Tag Archives: Afterlife

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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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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Buried Above Ground

The idea that the body is a prison-house or, more drastically still, a tomb of the soul – often shortened to the phrase soma sema – is an ancient one. Rooted in Orphic (rather than Pythagorean) thought, it finds its first … Continue reading

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Coping with the Death of a Child

A friend of mine had an extraordinary, deeply unsettling experience this week. She had lunch with a co-worker and her daughter, a young lady in her 30s, who was visiting her mother for some quality time. When, the following day, … Continue reading

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Movember: Three Bewhiskered Latin Verse Inscriptions

November is Movember, and as Movember is almost over now, it is high time to present a choice of three outstanding and remarkable inscribed Latin poems that mention beards. As the idea behind Movember is to raise awareness of men’s … Continue reading

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Children, Love, and Memory

Reading’s magnificent Saint Laurence church houses many a Latin inscription, some of which date back as far as the late medieval period. Among these treasures, there is a remarkable funerary monument, dedicated to one Martha Hamley: The monument displays a … Continue reading

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The Divine Riches of the Latin Language

My son’s interest in the Latin language, fuelled by his engaging Latin teacher, remains unbroken. Recently, for example, he wished to discuss the authenticity of some volumes of John Maddox Roberts‘s beautifully entertaining SPQR series with me (to a depth … Continue reading

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Disappearing into thin air

The mysterious story of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 is likely to fill news media for the foreseeable future: how can a Boeing 777 disappear into thin air? What happened to its passengers? Who was (or is) involved in this? The … Continue reading

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Hope and Despair in Roman Britain

Originally published on the Classics-at-Reading blog: The Yorkshire Museum in York houses a most impressive collection of Roman inscriptions from York and the immediate vicinity. On occasion of a trip to Yorkshire in August 2013, I was finally able to … Continue reading

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