Which Latin author would you most like to meet?

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cadoro
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Which Latin author would you most like to meet?

Post by cadoro » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:21 pm

If some miracle you could be transported back to any period of Roman history which Latin author would you most like to meet?

I'd love to share a drink or three with Ovid-I'm sure he could keep you entertained for hours with endless stories.
Horace would be good for a drink too but I somehow think he'd be rather pompous in his conversation.

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Re: Which Latin author would you most like to meet?

Post by cdm2003 » Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:48 am

cadoro wrote:If some miracle you could be transported back to any period of Roman history which Latin author would you most like to meet?

I'd love to share a drink or three with Ovid-I'm sure he could keep you entertained for hours with endless stories.
Horace would be good for a drink too but I somehow think he'd be rather pompous in his conversation.
Someone fun...like Petronius, Seneca, or Plautus. Ovid could definitely keep you entertained with stories, but Petronius or Plautus would show you a great night out on the town. :lol: I would imagine that hanging out with Horace or Cicero would get very old, very fast...Cicero would likely talk your head off! :shock:

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Post by Democritus » Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:58 am

Isaac Newton. Not Roman, but he's a Latin author. :)

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Post by Carola » Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:21 am

It would have to be Catullus! He was definitely a character, and perhaps a bad boy. :wink:

It would not be Cicero, a boring & pompous ****!! (Although he does remind me of some barristers I have met)
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Post by PhilipF » Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:01 am

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola ,
humanist scholar , neoplatonist , kabbalist , "knight errant of philosophy"

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Post by cadoro » Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:20 am

Cicero-no!
If I read one more line including the words "ratione" and "civitatis", I shall wither away from boredom.
Catullus would probably be hot-tempered and fly into a rage at the slightest misunderstanding. Passionate though and everything Cicero was not.

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Post by jjhayes84 » Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:11 pm

I don't know why everyone is bashing Cicero. I understand that he could get very boring very quickly, but I still wouldn't mind meeting one of the world's finest statesmen.
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Which Latin Author Would You Most Like to Meet?

Post by tjnor » Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:43 pm

The timing of this posting is very strange for me. I was just telling my wife about a dream that I had last night. I dreamt that I was having a conversation with Catullus. I kept talking about his passionate, inflammatory poetry and he kept trying to talk about his more sober, elegiac work (such as his valedictory poem about his brother's death). Eventually he became angry with me and that's where the dream ended.

Can you say "synchronicity"?

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Post by edonnelly » Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:07 pm

Democritus wrote:Isaac Newton.
I have read (don't know if it's true or not) that Newton was a pompous rear end. Apparently the "standing on the shoulders of giants" remark was really him being facetious because he didn't have much respect for those who came before him. I wish I knew more about whether that's all true or not.
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Post by Amadeus » Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:15 pm

edonnelly wrote:I have read (don't know if it's true or not) that Newton was a pompous rear end. Apparently the "standing on the shoulders of giants" remark was really him being facetious because he didn't have much respect for those who came before him. I wish I knew more about whether that's all true or not.
I've heard the same thing. Galileo was also not humble.

Anywho, I'd like to meet Caesar. I haven't read anything from him, but his name is the most famous. I'd also like to meet St. Jerome, the best translator of the Bible, and ask him to share just a tiny bit of his vast knowledge with me.
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

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Post by bellum paxque » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:01 am

also like to meet St. Jerome, the best translator of the Bible, and ask him to share just a tiny bit of his vast knowledge with me.
I too would choose to meet Jerome. My first question would be, what's up with all the abl. of duration of time in the Vulgate? Why not accusative?

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Post by mraig » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:02 am

bellum paxque wrote:
also like to meet St. Jerome, the best translator of the Bible, and ask him to share just a tiny bit of his vast knowledge with me.
I too would choose to meet Jerome. My first question would be, what's up with all the abl. of duration of time in the Vulgate? Why not accusative?

-David
He would say, "It's called the Vulgate, not the Cicero-gate."

I think I would most like to meet Ovid, but that's just based on the persona he creates for his poems - I wonder how much he was really like that guy.

But if you extend it to all the ancient world, not just Latin, it would definitely, without a doubt, no question be Herodotus.

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Post by cantator » Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:19 pm

edonnelly wrote:
Democritus wrote:Isaac Newton.
I have read (don't know if it's true or not) that Newton was a pompous rear end. Apparently the "standing on the shoulders of giants" remark was really him being facetious because he didn't have much respect for those who came before him. I wish I knew more about whether that's all true or not.
Well, you might consider him in the light of this passage:

"Nos esse quasi nanos, gigantium humeris insidentes, ut possimus plura eis et remotiora videre, non utique proprii visus acumine, aut eminentia corporis, sed quia in altum subvehimur et extollimur magnitudine gigantea."

Given his reputation as a shameless thief of other men's ideas, it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that Newton had read John of Salisbury. I wouldn't deny Newton's genius, I simply abhor the man's reputed character.

Neal Stephenson describes a very nasty Newton in his Baroque trilogy.

Anyway, me, I'd like to spend time with Catullus, Propertius, Hugh Primas, or the Archpoet. An evening with all of them together would be quite a night.
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.

