Tag Archives: Humanity

Escape Routes

Probably in A. D. 474, Gaius Sollius Modestus Sidonius Apollinaris, more commonly known just as Sidonius Apollinaris, a Gallo-Roman aristocrat, Bishop of Clermont (eventually canonised), as well as an acclaimed poet, wrote a letter to one Magnus Felix, a former … Continue reading

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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

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When Harmony Disintegrates

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family, the saying goes. And it made me wonder: considering that Roman literature is full of stories about family relations, how much do we really know about family life in … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fake News and Post-Truth Politics

There is a widespread, distinct feeling that Western politics has entered a phase of what tends to be called ‘post-truth politics‘. The term ‘post-truth politics’, often accompanied by references to fake news and disinformation campaigns, looks like a euphemism for … Continue reading

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Winter is coming

In his poem De Bello Gothico (‘On the Gothic War’), the late antique poet Claudian describes the Roman general Stilicho‘s movements in wintery Germany (Claudian, De Bello Gothico 350–386; transl. from here): Near to the Hercynian forest the uplands of … Continue reading

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Hope, Freedom, and Being Human: A Poetic Approach

The 2016 Being Human Festival – a festival of the Humanities, sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy – commences today. This year’s theme is ‘Hope and Fear’, and my university, the University of Reading, … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What have the Syrians ever done for us…?

Things are difficult – and not particularly cheerful – at the moment. The so-called migrant crisis, the barbarism of ISIS troops in Syria and elsewhere, the humanitarian and fiscal crisis of Greece, Europe’s politicians’ utter inability to defend the human(e)ly … Continue reading

Posted in Epigraphy, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Displaced Human Beings: Seneca, the Refugee Crisis, and Human Migration

In A. D. 41, long before he became one of Rome’s most powerful political figures, the Roman politician, Stoic philosopher, and writer Lucius Annaeus Seneca got to experience first hand what hundreds of thousands of people are enduring at the … Continue reading

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