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Carmenta Online Blog

  • Jun 08 / 2017
  • 2
Ancient Greek

The Ethics of Tragedy

Antigone in front of the dead Polynices by Nikiphoros Lytras

 

By Susi Ferrarello, Ph.D.

Do we really need tragedy in our lives? At first the answer seems ridiculously easy. No, thank you.

Yet it seems to me that only tragedy can successfully nurture our inner ethical compass and our sense of empathetic compassion for others and for ourselves. Continue Reading

  • Jun 06 / 2017
  • 0
Ancient Greek

Heinrich Schliemann: Archaeologist or Fraud?

A picture of Henirich Schliemann

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Most Classics teachers and students have heard of the German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann and many see him as a great scholar who set an example for generations to come. Still, his reputation has been under attack for years, and many people now believe he was nothing but a fraud. In this article I’ll be discussing Schliemann and the controversy that surrounds him. Continue Reading

  • May 30 / 2017
  • 0
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
  • 0
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
  • 0
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 16 / 2017
  • 0
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
  • 0
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
  • 0
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

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