Tag Archives: Phaedrus

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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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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Cecil the Fabled Lion

Cecil the lion, one of the most iconic creatures of Zimbabwe’s national parks, has been killed by trophy hunters, creating an international outcry in the press as well as in social media (for an overview see e. g. this page) … Continue reading

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Sine fine, or: Imaginations of Infinity, Unlimitedness, and Limitlessness

Jupiter, in the first book of Vergil’s Aeneid, outlines his vision for the future and develops a strategy for the Roman Empire. One of the highlights of his speech is a well-known, rather extraordinary promise (Verg. Aen. 1.278-9): His ego … Continue reading

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Grapes and Wrath, or: Phaedrus on Things Too High

Former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major recently expressed his shock at ‘at the way in which every sphere of modern public life is dominated by a private school-educated elite and well-heeled middle class’. ‘Our education system should help children … 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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