Poetry, Literature, Music

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


Secret Voyage

 
Friday, June 13, 2008, 13:13 - Poetry, Literature, Music, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
This is a blatant off-topic, but hey, don't I decide what's right and what's wrong around here? "Blackmore's Night" will release their new album, "Secret Voyage" on July 15. If this news leaves you wondering about who they are and what they do, I am willing to offer a quick explanation.

If you are into Latin, chances are you are a little bit into Middle Ages. And if you are into that sort of thing, there is a 60% chance that you're in for a treat, and that you will enjoy the music of Blackmore's Night. They do not painstakingly recreate medieval music, instead the band creates modern arrangements of old-time tunes, as well as their own material. Their music is very well-spirited, their melodies are captivating, and the performance is superb. All of this is to be expected, because apart from the excellent vocals by Candice Night the group features the talent and expertise of Ritchie Blackmore, of the greatest guitar players of all time. You may remember him from such projects ad "Deep Purple" and "Rainbow".

It would only be fair (no pun intended) to offer some critical notes. At times they seem a little bit too Renaissance fair (hence the unintended pun). The excursions into Ritchie's rock past may occasionally seem a little out of place. On the whole, this is solid enjoyable music with a medieval flare. I must add that when I tried to find something that even came close to Blackmore's Night, my efforts were unsuccessful.

Translation of the Aeneid by C.S. Lewis

 
Saturday, May 17, 2008, 00:40 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Latin Translation, Poetry, Literature, Music
Posted by Administrator
A little rumor spreading here. I heard, on pretty good authority, that a verse translation of Virgil's Aeneid by C.S. Lewis is presently "in the hands" of a renowned Classicist. It is possible that the C.S. Lewis Foundation is going to publish it?

On a related note, C. S. Lewis once wrote about the Aeneid that no one "who has once read it with full perception remains an adolescent." Personally, I find this statement extremely profound and true.

Virgil's Aeneid: which edition NOT to buy

 
Saturday, May 3, 2008, 14:38 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Latin Translation, Poetry, Literature, Music, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
A few weeks ago I was at a used bookstore and a very promising title caught my attention: Virgil's Aeneid (Interlinear). The book was in one convenient volume, attractively priced -- something I just don't have yet. I like to have cheap editions of my favorite books, so I can take them places without the fear of loosing or damaging them (I won't take my Mynors to the beach!). Anyways... I opened this Aeneid and discovered that the way this edition was organized simply goes against everything that is good and honorable in this world. They simply translated the Latin text verbatim and then... and then... Well, they rearranged Virgil's text, so that the word order would follow the English translation. For instance, let's take the opening lines:

arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit
litora.


This "interlinear" text has something like that:

cano arma que virum qui ob oris Troiae primus venit Italiam que litora Lavinia, profugus fato.

Then I remembered that I actually have a copy of Cicero published in this exact manner. I never fully understood the purpose of this pedagogical practice, but it is so much worse when it comes to poetry. So, people, be on the lookout for those "interlinear" texts!


Previously unknown works by St. Augustine discovered

 
This story did not get the news coverage that I believe it deserved:

Not all sensational finds come out of the ground! Augustine scholars will be delighted at the news of 6 previously unknown sermons’ being discovered through a library “excavation” in Erfurt’s Bibliotheca Amploniana. Isabella Schiller and colleagues from the Austrian Academy of Sciences discovered these works while studying an 800-year-old manuscript in the summer of 2007.

Concealed in a medieval parchment manuscript amongst 70 other religious texts are ca. 26 sermons attributed to Augustine, 3 of them on brotherly love and alms-giving. These were known previously only by their titles cited in Possidius’ Indiculum. One sermon is on the martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas, and another on the recently martyred Cyprian, the latter of which condemns the copious drinking that took place on saints’ feast days. The final sermon deals with resurrection of the dead and biblical prophecies.


Unknown works of Saint Augustine found

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