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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 library is a Greek creation

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Alexandria was the spiritual and cultural capital of the world from the third century BC to the fifth or sixth century AD. Under the largest library of Antiquity, which sought to retain all the knowledge stored in books systematically with exemplary sense of intellectual freedom, lived and worked a college or community of wise and educated persons and scholars who developed the physics, astronomy, mathematics, geometry, geography, engineering, medicine, philosophy, literature, grammar, rhetoric ... They were the basis of Western knowledge.

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The

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Few students, heavily loaded with their “textbooks " will suspect that the word" text " means "tissue "and that, what they do with that expression, is to continue using an old metaphor.

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Shameless plagiarists but no poets

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Today the plagiarism is certainly more usual given the enormous intellectual production and the ability of modern computer tools which have reduced the work of copying and plagiarism to "copy and paste" of word processors. But these modern tools are also effective to detect and locate the plagiarist.

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Was Pericles a Keynesian?

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The majestic buildings of the Acropolis of Athens, which have caused much admiration from antiquity until today, were built by Athenians unemployed people. The beautification of Athens is attributed to Pericles and are quoted the great artists like Ictinos, Callicrates, Phidias ...

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Caius Gracchus: “this is only interesting for political speakers, own interest”

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Aulus Gellius, in Book XI, Chapter 9 of his Attic Nights, tells how the famous Greek orator Demosthenes leave buy for a good amount of money for not a speech against the Macedonian Harpalus. In the next chapter 10 gives us another version now attributed to a speech of Gaius Gracchus. But the interest of this text goes beyond the different allocation, because Gracchus reveals starkly how political speakers and advocates seek above all profit and benefit.

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Political corruption in Athens

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If something so insufferable plans on Spanish politics, it is corruption. Actually it seems inherent to the human condition and to the insatiable thirst for money. So there it is in all countries, depending on the intensity of the strength of democracy and the existence of appropriate controls. Nor is it unique to our time, but of all time

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Apophthegmata , aphorisms, adages, maxims, axioms, sentences,

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The Greeks were the ones who decided that knowledge and advances in knowledge should be taught to citizens and that these were to be educated in that knowledge and respect for the law. Certainly neither the Greeks nor the Romans created a public system similar to modern education, but an education system with its various stages.

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Delta

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Delta is the name of the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet (Δ, δ), equivalent to the Latin "D, d". It was derived from the Phoenician letter “daleth”, “the door”.

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Place of Care of the Soul: ψυχῆς ἰατρείον (psychés iatreíon)

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Libraries are "points of care of the soul." This is a curious phrase, full of content, and that we like. It is originated on the label that allegedly existed in the "Sacred Library" of the temple and tomb of Pharaoh Ramses. But perhaps what is really behind the famous phrase is a historical misunderstanding.

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Catullus and Safo

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Catullus was a poet born in Verona in the year 84 BC, in a wealthy family friend of Julius Caesar. He went young to Rome, like many others, with the intention to enter politics, but what was devoted to poetry

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The three wise men (the three Magi)

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The birth of Jesus is celebrated in the West December 25. That birth is celebrated for a long time in Christendom and still currently in the Orthodox Church on January 6. But in the Catholic Church is celebrated now on January 6 the day of "epiphany" or manifestation of Jesus. According to the Gospel of St. Matthew 2: 1-12, some wise men came from the East to offer the newborn baby Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh. Hence comes the custom in some countries, as in Spain, of gave gifts to children on the night of January 5.

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The Last Day of Pompeii

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The lively city of Pompeii was located at the foot of Mount and Volcano Vesuvius in a rich and fertile place. Its 20,000 inhabitants were not aware of the tremendous danger looming over them. (Interestingly in Latin there is not a specific term to designate volcanoes; they call them "mons sulfureus"= “sulfur mountains” or with some similar name).

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The names of the months are Roman

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Among the many things that the Romans have left us no less important is the calendar with the names of the months, days and seasons. To understand the logic and coherence of the names "september= September; october= October; november= November and december= December," which etymologically means "seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth" we must know that the primitive Roman year had ten months and began in March.

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