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Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 07.04.2020

Introduction: The Hymn to Aphrodite is the fifth in a collection of thirty-three anonymous ancient Greek hymns celebrating individual gods, mostly dating to the seventh century B.C., shortly after the works of Homer and Hesiod had first been written down, and they are therefore among the oldest monuments of Ancient Greek literature. In antiquity they were uncritically attributed to Homer, the earliest reference to them coming from Thucydides (see Bk III. 104). Although it is now clear they were not written by Homer, they were composed in the old...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 17.03.2020

Introduction: The focus, and the main event, of this book is the tremendous one-to-one combat between the Trojan prince Hector and the the Greek hero Ajax, son of Telamon, or Ajax the Greater (see ll. 206-282). As in the case of the duel between Paris and Menelaus in Book III, the Greek had the better of the fighting, but neither warrior was significantly wounded. A significant theme of Book VII is the importance attached to the cremation of those killed in the fighting. In making his challenge to the...

Latin Translation / 26.01.2020

Translator's introduction: (a) To the work as a whole. The "Fasti" is a six-book Latin poem by Ovid concentrating on the Roman calendar or 'Fasti', and each of its separate books deals with the first six months of the year, January to June. The books contain some brief astronomical details, but their principal sections discuss the religious festivals of the Romans, the rites which were involved in them, and their mythological explanations. The poem contains much Roman mythological and religious lore which would otherwise have been lost. The poem was...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 20.01.2020

Introduction: For information concerning Sabidius' previous translations of books of the "Odyssey", the reader is referred to the introduction to his translation of Book VIII, published on this blog on 22 October 2019. Now, Sabidius has returned to the "Odyssey" in order to translate the whole of Book V, the first book in which Odysseus, himself, actually appears. A brief summary of the content of this book is set out here. After a council of the gods in which Athene pleads to Jupiter that Odysseus should be released from his...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 29.07.2019

Introduction: In this translation piece Sabidius returns to Homer, whose last translated passage, the "Iliad" Book III, he published on 16 December 2012. Previous to that, he had published translations of the "Iliad" Book I on 12 March 2010 and Book VI on 5 June 2012 (See Sabidius.com). Book II of the "Iliad" commences with Zeus' plan to punish Agamemnon for his mistreatment of Achilles. He sends a false dream, in the apparent shape of Nestor, King of Pylos, Agamemnon's most trusted senior adviser, to assure him that...

Ancient History / 18.06.2019

(N.B. This story is dedicated to Hector and Wilbur Metcalfe.) Chapter 1. Lucius and Marcus wake up. One summer morning, in the year 3 B.C., that is seven hundred and fifty years after the foundation of Rome, twelve year old Lucius awakes in his bedroom in a comfortable mansion in the High Street, which runs through the north-west of the city towards the famous Colline Gate. It is still dark, but Lucius has woken in response to a gentle nudge from the family servant Daedalus, who is carrying...

Poetry / 05.01.2019

Bridget you are my darling, Bridget you are my wife, O you are such an angel that you wholly light up my life. When you walk in the room, I am filled with delight, For your smile is so cheerful and your eyes are so bright, That I can think of nothing that I more want to see Than the face of that sweetheart who is always with me....

Latin Grammar / 03.05.2018

Imparasyllabic nouns are those which have one more syllable in their Genitive Singulars than in their Nominative Singulars. The majority of such nouns are in the Third Declension, and within this declension there are two groups, or categories, of nouns (and related adjectives) which are of significance in relation to the length of syllables at the end of words, i.e. final syllables: 1) Imparasyllabic Third Declension nouns with nominative Singulars ending in '- es', which have a short penultimate syllable in the Genitive Singular. In almost all Latin words...

Latin Grammar / 08.10.2017

On occasions, Virgil permits himself a certain licence in his metrication, when he lengthens syllables at the end of words which would normally be short both by nature and by position. Ancient authorities commentating on these irregularities explain them either by focusing on their position in the verse, or by suggesting that Virgil's usage in these instances reflects that these syllables had been long in quantity in earlier periods of Latin poetry. With regard to the first of these tentative explanations, it is indeed the case that in...