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Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History?

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Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History?

Postby MDS » Tue Aug 19, 2003 2:29 am

Just a thought, I know for myself the urge to be able to read Plutarch, Caesar, Pliny, Virgil and the other Latin greats in their native language is a big part of my desire to improve my Latin ASAP (preferably done through osmosis while sleeping but so far no luck). Do any of you feel the same? <br /><br />I am also a Roman and Greek history fanatic and can't get enough of it whether it be non-fiction or fiction (huge Colleen McCullough fan.......wish she'd write faster!). I'd be very interested to hear other opinions. If nothing else it might be reassuring to know my enthusiam for this stuff isn't as off the wall as my friends deem it to be. :)<br /><br />And on a lighter note I recently purchased "Cattus Petasatus". I thought that was pretty neat (not to mention twice the price of the "Cat in the Hat" English equivalent!).
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby klewlis » Tue Aug 19, 2003 2:50 am

hey! i'm fascinated by classical history too, and one of my life dreams is to live for a year or two in italy so i can see where it all happened... i definitely think that a lot of people have the dual love for the languages and the history (not to mention the art, philosophy, etc). <br /><br />i have cattus petasatus too! it's pretty fun. i like just to read it out loud since they did such a great job with translating it to still sound like seuss. it makes me smile.
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Nihil » Tue Aug 19, 2003 3:36 am

I love classical history myself. As Klewlis, I want to spend some time in Italy, but I also want to spend time in Greece. The boyfriend of one of my friends is from Greece, so I always ask him questions about the sites there. He has been friendly toward my minor interrogations thus far. I watched even the movie Caesar that was on TNT recently, and knowing some of the background behind what was going on made the movie much more enjoyable. <br /><br />I'm sure you'll find many on this site who share your enthusiam for classical history. :)
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Carola » Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:01 am

Yes, I love reading the stories and histories written by the Romans (but unfortunately only translations for the Greeks). I also love some of the programs on TV about ancient history - saw a great one about Vespasian the other night. <br />But I must also admit to enjoying the fiction works - have any of you read Lindsay Davis' "Falco" series? They are exciting and terribly funny in places. (I'm in love with Falco - as are most of the Roman ladies in the books!) Tom Holt has written some equally funny books - "The Walled Orchard" - very funny but very sad in parts, and a new one I have just started "A Song for Nero". Paul Doherty has also written a few "detective" type stories. These are very light reading for some leisure time when studying latin. I mean, Caesar is very interesting but I really wouldn't describe him as a humour writer!
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby MDS » Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:16 am

Carola:<br />But I must also admit to enjoying the fiction works - have any of you read Lindsay Davis' "Falco" series? They are exciting and terribly funny in places. (I'm in love with Falco - as are most of the Roman ladies in the books!) Tom Holt has written some equally funny books - "The Walled Orchard" - very funny but very sad in parts, and a new one I have just started "A Song for Nero". Paul Doherty has also written a few "detective" type stories.<br /><br />I have also read the Falco series, up to "The Body in the Bathouse", not sure if thats the newest one or not. The description of Rome is so well done it would be interesting to see what sources she used when writing. Havn't read any of Paul Doherty though I keep meaning to check him out (and get 8 hours of sleep a night and not spend my paycheck on Roman history book etc. etc. ;)) because I have heard so many good things about him. Do you know of other good fiction works that wouldn't be classified as "mystery?"
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Carola » Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:34 am

[quote author=MDS link=board=6;threadid=505;start=0#4392 date=1061266604]<br /><br />I have also read the Falco series, up to "The Body in the Bathouse", not sure if thats the newest one or not. The description of Rome is so well done it would be interesting to see what sources she used when writing. Havn't read any of Paul Doherty though I keep meaning to check him out (and get 8 hours of sleep a night and not spend my paycheck on Roman history book etc. etc. ;)) because I have heard so many good things about him. Do you know of other good fiction works that wouldn't be classified as "mystery?"<br />[/quote]_________<br /><br />There is a new Lindsay Davis book out but I can't remember the name at the moment. Saw it in the bookshop the other day. Well, "The Walled Orchard" might be a bit of a favourite for non-mystery. Tom Holt writes very funny books but this one is mainly a story of a very tragic moment in history (but I won't spoil it by telling you the plot.) Lindsay Davis also wrote a very good one about Vespasian's long love affair with a freed slave which is quite good. I can't think of any really great ones at the moment, there doesn't seem to be an Umberto Eco writing about about this period. Can any other Textkit members think of some more?
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby bingley » Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:00 am

Another detective story author: Steven Saylor. I've only read his first one Roman Blood so far but I intend to get the others when I can. It's based on a speech of Cicero's, and has great portrayals of Cicero and Sulla.<br /><br />I'd recommend anything by Mary Renault for Greek fiction, but especially The King Must Die (about Theseus), Fire From Heaven, and The Persian Boy (both about Alexander the Great).<br /><br />I have fond childhood memories of Rosemary Sutcliff's The Eagle of the Ninth (the legion that disappeared into nowhere in Britannia).<br /><br />Gore Vidal's Creation (the ambassador at large of the Persian court visits Greece, India, and China) and Julian (the apostate emperor) are also well worth reading.<br /><br />I'm sure I've read lots more but they're the ones that immediately come to mind.
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Carola » Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:11 am

