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NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLE

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

Culture

Articles relating to the world of general culture, but that are difficult to specify further.

May your life be like your speech (talis oratio qualis vita) (II). Are the writings really the evident reflection of the life of the author?

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If we accept absolutely the Stoic principle of the close relationship between life and language and we apply it absolutely to literary creation we will be forced to judge the writer's life in relation to his writings: if his writings are elevated, his life will be morally high , If his writings are scabrous and scandalous, his life will be equally scandalous.

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May your life be like your speech (talis oratio qualis vita) (I)

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"The face is the mirror of the soul", "By the way of expressing yourself, we know the way of being yourself", "May your life be like your speech" or "think that you say and say that you think" are expressions and ideas that we have been using it since Greco-Roman antiquity in which Stoic thinkers generalized them.

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Male/Female (Qui…Quae…)

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It is a well-established question that women in general in the ancient world, in Greece and in Rome, hardly play any public, social and political role, remaining largely invisible, even in different stays within their own home; so we call "gynoecium", γυναικεῖον, the rooms of the house for the exclusive use of women; the "andron", Ἀνδρῶν, is the part of the house reserved for men.

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The white blackbird and the black swan are a rare avis (rara avis)

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"Rara avis", "white blackbird", "white crow", "black swan" are ancient expressions that serve to express the rarity and scarce or exceptional existence of a being, person, animal, object and even idea and thought. We can affirm the antiquity of the expression "rare avis" (rare bird, strange bird) by the antiquity of its language, Latin, but also "blackbird" and "black swan" and even "white crow" are used from the Greco-Roman antiquity to our days.

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The citizens of Capua were consulted

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As it is well known, the Athenians invented back in the fifth century BC. the democracy or political system in which the citizens, the people, the "demos", chose their rulers. This grandiose fact, whose most advanced development only exists in a few present Western countries, does not allow us to ignore the great limitation of that original democracy: only the citizens, a minority among the inhabitants of Athens, had these rights; Nor women, nor slaves, nor foreigners could vote. Neither should we ignore the ease with which the people were "manipulated", impressed, to make damaging agreements even against democracy itself, when there emerge the "demagogues" who even impose "tyrants".

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Ancient myths try to explain the various kinds of sexual relationships between men and women

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Phaedrus explains in a fable why homoeroticisme or homosexuality exists, both male and female; Ovid also does it with his account of Iphis and Ianthe. Plato also did it in his dialogue The Banquet, as I said in this blog. Even without understanding it very well, they tried to explain transsexuality and transgender.

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Lesbian love

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Lesbian Visibility Day is celebrated on 26 Aprilo to demand equal rights for lesbians in many parts of the world. Without entering into moral, the text that is mentioned here, one of the Dialogues of the Heterae or Courtesans that Lucian of Samosata wrote, is a document that I consider interesting

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Ovid in the Prado Museum-Madrid (Ovid V)

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The most famous Latin poets of the three of the time of Augustus, Virgil, Horace and Ovid, undoubtedly the most influential of them all in Western culture has been Ovid, although not the best valued by literary criticism. The influence of Ovid has been felt since antiquity itself, during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the present day in all arts, in literature of course, but also especially in painting and even in music. This is a subject very attended by the scholars and to which perhaps I should on my part dedicate some ample comment at some time. Something of this I have said in some of the articles that I have published in the thread of the celebration of the bimillenary of the poet’s death.

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Was the Ovid’s exile real or mere fiction? (Ovid IV)

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Was the exile that fueled part of Ovid's poetry real or was it only a poetic fiction with which the creative poet has deceived us two thousand years? The question may seem a modern exaggeration, characteristic of scholars who seek notoriety at any price. But it is not so and it is worthwhile to devote some time to this topic that was already raised at the beginning of the 20th century, and to which since then serious reflections and studies have been dedicated.

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Ovid among the barbarians of the Euxine Pontus. (Ovid III)

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In the eighth year of our era, the cheerful and worldly Latin poet Ovid was in Elba island in the company of his friend Maximus whose full name was Marcus Aurelius Cotta Máximus, son of Marcus Valerius Messala Corvinus, the protector of some literates. There Ovid received from the emperor Augustus a letter with the charge of serious crimes and the order to appear quickly in Rome, where he received the immediate condemnation of exile to the frontiers of the Empire.

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Bimillenary of Ovid's death, Autobiography (Ovide II)

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The Latin poet Publius Ovidius Naso, desperate and sick, died in exile in 17 AD in Tomis, the present Constanza, in Romania, by the Black Sea, then called Pontus Euxinus, the Euxine Sea (favorable sea). He was born on March 20, 43 BC, the year after the assassination of Julius Caesar, in the city of Sulmona, in the center of Italy, east of Rome and about 130 km from the Urbe, the City, from an old and rich family; He was 60 years old when he died, much less than his father who died at 90 years old.

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Calligramme, technopaegnia τεχνοπαíγνια, Carmina figurata, Pattern Poetry, figure poem, visual Poetry, concrete Poetry, creative writing .

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We name “calligramme” or pattern poem or visual poem it that with the arrangement of its verses and words written in the text draws the shape that the content of the poem refers to extend the emotional content. It is therefore a beautiful visual poem; that's what "calligramme" means.

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Wine, sex and baths ruin our bodies, but… (Balnea vina Venus corrumpunt corpora, sed…)

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According to the moralist scheme of Roman historians and educators, the ancient inhabitants of Rome were austere farmers, who then became addicted to the pleasures and they were corrupted influenced by Greek and Asian luxury after the Punic Wars and the conquest of Greece and East.

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Crowned with laurel

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Laurel leaves crown the best poets and the most seasoned soldiers. It is true that "weapons and the letters" quite frequently go together, but it is curious that the same decorative and symbolic element that rewards intelligence and art also serve as recognition of the value and military courage. The bay also has other values that should know, but why?

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Pyramus and Thisbe: an old story of tragic love, like Romeo and Juliet

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It is difficult to escape the celebration of "Valentine's Day, the lovers day." A powerful tradition that has its roots in antiquity and in the Middle Ages and is currently anchored by the commercial interests of powerful corporations and business organizations, seems to prevail unchecked.

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