Monthly Archives: March 2015

The sad fate of books

Strabo recounts what happened to Aristotle’s and Theophrastus’ library. Is this the Aristotle we have today, badly reconstructed from damaged books? Strabo 13.1.54 (Loeb ) From Scepsis came the Socratic philosophers Erastus and Coriscus and Neleus the son of Coriscus, … Continue reading

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The true knowledge

ἀναγκαίως δ’ἔχει βίον θερίζειν ὥστε κάρπιμον στάχυν, καὶ τὸν μὲν εἴναι τὸν μή. Life must be harvested like the ripe wheat; one person lives and another dies. Euripides Hypsipye fragment Or in the words of Oscar Wilde Thou knowest all … Continue reading

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The Lady of Shalott and Andromache

Tennyson’s “Lady of Shallot” has the Lady weaving on her loom. My guess is that he borrowed this scene directly from the Iliad where Andromache is in her room unaware that Hector her husband has been killed by Achilles.   For … Continue reading

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Appreciating art

This really applies to any work of art not just the classics that we cannot appreciate it if it is completely explained to us. We may need some guidance about the context or the assumptions about the artist and some … Continue reading

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Washing basins

When Achilles is chasing Hector around Troy before finally killing him they pass some springs and some stone washing basins. You can still see these basins in present day Greece although I would think most people nowadays use washing machines … Continue reading

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Threshold of old age

In this passage from the Iliad, near the climax where Achilles kills Hector, Priam is trying to persuade his son Hector to come back into the safety of Troy and not face Achilles which would be certain death. He recounts … Continue reading

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Goddess or girl 

Theses statues were part of an exhibition in the Ashmolean museum showing how statues looked with the original colours. This one showed two possible reconstructions.     

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