Thanks Bingley, this will give me some more stuff to hunt for in the library. I hadn't heard the story about the 9th Legion, that sounds fascinating and something I must research. Did any of the Roman authors write about this as well? I presume they met the same fate as the legion that was wiped out in Germany (no - don't tell me they were abducted by aliens ::) )<br />I went to a lecture last night about technology in Greek & Roman times and how they didn't really make use of it (ie - why no industrial revolution). Does anyone know of any books about this? Non-fiction probably and if we get some feedback might have to make this a separate topic on the board.
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby bingley » Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:45 am

From what I recall, The Eagle of the Ninth was based on a real incident. Can't remember what her source was. Tacitus' Agricola seems the most likely bet.<br /><br />How could I forget Robert Graves's I Claudius and Claudius The God.<br /><br />Alfred Duggan wrote a couple of novels based on the life of the emperor Heliogabalus but I forget the names.<br /><br />Somebody Massie (I forget his first name, Alexander?) is working his way through the emperors with novels of their lives. I've only read the first one Augustus, but I can highly recommend it.<br /><br />All right, I know it's outside our period but I even more highly recommend Sinouhe The Egyptian by the Finnish novelist Waltari. Despite the fact that I was reading it very slowly in French looking up a dozen words a page I found it absolutely gripping. <br /><br />
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Keesa » Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:20 pm

I also love Greek and Roman history. I'm reading through Livy's Early History of Rome (the first five books of his History of Rome) in English, and enjoying it very much. I'm looking forward to the time when I'll be able to read it in Latin. Won't that be fun! <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby MDS » Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:04 pm

<br />I also love Greek and Roman history. I'm reading through Livy's Early History of Rome (the first five books of his History of Rome) in English, and enjoying it very much. I'm looking forward to the time when I'll be able to read it in Latin. Won't that be fun! <br /><br />Ahh, Livy in the original, yes that will be a good day! BTW out of curiously Keesa, which translation are you reading?
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Milito » Tue Aug 19, 2003 3:34 pm

I'm another one who is very much fond of the history as well as the literature.... I'd forgotten the Saynor mystery series - I read the first one, and seem to recall enjoying it. I have read a number of the Lindsay Davis, and liked those, too. I wish there were more books based on at least decent research set in Classical times! Unfortunately, I've also tripped over a few that were not researched at ALL, and which have been nothing but irritating as a result....<br /><br />I had to read Herodatus in translation for a Greek history class, and thoroughly enjoyed it - I'm looking forward to reading it in the original, actually!<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Episcopus » Tue Aug 19, 2003 3:39 pm

Whitherever one go in Wales, if one be to avoid the nasty terraced houses in which 99.999% of the population live, one will find remnants of Roman forts everywhere. <br />I have found a few Roman coins in the past which is pleasing to me.<br />Yes...on this same land Romans lived...<br /><br />To be honest my general knowledge is awful. I know not much about Roman history; however I do wish that I might live in their times. It is sad that this is impossible. <br /><br />
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Keesa » Tue Aug 19, 2003 10:44 pm

[quote author=MDS link=board=6;threadid=505;start=0#4413 date=1061298251]<br /><br />I also love Greek and Roman history. I'm reading through Livy's Early History of Rome (the first five books of his History of Rome) in English, and enjoying it very much. I'm looking forward to the time when I'll be able to read it in Latin. Won't that be fun! <br /><br />Ahh, Livy in the original, yes that will be a good day! BTW out of curiously Keesa, which translation are you reading?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />The Penguin Classics version, translated by Aubrey de Selincourt, with an introduction be Robert M. Ogilvie. It's very good; I'm enjoying it. I don't know how good the translation is, of course, since I can't read Latin that well yet. <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby MDS » Tue Aug 19, 2003 10:55 pm

Keesa:<br />The Penguin Classics version, translated by Aubrey de Selincourt, with an introduction be Robert M. Ogilvie. It's very good; I'm enjoying it. I don't know how good the translation is, of course, since I can't read Latin that well yet. <br /><br /><br />Yes. I have read the exact translation, I found it to be pretty clear. The Penguin Classics were recommended over the Oxford by several profs I talked to, as well as my brother's Latin teacher. However, since I can't read it in Latin yet either I would be interested to know if the consensus is that 'yes, the Penguin classics are well done' or not. Just wondering....<br /><br />Have you read "The Rise of the Roman Empire" by Polybius? Penguin Classics edition is translated by an Ian Scott-Kilvert and introduced by F.W. Walbank.
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Carola » Tue Aug 19, 2003 11:26 pm

