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Latin, Latin Texts / 12.07.2011

Introduction. The following portraits of three women are taken from the letters of the Younger Pliny, the famous letter-writer of Imperial Rome (61-113 A.D.) His mother's brother was the famous naturalist and polymath, Pliny the Elder, and as a young man he was a witness to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 when his uncle was killed while trying to organise assistance to the stricken communities on the Bay of Naples. Inheriting his uncle's name and estate, theYounger Pliny enjoyed a successful career as a public servant. He was...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 09.07.2011

Introduction. As a sequel to Book VI, this book tells of how Odysseus manages to disarm the suspicions, and indeed to gain the support, of King Alcinous and Queen Arete. The 'topos' of 'xenia', the etiquette which is required in relation to hospitality to strangers, is at the centre of the book. In the end Odysseus is very well-treated, but the long silence of Arete, whose understanding Nausicaa has told him is crucial, allows the suspense to be maintained for much of the book.
Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 24.06.2011

Introduction. On 17th September 2010 Sabidius published on this blog an extract from Book V of Homer's "Odyssey". He has now translated the whole of Book VI, and this translation is hereby offered to his readers below. As much of the introduction to the extract from Book V is relevant here it is not repeated, but the reader is referred to it now. Book VI explores the themes of 'xenia' (hospitality) and its abuse, and survival through endurance and cunning. After Odysseus' terrible seven year imprisonment by the nymph Calypso on the island of Ogygea, he now has the pleasure of meeting the beautiful young Nausicaa, an exemplary maiden in all respects. The manner in which Odysseus addresses the dangers and temptations of the position in which he finds himself as a naked castaway is most intriguing.