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Carmenta Online Blog

  • Oct 06 / 2014
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Latin

Suetonius vs. Tacitus: Tiberius Unraveled

Tiberius and Agrippina, by Peter Paul Rubens

 

by Rebecca Gove, M.A.T.

The accounts of Tiberius’ reign by both Suetonius and Tacitus have qualities that echo back on themselves in differing ways, yet serve to show how different authors viewed Tiberius in various flattering and unflattering ways. Tiberius was an emperor who elicited many opinions concerning his behavior and Suetonius and Tacitus provide scholars with treatments of him that give a thorough picture of his traits, strengths, and weaknesses. Continue Reading

  • Sep 30 / 2014
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Latin

Classical Latin’s Complicated Relationship with Aitch

Stone blocks with “H” shape

 

by Todd Clary, Ph.D.

Students of the Carmenta Spoken Latin Classes will no doubt have noticed that there are many aitches written at the beginning of Latin words that they are taught not to pronounce. The practice of not pronouncing these aitches reflects an actual language change known as psilosis that occurred in the history of spoken Latin. Continue Reading

  • Sep 26 / 2014
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Latin

A “Witness” and a “Testicle”? A Linguistic Analysis of the Latin Word “Testis”

Drawing with theme of an ancient Roman court.

 

by Larry Myer, Μ.Α.

Students of Latin are often struck by the fact that the same Latin word testis meant both a “witness” and a “testicle.” In fact, ancient Roman writers, like Plautus, sometimes played with this double meaning. Surprisingly, no scholar had satisfactorily accounted for the origin of this puzzling ambiguity until 1998, when the Princeton Classicist Joshua Katz published his article “Testimonia Ritus Italici: Male Genitalia, Solemn Declarations, and a New Latin Sound Law” in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. Continue Reading

  • Sep 23 / 2014
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Ancient Greek

Amphipolis and Alexander the Great: Analysis of a Recent Greek Archaeological Discovery

The entrance to the Amphipolis Tomb

 

by Christopher Welser, Ph.D.

An extraordinary archaeological drama is building to its climax near the ancient city of Amphipolis in Northern Greece. Magister Andrew has already taken note in two posts of the lavish Macedonian tomb now being excavated there. Speculation has intensified as to the identity of the tomb’s occupant, and based on the likely dates of the architecture and art already uncovered – they probably belong to the last quarter of the fourth century B.C. – it seems almost certain that the tomb was built for one of the historical figures who took part in the struggle for supremacy that followed the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. Continue Reading

  • Sep 19 / 2014
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Ancient Greek

Hypocrite – The Greek Ideal

Theatrical masks of Tragedy and Comedy. Mosaic, Roman artwork, 2nd century CE

 

by Susi Ferrarello, Ph.D.

To my “Hypocrite lecteur — mon semblable — mon frère!”

A long time ago people used to make money by doing a very peculiar job. They were hypocrites!

Actually, things aren’t so different today. We can see many people today who have become rich by smiling, waving their hand, and doing whatever they want whenever they want. Continue Reading

  • Sep 16 / 2014
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Latin

Roman Ruins in Britain Hailed as “Pompeii of the North”.

Excavations at the Binchester site (Credit: University of Durham)

 

Posted by Magister Andrew

Here’s an article about a treasure trove of Roman artifacts and buildings that date back more than 1,800 years at Binchester Roman Fort in County Durham, England. Some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Britain, the site has produced a bathhouse, an altar to Fortuna and jewelry offering evidence of early Christianity in Roman Britain. Read all about it! Continue Reading

  • Sep 12 / 2014
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Ancient Greek

Unusual Floor Uncovered in Amphipolis Tomb

An unusual floor made of irregular pieces of white marble on a red background from Amphipolis Tomb in Greece

 

Posted by Magister Andrew

The excavation of the Ancient Amphipolis tomb continues. In the antechamber of the massive 4th-century B.C. tomb under excavation in northern Greece, archaeologists have uncovered, behind a wall with two sphinxes, an unusual floor made of irregular pieces of white marble on a red background. Continue Reading

  • Sep 09 / 2014
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Latin

The Garigliano Bowl and Paradigm of Latin Sum ‘I am’

Picture of the Garigliano Bowl

 

by Todd Clary, Ph.D.

Hello and welcome to the Carmenta Online Latin School blog. This post presents some illuminating information about the common Latin verb sum ‘I am’ brought to light on an Archaic Latin inscription on the Garigliano Bowl. The circumstances of the discovery of this bowl are not certain–-it was in private hands for several years before scholars at the University of Naples brought it to the attention of M. Cristofani. Continue Reading