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Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 15.02.2011

Introduction. In this further extract from Thucydides' great work, Sabidius has translated excerpts from the speeches made during the debate in the Athenian assembly about the fate of Mytilene, a city on the island of Lesbos which had rebelled against the Athenian Empire in 428 B.C. Since Mytilene was a long-standing and privileged member of that empire, the Athenians were shaken and angry at this disloyalty, especially since they were now engaged in a life-and-death struggle with Sparta (the Peloponnesian War 431-404 B.C.). The Athenians subjected Mytilene to a...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 17.01.2011

Introduction. Euripides (c.485-406 B.C.) was the last of the three great Fifth Century B.C. Athenian tragedians. "Alcestis", dated to 438 B.C. is his first surviving play, but it is not a tragedy, as it was produced in the place of a satyr play, the semi-comic treatment of a myth, to accompany a set of three tragedies. The background to this extract is as follows. The god Apollo had been condemned by Zeus to serve as the slave of Admetus, King of Pherae, for one year. Because Admetus had treated...

Latin Grammar / 17.01.2011

"Nunc est bibendum", of which "Now it is time to drink" is but one of the many possible translations, is one of the most famous quotations from Latin literature. It comes from the first line of carmen XXXVII of Horace's Odes, Book I, a poem written to celebrate the news of the death of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, in 30 B.C. Sabidius' purpose in this article is to analyse the grammatical significance of this short clause and, in particular to discuss whether 'bibendum' is a gerund or gerundive.