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Latin Translation / 22.07.2011

Introduction. The following two extracts are translations from two of the letters of the Younger Pliny and were written in praise of his uncle, Pliny the Elder, the famous naturalist and scholar. For details of the Younger Pliny the reader is referred to the item on this blog dated 12th July 2011, entitled 'Tres Feminae'. The text of both extracts is taken from the 'Cambridge Latin Anthology', edited by Ashley Carter and Phillip Parr, Cambridge University Press, 1996. 1. A day in the life of Pliny the Elder (adapted from 'Letters'...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 17.07.2011

Introduction. 'Ecclesiazusae', produced probably in 392 B.C. is one of the last plays Aristophanes wrote. In style and content it represents a transitional phase between the Old Comedy of the Fifth Century and the New Comedy associated with Menander: there is still a political theme, still a comic hero (here female); but the sustained attacks on individual politicians have gone, the chorus has a reduced role, and a new style of quiet, witty dialogue has emerged. Power to women? The women of Athens, led by Praxagora, have decided to seize political...

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...