The saying “urbi et orbi” was remarkably successful in referring to a “city” that had a notable success in becoming the capital of the “orb” and also because in itself the phrase contains an attractive word game, apun, consisting of relating Words of different meaning but which differ only in a phoneme or a letter; that is because “urbi and orbi” is a paronomasia.
This Latin sentence, which means “for the city (Rome) and for the world”, is applied today in a literal sense exclusively to the blessings that the bishop of Rome, that is, the Pope, imparts to all the faithful Catholics of the World by granting them plenary indulgence and remission of sins. In a broader sense it is used to refer to any type of message addressed in a general way to all the inhabitants of the earth.
Among these prodigies, the lightnings, the apparitions of divine beings wrapped in marvelous lights and halos stand out and impress the Romans. The appearance of some goddess to small shepherds is documented already in an Egyptian text of the time of The Middle Kingdom of Egypt (2.000-1800 b.Ch.) to which I dedicate a next article.
Perhaps some reader has ever wondered where this temptation, so ancient and so modern, comes from believing in marvelous and inexplicable facts, to which the quality of miracles, divine deeds, messages of divinity is given.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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