Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The Eichmann Trial, Deborah Lipstadt

The State of Israel v Adolf Eichmann was one of the outstanding criminal trials of the twentieth century - the piece of litigation that introduced the term "Holocaust" into the English vernacular.  This book is an account of the trial written by Deborah Lipstadt, a Jewish American academic who is best known for her own courtroom battle against an antisemite, in the form of David Irving's ill-fated libel action against her and Penguin Books.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Copa: Virgil's Hostess

First published on my classics blog, Memento, on 2 October 2014

The Copa is a short poem, presented as the song of a hostess at a country inn.  It is one of a number of short works attributed to the great Roman poet Virgil.  It has been much admired by critics, but it is unlikely to have been written by the great man himself.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Sappho

First published on my classics blog, Memento, on 9 November 2014

Limb-loosing Love makes me tremble again,
the bittersweet creature that cannot be fought....  (Fragment 130)

Friday, 16 October 2015

Homer and Oral Epic

First posted on my classics blog, Memento, on 6 May 2015.

Most people today who encounter the Iliad and the Odyssey encounter them as books:


The Indo-Europeans and PIE

First published on my classics blog, Memento, on 9 November 2014.

You don't have to have spent long learning Latin and Greek before you realise that the languages are related somehow.  It doesn't take a genius to work out that fero, fers, fert is related to phero, phereis, pherei ("bear, carry").

Aulus Gellius and obeying your father

First posted on my classics blog, Memento, on 11 October 2014.

Aulus Gellius (flourished 2nd century AD) was a Roman judge and writer who deserves to be better known than he is.  He compiled a large collection of literary, historical and philosophical trivia known as the Attic Nights (he chose the name because he composed the collection during winter nights in Attica in Greece).  It's fascinating stuff if you happen to be interested in the peculiarities of Roman culture.

Eurycleia the slave - An interesting passage from the Odyssey

First posted on my classics blog, Memento, on 21 September 2014.

In this post, I want to look at an interesting passage from the first book of Homer's Odyssey.

The "he" in the passage is the hero Odysseus' son, Telemachus.  At this point, Telemachus is living in Odysseus' palace and waiting for his father's long-delayed return from the Trojan War.  Laertes is Odysseus' old father, who is now living in retirement: