Tag Archives: Fabulae

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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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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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

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An innocent lamb used facts as a weapon against post-truth politics. You won’t believe what happened next…

In my previous post, I explored the dynamics and rhetoric behind what has been called ‘post-truth politics’. The concept still is very much on my mind. On the one hand, I am not deluded enough to believe that concepts such … Continue reading

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A Disarming Hug

January 21st. Apparently it is National Hugging Day: a day that ’embraces hugging’ (or so the organisers say). Whatever next? There are a great many hugs and passionate embraces in Latin literature. Among my most favourite Roman hugs, however, I … Continue reading

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Fabulous Plagiarism

Originally published on the Engage in Teaching and Learning blog: Niccolò Perotti, the Italian humanist, preserved a collection of fables ascribed to the ancient Roman fabulist Phaedrus. This collection, commonly known as the Appendix Perottina, contains a poem called Prometheus … Continue reading

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