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Carmenta Online Blog

  • 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 29 / 2017
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Ancient World

Classical Interviews: Cleopatra

“Cleopatra and Octavian” by Louis Gauffier

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

This is the second of a series of interviews with celebrities from classical times. This idea first appeared in the novel “Gog” by the Italian writer Giovanni Papini. In that work, the character Gog interviews people like Freud and Picasso. Today I will be interviewing Cleopatra, who was so kind enough to receive me for an interview at Caesar’s home. Continue Reading

  • Aug 24 / 2017
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Classical Literature

Overlooked Literature: Old Norse

Manuscript of Prose Edda (Iceland, 1765-1766)

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

This article is part of a series on literature produced in a variety or archaic and modern languages, including Old English, Old Irish, Chinese, Irish, and Gaelic. In this article I focus on the great literary tradition of the Norse peoples. Continue Reading

  • Aug 10 / 2017
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Ancient Greek

Tryphiodorus and The Fall of Troy

The Burning of Troy (1759/62), oil painting by Johann Georg Trautmann

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

I first became fascinated with the story of the Trojan War as a child. When I read the Iliad for the first time, I was intrigued by the fact that Homer never mentioned how Troy fell. I eventually realized there was a gap between the events of the Iliad and those of the Odyssey. It turns out that Homer did write about the fall of Troy, but only fragments of that text have survived. Continue Reading

  • Aug 08 / 2017
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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 03 / 2017
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Ancient Greek

Tragedy and the Loss of Ethics

Oedipus and Antigone by Charles Jalabert (1842)

 

By Susi Ferrarello, Ph.D.

Intro

Ethics seem like something that would be particularly helpful when you need to make a decision. In reality, ethics quite often seem to be more of a hindrance than a help. In many situations ethics may just get in the way and complicate the path to a resolution. Continue Reading

  • Aug 01 / 2017
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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 27 / 2017
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Ancient Greek

Plato, Phones, and That Embarrassing Silence…

Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael

 

By Susi Ferrarello, Ph.D.

Imagine Plato, the famous philosopher, and Socrates, his teacher, going out for a drink. After half an hour they are already running short of things to say (very difficult to imagine, but nevertheless let’s try) and an awkward silence descends over the conversation. Continue Reading