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Ancient Greek

  • May 09 / 2017
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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

  • Apr 25 / 2017
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Ancient Greek

The Best Textbooks for Homeric Greek Students

A Reading from Homer by Lawrence Alma Tadema

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Homer is one of the greatest authors of world literature. His epic poems have always been considered masterpieces and students will benefit greatly from access to these works in the original Ancient Greek. Reading Homer, however, is not an easy task. That’s why a number of books have been written specifically for the Homeric Greek student. In this article I list what I consider to be the best books for Homeric Greek students. Continue Reading

  • Feb 16 / 2017
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Ancient Greek

Three Great Polymaths: Aristotle, Michelangelo, and Burton

Aristotle, marble portrait bust, Roman copy (2nd century bc) of a Greek original (c. 325 bc); in the Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

The term “polymath” comes from the Ancient Greek πολυμαθής (“having learned much”) and refers to an individual who has achieved expertise in a significant number of subjects. This article will mention three names from three different periods of history and talk a bit about their greatest accomplishments. They were considered geniuses and their contributions to the world should never be forgotten. Continue Reading

  • Feb 02 / 2017
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Ancient Greek

Alcestis and Admetus: Hoping to Rise Again

The Farewell of Admetus and Alcestis. Etruscan red-figure amphora found in Vulci

 

By Susi Ferrarello, Ph.D.

Let’s talk about marriage.

How often does it happen that partners decide to put the couple before themselves as individuals? How often does one or even both of them willingly decide to “die”, metaphorically speaking, for a higher good in their relationship? It might be for the sake of their children, or the status quo, or for the sake of an uncertain future. Continue Reading

  • Jan 03 / 2017
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Ancient Greek

Virgil’s Death of Laocoön

“Laocoön and His Sons”, Vatican Museum, Vatican City

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Today we’ll be looking at the events that took place a few days before the fall of Troy. When the Trojans found the wooden horse, they were not sure whether they should keep it or burn it. That is when a wise priest of Apollo named Laocoön tried to warn them about the danger of keeping the Greek “gift”. The Olympian gods, however, had already decided that Troy had to be destroyed, and they would not hesitate to kill any mortal who would dare warn the Trojans about the Greek trap. Continue Reading

  • Dec 29 / 2016
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Ancient Greek

Nestor: The Conciliator

“Achilles Giving Nestor the Price of Wisdom”, by Raymond Monvoisin

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Today’s topic is one of Homer’s favorite characters from his Iliad: Nestor, king of Pylos. He was once a brave man who participated in the quest for the Golden Fleece and also on the hunt for the Caledonian Boar. However, when the Trojan War took place, Nestor was already an elderly man and, therefore, unable to do much fighting. Nevertheless, he plays an important role as the wise man who tried to conciliate Agamemnon and Achilles. Continue Reading

  • Dec 27 / 2016
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Ancient Greek

Batrachomyomachia: A Classical Parody

Batrachomyomachia (The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice) by Bjørn Okholm Skaarup

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Today we’ll be looking at a comic epic called Batrachomyomachia (“Battle of Frogs and Mice”), a parody of Homer’s Iliad. Its authorship has been disputed, though most scholars today believe it is the work of an anonymous poet from the time of Alexander the Great. Ancient authors claimed that Homer himself was the author. Continue Reading

  • Dec 13 / 2016
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Ancient Greek

Sinon: The Man Behind The Fall of Troy

“The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy” by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Hello, everyone! Welcome to Carmenta’s Classical Blog. Today I’ll be sharing the story of a character who played an important role in the outcome of the Trojan War. It is widely known that the Trojans decided to take a wooden horse into their city; less spoken of, however, is the man who convinced them to do it. His name was Sinon, a relative of Odysseus who had been charged by the Greek chieftains with that very task. Continue Reading