Category Archives: Carmina Epigraphica

Poetic Dreams of Flight

The crash of Germanwings flight 9525 has been on my mind quite a lot recently. Previously, on occasion of a similar incident (namely that of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370), I have published blog posts about the horrors that relatives of … Continue reading

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Here lies (insert name here), or: Why reading beyond a quotation is a really good idea

There is an old theory, originally proposed by René Cagnat in 1889 and widely believed by classical scholars, that in the Roman world there were manuals for the use of professional stone cutters and the like, providing them with model … Continue reading

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What’s in a name: A Short and Poetic Story of Nominative Determinism

The Classicists-List, a listserv for those with an interest in Classical Studies and Ancient History (both rather broadly conceived), never fails to amaze me for the rather – shall we say – peculiar exchanges that ensue every now and then. … Continue reading

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Shedding Some Light on the Eclipse

Exciting times for stargazers: there will be a solar eclipse on Friday, 20 March 2015, the first UK-wide almost-total solar eclipse, as it has been pointed out. High time for me to dig into my beloved Latin inscriptions and see … Continue reading

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To a very special mother!

Unlike in most other places of the world, it’s Mother’s Day (or Mothering Sunday, to be precise) in Britain today. Time to celebrate a very special mother then ……… no, not my own (she’ll be celebrated when it’s Mother’s Day … Continue reading

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Monumental Hatred

‘Speak no ill of the dead,’ they say – an aphorism that Diogenes Laertius attributed to Chilon, one of the seven sages: τὸν τεθνηκóτα μὴ κακολογεῖν (usually just received in a non-antique Latin translation, de mortuis nil nisi bene or … Continue reading

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Spread the Wealth

Have I ever told you the one about politicians and fiscal responsibility? The joke that is so old it was first recorded in a Pompeian wall inscription? It goes like this (CIL IV 3702 cf. p. 1383 = ILS 6405): … Continue reading

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Europa, Europe, and the Compelling Imagery of the Latin Inscriptions

Memory is treacherous. Yet, I seem to remember rather vividly a time when our politicians talked about a project they called our ‘common European home’ (Mikhail Gorbachev) or envisioned a ‘Europe, Whole and Free’ (George H. W. Bush). I liked … Continue reading

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The Faint Voices of the Poor of Ancient Rome

More often than not, we tend to turn our eyes away from poverty and the poor, the blemish on the conscience of our society in which everything exists in abundance and in which no one would have to suffer from … Continue reading

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St. Valentine’s Glory

Valentine’s Day is imminent: a day for lovers (to celebrate their romance), for the chocolate and flower industries (to make a fortune), and for the ill-informed (to point out that the Romans, too, celebrated a festival around the same time … Continue reading

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