Tag Archive for 'Ancient world'

Still more on early French travellers to Libya – Durand’s article at last!

In 2010 I wrote about the circus at Leptis Magna, and how guidebooks say that Durand, a 17th century traveller, found it in much better condition.  In 2011 I found a snippet from it. This week Joe Rock, who commented on the article, has come to all of our assistance.  He has obtained a copy […]

Philip of Macedon on those who spoke ill of him

A quotation from Paley’s collection of Greek Wit, p.42: Philip, King of Macedon, thanked the Athenian demagogues for their abuse, and said that his morals were much improved by it, for his constant endeavour was both by his words and his deeds to prove them liars. —  Plutarch, Philip c. 7.

Did the Romans eat strawberries?

Summer is upon us.  I can’t really be bothered to sit at the computer.  Mild air, soft rains, hot sun and dusty blue skies … the time for indoor activities is the winter.  All I can think of, this evening, is that I intend to go out tomorrow to a farm near my home, and […]

Arrian’s lost work on “After Alexander” and what survives of it

The second century writer Arrian is our best source for the life of Alexander the Great, using impeccable sources then extant but now lost.  A number of his other works are extant, and indeed his work On hunting even exists in English, and can be found on Archive.org.  But equally interesting to us is his […]

From my diary

I have gone through my page of literary testimonies to Mithras and added references to Cumont.

Books, libraries, codices and punctuation in Rome in Galen’s “Peri Alupias”

Galen’s Peri Alupias, (On the Avoidance of Grief), contains many interesting statements about the destruction of libraries in the fire.  The following excerpts are from the translation by Clare K. Rothschild and Trevor W. Thompson 1, of the fire and its aftermath. 6. Likewise, it is no (longer possible to have) the books – corrected versions, […]

On the lives of the philosophers

It is a salutary experience to read through Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the eminent philosophers.  I have just completed volume 1, and in the process have gained quite an insight into the running of the Greek states, just from the way in which they interacted with various individuals.  The wills of some of them are […]

Josephus and his assistants

In Contra Apionem book 1, 50, (p.183 of the Loeb) we find the following interesting statement about how Josephus worked on the Jewish War: Then, in the leisure that Rome afforded me, with all my materials in readiness, and with the aid of some assistants for the sake of the Greek, at last I committed […]

Pythagoras is full of beans!

From Aulus Gellius’ Attic Nights, book 4, chapter 11, we find this curious tale about Pythagoras, the philosopher well-known for his vegetarianism and opposition to eating beans.  It is, perhaps, from an anti-Pythagoras source. 11. The nature of the information which Aristoxenus has handed down about Pythagoras on the ground that it was more authoritative; […]

For sale: two slave girls. Slightly used.

In the Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius, in book 4, chapter 2, there is an interesting passage on the buying and selling of slaves.  Here it is: 2. On the difference between a disease and a defect, and the force of those terms in the aediles’ edict; also whether eunuchs and barren women can be returned, and […]