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Poetry / 13.04.2010

The poem below is inspired by the famous tale of Daedalus and Icarus as told by the Latin poet Ovid in lines 220-235 of Book VIII of his "Metamorphoses" (for an account of this see Sabidius' translation of this great work available elsewhere on his blog). The poem presented here, which is in the form of a 14-line sonnet, suggests that Icarus' attempt to transcend the normal physical limitations of a man by flying through the air was fatally undermined when his father called out to him by name. Thus, the confidence of a man engaged on any great endeavour can be dented by a reminder of past frailties, and so the sublime can subside into the commonplace.
Ancient History / 16.02.2010

This year sees the sixteen hundredth anniversary of what was probably the second most famous Christian conversion in history. There can be little doubt that the most famous was that of St. Paul on the road to Damascus; the second may be said to be that of St. Augustine in a garden in Milan in the year 386 A.D. St. Augustine, not to be confused with our own St. Augustine of Canterbury, who reintroduced Christianity into Kent in 597, was a native of Roman North Africa, who lived from 354 to 430, during the declining years of the Roman Empire. He was to become Bishop of Hippo Regius, the second city and port of that province, in 396.
Ancient History / 11.02.2010

The long reign of the Emperor Honorius (395-423 A.D.) saw the beginning of the dismemberment of the Western provinces of the Roam Empire, that process which has both intrigued and haunted the minds of men. Almost exactly in the middle of this reign there occurred an event, which most contemporaries and generations of Romans before then had believed impossible.