Monthly Archives: February 2015

Crocuses

Now is the time when crocuses grow. There was an ancient myth that Crocus, a mortal man, had unfulfilled love for Smilax a nymph. They never got together and he was turned into the flower Crocus and she into a … Continue reading

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The kestos or bra

When Hera wants to seduce Zeus with the aim of sending him to sleep so that he won’t notice that she is helping the Greeks against the Trojans against his wishes, she goes to Aphrodite and asks for her help. … Continue reading

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An easier way to make a living

If you were a widow, especially with children to support, life was hard. You could make a poor living working wool into garments. In this simile from Homer, he compares the equal balance of the warring sides to a poor … Continue reading

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My soul upon my lips

This short poem was attributed to Plato and was about the playwright Agathon who appears in Plato’s dialogue Symposium. In fact it was probably not written by Plato and could refer to another Agathon.  The strength of the poem lies … Continue reading

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Sand Castles

Even Ancient Greek children liked building castles by the sea. ἔρειπε δὲ τεῖχος Ἀχαιῶν ῥεῖα μάλ᾽, ὡς ὅτε τις ψάμαθον πάϊς ἄγχι θαλάσσης, ὅς τ᾽ ἐπεὶ οὖν ποιήσῃ ἀθύρματα νηπιέῃσιν ἂψ αὖτις συνέχευε ποσὶν καὶ χερσὶν ἀθύρων. (Apollo) threw down … Continue reading

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A horse called Brian

Recently there was a bit of a local fuss about a horse. This horse which was called Brian was going to become a police horse with the Thames Valley Police. Police horses usually have names associated with heroes or gods … Continue reading

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Child adoption

Jasper Griffiths in the Oxford History of the Classical World quotes this passage to show how archaic customs were preserved in myths but which later were only to be found among barbarians. προσθετέον δ᾽ ἡμῖν τοῖς εἰρημένοις ὅτι μετὰ τὴν … Continue reading

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