Here’s a link to a great New Yorker article on the ancient Greek poetess Sappho. For the uninitiated, Sappho is the famous lesbian poet. That is to say, she was from the Isle of Lesbos and is renowned for homoeroticism in her poetry. However, as the article discusses, Sappho’s actual sexuality is difficult to pin down.
Controversies aside, Sappho was considered one of the great poets of her time. “Solon of Athens, son of Execestides, after hearing his nephew singing a song of Sappho’s over the wine, liked the song so much that he told the boy to teach it to him. When someone asked him why he was so eager, he replied, ‘so that I may learn it and then die.’ ” Needless to say, she’s well worth checking out and this article is a good introduction.
This is a fun article about the different spices and foods used by Romans with their dishes. Did you know that they used a lot of flavors that we might consider Asian? The Roman empire was quite expansive.
Check out this cool blog on the different parallels that can be drawn between the HBO drama and real Roman historical figures. Some really great cultural references going on in our media!
I highly recommend reading this fascinating article that includes an awesome combination of science, history, and Classical studies.
This is a site that I use to study Latin. It has a bunch of Latin games that were created by teachers around the world and shared in this community. The website for Latin Games (and you can search for specific ones) is http://www.quia.com/shared/latin/
Some of the ones I have found useful are the following quizzes on conjugations:
http://www.quia.com/cz/422995.html?AP_rand=1925616065 and http://www.quia.com/cz/422996.html
There are all sorts of different kinds of games and quizzes (the ones above are only one sort). You can search or scroll and find ones that interest you.
Hope they are helpful,
Bonus: Fun Latin Phrases
[One of my favorites is Si Hoc Legere Scis, Nimium Eruditionis Habes]
Did your reading of Homer, Vergil, or any other classical author happen to inspire your own poetry? If yes, the magazine Tellus out of the UK would love to see your work:
Tellus is an annual magazine which celebrates the rich use of the classical past in contemporary poetry; http://www.tellusmagazine.co.uk/. Poetry submissions for Issue 5 are warmly invited (deadline 15th November). Please do pass on this message to any colleagues or students to whom you think this would be of interest.
While on a study tour in Greece and Turkey this summer, I saw many beautiful artifacts depicting Roman gladiators. While all of these artifacts were fascinating, the most interesting ones that I found were two gladiator grave stelae in the Istanbul Archeological Museum that depicted left-handed gladiators.
With the first stele (labeled “A”), it is easy to tell that the gladiator (a secutor) was left-handed since he is depicted holding his sword in his left hand. It was not as easy to determine the handedness of the gladiator depicted on the other stele. The second stele (labeled “B”) depicts a gladiator (a provocator) resting his right hand on his stacked helmet and shield. The clue that reveals that this gladiator was left-handed, however, is that he is wearing his greave (leg guard) on his right leg. The heavily armed gladiator types, like the one depicted in this stele, wore a greave on the leg that corresponded with their shield arm. A left-handed gladiator would have carried his shield with his right arm and therefore would have also worn his greave on his right leg. Using this information, I was able to determine that the gladiator depicted in the second stele was a lefty.
I found these left-handed gladiators so fascinating partly because of my experience fencing. I am right-handed, and I distinctly remember that fencing with left-handed people was always very difficult. Although the Roman method of sword fighting was very different from modern fencing, I can’t help but think that differences in handedness between gladiators would have presented the same sort of challenges. The almost universal use of shields by most gladiator types would probably compounded these issues.
I know that whenever I tell someone that I’m taking Latin, the immediate response is always, “say something in Latin!” Of course, I usually just say “veni, vidi, vici,” or something, but I know that I and many others want to know really how to speak conversational Latin. I recently uncovered a few links containing resources on conversational Latin, so here you go!
This one’s just a preview of a book, but even the preview contains some pretty cool stuff. Unfortunately we don’t have it at Hatfield, but if you want it’s pretty easy to order through Summit.
In case you want to text your friends in Latin (email is too outdated, but that’s what they used for this article!)
Et tandem, I thought this was a fascinating video on the importance of conversational Latin!
Every Latin student should know the wonderful Halloween stories in Petronius’ satyrical novel, the Satyricon (ch. 61-62).
During a dinner party in honor of an itinerant scholar and two of his students, the nouveau riche host, Trimalchio, and his fellow freedman, Niceros, entertain the guests with funny stories of werewolves and corpse-stealing witches. Check out the full Latin text (somewhat advanced difficulty, alas) and an English translation at http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_text_satyricon2_ghoststory.htm.
Thursday, Nov. 8th
*WU Campus : Rogers Music Center : Hudson Concert Hall
Dr. Jodi Magness
Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
In this slide-illustrated lecture, we survey Jewish tombs and burial customs in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus, and consider the archaeological and literary evidence for the burials of Jesus and his brother James. The lecture includes a discussion of the claims surrounding the so-called “James ossuary” and the “Talpiyot tomb” (recently said to be the tomb of Jesus and his family).