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  • May 18 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Declaration of Arbroath: A Medieval Gem for Intermediate Latin Students
Latin

The Declaration of Arbroath: A Medieval Gem for Intermediate Latin Students

The 'Tyninghame' copy of the Declaration from 1320 AD

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB and John Priest, B.A Cert. Min

Introduction

Too many Latin students (and even scholars) ignore Latin works written after the Classical Period, having been told that anything after Vergil or Cicero just isn’t worth reading. This narrowmindedness has caused generations of students to miss out on the treasures of Medieval Latin. Continue Reading

  • May 16 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Benjamin Bagby: A Modern Anglo-Saxon Bard
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
  • Comments Off on Historia Brittonum: a Forgotten Latin Work
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
  • Comments Off on Crimes and Murders: the Tragedy of Agamemnon’s Family
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

  • May 04 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Teaching Latin with Children’s Books – Part II
Latin

Teaching Latin with Children’s Books – Part II

Harry Potter books in Latin

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

I believe that the sooner children start to learn Latin, the better, and one of the best ways to boost their reading skills and get them excited about the language is to introduce them to Latin translations of children’s classics. Since many people responded positively to the first article I wrote on this subject, I decided to write a sequel. I’ll be describing and recommending three children’s books that are now available in the language of Cicero. Continue Reading

  • May 02 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Studies in Latin Morphology, Part VII: Defective Degree Adjectives
Latin

Studies in Latin Morphology, Part VII: Defective Degree Adjectives

Detail of Pantheon, Rome

 

By Kostas Petropoulos, M.A.

Some Latin adjectives are distinguished by what may be termed defective degrees. It is important to note that these are not the irregular comparisons of bonus/melior/optimus or the like; they are simply lacking in one of the degrees of comparison, yet are often otherwise regular. They may be categorized as follows: Continue Reading

  • Apr 27 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Learning Latin with Odo of Cheriton
Latin

Learning Latin with Odo of Cheriton

The Stork and the Wolf fable

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Have you heard of the writer Odo of Cheriton? No? I hadn’t either. In fact, I discovered him by chance during a search for medieval fabulists. Medieval Latin has many literary treasures that, sadly, have been overlooked, and this is clearly the case with Odo of Cheriton. With this in mind, I’ve decided to write an article about his life and works and explain why I think his fables are useful for Latin students. Continue Reading

  • Apr 25 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Best Textbooks for Homeric Greek Students
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

  • Apr 20 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Tips for Latin Teachers: Phaedrus and His Fables
Latin

Tips for Latin Teachers: Phaedrus and His Fables

The Best Fables by Phaedrus

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Despite what many people think, fables are not aimed exclusively at children; in fact the ancients cherished them as valuable moral tales for all ages, and we see examples of this genre in many different civilizations. Fables were thought to be highly relevant as sources of wisdom and important in shaping character. Continue Reading

  • Apr 18 / 2017
  • Comments Off on How 20th-Century Lawyers Sued Jonathan Swift
Classical Literature

How 20th-Century Lawyers Sued Jonathan Swift

Gulliver Exhibited to the Brobdingnag Farmer (painting by Richard Redgrave)

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

The title of this article may sound bizarre. How could Jonathan Swift possibly be sued nowadays? Let me explain how! I corresponded for over ten years with a Brazilian journalist named Janer Cristaldo. Although he held two degrees in law and philosophy plus a Ph.D. in literature from the Sorbonne, he worked his whole life as a journalist as writing was his real passion. He once wrote an article about an event that took place during his early years as a law student, when he published an excerpt from Gulliver’s Travels in his school’s journal. Believe it or not, Jonathan Swift was subsequently sued by both the Order of Brazilian Lawyers and the Association of Magistrates! Continue Reading