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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 fascinating source of the word "fascinating"

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Sometimes we are "fascinated", attracted, impressed, or touched (touché in French) to find out the origin of a word, as if as we removed the curtain we could look at what was behind or buried in the deepest part of valley. That is the strength of the etymology of the words, the knowledge of which provides us basic information on which their later extended meaning sits.

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Aut insanit homo aut versus facit Either the man is crazy, or he's writing poetry

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“Aut insanit homo aut versus facit” is one of many "topics" of the Latin poet Horace Quintus Flaccus; topic in the etymological sense of "place", passage appointment, from Greek τόπος. The verse, become “maxima”, sentence, is quoted by many people in a variety of contexts.

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The ox as a monetary standard

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At some point in the hominids’ evolution must appear the goods exchange or barter. This so simple and straightforward system can be used even today for exceptional trade operations, but certainly it would be very cumbersome for the development of an economy with large trade or huge commercial exchanges. It was necessary then to find a valuation system based on a pattern or unit. That is, it was necessary to invent the money, the coins and the currency and this happened in the Bronze Age, in the second millennium BC.

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What is an epigram?

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The word comes from the Latin epigramma, and this from the Greek ἐπίγραμμα (from ἐπί = on and γραμμα =, writing, letter), which means "inscription". Its etymology refers to burial or votive inscriptions on stone or other material, naturally short

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All the boys and all the girls: κόρους τε ἅμα καὶ κόρας (kórous te áma kaì kóras), πάντ᾽ ἄνδρα καὶ γυναῖκα (pánt’ándra kaì gynaîka).

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One of the most important changes that has been originated in modern society, in Western society and worldwide is that of equality between men and women, full legal equality real and only partly in status or social function.

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Decameter and decimeter

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Following the acquisition of the abstract concept of number and its graphical representation, man needed to create a numbering or numeral system that would allow him to comfortably work with large quantities. To do this man needed to create a hierarchical system of multiple orders or levels, so that a certain number of units of a level were to become higher-level unit and so on. The criterion for organizing such a system is called "base". So between us ten units are a set of ten and ten tens are one hundred or a century and ten hundreds are a thousand.

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Carpe diem

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One of the advantages that ancient poets and writers in general have is that their work is not as extensive as some of the modern writers. So if we wanted, we could read their complete poetry in a few days. To the requirement of classical perfection, which only allows a very polished production, we have to add the havoc of time that makes us to have lost many extraordinary creations.

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ENCYCLOPEDIA

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'παῖς, παιδός' país,paidós, "child", is a Greek word which has numerous terms related to the same lexical family, these terms have passed into Latin and from Latin to the Romance languages; it has also produced numerous modern scientific terms . Are some: paideia, pedagogy and paedagogus, pediatrics and pediatrician, pedophile and pederast, encyclopedia.

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