aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Archive for May 2012

Callistratus, Descriptions of Statues 2.1

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οὐ ποιητῶν καὶ λογοποιῶν μόνον ἐπιπνέονται τέχναι ἐπὶ τὰς γλώττας ἐκ θεῶν θειασμοῦ πεσόντος, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν δημιουργῶν αἱ χεῖρες θειοτέρων πνευμάτων ἐράνοις ληφθεῖσαι κάτοχα καὶ μεστὰ μανίας προφητεύουσι τὰ ποιήματα.

It is not only poets’ and prose-writers’ skills that are inspired when divine frenzy falls on their tongues from the gods: the hands of sculptors too, when seized by the diviner inspirations which are lent them, utter forth creations that are possessed and filled with madness.

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Callistratus

Statius, Achilleid 2.1-4

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Sunrise, epic-style.

exuit implicitum tenebris umentibus orbem
Oceano prolata dies, genitorque coruscae
lucis adhuc hebetem vicina nocte levabat
et nondum excusso rorantem lampada ponto.

Day, brought forth from Ocean, drew the world out from the moist darkness that enveloped it, and the father of the flashing light lifted up his torch which was yet dull with the neighbouring night and dripping with sea it had not yet shaken off.

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Statius

Sophocles, Oedipus the King 296

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ᾧ μή ’στι δρῶντι τάρβος, οὐδ’ ἔπος φοβεῖ.

A man who feels no fear at doing the deed isn’t scared by words.

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Sophocles

Lucan, Civil War 5.260

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quidquid multis peccatur inultum est.

A sin that is committed by many goes unpunished.

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Lucan

Theophrastus, Enquiry into Plants 3.1.6

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A little bit of agricultural advice.

ἁπλῶς γὰρ τὸ μέγιστον (ὥσπερ πολλάκις εἴρηται) τὸ λαβεῖν οἰκείαν ἀέρα καὶ τόπον· ἐκ τούτων γὰρ ἡ εὐθένεια καὶ εὐκαρπία. ταῦτα δὲ ἐναντία φαίνεται τοῖς παρὰ φύσιν ἡμερουμένοις.

In a word, the thing of greatest importance (as has often been said) is that a plant should receive its proper air and location; from these things come abundance and fruitfulness. But they [i.e. air and location] seem to work in the opposite way for plants cultivated contrary to their nature.

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Theophrastus