More Aetna

7 October 2008
The Etna, erupting.

The Etna, erupting.

Not to be left out of things, and inspired by you and by Jolanda’s striking photos, I too have put online an Aetna; the transcription of the Latin poem so long attributed to Vergil: in the original Latin, plus an English translation, plus the Loeb editor’s Introduction. It’s not much about Mt. Etna, and rather more about explaining volcanoes; and it’s interesting because it’s not altogether wrong, and emphasizes seeking knowledge by looking at things, instead of starting from a priori ideas. Anyhoo, Aetna is here.

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Suetonius, On Famous Men

17 July 2008
Portrait of a Roman official, first quarter of the second century (Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis, Brussel)

Portrait of a Roman official, first quarter of the second century (Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis, Brussel)

Suetonius is best known for the Lives of the Twelve Caesars, but that is just a part of his oeuvre, which also included such titles as Physical Defects of Men, Greek Children’s Games, Lives of Famous Prostitutes, and a dictionary that contained only terms of abuse. The twenty books of the Playground of Names and Languages culminated in a series of biographies of

Fragments survive, most of them rather short (like Passienus Crispus) but some of them still pretty long. They are now available at LacusCurtius: go here, or use one of the links above. You can find both the Latin texts and the Loeb translation.