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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.

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 gods do not send young kings to people whom want to harm

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Phrases, sentences, proverbs, maxims Apophthegmata , were in antiquity an effective instrument for moral and civic education of citizens. So they are thousands of Latin and Greek sentences to be found in collections or never complete dictionaries. Besides the ancient world offers tons of material to build and permanently create attractive judgments at all times or to paraphrase or adapt the old they self.

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The myth of the ages of man (2)

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It is a topic or commonplace in many cultures that human life on Earth began in a time of happiness and absolute serenity, then interrupted by the amoral behavior of man, which since then has continued to get worse. These creations are not only literary, but they are part of the ideas of general cultural imaginary.

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The myth of the ages or races of man

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The old myth of the ages or races of man, with a first gold age which degenerates to the hard and fierce iron age as the moral behavior of man worsens, exists in many literatures. A thousand times told in antiquity and since antiquity, it was sufficiently known by Cervantes who was influenced significantly by it: after all, the "Knight of the Sorrowful Figure" aims to create a better world, perhaps like that existed in the "golden age", judging by the presence which this illusion has in Don Quixote.

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The Classical Humanism of Cervantes

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World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated on April 23 of every year. Some curious circumstance coincided the day of the death of Cervantes in Spain, of Shakespeare in England, of Garcilaso de la Vega, the Inca, on that day. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) considered it very suitable to celebrate the existence of books and promote reading; so it has been since 1995.

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“The experience, the universal mother of sicences” (Don Quxote, I,21) / “Magister dixit”/ “Roma locuta, causa finita”

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Naturally, the experience is acquired with practice and it needs time; so the experience is typical of people of a certain age old. It is precisely the repetition of the action and the memory of what was done and how it was done that gives “knowledge” to the man. To this it must be added the need for cohesion of the social group facing a difficult life and livelihood. This largely explains the respect and consideration to the "authority" of the elderly.

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Platonic Academy (2): The district or neighborhood of Academos.

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It should be some precision about the "Gardens of Academos" which gave name to the famous school founded by Plato. First, Academy is not a building, as one may think, but an area or neighborhood of Athens, outside the walls, approximately 1.5 kilometers, which is called the Academy, Ἀκαδημία, or Hekademeia (Ἑκαδήμεια), from the name of the local hero Academos or Hekademos, as Diogenes Laertius said in “Life of eminent Philosophers”, 3.7 ff.:

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Cyclopean, colossal, Herculean, gigantic, titanic, pharaonic, monstrous, huge, great work, work of Roman

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The man before "sapiens" was "faber", "man doing (at first crude stone tools), who builds, who produces, who manufactures ...". So we took on earth many thousands of years doing construction generally of adequate proportions to forces and limited capacity of man.

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"There is no beauty without a regular proportion". (Plato, Timaeus 87c)

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To be exact the phrase of Plato says: "Everything that is good is beauty, and beauty is not without relations or regular proportions." Also in Philebus 64c he says: "The measure (metron) and proportion (Symmetria) performed everywhere beauty and perfection "

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Some notes on the "Magi" , the three Wise Men

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One of the most deeply rooted festivals in folk and Christian religious life is the "Adoration of the Three Kings other Three Wise Men". In this event they come together many elements of different religious and cultural backgrounds. We can recall the religious ferment of the Roman Empire, precisely time when Jesus was born, flattering all syncretism. Christian religion have incorporated many elements of Eastern religions of Chaldea, Mesopotamia, Persia, Asia Minor, Egypt, Judea and especially of Greco-Roman and philosophical thought. In all these syncretic religions astral component, highly developed among the Chaldeans in Mesopotamia, is very important.

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Mithra, god of the sun, was born on December 25, day of the winter solstice

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On the night of 24 to 25 December it is celebrated in the West the birth of Christ. But it was not always so and today it is not in the whole Christian world; until the fourth century it was celebrated on January 6 and it continues so in the east, among the Orthodox.

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A room with mirrors

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I think that Horace is the best Latin poet. I know that there will be someone who questions me and tell me that he is Virgil. Well, epic and lyric are two different genres of poetry.

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They are names of lovers

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Ever since man invented a system to let recorded his thoughts, ie, the writing, he used all useful supports he found at your fingertips: clay, stone, bronze, lead, cloth, ivory, animal skin or parchment and even human skin (tattoos for example), papyrus, paper, glass, the latest plasma technology and what future holds.

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Philosophy provides great services to human life (Cicero, Tusculan Disputations V, 2)

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The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), established as World Philosophy Day the third Thursday of November. We just celebrated it therefore last Thursday. Unfortunately few people have learned of it.

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