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Ancient Greek, Ancient History / 04.06.2010

Of all the sunken civilisations of man, that of Atlantis is perhaps the most exciting. The question of whether Atlantis is only legendary or whether it is based on a certain amount of discoverable fact, was a bone of contention even in antiquity. Thus, the immediate question that presents itself is to decide whether the Atlantis so meticulously described by Plato was no more than a poetic fiction. Was his utopian island that ruled the world only a sympathetic refurbishing of myths handed down from the dawn of...

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.