Archive for 'Latin Language'

Scary Stories From Ancient Rome

Posted on 16. Oct, 2014 by in Latin Language, Roman culture

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkins for sale during Halloween. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Pumpkins for sale during Halloween. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Some of the first scary stories were told and recorded in Latin, and while sure there have been scary stories from all cultures and times- we are focusing on Latin and Ancient Rome. The following list is comprised of stories I have read, learned about, or researched that scared me, disturbed me, or simply were applicable for the theme of this post.

 

HOW ANCIENT ROME INSPIRED OUR MODERN NOTION OF HELL 

Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus deliciarum manuscript of Herrad of Landsberg (about 1180). Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus deliciarum manuscript of Herrad of Landsberg (about 1180). Courtesy of Wikipedia.

1. Vergil’s Aeneid Book 6: The hero of the Aeneid, Aeneas, must visit the underworld, and Vergil’s vivid descriptions would later provide Dante with much of his material for the InfernoAeneid Book 6 is a classic unto itself, and via Dante, it has become the archetype for western notions of Hell.  For the texts: English (here) & Latin (here)

A ROMAN ACCOUNT OF ZOMBIES (FOR GREEK ZOMBIE [HERE]

Participants of a 2009 zombie walk in Moscow. Courtesy of Wikicommons.

Participants of a 2009 zombie walk in Moscow. Courtesy of Wikicommons.

2. Lucan’s Bellum Civile Book 6: In this book, Pompey the Great’s son Sextus enlists the witch, Erictho, to reanimate the corpse of a slain soldier from the battlefield so that he can issue a prophesy of the future. During the necromancy, the corpse prophesies the defeat of Pompey as well as the assassination of Julius Caesar. English (here) & Latin (here)

THE ROMAN WEREWOLF

Ancient Example of Werewolf: Dolon wearing a wolf-skin. Attic red-figure vase, c. 460 BC. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Ancient Example of Werewolf: Dolon wearing a wolf-skin. Attic red-figure vase, c. 460 BC. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

3. Petronius’ Satyricon 61-63: During the Cena Trimalchionis (the Dinner of Trimalchio) the guests decide to tell one another some ghost stories. Niceros tells the story of a fellow traveler who shed his clothes, urinates around them, and then turned into a wolf. Trimalchio follows it with a story about witches who turn a boy into straw. LATIN & ENGLISH (here) #61-63 Latin Accompany.

WANTON GORE AND BRUTALITY

4. Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book 6: The Tale of Marsyas: In the contest between Apollo and Marsyas, the terms stated that the winner could treat the defeated party any way he wanted. Since the contest was judged by the Muses, Marsyas naturally lost and was flayed alive in a cave near Celaenae for his hubris to challenge a god. Apollo then nailed Marsyas’ skin to a pine tree, near Lake Aulocrene (the Turkish Karakuyu Gölü), which Strabo noted was full of the reeds from which the pipes were fashioned. English (here) &  Latin ( 382-400) (here).

ROMAN GHOSTS

 

5. Pliny the Younger’s Epistle 83: In this letter, Pliny inquires of Sura whether he believes in ghosts, and then relays a ghost story he himself heard: a house in Athens which was beset by a phantom that rattled its chains at night. A particularly brave and logical philosopher decides to purchase the house and stays there. When the ghost appears, he follows it to a patch of ground, where later some bones are found wrapped in chains. When the skeletal remains are buried properly with the chains removed, the ghost goes away. LATIN (here) #27 & ENGLISH (here)

ROMAN WITCHES & CURSES

Magic Circle by John William Waterhouse, 1886. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Magic Circle by John William Waterhouse, 1886. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

6. Apuleius’ Golden Ass, Books 1-3: Lucius visiting Thessaly, he ends up staying in the home of a witch and accidentally gets turned into an ass.  This condition from which he spends the rest of the story trying to cure himself. . English (here) & Latin (here)
Suggestions for more stories?  Feel free to leave them in the comments!

Happy Halloween!

 

TV Shows that have Latin

Posted on 02. Oct, 2014 by in Latin Language

Salvete Omnes!

I hope everyone is enjoying their first taste of fall. In sunny sunny California, I am grateful for the cool down in the weather. But even more so, I am excited for the return of all my favorite shows! So this week I would like to take a moments and pay attention to some popular, unpopular, and even new series that use Latin.

 

1. Walking Dead

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While the Walking Dead does not usually have Latin reference, the newest season introduces a place that is entirely Latin! Terminus is a new area that is introduced in the Walking Dead season 4. However, for anyone with any Latin experience- this name means something distinctly. “Terminus” means the end, the limit, the bouder; however, “the end” is the most common definition and it is quite open ended. Thus, it leads the audience who can deduct its meaning to either mean “the end” of their journey, their struggles or perhaps even in their own demise.

2. How to Get Away with Murder

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How to Get Away with Murder follows in suit with other legal and law shows in their terminology and lingo like Law and Order, Boston Legal, etc.. Within this series, there is a moment within the professor’s course in which she discusses a case. Within this case, the terms “mens rea” (guilty mind) and “actus reus” (guilty act) are introduced. These legal terms are just two of countless ideas, ideologies, phrases, and words within the legal world that are in Latin.  For a complete listing of Latin legal term; check it out here.

3. Medical Dramas: Grey’s Anatomy, ER, Scrubs, House M.D etc.

These shows are full of medical terms that are in Latin and Greek. While, I do not have a video (and pictures are difficult for shows due to copyright infringement) I hope this list will assist in your understanding of Latin Medical Terms (here)

4. Occult Shows: Supernatural, Witches of East End, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, etc..

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Latin tends to be the go-to choice for spells and incantations. Furthermore, it seems to be the language in which other worldly entities use as well to draw power. I am unsure why Latin gets the reputation for being so magical when clearly Egyptian or even Summerian magic would be far older and more potent. However, I won’t complain too much because it gets Latin out there!

5. Lost

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While I have never watched Lost, I do know the show had many followers and fans (despite its ending).  The following clips of Latin are spoken and captioned as well as native speakers. I was quite surprised at the detail provided to actual conversational Latin.

6. Honorable Mentions

There were a few in which I wanted to mention, but could not find an exact phrase, quote, or tangible use of Latin for this blog. They are as follows: HBO’s Rome, HBO’s Deadwood, American Horror Story, I, Claudius, Big Bang Theory, Friends, and others.

I challenge you to find some clips or even quotes from your favorite show with references to Latin.

 

Abbreviations that are Latin

Posted on 24. Sep, 2014 by in Latin Language

I find that most people are quite surprised when they learn that they use or at least reference Latin everyday especially in the forms of abbreviations. I have complied the following list to show just how common this is!

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  • A.D (Latin: anno Domini) means “in the year of the Lord,” and it is used to describe any period that occurred after the birth year of Jesus Christ.
  • A.M (Latin: Ante Meridiem) means ” before mid-day,” which is exactly how we use it when telling time. [ P.M is post meridiem which means " after mid-day."]
  • C. (Latin: Circa) means “around or about;” this is used most commonly when described dates for artifacts. (Example: This painting is from c.1600)
  • C.V (Latin: curriculum vitae) means “course of life,” and this is befitting since a C.V is an extended form of a Resume.
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  • Etc. (Latin: et cetera) means “and the others, and the other things, and the rest,” this is used at the end of a list to denote that they are additional items, but they are so similar and minuscule that an “etc.” will do.
  • e.g (Latin: exempli gratia) means “for example or for instance,”and this is used to give an example of something that was just previously explained.
  • P.S (Latin: post scriptum) means ‘ after what has been written,”this is used when someone is writing a letter or even email and has finished the body of their conversation, but has remembered something else they wish to add. Thus, they do so at the end of their correspondence with a P.S.
  • R.I.P (Latin: requiescat in pace) means  ” may he/she/it rest in peace,” this was originally a short saying or prayer said at a gravesite , but it has become a cliché example of death, graveyards, and Halloween.
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  • S.O.S (Latin: si opus sit ) means “if there is a need,” and this expression is constantly turned to as one that is expressed to convey a need for help.
  • Stat (Latin: statim ) means “immediately;” this expression is often used accordingly in chaotic and high energy situations including medical rooms.
  • vs. (Latin: versus ) means “against,” which is scene with boxing, football or other competitive sporting event