[quote author=bingley link=board=6;threadid=505;start=0#4400 date=1061275544]<br />From what I recall, The Eagle of the Ninth was based on a real incident. Can't remember what her source was. Tacitus' Agricola seems the most likely bet.<br /><br />How could I forget Robert Graves's I Claudius and Claudius The God.<br />____________<br /><br />[/quote]<br />You are so right - and I had only just finished re-reading Robert Graves' books for about the 3rd time!!!! I wish he had written many, many more. Did you see the TV series of these books, too? They were very good and Claudius was portrayed so well by Derek Jacobi (not sure if I have spelt his name correctly?) It is a wonder that Hollywood hasn't gotten onto more of the stories from the Roman writers - maybe very few Hollywood producers read Latin ? There have been a lot of very bad epics based on nil research and facts but not much good, factual stuff (maybe we should suggest it to the man who produced the "Lord of the Rings" movies - he seems to be able to stick to the originals pretty closely). Even Caesar's Gallic wars would make a pretty good story if fleshed out with a bit of human interest - lots of action and drama!
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Keesa » Tue Aug 19, 2003 11:48 pm

[quote author=MDS link=board=6;threadid=505;start=0#4455 date=1061333701]<br />Have you read "The Rise of the Roman Empire" by Polybius? Penguin Classics edition is translated by an Ian Scott-Kilvert and introduced by F.W. Walbank.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />No, never. :'( I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I love Penguin classics in general...<br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Aug 20, 2003 12:06 am

you're not alone on enjoying Greek and Latin history.<br /><br />My favorite is Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesean War, a book that gets better and better as the reader understands all the under currents of Athenian and Spartan history, politics and culture. It's a very excited account with so many highs and lows suffered on all sides. Thucydides provides countless insights into how groups act under stress, suffering, sickness, arrogance, fear, bravery and hope.
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby MDS » Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:15 am

jeff Posted on: Today at 08:06:39pm <br />you're not alone on enjoying Greek and Latin history.<br /><br />My favorite is Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesean War, a book that gets better and better as the reader understands all the under currents of Athenian and Spartan history, politics and culture. It's a very excited account with so many highs and lows suffered on all sides. Thucydides provides countless insights into how groups act under stress, suffering, sickness, arrogance, fear, bravery and hope. <br /><br /><br />I have to agree with you, I picked up a copy of it this summer in a good used book store (which has now closed :(). Its called The Landmark Thucycdides ISBN 0684827905, I like this edition so much because of the fantastic (and accurate!) maps they have included as well as marginal notes on each page.
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby bingley » Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:51 am

Aubrey de Selincourt (the translator of Herodotus) also wrote a book called "The World of Herodotus" giving more details about the sociological, historical, and archaeological background. I'v e noticed it in my local bookshop, and it's on my to buy list.<br /><br />The 1920s Loeb translation of Polybius can be found online here: http://www.ukans.edu/history/index/euro ... /home.html<br /><br />I'm currently reading Plutarch's lives in the Dryden translation. It seems to be the only complete translation of all the lives in English. (There's probably a Loeb one but I've never seen it.)
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Milito » Wed Aug 20, 2003 1:22 pm

[quote author=jeff link=board=6;threadid=505;start=15#4469 date=1061337999]<br />you're not alone on enjoying Greek and Latin history.<br /><br />My favorite is Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesean War, a book that gets better and better as the reader understands all the under currents of Athenian and Spartan history, politics and culture. It's a very excited account with so many highs and lows suffered on all sides. Thucydides provides countless insights into how groups act under stress, suffering, sickness, arrogance, fear, bravery and hope.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />I had to read parts of this for the Greek course, too, but ran out of time to read the whole thing - spent too much time reading Herodatus and Arrian as part of an Alexander essay research! But I must get back to it and cover-to-cover it.....<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby MDS » Thu Aug 21, 2003 10:46 pm

While scanning bookshelves today at work I found "Daily Life in Greece at the time of Pericles", a lighter read than Thucydides and Arrian for sure but nonetheless an interesting account of Greek social history and customs c. 5th century B.C.
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Emma_85 » Mon Aug 25, 2003 8:12 pm

[quote author=MDS link=board=6;threadid=505;start=15#4615 date=1061505968]<br />While scanning bookshelves today at work I found "Daily Life in Greece at the time of Pericles", a lighter read than Thucydides and Arrian for sure but nonetheless an interesting account of Greek social history and customs c. 5th century B.C.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />that is the sort of classical history i'm interested in, the daily life of people. i'm not too bothered who won which war when, or who passed some law. <br />that's why i found lysias interesting. <br /><br />but otherwise i'm not interested in ancient history that much, i prefer modern history, in particular the histories of far of foreign countries.
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby MDS » Tue Aug 26, 2003 3:36 am

Emma_85:<br />but otherwise i'm not interested in ancient history that much, i prefer modern history, in particular the histories of far of foreign countries<br /><br />Which countries specifically?
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Emma_85 » Tue Aug 26, 2003 1:47 pm

china, bangladesh, india, africa ...
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby MDS » Tue Aug 26, 2003 2:34 pm

an neat, you might want to check out Thai history too!
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Re:Love of Latin and Greek = Love of Roman and Greek History

Postby Emma_85 » Wed Aug 27, 2003 2:12 pm

probably will do, if i should find some time...<br /><br />at school we mainly did roman and greek history in our latin lessons, and european history in our history lessons. <br />of course doing european history means that you also do modern world history, but it's always annoyed me, that we never learn anything much about the rest of the world.
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