Rest in Peace. The phrase itself is a “dead metaphor”—so old and familiar, we no longer see it as metaphor at all. Rather, we see it as lamentable news of the most concrete, unvarnished fact of life: a death. But its root components in fact originate in an ancient metaphor, a comparison between sleep and … Read More
A number of the heavy-weights of Roman literature were freed slaves. Terence, for example, was an African slave, brought to Rome by a senator. His master became impressed with his literary talent and, insensitive to the demotion in quality of life and pay it would mean, freed him from slavery to become a playwright. Horace, … Read More
Ovid was “revered among Elizabethan pedagogues” according to R.W. Maslen (Shakespeare’s Ovid, p. 17). It sounds like a terrible fate, to be revered by a pedagogue, let alone a bunch of Elizabethan ones. I don’t know for certain what happens if one reveres you, but if one kisses you, I think you get warts. Or … Read More
It’s almost shocking how modern and relevant Horace’s social commentary reads today. Every character type he attacks I recognize from my own experience. Every flaw he describes in himself I recognize in myself. He’s caustic, crude, witty, self-deprecating, down-to-earth, and wise in his guidance on how to live and how to write. His voice is … Read More
How is this for a blurb: I liked this book so much, I named my first-born child after its author.
Virgil is a legend. Just as the Romans ‘Hellenized’ the world and spread Greek culture to all of us barbarians in the hinterlands, Virgil helped to canonize Homer with his Homeric epic in Latin, The Aeneid. … Read More