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  • Sep 19 / 2017
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Latin

Latin Translation of the Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita, a 19th-century manuscript

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the greatest jewels of world literature. Aldous Huxley said, “The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity”. Continue Reading

  • Aug 31 / 2017
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Latin

Learning Latin with Dictys Cretensis: Journal of the Trojan War

“The Abduction of Helen” by Gavin Hamilton

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Have you heard of Dictys Cretensis? Most likely not, since his work Journal of the Trojan War is mostly ignored by scholars. I happened upon this book while doing some research on the Trojan War. This work was supposedly written by an eyewitness who accompanied the Greek fleet on the expedition against Troy. In this short essay I will explain why this text is excellent reading for intermediate Latin students. Continue Reading

  • Aug 17 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Symphosius’ Aenigmata: Latin Riddles for Students!
Latin

Symphosius’ Aenigmata: Latin Riddles for Students!

This painting on the base of an ancient cup shows Oedipus and the Sphinx, a winged monster with the body of a lion and the head of a woman. To rescue the people of Thebes from the monster's terror, Oedipus had to answer its riddle

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Have you heard of the Latin riddle-writer Symphosius? I hadn’t either until a few months ago when, during a search for Anglo-Saxon riddles, I stumbled on his “Aenigmata”, a collection of riddles written in the language of Cicero. Continue Reading

  • Aug 08 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Learning Latin with Asterix
Latin

Learning Latin with Asterix

“Asterix the Gaul” in Latin

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

This is the first article in a series about the Asterix comic books, written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo, which have also been translated into Latin. I first read the Asterix books when I was ten years old, and the collection was instrumental in helping me develop a taste for classics, with its many allusions to classical culture and education. Continue Reading

  • Aug 01 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Classical Interviews: Julius Caesar
Latin

Classical Interviews: Julius Caesar

Vercingetorix throws down his arms at the feet of Julius Caesar. Painting by Lionel Royer.

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

This is the first of a series of fictitious interviews with important characters of the ancient Roman and Greek worlds. The idea of made-up interviews first appeared in the writings of the Italian writer Giuseppe Papini, though he ‘interviewed’ people from more recent times. Today’s interview is with Caius Julius Caesar who gladly received me at his domus in Rome. I asked him about his future plans as Rome’s dictator. Continue Reading

  • Jul 25 / 2017
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Latin

Homework Suggestion: the Achilleid

Chiron teaching Achilles how to play the lyre, a Roman fresco from Herculaneum, 1st century AD

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Have you read the Latin epic poem the Achilleid? No? Well, neither had I until I bought a dictionary of mythology that happened to mention this overlooked work by the Roman writer Publius Papinius Statius. But after taking a look, it quickly became clear to me that this would make a great homework assignment for Latin students! Continue Reading

  • Jul 13 / 2017
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Latin

Hyginus: a Perfect Fabulist for Latin Students

“Fabularum liber” by Gaius Julius Hyginus

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Every ancient civilization has a great corpus of fables. In the case of Greek literature, we are all familiar with writers like Phaedrus and Aesop and their immortal works. Perhaps less well known, though, is the great fabulist Hyginus. Continue Reading

  • Jul 11 / 2017
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Latin

Homework Suggestion: Columbus’ Latin Letter

“Landing of Columbus” by John Vanderlyn

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

One of the greatest unknown Latin gems of the post-medieval period is a letter written by Christopher Columbus to his employers. This important historical document written in the language of Cicero contains Columbus’ first impression of the New World on his journey to find a new route to the Indies. Continue Reading

  • Jun 28 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Latin Homework Suggestion: Calgacus’ Speech
Latin

Latin Homework Suggestion: Calgacus’ Speech

19th century print depicting Calgacus delivering his speech to the Caledonians

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Throughout history there have been a handful of speeches that have been remembered and elevated to the status of great works of oratory. Some of the most well-known include the Gettysburg Address, Charlie Chaplin’s speech in the movie “The Great Dictator” and Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream…” speech. Today I’m going to be focussing on a speech that dating from the Roman invasion of England, delivered by Calgacus, chieftain of the Caledonian Confederacy who fought the Roman army of Gnaeus Julius Agricola at the Battle of Mons Graupius in northern Scotland in AD 83 or 84. Continue Reading

  • Jun 22 / 2017
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Latin

Homework Suggestion: the Tale of Romulus and Remus

Detail of Romulus and Remus on the allegory of the Tiber River in the Louvre Museum (Paris, France)

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Do you know why the 21st of April is such an important date? Every true classics enthusiast knows that this is ine of the most important birthdays in history, the birthday of Rome! Continue Reading

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