Tag Archives: Early Christianity

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

Posted in Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

End-of-Year Magic

India, according to the Natural History of the Elder Pliny, was home to some of the world’s most amazing animals (Plin. nat. 8.76, transl. H. Rackham): He says that in India there are also oxen with solid hoofs and one … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Medieval Cycle of Poems for Santa Claus

In my search for something unusual and exciting for my readership to enjoy in the second half of December, I came across a most remarkable cycle of poems celebrating St. Nicholas of Myra, now more commonly known and worshipped in … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Howdy, Stranger . . . !

As the current debate over refugees, migrants, EU-wide quotas, and immigration-vs-national identity strikes increasingly bizarre, shrill, and discordant notes, I recently had the pleasure to contemplate in somewhat greater depth a remarkable funerary inscription from Aquileia in north-east Italy: The … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Epigraphy, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 65 Comments

All Work and No Play…?

This year’s August is a strange month for me. On the one hand, this August is the final month of my British Academy Fellowship, which has allowed me to work on my project ‘Poetry of the People’, focusing on the … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Epigraphy, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Interpreting the Interpreter’s Poem

Some time ago, I published a little piece about the idea that the etymology of a name should reveal something about the character of a person – nomen est omen – as reflected in the Latin inscriptions. One piece that … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Epigraphy, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Undying Voices: The Poetry of Roman Britain

Britain has produced some of the world’s most highly renowned, influential, and beautiful poetry – Geoffrey Chaucer, Sir Walter Raleigh, William Shakespeare,  John Milton, Robert Burns, the Brontë sisters, Lewis Carroll, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, to name but a select few! … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Epigraphy, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Departure, Abandonment, and Grief: Latin Poems about Death in Childbirth

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the poem for a Roman lap-dog named Margarita (‘Pearl’), whose splendid inscription I managed to visit in the British museum. The text of the inscription – moving, personal, and affectionate – has … Continue reading

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

Latin Poetry and the Limits of Roman Medicine

There is a notorious passage in Plutarch‘s Life of Cato the Elder (23.3-4), in which the Greek philosopher denounces the infamous censor‘s view on Greek medicine: It was not only Greek philosophers that he hated, but he was also suspicious … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Epigraphy, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Oh the Humanity!

Several months ago, I received a letter from the Vatican which had been sent by His Eminence Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Secretary of State. The letter included my appointment to the position of Academicus Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy for Latin … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Epigraphy, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment