some things about ancient literature

Discuss the world of the Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, and Egyptians.
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Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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some things about ancient literature

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:11 pm

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Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius, a 5th-century philosopher, wrote
Vergilius has certain passages which he is believed to have transferred from Homer; but I shall show that they are passages which were taken from authors of ours who, earlier than Vergilius, had transferred these passages from Homer to their own poetic works. . . . Homer on a fierce fight fought by Ajax has ... This passage Ennius in the sixteenth book transferred to the fight of the tribune C. Aelius, ... By the use of this as an example, Vergilius, on the subject of Turnus hemmed in, has rendered the same passage with a more elegant grace


Homer, Iliad, book 16, 102-11 Ennius, Annales, quoted by Macrobius Vergil, Aeneid, book 9, 806-814
On this wise spake they one to the other, but Aias no longer abode, for he was sore beset with darts; the will of Zeus was overmastering him, and the lordly Trojans with their missiles; and terribly did the bright helm about his temples ring continually, as it was smitten, for smitten it ever was upon the well-wrought cheek-pieces, and his left shoulder grew weary as he ever firmly held his flashing shield; nor might they beat it back about him, for all they pressed him hard with darts. And evermore was he distressed by laboured breathing, and down from his limbs on every side abundant sweat kept streaming, nor had he any wise respite to get his breath withal, but every way evil was heaped upon evil. From all sides the javelins like a rain-storm showered in upon the tribune, and pierced his buckler ; then jangled the embossment under spears, the helmets too with brassy clang ; but not one of them, though strain they did from every side, could rend apart his body with the iron. Every time he shakes and breaks the waves of lances ; sweat covers all his body ; he is hard distressed ; to breathe he has not a chance. Therefore the warrior's shield avails no more, nor his strong arm; but he is overthrown by general assault. Around his brows his smitten helmet rings; the ponderous mail cracks under falling stones; the haughty plumes are scattered from his head, nor can the boss of his stout shield endure; the Trojans hurl redoubled rain of spears; and with them speeds Mnestheus like thunderbolt. The hero's flesh dissolves in sweat; no room to breathe has he; his limbs are spent and weary; his whole frame shakes with his gasping breath: then bounding fort with all his harness on, headlong he plunged into the flowing stream;


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Ben C. Smith
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Re: some things about ancient literature

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:06 pm

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:11 pm
.
Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius, a 5th-century philosopher, wrote
Vergilius has certain passages which he is believed to have transferred from Homer; but I shall show that they are passages which were taken from authors of ours who, earlier than Vergilius, had transferred these passages from Homer to their own poetic works. . . . Homer on a fierce fight fought by Ajax has ... This passage Ennius in the sixteenth book transferred to the fight of the tribune C. Aelius, ... By the use of this as an example, Vergilius, on the subject of Turnus hemmed in, has rendered the same passage with a more elegant grace


Homer, Iliad, book 16, 102-11 Ennius, Annales, quoted by Macrobius Vergil, Aeneid, book 9, 806-814
On this wise spake they one to the other, but Aias no longer abode, for he was sore beset with darts; the will of Zeus was overmastering him, and the lordly Trojans with their missiles; and terribly did the bright helm about his temples ring continually, as it was smitten, for smitten it ever was upon the well-wrought cheek-pieces, and his left shoulder grew weary as he ever firmly held his flashing shield; nor might they beat it back about him, for all they pressed him hard with darts. And evermore was he distressed by laboured breathing, and down from his limbs on every side abundant sweat kept streaming, nor had he any wise respite to get his breath withal, but every way evil was heaped upon evil. From all sides the javelins like a rain-storm showered in upon the tribune, and pierced his buckler ; then jangled the embossment under spears, the helmets too with brassy clang ; but not one of them, though strain they did from every side, could rend apart his body with the iron. Every time he shakes and breaks the waves of lances ; sweat covers all his body ; he is hard distressed ; to breathe he has not a chance. Therefore the warrior's shield avails no more, nor his strong arm; but he is overthrown by general assault. Around his brows his smitten helmet rings; the ponderous mail cracks under falling stones; the haughty plumes are scattered from his head, nor can the boss of his stout shield endure; the Trojans hurl redoubled rain of spears; and with them speeds Mnestheus like thunderbolt. The hero's flesh dissolves in sweat; no room to breathe has he; his limbs are spent and weary; his whole frame shakes with his gasping breath: then bounding fort with all his harness on, headlong he plunged into the flowing stream;

Very nice. It is always good to have analogies from other ancient literature when analyzing the biblical and patristic texts.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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Re: some things about ancient literature

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:35 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:06 pm
It is always good to have analogies from other ancient literature when analyzing the biblical and patristic texts.
Agreed.

Horace (the “fat and happy Epicurean pig” - Epistles 1.4.16) claimed in Ode 2.7 that he lost his shield at the battle of Philippi (42 B.C.) but the Roman god Mercury raised him in the air.

With you I have experienced Philippi and a
swift escape with my little shield not well left behind,
when strength had been subdued and threatening people
touched the disgraceful ground with their chin.

But quick Mercury raised me, frightened,
through enemies in a dense air
;
on the other hand, a wave swallowing you
brought you to war in a burning sea.

One could assume that the participation of Mercury is just a myth, but the story with the shield a historical und biographical fact. But it seems that the use of the mentioned shield (the “parmula“) is an anachronism and the whole story a literary theme.

Gregson Davis, Polyhymnia: The Rhetoric of Horation Lyric Discourse
The variations that occur in the convention (the shield, for example, is "left behind" by Archilochus and Horace, and "thrown away" by Alcaeus and also, apparently, Anacreon) are in themselves of negligible import. What the gesture signifies remains, in its broad outline, stable: a radical devaluation of the warrior ethos and posthumous glory, together with an enhancement of the value of life in the present.

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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Re: some things about ancient literature

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:06 am

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coursera.org: Lecture 22 - Introduction to Epicurus
Epicurus seems to have founded more than one community like 'The Garden'. And his letters to such communities are in many ways like the letters from the Apostle Paul to far flung Christian communities centuries later. That is, they contain reminders and summaries of core doctrines with the injunction to rehearse and memorize them.

Epicurus to Pythocles

Epicurus to Pythocles, greeting.

In your letter to me, of which Cleon was the bearer, you continue to show me affection which I have merited by my devotion to you, and you try, not without success, to recall the considerations which make for a happy life. To aid your memory you ask me for a clear and concise statement respecting celestial phenomena; for what we have written on this subject elsewhere is, you tell me, hard to remember, although you have my books constantly with you. I was glad to receive your request and am full of pleasant expectations.

We will then complete our writing and grant all you ask. Many others besides you will find these reasonings useful, and especially those who have but recently made acquaintance with the true story of nature and those who are attached to pursuits which go deeper than any part of ordinary education. So you will do well to take and learn them and get them up quickly along with the short epitome in my letter to Herodotus. In the first place, remember that, like everything else, knowledge of celestial phenomena, whether taken along with other things or in isolation, has no other end in view than peace of mind and firm conviction.

...


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