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

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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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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