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Post by Deudeditus » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:05 pm

He would say, "It's called the Vulgate, not the Cicero-gate."
haha :D

Caesar fo sho. he's hella (as hella generally refert to quality rather than quantity) cool, and I dig how he, Caesar, is bald.

-Jon

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Post by Kasper » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:48 pm

Deudeditus wrote:and I dig how he, Caesar, is bald.

-Jon
I think he was known for his comb-over actually, didn't like the baldness much himself.

I bet Catullus was an absolute nerd, one of those linguist types, whose whole exciting world existed only in his head.

There would be some humor in hearing Nero sing, but he's not an author of course.

I guess it would have be Ovid, being mocked by the savages at Tomi while powerlessly reaching for his former glory and skill. Poor bloke.
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Post by Lucus Eques » Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:11 am

I'd just love to live through the whole hundred years of the classical aera and know them all! My first reaction upon visiting the city of Rome and amazing at its wonders was, "I wish I could live a whole lifetime just in Rome."
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Post by Carola » Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:29 am

jjhayes84 wrote:I don't know why everyone is bashing Cicero. I understand that he could get very boring very quickly, but I still wouldn't mind meeting one of the world's finest statesmen.
It was just unfortunate that his statemanship didn't get him anywhere!
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Post by Democritus » Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:36 am

edonnelly wrote:I have read (don't know if it's true or not) that Newton was a pompous rear end. Apparently the "standing on the shoulders of giants" remark was really him being facetious because he didn't have much respect for those who came before him. I wish I knew more about whether that's all true or not.
Some people think the "shoulders of giants" remark was a backhanded swipe at Robert Hooke, who presumably was to short to qualify as a Newtonian footladder. However, not everyone agrees with this interpretation of the letter:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Isaac_Newton

I don't think anyone interprets the remark as a general statement of contempt for scientific predecessors -- on the contrary, it was probably meant as stated, with no irony.

Newton had a long life. I'm sure he managed to piss off quite a few people. I suspect he was painfully introverted and had general problems communicating properly with the people around him. This is one of the reasons it would be fun to meet him -- to see if his odd personality was an extreme form of the awkward geekhood that is nowaday so celebrated.

You have to hand it to the man. The Principia can be considered the founding document of modern science. And it's in Latin. This guy figured out why the Moon goes around the Earth, in a way that no one else had before. But then he still managed to write something like this:
Isaac Newton wrote:To myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

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Post by cadoro » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:45 am

Carola wrote:
jjhayes84 wrote:I don't know why everyone is bashing Cicero. I understand that he could get very boring very quickly, but I still wouldn't mind meeting one of the world's finest statesmen.
It was just unfortunate that his statemanship didn't get him anywhere!
Well to give him his due he was remarkably good at everything he did (apart from poetry) Admired as a consul, a first-rate lawyer, saving Rome from Catiline and really he could have exiled himself from Antony's henchmen if he had wanted to but Livy states that he just got tired of running away and accepted the inevitable. He was, after all, well advanced in years.

But still he's not someone who I would want to meet, sorry to say.

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Post by bellum paxque » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:59 pm

I think I'd like meeting Cicero... but then again, I do enjoy listening to pompous windbags.

No, seriously.

David
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Post by edonnelly » Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:04 pm

bellum paxque wrote:I do enjoy listening to pompous windbags.
Well then, it's no wonder you like coming here!

Just a joke.
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Post by ÓBuadhaigh » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:58 pm

In the Roman period, it has to be St Augustine! A truly extraordinary mind. A choice of Latin author outside the Roman period would be St Thomas Aquinas. Better still would be to get these two together and just listen... and drink in great draughts of genius...

What I would do to hear these two compare and contrast their respective approaches, and all in Latin too.

We can always dream and for that let us be thankful.

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Post by Carola » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:40 pm

edonnelly wrote:
bellum paxque wrote:I do enjoy listening to pompous windbags.
Well then, it's no wonder you like coming here!

Just a joke.
And a good one!

I was once on a jury where the barrister acting for the defence had obviously styled himself on a mixture of Cicero and Rumpole of the Bailey. I hadn't studied much Cicero at that stage, but as soon as I did, I thought of that barrister. I don't think the guy on trial had a chance with that defence! (Not to mention a great deal of rather damning evidence!) But I can't make too many lawyer jokes as we have two in our family (but 3 psychologists, which may say something about our family!) Cicero may just have met his match with some of our own windbags! :wink:
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Post by bellum paxque » Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:37 pm

You could just as easily have said, "takes one to know one!" (And, I'm afraid, just as accurately.)

David
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Post by Iulianus » Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:44 pm

Wow, what a great - and extremely difficult to answer - question!

Several names pop into my mind:

-How about Tertullian? I bet he could get you entertained for a night or two! One of the most invective men I have read, gotta say. Just ask if he'll take you to the Roman colosseum and see what he says...

-Vergil: definately on the top of my list, though I hope he wouldn't go on about his Aeneis and how much better he'd want it to be... I'd just ask him to recite some of his Bucolics or Georgics, sit back and enjoy..!

-Lucretius would be someone I could definately have a bunch of conversations with. An extremely gifted poet and philosopher, I bet we could talk for days on end. (and I don't buy the stories of him being that depressed, either)
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