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NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLE

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

Language and Literature

Articles concerning language, authors, and works of Classical Literature, Greek and Roman literature, the basis and foundation of European literature.

Prodigies, miracles, wonders, portents, phenomena, monsters (II)

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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Treasury, treasure, chest, purse, money box (piggy bank): money (I)

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For many millennia man uses all his energy to replenish the energy spent foraging and food. He was able to accumulate wealth when he was able to cultivate the land and control the domesticating animals using their multiplication. He must to keep the accumulated wealth safe from various enemies; so kings and states created the called "treasures". Some smaller or personal amounts were kept in protected "arks" or "safe boxes". Even smaller and easier to transport amounts were kept in smaller boxes also, in bags or "piggy banks".

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Is the “poet” born or does he make himself? is poetry a godsend or an emery board, "limae labor”?

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The weighted response to the question if whether the poet is born or he is made claim that the poet must come into this world endowed with special qualities that constant daily exercise will develop and consolidate. Probably that's the way but the matter admits some thought.

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Annum novum faustum felicem A good, happy, prosperous and fortunate New Year

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The ancient Romans celebrated the beginning of a new year with very special holidays, as it couldn’t be otherwise: not for nothing is very important in the ancient classical world is a mistaken idea of cyclical time just constantly reborn. See http://en.antiquitatem.com/what-is-century

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Homo homini lupus (Man to man is an arrant wolf) / Homo homini deus (Man to man is a kind of God)

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Usually the phrase "homo homini lupus" is attributed to the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679), author among other works of Leviathan, essential work on the development of political philosophy in the modern age and of liberal thought.

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