a … Continue reading

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Blast from the past

The Roman fabulist Phaedrus opens the third book of his Fabulae with the following piece (Phaedr. 3.1, my translation): Anus ad amphoram Anus iacere vidit epotam amphoram, adhuc Falerna faece ex testa nobili odorem quae iucundum late spargeret. hunc postquam … Continue reading

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Valentine’s Valour

As the world once again celebrates undying love, chocolate, and flowers, it may be of interest to recall the story of Saint Valentine himself for a change. In his Legenda Aurea (‘Golden Legend’ – legend not as in ‘he’s a … Continue reading

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Drama queens: Ummidia and Messalina acting it out

Yesterday I had the immense pleasure to present – again – at the JACT GCSE Latin and Greek Conference at Westminster School London. My talk covered two set texts for the GCSE Latin – Pliny’s letter 7.24 (on Ummidia Quadratilla) … Continue reading

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Hard shell, soft core

The late antique poet Claudian wrote a series of seven short epigrams on a fluid inclusion (or ‘enhydro’); these poems form part of a collection of Carmina minora (‘Shorter poems’), where they feature under the title De crystallo cui aqua … Continue reading

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Principiis obsta: resist beginnings!

Ovid, in his elegiac poem Remedia Amoris (‘Remedies for Love’), writes (Ov. rem. 89–94, transl. J. H. Mozley): Quale sit id, quod amas, celeri circumspice mente, et tua laesuro subtrahe colla iugo. Principiis obsta; sero medicina paratur, cum mala per … Continue reading

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Facts vs. alternative facts (formerly known as ‘bull$#!^’): an ancient poem

Phaedrus, Rome’s fabulist of the first century A. D., wrote a remarkable piece called Poeta de credere et non credere, ‘The poet’s judgement with respect to believing and not believing’ (Phaedr. 3.10). This is the rather delightful 1761 translation of … Continue reading

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