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NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLE

1001 deeds, sayings, curiosities and anecdotes of the ancient world

Ecphrasis, ekphrasis. Ut pictura poesis (Horace). Poetry is like painting

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"Ekphrasis" o “ephrasis” is a Greek word ἔκφρασις (ek and phrasis, 'out' and 'to talk'), (from the verb ἐκφράζο, ekphraso, from ek, out, and phraso, to explain with signs and words) that therefore means "exhibition in detail, explanation, description from outside or from the beginning or till the end," to make intelligible, discover, uncover, .... It is a vivid description placing the object or event before the eyes.

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Mundus (World) / cosmos: the creation of a new scientific language in Latin

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The legendary and mythical foundation of Rome is dated 753 BC; then the Greeks recited the two great epics of the West, the Iliad and the Odyssey. One hundred and fifty years after the death of Alexander the Romans conquered Greece and declared it a Roman province, although a hundred years earlier they had already made contact with the Greeks of Sicily, the Magna Graecia, the Great Greece. Among the cultural contributions of Greece to the Romans highlights the Filososfía. But Latin lacks sufficient scientific terminology.

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Animals should not be treated badly

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Respect for animals and nature in general is a very modern concern. There are numerous ancient texts that involve explicit reflection on the need to respect the "environment", among other reasons because the ability to destroy or modify was much lower and this probably makes unnecessary that reflection.

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The Death of Socrates: his last day.

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One day in 399 B.C. at dusk after sunset, Socrates, the wisest and best of men, hurried the glass of hemlock (a well common plant in our geographical area) that will produce death, in the presence of his close friends who desolate attend the moral fortitude with which he faces the judgment. Socrates was 70 or 71 years old. An unjust sentence, following the infamous complaints of three opportunist, envious and resentful citizens with their teacher, made in a favorable overall environment for it, killed the teacher and gave him everlasting fame that in no way could suspect his contemporaries.

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Why Socrates was condemned to death?

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The question has often been raised. Plato in his "Apology" or "Defense of Socrates" and in some dialogues and Xenophon in his "Defence of Socrates," give us enough information about how the negative environment was generated to condemn the most wise and just man by the the apparently inconsistent reporting of three mediocre and envious fellow. And it is precisely this failure and injustice that keeps alive the interest in understanding the contradiction that the first democracy in history condemned unjustly the most wise and just man who courageously accept the death penalty. Now, as a general rule it can not be interpreted past with social values of the moment.

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The thunder is the fart of the clouds

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The comedy The Clouds, of Aristophanes, ridicules to the point the figure of Socrates, helping to create an atmosphere of hostility to the fully honest philosopher that would take him to the death sentence. Comedy does not hesitate to use themes and cartoons which excite popular hilarity such as the emphasis on eschatological and "anal" (referring to the anus or ass) themes, as the explanation of why farts and farting occur according to opinion of the "great Socrates”.

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The debts of the Greeks

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There are many European citizens who are appalled by the claim of the government and the Greek people that it applied them a release or reduction of the huge debt incurred in previous years themselves. There are also other citizens who analyzed the origin of that debt, which is largely considered abusive and they are more comprehensive. The current situation is not at all comparable with the old, but I will offer two series of texts, some referring to Solon, who faced the untenable situation legal situation of many Athenian citizens back in the sixth century BC with legal modifications, they are indebted to the slavery; and other texts that reveal the particular attitude of an individual, also knocked down by particular debt, which is reflected for example by Aristophanes in his comedy the Clouds.

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"Ubi bene, ibi patria". Where it is well with me, there is my country.

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They are numerous classic texts in which the patriotism of citizens is exalted, both in Greece, where they felt very superior to the rest of the world, which they call "barbaric" because they do not speak Greek but babble, as in Rome, where they also knew themselves as the dominators of the world.

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Men, women, androgynous

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At this time around the summer solstice, when the days are longer and the nights shorter, they proliferate celebrations and demonstrations of the "gay pride" in which homosexuals, gays, lesbians and transsexuals exhibit the rainbow flag and say the right to have a different sexuality to heterosexual, which until recently was the only canonized and defended by the laws and customs, while others were condemned and persecuted.

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Very cruel pupils

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The Christian poet Prudentius wrote a series of singing hymns in the death of many Christian martyrs. He called his work "Peristephanon" or “Crowns of Martyrdom”. Prudentius, connoisseur of classical Latin literature and rhetoric, attempts to integrate the pagan tradition with Christian ideas.

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The eclipses announce extraordinary events (I)

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Man has taken thousands of years, from his appearing on earth, watching the sky, sometimes impressed by the thousands of bright spots, around 1,500 naked eye, moving or standing still, and other times frightened by the influence which the sky can have on their lives.

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The abduction of Hylas: a very peculiar mosaic of Italica (Spain)

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In Greek mythology there are numerous episodes in which powerful gods fall in love with beautiful mortals and procreate with them heroes, in their half immortal and in other half mortal. Also the goddesses fall in love sometimes with men, who are mortal. For example Venus is the mother of Aeneas, born from the mortal Anchises, from whom the race of Julius (Julius Caesar, Augustus, etc.) descended.

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