I'm sure Pepys and his friend were very good Classicists!
Now that you've finished CHRISTMAS QUIZ PART 1: here's another quiz (sort of) from another kind contributor:
The Shield of Achilles
Flaxman’s Shield of Achilles – the hunt is on
This little volume was conceived on a recent trip to Bath. After a day’s tour of the Roman antiquities, my wife and I made our way to the Holburne Museum to view a special exhibition of silverware. There, in the centre of a top floor gallery was an exhibition case containing a huge, circular shield. This silver gilt object was from the Royal Collection, and had been cast for George IV from a design by the famous neoclassicist, artist and sculptor, John Flaxman. It was inspired by the passage in Iliad Chapter 18, describing the Shield of Achilles made by Hephaestus for Thetis following the loss of her son’s armour.
The guide referred to a number of scenes from the poem being represented on the shield. Fired by this, I dived into Iliad XVIII, thanks to the Perseus Project, as soon as we got home. What an extraordinary piece of verse! It romps through a multitude of scenes, apparently all crammed onto the single shield’s front.
Gathered here is Homer’s original, my attempt at a translation, and some pictures of the Flaxman model. Your task, should you accept it, is to read and enjoy (in either language or both) and then see how many of Homer’s references you can locate on the shield. I have so far found about 20, including Orion and the Bear, but I am sure that you will find more.
Medieval and Ancient Research Seminar (MARS) - Wednesday 14 December
Barry Dixon (Sheffield) will speak on:
'Plato and the Rules of Dialogue'
Humanities Research Institute:
34 Gell Street, S3 7QY
Pre-paper drinks at 5pm. Paper starts at 5.30pm.
Spending Cuts Lead a Professor to Sell Books
DECEMBER 9, 2016 / SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE
Palladas of Alexandria, 9.175
“I am selling Kallimakhos and Pindar and all these
Cases of grammar, since I have a case of poverty.
Dôrotheus has cut my living wage,
Signing off an unholy message against me.
But you, dear Theô, guard me, don’t allow me
To waste my life conjugating with poverty.”
Καλλίμαχον πωλῶ καὶ Πίνδαρον ἠδὲ καὶ αὐτὰς
πτώσεις γραμματικῆς πτῶσιν ἔχων πενίης.
Δωρόθεος γὰρ ἐμὴν τροφίμην σύνταξιν ἔλυσε
πρεσβείην κατ’ ἐμοῦ τὴν ἀσεβῆ τελέσας.
ἀλλὰ σύ μου πρόστηθι, Θέων φίλε, μηδέ μ’ ἐάσῃς
συνδέσμῳ πενίης τὸν βίον ἐξανύσαι.
This story may sound depressingly familiar. It is owed to another Splendid blog: Sententiae Antiquae
If you want some prime displacement activity, go to this website: it's full of interesting things but the previous link is connected with Latin literature. When you get to the page that allows you to word search Latin authors, type in a word of the moment and since whether the Roamns got there before us. For example if you put in BREXIT, this is what you get:
Publius Papinius Statius, Thebais 2.27
illos ut caeco recubans in limine sensit
Cerberus, atque omnes capitum suBREXIT hiatus;
saeuus et intranti populo, iam nigra tumebat
(…) Cerberus saw them, too,
Where he lay on the dark threshold, and reared his
Snarling heads. Fierce to the crowd that passes in,
His black neck was already swelling with menace,
Already he pawed at the bones littering the ground,
But the god soothed his bristling with Lethe’s wand,
And closed his adamantine eyes in triple slumber.
The results from typing in the significant name TRUMP are perhaps even more fascinating:
Verso deinde <in> Italiam pectore Alpium Latini iuris Euganeae gentes, quarum oppida XXXIIII enumerat Cato. ex iis TRUMPlini, uenalis cum agris suis populus, dein Camunni conpluresque similes finitimis adtributi municipis.
Then, on the side of the Alps towards Italy, are the Euganean races having the Latin rights, whose towns listed by Cato number 34. Among these are the Trumplini, a people that sold themselves together with their lands, and then the Camunni and a number of similar peoples, assigned to the jurisdiction of the neighbouring municipal towns.
(Pliny, Natural History 3.133-4)
Make of this what you will! There must be other possibilities. By the way, the idea is owed to another Classical Blog: The Petrified Muse, a fascinating miscellany of Classical by-ways which deserves much support. For more such, see the new page: LINKS. Please feel free to suggest possible additions.
'Ode to Winter’
iam glacie extendunt tenebrosae tempora noctes,
iam pluviisque brevem proterit hora diem.
nubila iam tumidas demittunt atra procellas,
nivibus et turris celsior spersa micet.
luceat igne focus multo lignoque reposto,
daque mihi multo pocula plena mero,
dulce et attonitas carmen permulceat aures . . .
Petrus (poeta pessimus)
Please excuse my elegaics. It's not very good and very derivative If anybody else fancies a go, I can thoroughly recommend a very old book on how to write Latin verses, which you can download here.