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Archive for May 2013

Virgil, Aeneid 1.67

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‘When the Eton masters first started a boat on the river, one of the boys remarked:

gens inimica mihi Tyrrhenum navigat aequor.’

A race of men hostile to me is sailing the Tyrrhenian sea.

– according to Hugh Platt, Byways in the Classics (Oxford 1905), p.46. The line is from Juno’s speech to Aeolus.

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May 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Virgil

Homer, Odyssey 1.351-2

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τὴν γὰρ ἀοιδὴν μᾶλλον ἐπικλείουσ’ ἄνθρωποι,
ἥ τις ἀϊόντεσσι νεωτάτη ἀμφιπέληται.

People praise more the song which has most recently come to their ears.

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 28, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Homer

Horace, Satires 1.6.107-109

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obiciet nemo sordis mihi, quas tibi, Tilli,
cum Tiburte via praetorem quinque secuntur
te pueri, lasanum portantes oenophorumque.

No one will taunt me with ‘What stinginess!’ like they do with you, Tillius, when five slaves are following you – the praetor! – on the Tibur road, and carrying your chamber-pot and case of wine.

The pot is probably a chamber-pot, not a cooking-pot, as some would more squeamishly translate it.

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Horace

Lysippus, fr.7

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εἰ μὴ τεθέασαι τὰς Ἀθήνας, στέλεχος εἶ,
εἰ δὲ τεθέασαι μὴ τεθήρευσαι δ’, ὄνος,
εἰ δ’ εὐαρεστῶν ἀποτρέχεις, κανθήλιος.

If you’ve never seen Athens, you’re a blockhead; if you have seen, but haven’t been enraptured, you’re an ass; and if you’re pleased to be leaving, you’re a packass.

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May 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Lysippus

Valerius Maximus, Memorable Deeds and Sayings 1.1.20

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Q. autem Fulvius Flaccus inpune non tulit, quod in censura tegulas marmoreas ex Iunonis Laciniae templo in aedem Fortunae equestris, quam Romae faciebat, transtulit; negatur enim post hoc factum mente constitisse. quin etiam per summam aegritudinem animi expiravit, cum ex duobus filiis in Illyrico militantibus alterum decessisse, alterum graviter audisset adfectum. cuius casu motus senatus tegulas Locros reportandas curavit decretique circumspectissima sanctitate inpium opus censoris retexuit.

Quintus Fulvius Flaccus did not escape unpunished when, during his censorship, he transferred the marble tiles from the temple of Juno Lacinia to a temple of Equestrian Fortune which he was constructing in Rome – certainly it is said that after this deed he was never again in his right mind. And, to be sure, he did die amid the greatest mental sickness, after hearing that one of his two sons had died fighting in Illyricum, and the other had been seriously wounded. The senate, which was distressed at his misfortune, ensured that the tiles were brought back to Locri; by the most well-considered holiness of its decree, the senate undid the censor’s impious deed.

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May 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Valerius Maximus

Bacchylides(?), fr.57 (S-M)

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Ἀλάθεια θεῶν ὁμόπολις,
μόνα θεοῖς συνδιαιτωμένα.

Truth shares a city with the gods; she alone lives together with gods.

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May 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Bacchylides

Ovid, The Art of Love 1.637

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One of Ovid’s more cynical lines.

expedit esse deos, et, ut expedit, esse putemus.

It is expedient for gods to exist, and, as it is expedient, let’s believe that they exist.

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May 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Ovid

Aelian, Varia Historia 14.44

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Λακωνικὸν μειράκιον ἐπρίατο χωρίον ὑπερεύωνον, εἶτα ἐπὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς ἤχθη καὶ ἐζημιώθη. τὸ δὲ αἴτιον τῆς καταδίκης ἐκεῖνο ἦν, ἐπεὶ νέος ὢν τοῦ κερδαίνειν ὀξύτατα ἤρα. ἦν δὲ Λακεδαιμονίων ἐν τοῖς μάλιστα ἀνδρικὸν καὶ τοῦτο, μὴ πρὸς μόνους πολεμίους παρατετάχθαι ἀλλὰ καὶ πρὸς ἀργύριον.

A Spartan lad bought a piece of land for a very cheap price, for which he was taken to the magistrates and fined. The reason for the judgement was that, even at a young age, he had a very keen desire for gain. This was one of the Spartans’ most manly qualities – that they arrayed themselves in battle-order not only against their enemies but also against money.

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Aelian

Luxorius 65 (Rosenblum)

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Dating from the 6th century AD, Luxorius is one of the latest authors to have appeared on this blog. Here are his ‘couplets on the sayings of the seven wise men’.

Solon praecipuus, fertur qui natus Athenis,
finem prolixae dixit te cernere vitae.

Chilon, quem patria egregium Lacedaemona misit,
hoc prudenter ait te ipsum ut cognoscere possis.

ex Mitylenaeis fuerat qui Pittacus oris,
te, ne quid nimis ut cupias, exquirere dixit.

Thales ingenio sapiens Milesius acri
errorem in terris firmat non caelitus esse.

inde Prienaea Bias tellure creatus
plures esse malos divina voce probavit.

urbe Periander genitus, cui fama Corintho est,
omnia constituit tecum ut meditando revolvas.

Cleobulus, proprium clamat quem Lindia civem,
omne, inquit, magnum est quod mensura optima librat.

The distinguished Solon, who is reported to have been born in Athens, said that you should look to the end of a long life.

Chilon, the eminent man whom his homeland of Sparta sent forth, said this: that you can know yourself.

Pittacus, who was from the shores of Mitylene, said that you should seek to desire nothing in excess.

Thales, the Milesian wise man with a keen natural ability, declares that a mistake on earth is not down to the gods.

Then Bias, begotten in the land of Priene, showed, in his divine voice, that most people are evil.

Periander, born in the city that has the famous name of Corinth, decided that you can reflect on everything by meditating with yourself.

Cleobulus, whom Lindus claims as its own citizen, said ‘Everything is great which the best measuring keeps in balance.’

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Luxorius

[Xenophon], Constitution of the Athenians, 1.1

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The writer of this is not Xenophon but an anonymous author now known affectionately as the ‘Old Oligarch’. Whether he was actually old is anyone’s guess… He doesn’t really approve of democracy:

περὶ δὲ τῆς Ἀθηναίων πολιτείας, ὅτι μὲν εἵλοντο τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον τῆς πολιτείας οὐκ ἐπαινῶ διὰ τόδε, ὅτι ταῦθ᾽ ἑλόμενοι εἵλοντο τοὺς πονηροὺς ἄμεινον πράττειν ἢ τοὺς χρηστούς· διὰ μὲν οὖν τοῦτο οὐκ ἐπαινῶ. ἐπεὶ δὲ ταῦτα ἔδοξεν οὕτως αὐτοῖς, ὡς εὖ διασῴζονται τὴν πολιτείαν καὶ τἆλλα διαπράττονται ἃ δοκοῦσιν ἁμαρτάνειν τοῖς ἄλλοις Ἕλλησι, τοῦτ᾽ ἀποδείξω.

And concerning the Athenians’ constitution, I do not think well of their having chosen this sort of constitution, because by making that choice they have chosen to let the common people do better than the good people. This is the reason why I do not praise it. But since they have made this decision for themselves, I shall show that they are preserving their constitution in a good way, and that they do accomplish those other things which the other Greeks think they are doing in the wrong way.

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in anonymi