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Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 16.07.2011

Introduction - Plato. Plato (427-347 B.C.) was the greatest of the Greek philosophers, and also one of the greatest Attic prose-writers. He was hugely influenced by the life, teaching, and death of Socrates, who himself wrote nothing. Plato wrote about twenty-four philosophical dialogues, in most of which Socrates is the principal figure. It is a matter of controversy how far Plato portrays the historical Socrates, and how far Socrates is made a mouthpiece for his own views. Central ideas (the importance of philosophical enquiry, the notion that virtue is...

Latin Translation / 13.07.2011

Introduction. The theme of these four extracts, translated by Sabidius, is that of 'Unwelcome people'. The first two are tricksters; the last two are both notorious women. Sallust's character assassination of Sempronia is particularly memorable. In the final extract Cicero is defending Caelius from the charge by his former mistress Clodia that he sought to poison her. As she was the sister of his bitter enemy, Clodius, Cicero was no doubt happy to blacken her character. These extracts are taken from the 'Cambridge Latin Anthology', edited by Ashley Carter and...

Latin Translation / 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...