Category Archives: Poetry

Mini-Me

A couple of days ago, Verne Troyer died. At 81 cm (2 ft 8 in), Troyer was one of the shortest men in the world, his Wikipedia entry claims; he is likely to be remembered, most of all, for performance … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Poetry, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strike action and the creation of cheap labour

Until very recently, I believed that the strike of Egyptian artisans at Deir El-Medina in the twelfth century B. C., as recorded in a famous papyrus now in the possession of the Museo Egizio at Turin, was the oldest actual … Continue reading

Posted in Labour disputes, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Strike where the sun don’t shine…

The sun-god Helios could not believe it when his daughter Lampetië told him what had just happened: a bunch of savages had dared to kill and devour his sacred cattle that he pastured on the island of Thrinacia! Of course, … Continue reading

Posted in Labour disputes, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

On strike!

Tibicines, professional flute-players, held an awkward position within the society of Republican Rome. On the one hand, they were admired for their skills and regarded as quintessential for maintaining the sacred order of the state. Unsurprisingly, due to their quintessential … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Labour disputes, Poetry, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

True Love

exemplo iunctae tibi sint in amore columbae, masculus et totum femina coniugium. errat, qui finem vesani quaerit amoris: verus amor nullum novit habere modum. ‘Let doves yoked in love be your model, male and female, a perfect union. He errs … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In memoriam Dr Hans Krummrey (1930-2018)

A few days ago, I received the sad news that Dr Hans Krummrey, one-time director of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum in Berlin, had passed away. It would be inappropriate for me to attempt a full obituary – there are others … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Posted in Epigraphy, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments