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Monthly Archives / May 2017

  • May 30 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Bibliotheka: a Compendium of Greek Mythology
Ancient Greek

The Bibliotheka: a Compendium of Greek Mythology

Capturing the Erymanthian Boar

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

I first became interested in classics as a child when I heard the great tales of Greek mythology, stories like the Trojan War, the labors of Heracles, and the Minotaur. Exposure to these fascinating legends in childhood increases the chances that the child will one day become an enthusiast of classical literature or even a classicist. However, one thing has always puzzled me: what is our source of all these stories? How do we know about them? Continue Reading

  • May 25 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Learning Latin with Publilius Syrus
Latin

Learning Latin with Publilius Syrus

Publilius Syrus

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Although proverbs and maxims are by their nature very brief, they can contain a tremendous amount of wisdom. And in my mind one of the wisest writers of proverbs was Publilius Syrus! His writing has provided many generations with precious life lessons, and I therefore have no doubt that this present generation of Latin students is no different. In this article, as a means of introduction for those not yet familiar with his work, I have selected three sample proverbs of his. Continue Reading

  • May 23 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Res Gestae Divi Augusti: An Emperor’s Autobiography
Latin

Res Gestae Divi Augusti: An Emperor’s Autobiography

Caesar Augustus bust

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Have you heard of Augustus Caesar? What a silly question! Of course you have. But did you know that he wrote a first-person account of his own life? That’s right! Augustus left the text in his will, instructing the Senate to engrave the text on a pair of bronze pillars in front of his mausoleum. In this article I will be discussing three excerpts from the Res Gestae and explaining why I think this text is so great for intermediate Latin students. Continue Reading

  • May 18 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Declaration of Arbroath: A Medieval Gem for Intermediate Latin Students
Latin

The Declaration of Arbroath: A Medieval Gem for Intermediate Latin Students

The 'Tyninghame' copy of the Declaration from 1320 AD

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB and John Priest, B.A Cert. Min

Introduction

Too many Latin students (and even scholars) ignore Latin works written after the Classical Period, having been told that anything after Vergil or Cicero just isn’t worth reading. This narrowmindedness has caused generations of students to miss out on the treasures of Medieval Latin. Continue Reading

  • May 16 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Benjamin Bagby: A Modern Anglo-Saxon Bard
Classical Literature

Benjamin Bagby: A Modern Anglo-Saxon Bard

Benjamin Bagby

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Epic poetry is a common genre among most major ancient civilizations. Romans, Ancient Greeks, and Hindus, among others, have produced great poetry that has fascinated mankind down through the centuries. Still, to a modern audience this type of poetry may seem passé and even a bit dull. But why is this? I contend that the primary issue is the lack of scholars and performers nowadays reading epic poetry the way it’s supposed to be read. I’ve seen a number of performers recite epic poetry but I’ve only seen one who truly brought an epic poem to life—the scholar Benjamin Bagby, with his his amazing rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf! Continue Reading

  • May 11 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Historia Brittonum: a Forgotten Latin Work
Latin

Historia Brittonum: a Forgotten Latin Work

The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon by Edward Coley Burne-Jones

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Have you ever heard of the Historia Brittonum? I hadn’t either, until a few months ago, when I stumbled on this amazing historical chronicle during a search for sources on King Arthur. In fact, most scholars believe that this text is the original source for later Arthurian literature. In this article I’ll do my best to explain why this is an essential text for any serious student of Latin or medieval history. Continue Reading

  • May 09 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Crimes and Murders: the Tragedy of Agamemnon’s Family
Ancient Greek

Crimes and Murders: the Tragedy of Agamemnon’s Family

The Mask of Agamemnon which was discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 at Mycenae

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Every student of the classics is no doubt familiar with the Greek hero Agamemnon, who commanded the Greek expedition against the Trojans and was murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra. But are you aware of the dark side of this famous character? Sources such as the Bibliotheca by Pseudo-Apollodorus and Greek playwrights like Euripides mention hideous crimes committed by Agamemnon and his ancestors, including murder, treachery and cannibalism. The stories I’m about to tell you are so risqué that Homer considered them too hot for the Iliad! Continue Reading

  • May 04 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Teaching Latin with Children’s Books – Part II
Latin

Teaching Latin with Children’s Books – Part II

Harry Potter books in Latin

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

I believe that the sooner children start to learn Latin, the better, and one of the best ways to boost their reading skills and get them excited about the language is to introduce them to Latin translations of children’s classics. Since many people responded positively to the first article I wrote on this subject, I decided to write a sequel. I’ll be describing and recommending three children’s books that are now available in the language of Cicero. Continue Reading

  • May 02 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Studies in Latin Morphology, Part VII: Defective Degree Adjectives
Latin

Studies in Latin Morphology, Part VII: Defective Degree Adjectives

Detail of Pantheon, Rome

 

By Kostas Petropoulos, M.A.

Some Latin adjectives are distinguished by what may be termed defective degrees. It is important to note that these are not the irregular comparisons of bonus/melior/optimus or the like; they are simply lacking in one of the degrees of comparison, yet are often otherwise regular. They may be categorized as follows: Continue Reading