Category Archives: Uncategorized

Women who hate, women who kill: 1. Clytemenestra – Agamemnon 1372-1398

Once he was back from the Trojan war, Clytemnestra killed her husband Agamemnon. Some years before, she exiled (or, according to another version of the myth, failed to kill her son) Orestes, born from their union.”Nothing else is more dreadful and more horrible than a woman who puts such deeds into her heart”, says the […]

Aeneid 4: 120-127 and 160-172: Scene – A Cave

Virgil is SO lazy… At Aeneid 4.124 and 165 he even repeats the same line, with just the subtlest variation: the verb that completes the sense in the following line is in the future tense at 124 (as Juno predicts how she will bring Dido and Aeneas together) and present at 165 when the narrator […]

‘The need for non-violent gadflies’- Apology 30d-31e (Martin Luther King)

LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL April 16, 1963 MY DEAR FELLOW CLERGYMEN: ….Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for […]

Endlessness – Homer, Ibycus, Cicero, Leopardi (Contributed by Cristina Lofaro)

These passages explain the feelings of the four poets dealing with what is endless, impossible to reach, and for man to understand in depth. In the Greek and Latin extracts, the authors make the reader reflect on the fleetingness of time and life. The brightness of stars contrasting the darkness of the sky aims at […]

Juvenal Satire 1. 1-35 (contributed by Sam Hayes)

Juvenal is one of my favourite Latin authors – he adopts a persona with such vivid anger that it’s hard not to realise that the whole piece is a carefully constructed piece of art, and not the ad lib rantings of an angry poet. One of the reasons I find this section (from the first […]

The Return of Spring – Lucretius, Catullus and Horace (contributed by Viviana La Russa and Simona Borrello)

Lucretius was the first author of Latin literature that dealt with the topòs of “The return of spring” in a passage of his poem “De Rerum Natura” (I vv.250-256). The author describes the landscapes that become green again, the changing weather and the feeling of happiness given by the new season. This theme was resumed […]

Sappho and the Moon (contributed by Terry Walsh)

Sappho, the mystical poetess of the 7th century BC, has some beautiful lyrics about the night. The Moon was believed by the ancients to be the controller of all things feminine. These may be fragments, but they are striking and beautiful nonetheless, as when one comes upon an unexpected ruin on a small Greek island. […]