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Horace – Poet of the Golden Age

by on October 15, 2021

by Ed Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Mediocrity in poets has never been tolerated by either men, or gods, or booksellers.”
So wrote Horace, one of the most celebrated of all the Roman poets. He lived during the Golden Age of Latin literature which occurred in the last decades of the Roman Republic, and continued into the First Century A.D. Great writers such as Vergil, Tacitus, and others created masterpieces that have proven to be enormously influential. The work of Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65-8 BC), better known as Horace, offers a unique insight into Roman life and thought of the period. He also provided a vision of the world that continues to inspire readers to this day.
The life of Horace

Euripides’ Helen – an Alternative View of Helen of Troy

by on October 14, 2021

by Sean Kelly, Managing Editor, Classical Wisdom
She’s probably the single most famous woman from all of Greek mythology.
We think we know the tale – the most beautiful woman in the world, and the enormous war that was fought over her.
Yet her story is much more complex than many may imagine. Was she really the face that launched a thousand ships?

Memnon: the Mythical King of the Ethiopians

by on October 12, 2021

by Ed Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
One of the most remarkable figures in all of Ancient Mythology is that of Memnon. He was a great hero, not Greek nor Roman, but an African. He was a king of the Ethiopians and he played a critical role in the Trojan War.
Origin of Memnon
Memnon was the son of Tithonus, a prince of Troy, and Eos, the goddess of the Dawn. According to legend the goddess swept the Trojan Prince away and took him to the farthest reaches of the earth, known as Oceanus in Greek mythology. The goddess of the Dawn bore the Trojan a son. He was referred to as bronze-armed Memnon and he grew up to be a great warrior.

What is HOME?

by on October 11, 2021

After almost five months of repeated canceled flights and new border restrictions, we finally made it home to Argentina. 
It wasn’t an easy process. In fact, in the end our flights were cancelled once more and we had to buy completely new tickets… from a completely different city across the country… which required a whole other set of flights. 
And while I feel comfortable in saying it’s been an Odyssean journey… I have to ask if I achieved a modern day nostos
The root of the word nostalgia, the ancient Greek term nostos means a return to one’s origins, a homecoming of sorts. The ancients, however, had a few important addenda to the concept, such as: nostos involves an epic hero, travel by sea, as well as an elevated status upon return. 

The Pharsalia by Lucan: Epic Poem on the Roman Civil War

by on October 8, 2021

By Ed Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Roman literature has been enormously influential in the history of Western culture. The Pharsalia, an Epic poem by Lucan, was once widely read, and inspired many great Renaissance writers, such as Christopher Marlowe and Dante. This work tells the story of the great Roman Civil War between Julius Caesar and his legions on one side, and Pompey and his supporters in the Senate on the other. The Epic is one of the masterpieces of the Silver Age of Roman literature, and it is not only a remarkable work of art, but it also offers many insights into the history of Rome.
The Poet and his Epic
The author of the Pharsalia was Lucan (39 AD – 65 AD) who was born in what is now southern Spain. He was the grandson of Seneca the Elder, and the nephew of the Stoic philosopher and statesman, Seneca the Younger. He became a close friend of Nero, who helped Lucan to secure the post of Quaestor. Lucan managed to write the Epic which consists of ten books in a remarkably short period of time.  In this he was assisted by his loyal wife. At some point, Lucan and Nero had a falling out. Some sources suggest that Lucan dared to criticise the work of Nero. In 65 AD, Lucan became involved in a conspiracy led by Piso.  This plot was discovered, and Lucan was implicated. Ancient sources alleged that the poet revealed information about the other conspirators, including his family members, in a bid to save his life. This failed and he was forced to commit suicide by opening his veins by Nero.

Athena in Ancient Literature

by on October 6, 2021

by Sean Kelly, Managing Editor, Classical Wisdom
She’s one of the most famous and prominent of the Greek deities. Her symbol – the owl – still stands proudly, millennia later, as an emblem of wisdom.
Yet what do the ancient texts actually say about her? Who is she, and what does she do?
What do we know about the Goddess of Wisdom?